The NORTHWEST AIDE DOG FOUNDATION receives many calls from people with
disabilities wanting to know how they can obtain an aide dog. While the NWADF does not train dogs, we are in touch with many organizations across the nation which do, and we can provide our callers with the information which they need to access these organizations. In many instances there are waiting lists for these animals. More and more people with disabilities are choosing to actively participate in the training of their own dog. This is done by working with trainers who are willing to "teach you to train your dog". It's a lot of hard work! You provide the dog, and you must pay for the training. This is an option you may want to consider.
The NORTHWEST AIDE DOG FOUNDATION helps with access problems. By law, a person with a disability has the legal right to take a dog which has been specially trained to help them with their disability into all public places. Laws and reality are frequently two different monsters, and daily, people with disabilities and their aide dogs are denied access. Sometimes, this occurs because of a simple misunderstanding. Perhaps a new employee didn't know the law. Perhaps the person has a disability which isn't obvious, such as a hearing disorder or epilepsy. Sadly, sometimes access denial occurs because the person with a disability isn't wanted and the aide dog is used as an excuse. Access denial is embarrassing, and it can be frightening. Knowing the law, and how it applies to you is the first step in helping yourself.
All services provided by the NORTHWEST AIDE DOG FOUNDATION are free of charge to the public, including our newsletter the NW AIDE DOG NETWORK.
The NWADF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit supported entirely by charitable contributions. Your donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Most will find that the service dog fits their needs the best. Service dogs work for those who
are mobility challenged, and multiple sclerosis frequently causes mobility problems. Service
dogs are the dogs that are trained to pick up dropped objects, open and close doors, pull
wheelchairs, etc. They can, however, do many other tasks. Helping with transfers, assisting
after a fall, or providing balance that keeps one from falling, assisting with dressing &
undressing, search & find (where did I put my keys?), providing assistance with cognitive
difficulties, are just a few of the ways a service dog can help someone with multiple sclerosis
live more independently.
AN AIDE DOG IS NOT FOR EVERYONE
Not everyone likes dogs! Remember, dogs shed, drool, and do not have low maintenance
upkeep. Grooming, vet bills, and food bills are just a few of the negatives involved.
Aide dogs love their work, and they must be allowed to do it. They're not robots, you can't just
push a button and get instantaneous results. If you are 'feeling okay' today and would prefer to
leave the dog home or outside because he's too much bother, or you'd rather do it "by yourself"
it won't take long before your dog refuses to work for you. They're smart, they know when
they're needed & won't work for someone who doesn't need their assistance.
AN AIDE DOG IS A TWENTY FOUR HOUR A DAY - SEVEN DAY A WEEK
For his sake (or hers) please think it over carefully before you decide.
DO I QUALIFY FOR AN AIDE DOG?
That's right, you do have to qualify! Not everyone who has a disease, illness, or impairment has
a legal disability. The NWADF cannot tell you if your MS automatically qualifies you for an
aide dog. If you are legally blind, or deaf, or use a wheelchair, cane, crutches, or walker all the
time, you will qualify. Other cases will have to be evaluated by your physician, yourself, and