Christopher Osborne, company senior medic with over 300 direct action missions. Spoke to us at iservicedog about his emotional support dog.
Why did you decide to get a service dog?
Mine was a bit different. I didn’t get a service dog to start. I got a dog roughly 4 months after I got out of the service. My dog became my companion that was with me at all times. She knew when I was upset and could calm me down whenever I needed to be. About a year later I registered my dog as an emotional support dog. They fall into the same category but obviously, a service dog has a lot more qualifications that they pass.
What steps did you take to find the perfect dog? Did you adopt? Contact any specific breeders?
I wanted a specific breed (English Bulldog) and so I looked around at the local markets in Austin/San Antonio. I then found a dog that was being neglected by its owner who traveled for work all the time and the dog owner’s mom would stop by twice a day to feed and clean up for the dog. Now this was a puppy at the time and when I looked at the dog she was roughly 6 months old and she was pinned up in the kitchen area with newspaper everywhere and she was just so happy and wanted to play. When I let her out she just loved having someone to play with which broke my heart that someone would get a dog and keep them in a contained area all the time.
How did you register your dog? How do you show that your dog is an ESD or an SD?
I registered her online through a site. They created an account for us and issued her an identification number. I could then purchase id cards, vests, and all the other stuff, however, I didn’t care for any of that. I had the official account and ID number so that’s all I cared for. I have never been asked for any of the paperwork for her when I have used the actual portion of her being a service dog. I try not to abuse the system since she is an emotional support dog which are more restricted versus service dogs. I’ve mainly used it when staying at hotels that don’t allow dogs but allow service dogs.
How has your life changed since getting your dog? What were some of the things you wish you would have known about before getting your dog?
It honestly helped me through some pretty rough times emotionally. Days when I’d be really down I could come home and see her and my entire day would brighten up. She has this lifting spirit and personality that has significantly helped me. I’d also say having a dog created more purpose for me as well. It’s like having a kid where you can’t just leave for days at a time and then come back. You have to plan trips, make arrangements when you’ll be gone, you have to feed them, take them out to the bathroom, and just makes you have a more structured life. At times I wish I would have known that as well. There were several times I couldn’t go do something because I knew that would cause me to not come home that night or potentially for a few days. Fully knowing the costs for vet bills, traveling pains, and issues like that would maybe have changed my mind.
What would you like to see in a web site for service dogs? What would be most interesting for you to learn about? Any ideas on how iservicedog can help those with service animals?
I would like to see an online identification or maybe mobile. Having to carry around another ID was why I didn’t get mine. I also only am able to pull up the email which issued my ID on my mobile. So having a nice user friendly ID that shows my dogs status and breed info along with maybe incorporating the vet records would be awesome. This could show a picture and her id number which shows exactly what she is. This is also potentially helpful in case something happens to me someone has her complete history with an emergency contact info.”
Chris Osborne is a veteran and current software engineer living in Austin, TX.
About the Author: Noah is the proud owner of an emotional support dog (Ollie). After trying to find information and training on service dogs when he was ill, Noah realized the gap for a reliable, honest, and trusted source on service dogs. From that notion Iservicedog was born! Check us out here: http://www.iservicedog.com/