Hi all! So I’ve decided to take the plunge and get a service dog. With fibro, I qualify for one by ADA standards and I think it will really help. However I have a couple of issues:

1) I’d prefer to adopt rather than buy from a breeder, but having worked in animal rescue for so long, I know A LOT can come up with a rescue about 6 months-1 year in. Plus it’s SO hard to find a good breeder. When I was thinking about getting a dog (but not a service dog) I had an awesome breeder picked out but their dogs are much smaller than I want for a service dog.

2) I’d like to get a young dog (6 months-2 years), but not a puppy.

3) I have allergies, but they’re unpredictable. I always do well with “hypoallergenic” dogs, but other dogs may or may not make my eyes itch.

How do I go about finding an awesome dog that I can train as a service dog? How do I deal with really eccentric rescues that have insane requirements? And most importantly, what kind of stigma will I face for having a service dog for an invisible disability?