The Healing Powers of Dude has “good stuff” written all over it.
A show geared for tweens, about a (white) kid with social anxiety, and his best friends in middle school are an Asian girl who uses a wheelchair and a Latino boy?!
I mean, it seems almost Hallmark-ready.
The crux of this story is that the kid has social anxiety, and I was interested in learning more about that.
The Healing Powers of Dude
The show annoyed the crap out of me.
First of all, the kid’s privilege rubbed me wrong.
He has these ultra-loving and uber-supportive parents with the perfectly-sassy-but-adorable little sister.
The unbelievably supportive parents are a privilege in and of themselves, but this family also has stuff like money and time in spades, and I found that irksome too.
Not many parents these days have money, point blank, and then adding the plethora of time made me shake my head. This entire scenario (- “scenario” meaning, duo parent team, both dripping support and good cheer, lots of money and lots of time) is from another world, like, the one that Daniel Tiger’s parents belong to.
The Handling of the Emotional Support Dog
This went beyond annoyance; I was actually pretty disturbed by how they handled the entire piece of an emotional support dog.
You see, an actual service dog requires intense training. I mean, intense. With my hearing service dog, it was 2 weeks of 9-5 daily training with her at a specific center. My dog had been bred to serve.
The vest that all service dogs wear, as well as their leashes and certification are a big deal, it’s far from a quick tool to support a disability.
The Healing Powers of Dude is very careful to say that Dude is an EMOTIONAL support dog, but even emotional support dogs have certain regulations that they need to abide by.
In no way, shape or form would I (even remotely) think it would be possible or acceptable for an emotional support animal to be found and a bond established in one night (- as happened in the case of Dude), AND be accepted in school WITHOUT a vest, leash and training.
I feel like that kind of media mis-representation screws up everyone who uses a service/support animal.
It makes it seem like what most everyone already thinks: that getting a service/support animal is easy, that training is a breeze. It jumps right over everything that actually happens: the long wait, the training, the intense bonding and so forth.
One More Annoying Thing
The last really annoying thing about this show is that my kids loved it.
Like, the 3 of them were laughing out loud, completely eating it up and loving it. Micah was laughing so hard, he was crying.
I watched them all loving this crock of annoyance with mounting dismay… because I’m probably going to be stuck watching the whole season now.
Ugh. Get out while you can.
But the little girl who played Amara was awesome. I’d love to see her in something else!
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Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.