by David Broido
This is a video with open captions. The link to the video is in David’s name…
Indiana Bones Service Dog Tribute
The wonderful story of Indiana Bones, one of the best service dogs ever.
This story is important for many reasons, but one is that people with mental health needs don’t always know that an emotional support animal is even a support option. Once they decide that an emotional support animal is important, there is no good way for them to have help with the training or the cost of training and care.
The cost for non-emotional support animals is largely to cover training and care during training. There are a sizeable number of common behavior habits that work well for most typical support animals, and the behaviors that need to be customized to the individual can be layered on the trained behavior base.
All of this is less possible with an emotional support animal because the infrastructure (training and funding) for providing it is FAR less developed than is the case for standard support animal training and care.
In the video, the person and his family did the base behavior training focused on David’s needs at the time. Many people with mental health issues are extremely isolated and extremely poor and simply could not pull together the necessary tools that David was able to create himself and with and through his family and friends.
These realities make emotional support animal use more difficult in every way.
The common stigmatizing of people with emotional support animals is just another kind of disability bullying and devaluing. It should have no place in any community that prides itself on inclusion as a core value. -ngd