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  #41  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:02 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Originally Posted by CatStina View Post
I thought you needed documentation to fly with any SD? That's a bit annoying to find out...
Nope, just PSDs and ESAs. Aside from the regular health certificate that any dog needs, of course. It is pretty sad and annoying.
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  #42  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:06 PM
CatStina CatStina is offline
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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Nope, just PSDs and ESAs. Aside from the regular health certificate that any dog needs, of course. It is pretty sad and annoying.
That leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'll do it, of course, but it will be begrudgingly now that I know having a mental disability requires documentation, but others don't.
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  #43  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:11 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Originally Posted by CatStina View Post
That leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'll do it, of course, but it will be begrudgingly now that I know having a mental disability requires documentation, but others don't.
What I would do is have the papers, but don't offer them up unless asked. They may not ask if he's vested and well-behaved.
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  #44  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:01 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is online now
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Originally Posted by CatStina View Post
An ESA provides comfort or emotional support. In order to get an ESA, you have to be diagnosed with a disability and having a pet will help you "feel better." The benefit of having an ESA is that you can live in housing that generally doesn't allow animals and you can bring the animal on an airplane at no extra charge.
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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Laur - an ESA is designated an ESA primarily for housing or flight. I got Gavroche's designation before I moved into no-pets housing. Most people that have an ESA don't have it officially designated as one because they don't need it. It really is just a pet.
Thanks.

Do you have to have a diagnosed DISABILITY to have a dog be an ESA? You would have to have a doctor's note stating that your anxiety/depression/whatever was disabling to have a dog declared an ESA?

Or is just having documented proof that you have been diagnosed with ______ and that your dog helps you without actually performing specific tasks enough?
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  #45  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:18 PM
CatStina CatStina is offline
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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
What I would do is have the papers, but don't offer them up unless asked. They may not ask if he's vested and well-behaved.
That's what I'll do, thanks!
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Do you have to have a diagnosed DISABILITY to have a dog be an ESA?
From what I understand, it has to be a disability.
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  #46  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:22 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Do you have to have a diagnosed DISABILITY to have a dog be an ESA? You would have to have a doctor's note stating that your anxiety/depression/whatever was disabling to have a dog declared an ESA?
Yes. The letter has to state you have a mental disability (or are elderly) and the dog helps you with the disability. For an ESA, just being there counts as "helping" - unlike service dogs, which must be task trained. Since Gavroche does know a few tasks he's technically an in-home-only service dog, but I've just stuck with the "ESA" label.
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  #47  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:44 PM
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Julee Julee is offline
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Originally Posted by Airn View Post
It IS interesting, but I want to know more about YOUR SD. How long have you had it, does it help you?

I have had Embyr for approximately four and a half years. Considering she's the reason I'm still around... yeah, she helps me.

What are the pros and cons of having a SD (in a community sense. Not "Well, obviously it helps me." but more is it worth it?)

Very worth it. There's a lot of work and constant questions involved, but it's a no-brainer for me.

Why all the problems with 'legit' SDs? Why aren't there (many) regulations and why would you or wouldn't you want there to be?

I would prefer the laws be a little stricter, but not requiring a dog be from a program or making it impossible for people to owner train. I wish there was more education on the current laws.


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Originally Posted by Airn View Post
Well this is all very interesting.

Now a few new questions:

This one is geared towards Fran, but obviously anyone can answer.
What do you do if the dog you are hoping becomes an SD, fails? I assume you don't want to get 'rid' of the dog, but I would imagine with all the money and time it takes to train this dog, failing would be pretty hard. Is it common for dogs to 'fail'?

Depends. If I'm training for somebody else, I usually rehome. Copper is the result of my beginning to train a service dog for someone else and a combination of things ended up with her training ceasing and her becoming a pet. We were too in love with her, so she stayed If I'm training for myself, I would more than likely keep and try again. I think how "common" it is for a dog to fail depends on who is training the dog, their training ability, and the dog's temperament, paired with the dog's history.

Also, if you 'get' an SD, but do not NEED an SD, is it still legal to take the dog places? Or if the dog is trained for a certain disability, such as responding to a person who is in a wheelchair, and is now owned by someone who has a disability such as.... Autism. What should happen to the dog in that situation? Is it re-trained or should the new owner focus on getting an SD that is better suited to his/her needs?

It's not a service dog unless it's partnered with a disabled handler that it performs tasks or work to mitigate that handler's disability. So, no, not legal. As for the second question, depends on the dog, handler(s) involved, and the age of the dog.

What if you are in an area with your SD and someone is uncomfortable with dogs? Like a phobia or allergic or something serious? Or the awful realization that....some people don't like dogs! (Wish that worked with some children. Yikes.)

It's required that both parties are accommodated in the event of a legitimate phobia or allergies. Generally moving them to opposite areas of the public venue takes care of it.

It just seems like it would be so difficult to create many regulations. Is there more being done to verify actual SDs? Some of the reasons I've heard for people having an SD is a bit ridiculous. Everyone has issues and dogs, especially YOUR dog is bound to make you feel better. I KNOW most SDs are not just "Oh you make me happy" dogs. But it is a bit of 'some bad apples ruin the whole bunch'.

No, not really. There was a law change in 20...10? or 2011 that excluded all animals except dogs and some miniature horses from federal law protection. State by state can vary, though.

A few bad apples do really ruin it for the rest of us. Same with peopke outright faking, or "hoping their dog is mistaken for a service dog."
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  #48  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Airn View Post
Well this is all very interesting.

Now a few new questions:

This one is geared towards Fran, but obviously anyone can answer.
What do you do if the dog you are hoping becomes an SD, fails? I assume you don't want to get 'rid' of the dog, but I would imagine with all the money and time it takes to train this dog, failing would be pretty hard. Is it common for dogs to 'fail'?

As has been stated, some people keep the washout, some people place the dog in a different home where the dog is better suited. Even going with a dog who seems perfect, they can still wash out. Enzo is technically an ESA, but we own our home, and I feel like getting her that label to fly with her would be a big mistake because she can flip out in public and doesn't do well if I'm not doing well. When I'm good, she's brilliant, but that's the opposite of the point lol. She performs specific tasks brilliantly at home, but in public will fall apart. Especially if I'm coming undone. Knox was a SD prospect, gotten specifically for SD work. He also washed out.

Also, if you 'get' an SD, but do not NEED an SD, is it still legal to take the dog places? Or if the dog is trained for a certain disability, such as responding to a person who is in a wheelchair, and is now owned by someone who has a disability such as.... Austism. What should happen to the dog in that situation? Is it re-trained or should the new owner focus on getting an SD that is better suited to his/her needs?

Sometimes the dog can be retrained, especially a young dog. I think as an owner trainer, if I was offered a washout from a program, depending on the reason the dog washed, (and the program, lol) I'd jump at the chance to take over training and have the dog work with me. There really are very very few programs that will work with autism though, and none I've found will train the tasks I need. I've done most of the work myself, and while there are a few things I can't do/don't have the skill to do, I've hired a trainer who is better than I am to complete the work.

Ideally SDs behaved excellently and do not bark/bite/misbehave. However, if someone/thing is bit by an SD, is it treated like a normal dog bite?

Yes it would be. Likely the dog would be washed out after that though, SDs should be bombproof dogs, and ideally will never bite. There is some sort of grey area "in defense of the handler" but this a huge grey area and evaluating the dog after the bite for work I think would be necessary.

What if you are in an area with your SD and someone is uncomfortable with dogs? Like a phobia or allergic or something serious? Or the awful realization that....some people don't like dogs! (Wish that worked with some children. Yikes.)

This has been answered, but generally I ignore it. Enzo had been invited/given permission at a few places to join me, when she was in training, and it happens. People "drive by pet" bark at the dog, ect. It's annoying, and if speaking to a manager about the conflict doesn't help, I'll leave, and not come back. That's never happened though.

It just seems like it would be so difficult to create many regulations. Is there more being done to verify actual SDs? Some of the reasons I've heard for people having an SD is a bit ridiculous. Everyone has issues and dogs, especially YOUR dog is bound to make you feel better. I KNOW most SDs are not just "Oh you make me happy" dogs. But it is a bit of 'some bad apples ruin the whole bunch'.
Really, if the dog isn't right it can end up making things worse. I realized having Enzo with me was more stressful than going with a Service Human that she washed out. She washed out several years ago though, and simply enjoys being a pet in my home now.
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