My name is Johanna, I’m 23 years old, I live in a town near Hamburg in Germany and I am mentally ill. I would like nothing more than to get a PTSD service dog. They are specifically trained for people who suffer from complex posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorders. It is proven that they can ease the life of patients significantly
I am unable to leave the apartment by myself. I haven’t been able to go to school or work in over a year, before that I didn’t manage well at all. I suffer from BPD, depression, PTSD and dissociative disorders. I am disabled at 23, which sucks big time!!! I’m still young and I don’t want to be house ridden for the rest of my life. That’s not a life worth living.
I desperately want to change my situation, but I can’t do it on my own. This is why I would like a PTSD Service Dog.
I did a lot of research and it is amazing what service dogs can do.
The apprenticeship for those dogs takes up to two years and they get an intensive training. The dog would be able to accompany me to all stores, he’ll be trained specifically for my needs. He’ll learn to block and cover me to give me more space. He can stop dissociation and panic attacks. He’ll be able to turn on the light and wake me up from nightmares and he can pick up stuff like small water bottles, medication, his brush etc. He will also learn to lead me to an exit or lead me away from any uncomfortable situations and bark on command when I need him to. In general he could give me lot of strength, calmness and compassion which I would benefit from immensely. Plus he would be the cause for a daily structure and a worth continuing on living. I know it’s a big responsibility to get a dog and to care for him, but I am sure that I can handle it. I would never not care for a dog, no matter how bad I feel. It would give me a reason to go out and to take a walk. I also walk a neighbor's dog; I always go to someplace calm and private where I feel somewhat safe. I already have some experience with them. And I have people around me who will support me.
I have decided to go with Kati Zimmermann, she is very compassionate and has a lot of experience especially with training PTSD dogs. She would train the service dog until it is at least nine months old. Then we would train together one weekend a month apart from training with my dog myself every day. The training is extremely expensiv and unfortunately no health insurances cover PTSD Service Dogs and I am not able to afford the apprenticeship nor is my mother. I don't know yet whether a foundation will cover a part of the costs.
The service dog could help me to get a semi normal life, and I truly believe that this could change the world for me. I hope I could make clear why I would love a service dog. Every donation would help me tremendously. I also have a blog where you can find a way more detailed description and the link to my trainers website.