In this episode, I speak with Riley Cook about her Ankylosing Spondylitis and her service dog Gatsby and the various ways he helps her on a day to day basis.. Riley has been dealing with AS for about 10 years. A few years ago she decided she needed a service dog and took on the task of training Gatsby herself to perform the needed tasks. Gatsby can help Riley with a number of daily tasks like helping to steady Riley when walking, bracing for Riley when Riley needs to stand up, picking up items from the floor, pulling Riley’s wheelchair and so much more.
You can connect with Riley at her Instagram page (instagram.com/gatsbygoldenservicedog). Riley also has an apparel company called Aware with a Flare (awarewithflare.com).
Riley mentioned the following service dog organizations:
Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services - https://paals.org
Canine Companions for Independence - https://www.cci.org
There are numerous organizations that are available to try and assist people with getting a service dog. Here are some additional services/resources:
Americans with Disabilities Act FAQ - https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html
Paws with a Cause - https://www.pawswithacause.org
Here is a link to an article from Ageless Paws discussing a service dog for dealing with pain management - https://agelesspaws.com/need-service-dog-pain-management/
Finally, here is a link to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners - https://www.iaadp.org