In need of help for seizure assistance GSD. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation In need of help for seizure assistance GSD.

Let me start of by saying I have no idea if this topic is in the right area or what I have to say is inappropriate for this discussion or something and apologize before hand.
Please also forgive the randomness of wording as I am very wrecked mentally and physically.

When I was 14 I took a bullet to the back area of my head and as a result I started having seizures. About six months later I got spinal meningitus which according to the doctors made is much more severe or something. I have been fighting with every fiber of my being to avoid going on disability. After 14 years I have come to the conclusion that I have lost that fight.
I am tired of living in this nightmare of fear for smacking my head into something or falling somewhere and ending up dead. I have recently lost my wife, my house, my job, and many things associated to a family that I thought I could have. I have been digging through website after website and almost everything I see looks fake, does not service adults, doesn't carry the program, or looks like a scam.
I have a service dog as my last hope of being close to functional and being on my own again without having to live with these fears. Any kind of improvement that could potentially come from this is worth anything I would have to pay. I found this website while searching for a seizure dogs and thought to myself maybe someone here can help me.
I am looking to get a german shepherd dog for this purpose. If anyone knows or has recommendations where I can get one like a breeder or person or whatever. Or where I can go to have one trained or any other useful information related. Money is no object and I will sell everything I have left or do anything for anyone in order to make this happen. I am desperate with my back against the wall and just want a shred of independence and quality of life back.
Please help in anyway if you can.
Thanks for taking the time out to read my plea and I apologize again for anything herein that is deemed inappropriate.
Josh
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 07:51 PM
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Joshua, let me say first that I am so sorry for all the pain that you have gone through.

Second, be very careful of much of the advice that you can receive via the Internet. Now let us begin to see if we can help you to begin your journey into a Service Dog (SD).

If you want to look into Owner Training (OT) there are two ways to do so and much is based on your own abilities. Do all yourself or work with one or more trainers.
Have you ever owned a German Shepherd before? Have you ever trained a dog before? If so at what level? Sport, working or pet?

There are 3 parts of training a SD:
1. Obedience
2. Public Access
3. Tasks

All of these working dogs are first and foremost known as Assistance or Service Dogs. For now just know that those two titles are basically interchangeable. It has become more popular by many to add additional labels such as Mobility, Seizure, Medical Alert etc. But the basics in learning the laws and training are the same until you get to the 3rd part -- tasks or work.

When reading about Seizure Assistance or Seizure Service Dogs you will start hearing about Seizure Alert or Seizure Response. A dog doing seizure alert does so naturally -- more on this later if you are interested. It is the training of what the dog does during and after which makes the dog a SD. These trained actions of the dog is what is called tasks.

You will need to sit down and make a list of tasks that you want your dog to do for you.
Some examples may be the following:
~ Are you on medication that makes you dizzy? You can have your dog trained to brace (dog goes into a stand acting much like a temporary grab hold) to help you remaining standing or help you go down in a more controlled manner.
~ Do you need your dog to call for help in your home by alerting others in another room or by pushing an alert button to summon rescue?
~ Do you need your dog to retrieve meds for you along with a drink?

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 10-22-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 08:08 PM
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Service Dogs are individually trained to mitigate the disability of the handler. Training is not something done quickly. With a Program Dog (one trained by an organization of a group) in most cases in can take a year or more to receive a dog trained for your needs. Most programs have already put some training and additional evaluations on temperament, health and potential of the dog to become a working dog before the individualized training even begins.

From beginning to end it can take approx. 18-24 months for the training for a working dog. There is no quick way to go through the process. Does this mean that it would take you that length of time to receive a dog? Not necessarily -- a lot of the basics may already have been taught the dog such as obedience and how to behave and get around out in the community. I just want you to realize that you can not decide one day that you want a SD and expect to get one in a month or two.

Be very aware of the scams out there that are willing to sell young dogs for large amounts of money. Be aware that all non-profits do not mean they have your best interests at heart. And be very careful in signing any contracts without having someone help you read and understand or you may be out thousands of dollars and nothing but a partially trained pet dog.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 08:11 PM
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Before going much further in this thread it would be very helpful to know in which country you live. Laws and requirements for SDs are different for say the U.S. and Canada.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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I reside in Austin, Tx USA
I have owned a shepherd before
I have trained quite a few dogs in basic obedience and some intermediate/advanced commands but I am in no way a professional I have always wanted to learn. I have 1000's of hours of volunteer work in adoption counseling and rehabilitation of abused dogs and helping various owners with problems. I occasionally pick up strays and get them back to health, trained, and placed in homes..
I am groomer by trade.
I have minor vet tech training from an all in one facility I was working at when I was younger.

As for the other things, I have issues with equilibrium, the medicine tends to make me very ill occasionally, my seizures are extremely violent and I am constantly getting hurt on everything, It is very hard to do anything soon after becoming conscious again. I am naturally spaced out a lot for smacking my head too many times, and waking up is very difficult and may need the dog to grab medicine or my asthma stuff.

Did I miss anything?

Last edited by Joshua S; 10-23-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 05:26 PM
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Do you want the dog to alert you to when a seizure is going to happen or do you want it to help you with the seizure (stabilization, fetching medications or help, dialing life alert or phone, etc)? Because that will greatly affect which dog/company you go through. Pretty much all dogs can be trained to help with seizures, but the ability to sense when a seizure is going to happen is born in the dog and is a lot harder to find, as you cannot train the ability.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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To specifically help with the seizure recovery process after wards. I am hoping my bond will be strong enough for the dog to adapt to alerting me but is not necessary.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 11:31 PM
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Raising a well trained pet and an Assistance Dog is much the same in the first year. Forming a bond, lots of obedience and socialization work. Since one of the tasks that you will probably need is to bring meds I would suggest doing a lot of "bring" games. Also start games for future muscle work -- just remember slow and easy so you don't overdo the pup. Kyra Sundance has some good books on fun games and working with a pup. These games will help with pup's balance now and make working on muscles easier when mature.

If you plan on going through a breeder make sure you do a lot of research and when you narrow it down to some that you are interested in checking out via emails and/or phone make sure that you let them know that you are looking for a SD prospect in the beginning. Since it sounds like you might need a dog to help you with some mobility type work for your equilibrium - probably counter-balance work - I would also recommend a male which is usually taller and stronger.

Mobility work is why I suggested the exercise games to begin with a pup. And always remember, no putting weight on the dog until growth plates close and hips,elbows and spine are x-rayed at 2 years of age with an OK from the vet. Some people use their dog more like a cane and place a lot of their weight on the dog. German Shepherds are not a breed for this. A GSD can help with a pull to assist you from a sit up into a stand, help give some balance if you get dizzy and help with some pull like when going up steps or up a curb

I've been giving you a lot of info trying to just touch on some of the things to research and ask about -- more of a quick overview instead of the more in-depth information.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 10-23-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 11:54 PM
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I believe Texas Star Rescue in Long View, TX might have a trainer that helps them place dogs in homes where they can learn to do basic service work. It may not be sophisticated enough service work for your needs, but I want to raise it only because it's not too far from you.

I don't know any details, but I heard this through the rescue grapevine. (They often have many GSDs and Malinois in rescue, even though they are all-breed.) I'm sure they'd give you more info on the program, if you were to contact them.

Last edited by Magwart; 10-23-2014 at 11:57 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help. It is going to take some time to absorb everything and do all the research.
Thanks for the recommendation I think I am going to need a little more advanced from what they offer.
I was curious about in what order of things I should do everything and how much could it cost worst case scenario so I can start preparing.

Last edited by Joshua S; 10-24-2014 at 07:08 PM.
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