This course has been an amazing experience for me. I contacted this school earlier when I found out my emotional support dog was not going to be able to accompany me to different places starting now. The lady who helped me suggested the psychiatric service dog training course and I have to admit that it was god sent.
Bradley, my 11 and a half year old havanese has been my constant companion since he was eight weeks old. The breeder was amazing and he paired me with what I needed. A calm, sweet, smart dog. He made me visit him every week from week to week 8 until I took him home. The training went quite smoothly. The first six months were tough as he was a puppy but we were both very dedicated to each other and we bonded very quickly and started the foundation skills and training. Now to answer your question: This was kind of a refresher course to me as Bradley knows a lot of the tasks you taught in the course as I trained him to be a therapy dog.
I am an anxious person, still going through a post traumatic experience I had a couple of years ago which led me to a moderate depression.I talk to a psychiatrist on regular basis and take an antidepressant (low dose) and I have to admit that without Bradley, I would not have been to make it, pull myself together and rise up again. I enjoyed the first course al lot as I realized or somehow felt the pages were written for me. I pretended I was a novice with all this and started from scratch and realized that every sentence was helping and I was discovering new things and new informations.
To give you an example, every time I was seen in public with Bradley in his vest that said emotional support dog, people approached me to ask questions and I felt obliged to answer personal and private questions but I realized now that I don’t have to answer their questions as my medical history is private and I don’t have to answer those personal questions. Session two was very interesting and rewarding for me because I realized how well I knew my companion from his tone, different postures, his facial expressions, his emotions to just name a few. When I read the basics for all service dogs, I was happily surprised that Bradley was already doing them.
Session three was like a refresher course. I tried every step that I was taking for granted with my little guy and found out how well he was doing. Sessions four and five were written for me. I did the step by step training for PTSD and we both enjoyed every step and realized (at least me) that it has been part of our daily routine. I went through the list of the psychiatric tasks and although some of them don’t apply to me, we tried them and it was such a good experience and so much comfort for me to realize that I really could count on my 20 lbs “human dog” anytime, anywhere. I went through the public access test and did all the tasks with him one by one, one more time as a form of conclusion and we both did great.I can’t thank you enough for giving me this opportunity to enrich myself and get pointers and reminders. Every night, I pray to God to give me another four quality years with him (at least) so we could both give each other as much love and help as we can.