My guest is Carol Lea Benjamin, dog trainer, writer and expert in the ever growing area of training Invisible Disability Service Dogs. She trained the first ever service dog for Crohn’s Disease – an 84 lb. pit bull mix named Dexter. Do you know what “intelligent disobedience” is? Carol shares why that’s important in a service dog, how her Invisible Disability Service Dog helps her and how she trained her.
This discussion is split into two parts as we covered a ton of information. Please check out both parts as they work together and you’ll get a complete picture of an Invisible Disability Service Dog in action.
Nereida Ortiz says
I totally loved the interview Bonnie had with Carol. I am very interested in this topic because I have been given it great thought as to train my dog as a service provider.
Bonnie Brown says
Thanks Nereida! I’m going to talk to Carol more about how to train an invisible disability service dog.
I want to thank Carol for her work. I suffer with severe treatment resistant Crohn’s and have had several surgeries, and weigh a mere 89lbs at 32 years old. Due to the severity of my Crohn’s and complications relating to it I am on Disability. Finding you and your book and all the articles available online about service dogs for Crohn’s patients could open up a whole new world for me. I have a two year old Black Lab Named Shadow that I have had since he was 9 weeks old and I have been saying all along that he knows when I am going to have an attack. He is attached to me at the hip, and, sometimes even before I feel it coming, he starts to whimper and nose at my hands and stomach. during attacks he presses against me and gives me comfort. He lets me hug him tightly.
At times I get weak, and I have bouts of dizziness and take a medication where if I stand up too fast, I faint. He, on a number of occasions has studied his frame and let me hold myself up using him when I was dizzy, he has also saved me from falling down quite a few times by providing counter weight. I am now looking into how I can go about getting the proper certification here in Massachusetts because being able to take him everywhere with me would allow me so much more freedom than I have now. I am also very limited to housing rental choices with him. Being a Black Lab he is over most weight restrictions, not to mention pet fees for a dog his size are crazy and impossible to afford on Disability.
Bonnie Brown says
Crystal I’ll be sure to pass this on to Carol! We hope you and your lab Shadow are doing well!