I enjoyed reading “There's a Dog for That” in “Speak Up” (December 2011/January 2012). Like Kathryn Crosby, I have Parkinson's disease (PD) and a dog, named Honey Bear. She has been trained to set my gait and to act as a counterbalance to help against falls.
The Parkinson's Association of San Diego has a great program, Paws for Parkinson's, that connects people with dogs that have been trained to work with PD patients. The association would be happy to share training advice and contact information of trainers.
My dog is very talented: not only does she help me walk, but she is also the “coauthor” of a book I wrote about life with PD called The World According to Honey Bear. Written for children, it is a tool for explaining what PD is. It is available on amazon.com or through the Parkinson's Association of San Diego. All proceeds go to the Parkinson's Association at pdasd.org .
Thank you for informing your readers about the benefits of having a dog for people with neurologic diseases.
Catherine Rodríguez, Ed.D.
Parkinson's patient, advocate, and past president of the Parkinson's Association of San Diego, San Diego, CA