Our developmental pediatrician was the first to suggest an emotional service dog might be a good strategy for helping Gracie deal with her anxiety and depression. At the time it seemed an unlikely solution, but when the psychiatrist told us that hospitalizing our 8 year old was all she could think to try next, I knew I needed to find another option. We took Gracie out of an institution at 19 months old. I could not bear the idea of placing her back in one. Suddenly, the doctor's unusual suggestion was more viable. While we investigated other alternative approaches, I also began researching how to find the right dog for my child.