While service dogs are commonplace for those with visible disabilities, what may be less known to some is that they are often used to help those with less obvious challenges.
One such example of this is Diesel, an American bully service dog that doesn’t live up to its breed name.
Owned by Kristen Kotselidis, a professional dog trainer and animal behaviorist who has been working in the field for over five years, year-old Diesel is helping Kristen fight depression.
Just by reading their body language, Diesel is able to identify feelings of stress and anxiety and respond accordingly.
Kristen explains, “He knows how to calm me down when I’m triggered. He is a very intelligent boy and takes orders very quickly.”
To show examples of Diesel in action, Kristen has uploaded a series of videos to her TikTok account. Diesel Landkristen. (opens in new tab)
@dieselandkristen (opens in new tab)
♬ Original sound – Amanda Margaret (opens in new tab)
In one, Diesel helps her up after she falls to the ground and pretends to be depressed, while in another he uses his nose to open and close a door.
Speaking to Zenger News, Kristen explains her background. “I have always been interested in animals and dog training. I was cooperating at a dog daycare in high school, then I was offered a job there.
“I started to find more and more of my passion and slowly decided to use the knowledge I had gained from working in a dog daycare for dog training, sitting and walking.”
Kristen also offers training, which you can read more about below her Instagram account. (opens in new tab)
It may not have occurred to many people that dogs can be used to help people suffering from depression. It’s all the more important that people like Kristen and Diesel are emphasizing the benefits of it.
Personally, we applaud their efforts and hope they continue to provide this level of support in the future.