how does one know if they've found a good candidate for their personal service dog, in particular a psychiatric service dog (psd)..? good question.. one that can be seen repeatedly on service animal training lists..
as often as i've personally seen it out there, i've completely left it alone as the words have never quite come to me in the past.. but.. little georgie has changed all that in a matter of the handful of weeks we have just spent together..
my final answer now..? you'll just know.. you'll know beyond a shadow of a doubt when you finally most likely accidentally stumble upon.. THE animal meant to help you mitigate a disability.. and you will absolutely burst with joy when you recognize the first undeniable signs..
i've had two candidates in the past, both whom, after my thinking very deeply, very seriously on the subject, i've come to realize are at best wonderful emotional support animals (esas) for regular attention and companionship they do provide..
ah, but now george, he's a whole 'nother can of wax.. he's got serious sa candidate wreaking from just about everything he's done to date..
at a wee two and a half months old, george the wonder dog is incredibly perceptive about many, many things.. he is attentive beyond anything i've experienced in a dog (cats are another story).. he's at my feet now wholly by his own choice and sleeps as close to me as he can possibly get each night (yes, at 2 1/2 months, he pretty much runs loose all the time in spite of having his own kennel to his and my avail)..
whatever i'm into, georgie porgie is right there in the middle, too.. admittedly a little too much occasionally, but always with a great big doggie grin..
watched him today on one of our potty jaunts out into the front yard.. unbelievably observant, reactive to the world around him.. heard something, the very tiniest, barest of a "tick, tick" of an unseen but likely woodpecker in a pine tree off to one side, and, by golly, so did george.. he twisted in its direction, cocked his head, and did his best to decipher that newest sound falling his way..
not sure exactly when he started, but he's already "booping" me with his nose.. he'd done it what i was thought was accidentally occasionally pretty much since he moved in, but he started being pretty durn consistent about two days ago.. it already has helped several times, too, as he has done it when my mind wanders blistfully off into LaLa Land.. it would be safe to say that, right from the start, i was hoping he would develop this himself as it will be documented as a task he performs.. looking very quickly like it may be the first that gets checked off the list, hooway.. :)
Labels: candidate, emotional support animal, esa, psd, psychiatric service dog, service animal, tasks