I am thinking about getting an assistance dog.

Service dogQ: I am legally blind and am thinking about getting an assistance dog. I’m not sure how to find one or whether this is the best option for me.

A: Man’s best friend has been assisting people with disabilities as designated helpers since 1949! They not only assist the blind, but also wheelchair-users, the hearing impaired, and people with seizure disorders, just to name a few.

To learn more about the world of service animals, and the location of training schools near you, visit the Service Dog Central’s website. You may also find Paws with a Cause and Canine Companions for Independence helpful. You can apply for a service animal with these organizations. Each organization has its own multi-step application process, so be patient! When a service animal is selected for you, be prepared to take some time out for your own training with your new companion.

Another aspect to prepare for is teaching others how to approach a working assistance dog. Gain some ideas for communicating assistance dog etiquette to children from our Kids’ Corner.