MS symptoms: Service Dogs


Leaving the kitchen the memory of having dinner cooking abandoned me. As dinner began to burn my dog decided he had waited long enough for his meal and barked sharply. I returned to the kitchen and found dinner overcooking again. It was at that moment I realized a service dog just might help me with my memory issues and possibly other areas in my life.

American Disabilities Act (ADA) describes a service animal as having specific training to complete or assist with tasks for a disabled individual. Dogs can be trained for many types of service. With certified training they may enter public places while work dogs are trained to serve at home. The difference in training for public situations is reflected in the cost of the dog.

According to Service Dog Central, dogs have lived with humans for at least 14,000 years and have served as man’s helper, protector, and companion. Benefits of living with a pet include:

  • lower cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides
  • reduced stress levels and feelings of loneliness
  • better mental health
  • increased activity and more opportunities for exercise, time spent outdoors, and socialization

Guide Dogs Foundation is advertising for puppy homes. If you are interested in raising a puppy for guide training, contact them at 866-282-8046 or email

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.