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The Linda Dano Interview - Canine Companions (Page 2 of 2)

An Interview with Linda Dano - Canine Companions

LD: Itís an organization to educate people about service dogs. The dogs are trained to address all sorts of situations, like going into a restaurant. Itís a dog that needs to be with that person at all times in order for that person to function. Depression can be almost as crippling as blindness, and no one thinks about a dog that is for the blind. People with depression need to have that same comfort, that animal, that companion with them all the time. 
GB: I think thatís just a wonderful organization. 
LD: I do too. I think that itís just fabulous. Whether you look at ads or watch TV, there are always commercials with animals; we are connected to that world, and maybe weíre even more connected than we even know. Thatís why you need to look at them with a different eye; the family dog becomes part of your support team. 
GB: What are you hearing from the people that you run into as you go around talking about depression? 
LD: I think the major thing that people donít do is they donít talk and they isolate themselves. I think that if we bring anything that is thought provoking, itís that. Itís talk. Itís to speak to someone. Reach out. Find someone to make a support partner of, someone who would be there for you, listen to you. You know, I was watching the ďHorse WhispererĒ the other day and I hadnít seen it for a very long time. Thereís a line that Robert Redford says to a young Scarlett Johansson: ďKnowing something is the easy part. The hard part is saying it out loud.Ē
GB: Thatís an amazing quote.
LD: Exactly, and thatís what Support Partners is really all about. Thatís all it is; itís a simple fact that if you reach out and you say it: ďI think something may be going on. I think I may be suffering from depression,Ē youíd be shocked at what the other person might say. Itís always possible that the person youíre saying it to has been waiting so long to have you say that to them. They didnít know how to reach out to you; they didnít know what to say and they didnít want you to clam up. So theyíve been waiting for this moment, and they are thrilled that you would say that to them. 
GB: What would be the one piece of advice you would give caregivers regarding depression care management?
LD: They must ask for help. They canít do it all by themselves. Because what happens is the amount of time and energy it takes to care of a loved one 24/7 will absolutely take a caregiver down. They need to have that five minutes or half-an-hour to walk around the block. They need someone to come in and give them a break. It will relieve all sorts of things like the anger that might flood through them at any given moment, and then the guilt they feel about the anger.  You need to breathe; you need to get into a hot tub; you need a moment of your own.


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