Frequently asked questions:
Q. Who can have a dog?
A. Any person over the age of 16years with a physical disability, regardless of severity, can apply to be assessed for suitability to be partnered with a canine assistant.
Q. How much will it cost to have a dog?
A. The cost of the dog to the recipient is €1. Emily Dogs is a charity and does not expect payment for dogs placed.
Q. Where does the money come from to pay for the dogs to be trained?
A. Presently, the charity is totally dependent on money donated to it. Donations come from private individuals, as a result of fundraising or may be bequeathed to the charity in a will. All financial assistance is welcome and helps to make the dreams of many to have a canine partner come closer.
Q. Who works for Emily Dogs?
A. presently all work is volunteered. However we hope to have a premises by the end of 2003, and then we will be emplying staff to run the charity on a full time basis.
Q. I would like a dog, but how do I learn how to care for him/her?
A. The client will spend a residential period of 4-6 weeks at the charity`s premises when the dog is first partnered with him/her. During this period, the client will learn about his/her dog, how to care for him/her, how to work him/her safely, and how to enjoy and benefit from the partnership.
Q. I am very disabled and do not like to leave my home, but I would like a dog?
A. There will be individuals who may be unable to travel to the charity`s premises for placement and training. However, this will not debar them from having a dog. In certain circumstances the trainer will travel to the client`s home to teach him/her about his/her dog. The time will be of the same duration 4-6 weeks.
Q. What breeds of dog are used?
A. Labradors, golden retrievers and German shepherds.
Q. Why these breeds?
A. These are the breeds which are most successful as working dogs and have been used all over the world for such work. They are kind tempered, eager, intelligent, attentive, are large enough for the work expected of them, and possess the ability to learn what we ask of them.
Q. Where will the dog sleep at night?
A. Beside his owner`s bed.
Q. What will happen when my dog gets old?
A. Dogs have a working life until 10 years. Then they must be retired at which point the owner will have the choice of having another partner.
Q. I am epileptic, can I have a dog?
A. Yes, dogs can be given special training which allows them to predict when their owner will seize. These seizure alert dogs can predict a seizure from 45 minutes before it happens. This means that their owner can lead a normal life knowing that their dog will alert them before they have a seizure. This allows them to find a safe place where they cannot injure themselves.
Q. How soon will Emily Dogs be placing dogs with people?
A. Hopefully, by early 2004. However to achieve this we have to find the finance. If you can help us by telling others about us, fundraising for us or volunteering a skill to us, you help us towards the day when we will be in a position to place dogs.
Q. When can I apply?
A. There is a waiting list already for assistance dogs. We are happy to have your details should you be interested in having a canine helper.