My daughter has been struggling with anxiety, depression, and PTSD issues for several years. Recently, her caregiver has said that a service animal trained to alert to incipient anxiety attacks and distract would be helpful. Not an “emotional support animal” but an actual certified service animal.
Unfortunately, properly trained service animals are expensive. For uses like this, they have to be individually trained for the specific tasks required. It’s not like you can go to the medical supply store and pick out one that fits. The process is long and labor intensive. First you need a dog that has been temperament tested to see that it’s a good candidate as a service animal. It has to remain calm and focused despite the many distractions of life. Then there’s the training. The trainer has to work with it on a one on one basis for six months to a year. That’s time and it costs money. And insurance doesn’t cover it.
While I did some shopping around to find the best prices available for a dog and training that would suit my daughter’s needs–a breeder who treats providing puppies for service animals as a service and actually discounts them rather than charging a premium for temperament tested pups like most breeders, a trainer that likewise is treating it as a service with reduced prices compared to most others (but with good reviews). Still, it looks like we’re about $8000 short. Which means I need to raise the funds.
To that end I’ve started a campaign on GoFundMe. I hate to have to do that, but when it comes to my daughter I cannot afford pride. Whatever it takes.