(upbeat music) - Hey guys, it's Mahala.
Welcome to my channel,where I like to talk about living life with chronic illness.
Today I wanted to discuss, am I getting a service dog, or not? So, the last time we talked about this, I kind of left it as I wasn'tsure what was gonna happen.
That I was having a hard timewith the payments, I realized.
And I was just kind of being unrealistic, hoping that thefundraising really took off and things would work themselves out.
So, the organization, I askedthem if I could fundraise all the money on their websitefirst, and then once I had it all raised, then wecould start training a dog? So I wouldn't have as muchpressure with the deadlines and have to get it paid off as quickly.
The total cost of the dogwas gonna be like $6,000 and I would have to paylike $200 or $250 a month, I can't remember what it was.
So I was trying
And in the end, they decidedthat they would work with me, but during that time, alot of things happened that made me kind of question if this was really the rightdecision for me after all.
The short answer is no, I'm not getting aservice dog at this time.
Basically, while I was waiting for them
Which I could totally understandwhy they couldn't also.
But during that time, Iwas like preparing myself for that rejection to cope with it.
I was thinking, is this reallythe right decision for me? And kind of trying
And while going through allof that, I came up with a lot of reasons why maybe it wasn'tthe right choice after all.
I was also getting back into school, and that was a huge adjustment.
So I was kind of realizing
It was very difficult for me to just get the bare minimumdone of my assignments and of chores aroundthe house and even that, I would like, you know fall behind on.
So I realized like, mytime is really limited and I really don't haveany extra energy
That's also why I hadn't made as many videos while I was in school.
The other thing that happened, was that I got a cheap wheelchair during this time and I just got a cheap one off Amazon.
It's nothing fancy, it was like $100 and it's like 45 pounds andvery heavy and ill-fitted.
But when I first got it, I wasstill able to propel myself, I couldn't
And I kind of realized how much of an independence that gave me.
It was just really nicebeing able to be at the store and not feel like you're dying and have to sit down every five seconds.
That's an exaggeration,maybe like every five minutes or less, but still, you know.
It kind of opened my eyes
And it got
And so I kind of realized that I could findindependence in other ways.
So with all these things in mind, I ultimately decided that a service dog wasn't the best decision for me.
Service dogs are great andthey're certainly essential in some people's lives, it's definitely a very personal decision
And while a service dogcould do a lot to help me I don't think that thestress of
(laughs) What are you doin? And I have this dog and he's great.
But he's in the way right now.
I decided that a servicedog wasn't right for me after doing a lot more thinking about it, because of the time constraintand my time being so limited.
Even though the dog is trained, there's still upkeep
Already having one dog, youhave
I definitely don't want Milo
And I already don't have enough time to do what I'm already doing.
So that's one thing.
I realized a wheelchairalone can offer me a lot of independence and I'm getting one soon.
And you don't have
Not in the same way, you know,with a service dog where you have to bring all this stuffevery time you take them out and keep up on the training and buy all the things they need.
Of course the financialcommitment was a lot to me.
It might have beenpossible to make it work, but it was just really stressful.
And just the anxiety aroundthe whole situation in general.
Making sure the dog haseverything it needs, making sure I bring everythingthe dog needs when I go out and then the anxiety about the dynamic between Milo and the new dog.
Making sure Milo doesn'tfeel left out or replaced.
And the anxiety of having todeal with people in public, because people have never seen dogs before and they don't wanna let youdo your grocery shopping.
They wanna ask a billion questions, they wanna try to pet your dog and distract your dog andthat's just never fun.
And then dealing with theaccess issues and always having
Just kind of learning
So it just wasn't rightfor me at this time.
It sucks that it
We paid like part ofit, we paid for the dog and like a little bit
It's just gonna go to the cost of the dog and another handler.
But it does suck thatthe organization took that time out for me and thenI decided it wasn't right.
But I guess it was betterfor me
Anyway, any service doghandler will tell you that having a servicedog is a huge commitment and sometimes it's animportant and necessary and beautiful commitment, but other times it's just not the rightdecision for that person.
That's just something to think about.
If you are consideringgetting a service dog, make sure you do a lot of research.
Watch videos, read articles,join Facebook groups to learn as much as youcan about the process.
Don't be afraid
And just think through everything before being hasty about it.
Discuss it with the peopleclose to you in your life and just do a lot ofthinking about the decision.
I may make moreeducational centered videos on service dogs in the future, even though I'm not a handler, Milo was in training for a while and I did handle him for a while.
I am familiar with theprocess, but most importantly, I think it's reallyimportant that we spread the correct informationand the right information and raise awareness and try to put an end to all these fake servicedogs out in public.
And all this mis-educationthat's out there on the internet and allthese fake websites.
Because all that stuff, seriously harms true service dogs andtheir disabled handlers.
So I think it's importantfor everyone to try
If you have any questions, be sure to leave those down below.
I'd love to hear from you guys.
If you want to see more content like this, be sure to give this video a thumbs up and subscribe for more videos and I'll see you guys next time.