Love comes on all four
Without standard tools, living assistance remains an impossible wish.
We chose to be the “provider” of the most precious resource: unconditional love. It is the only experience that lifts the soul of man, regardless of the storms of life. Service dogs and their loving hearts know and can re-create harmony in the universe of each of their partners. These are people with special needs, single people, children or people, simply people! In a society with multiple challenges, the support of an educated dog to communicate with our heart is the most effective strategy to win!
In everyday life, dogs trained to assist people with special needs are successfully used in many states of the world. Specialized canine training makes the dog play an increasingly important role in society, with medicine, education or research being areas where he already makes an unequaled contribution.
In Romania, there are no certified service dogs. Neither are the other resources that make the living assistance right possible and readily available. We do not have standards, criteria, control and certification authorities. In the list of occupational functions, we do not find the specialist in the training of assistance dogs or those involved in various medical therapies. We do not find in the list of official certifications nor the qualified therapist to work with the dogs in health centers, recovery centers or schools. Most importantly, we do not have the national training center without which assisted living remains an inaccessible right for people with disabilities and other special needs. And we do not have the legislative framework to cover them all.
Living assistance involves a huge responsibility. It is possible strictly within a long-term partnership between the man in need and the dog that serves him. The complex education of the two leads to the formation of a functional team. Without education, their distinct personalities will never manage to harmonize through communication. The dog needs to know the particular needs of his partner and be taught how to fulfill them. In the absence of personalized training, the dog assisted person cannot regain his independence. He cannot return to society. And he cannot lead an autonomous life. This is why many dogs trained to assist a blind person cannot carry out this mission. The mistake always belong to the one who entrusted this role to him, without preparing him thoroughly.
The social reintegration of persons with special needs is the main purpose of legislating their right to assisted living. In Romania, the specialized school that prepares the dog through specialized training as well as the man, through applied education, currently does not exist. Without it, we cannot speak of living assistance. Neither by assisted intervention performed by animals in society.
In the native landscape of the moment, the dog made to interact in different contexts with adults or children from different environments and with certain special needs, is coordinated by the owner himself. In all cases, the dog owner does not have the knowledge of canine psychology necessary to guarantee complete control over the small four legged friend. The inclusion of the human psychologist in activities assisted by the dog never eliminates the risks. The dog is, after all, unpredictable. If there is no certainty of a correct understanding of the behavioral limits of the dog, if the technique of influencing these limits is not mastered, then drama can inevitably occur.
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