Copper gets to be a dog today. He seems to be enjoying it. He wants to rough house and play fetch and play 110 pound lap dog. For some reason he forgets he isn’t a 30 pound dog. He was supposed to be. He was supposed to be a beagle mix. We didn’t realize he wasn’t until he grew a pound a day for a month. It turns out that we got what we needed instead of what we wanted. A beagle could have never met my needs at the beginning.
He made me absolutely crazy when he was a puppy. He was the most destructive puppy I’ve ever seen. We went through three couches when we left him out alone while we were gone. After he passed the adolescent stage he calmed down significantly and began alerting to my anxiety attacks.
I think he is a miracle. He went from being a training demo dog to being a service dog with a little more training. He saved me from being trapped inside my home and sometimes even my head. Focusing on him to work through PTSD attacks and anxiety attacks kept me more healthy.
We’re still doing training. My needs have changed, so I have to retrain him to meet my current needs instead of my needs years ago. A psychiatric service dog isn’t the same as a seeing eye dog because our needs change as our conditions get either better or worse.
For instance, I used to need his help frequently to get to bed after severe anxiety attacks. Now, I don’t need to do that as often. Instead, I need him to alert more subtly when people were coming up behind us.
Now, he’s trained to give one bark. I want him to give me a tap on the hand. I don’t need the bark, so we’re changing it. It takes work, so slowly we are changing what he is supposed to do.