Saturday, September 8, 2012

Intuitive Service Dog

My Psychiatric Service Dog in Training, Rosie, is still full of puppy energy and just learning the basics of being a manageable dog. We have not even started her therapy task training and we can't really take her out in public much because she still barks at every dog she sees, but she seems to intuitively have a knack for being a psychiatric service dog.

Rosie has been very helpful to me lately, especially when my husband was in India for eight days and I was struggling a lot. She just seems to sense when I am manic or depressed and helps me out. When I am manic she usually sits right on my lap in order to help calm me down. She instinctively knows how to ground me. The weight of her body calms me down and she distracts me from my manic thoughts and behaviors.

When I am sad she licks me. Dog's lick for many different reasons but it seems telling to me that Rosie licks me when I am sad and dogs learn to lick from their mothers. It was a way to survive, a way for the mother to get the puppy breathing after it was born. When Rosie licks me she is showing me affection and helping me survive. It is like she helps me breath again.

Then the other day I was sitting on the floor doing the meridian work (meridians are channels that bio-energy flow through in your body and certain meridian points are acupressure points) my therapist had just taught me that day and Rosie came up and put her head in my lap. It was as if she knew that sitting with me would help me calm my system and balance the energy in my body.

Rosie helping me with my meridian work.
Rosie is very easy to train with all of her basic commands such as sit, place, etc... so I know her task training will be go well. Right now I am just hoping we can train her to be calm in public so I can have her with me all the time, which would be a huge help.

I have had dogs all my life and they have all helped me in many ways, but Rosie is the first one who seems to know exactly the right thing to do to help in the different stages of my illness.

Whenever I am having a hard time now, I go see Rosie or she comes to me, and that has made my mental illness a lot easier to handle.


Rev. Katie


  1. What a sweet pup, Rosie! Thanks for sharing a wonderful post for the ADBC. :)

  2. Some dogs also lick for an epilepsy or diabetic alert--I don't know if the dogs do this instinctively or if that's shaped by the trainer. Dogs are so good at sensing and responding to people's emotions.