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  #231  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:46 PM
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It sucks that so many things are over diagnosed. I sometimes feel when I tell people that I have asthma that they aren't going to think it's as serious as it is. .
I do think asthma is one of those things a lot of people don't take very seriously. I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago, though I'm not sure about the diagnosis. It seemed like I had it for awhile. Started with me having bronchitis, and when that didn't get better and I went to the doctor, he told me I had pneumonia and asthma. (and I said; "I don't have asthma", and he told me I did.) So for a few years, it seemed like any time I had a chest cold, I'd start wheezing and wind up on pred. And there were a couple times I was just running really hard in agility practice, and needed my inhaler. But it hasn't happened in a couple years. I haven't needed the inhaler, which Tess recently chewed up, so I hope I don't need it again.

Anyway, when I was diagnosed and was looking it up, I noticed that it was something people didn't seem to think much of, but it actually does kill people. And certainly, some of those attacks I had were very scary (the night I spent using the inhaler every 20 minutes and waiting for my doctors office to open...). And I don't think mine was even regarded as being particularly serious.

I know someone who has a SD for asthma. And another person who has a SD for breathing issues, not sure if it's asthma, but interestingly, he alerted someone else (who handles him in agility) for an asthma attack. I'm going to admit that when my "asthma" (if that's what it was) seemed to be getting progressively worse, I started thinking that maybe I could at least train my dog to be a SD so I could take her on the plane with me. But I'm not so sorry to be able to breathe instead.
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  #232  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:55 PM
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Well, you're getting your wish either way, as my lunch break is ending and I have a job I have to get back to.
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  #233  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:57 PM
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This has been an interesting thread, and I'm glad I started it.

In the U.S. there's already quite a few businesses that will allow you to bring well behaved dog's in, regardless if they're service dogs or not. I've taken Charlotte and Ma'ii into dog friendly cafes, bookstores, and even a ferry in the past without issues. In an ideal world, all buisnesses would allow this, but it's completely understandable and reasonable why they don't, and I think it should be respected. The service dog program was created to help people who can't get around normally on their own, and need assistance, not because they want special privileges and to take their dogs places others can't. Taking advantage of it is selfish and disrespectful.

With all that being said, I make it sound like I care a lot more then I really do. I found out about the service dog scam from a group of hitch hiking friends of mine who own dogs. They have been doing the fake service dog thing for years now, as a way to travel easier around the country. This way they can take their dogs on greyhound busses, into stores, hotels that don't allow dogs, etc. Rude and selfish, but... whatever. If they get caught, I can't say I'd feel much sympathy, but I'm not going to out them.
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  #234  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
I do think asthma is one of those things a lot of people don't take very seriously. I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago, though I'm not sure about the diagnosis. It seemed like I had it for awhile. Started with me having bronchitis, and when that didn't get better and I went to the doctor, he told me I had pneumonia and asthma. (and I said; "I don't have asthma", and he told me I did.) So for a few years, it seemed like any time I had a chest cold, I'd start wheezing and wind up on pred. And there were a couple times I was just running really hard in agility practice, and needed my inhaler. But it hasn't happened in a couple years. I haven't needed the inhaler, which Tess recently chewed up, so I hope I don't need it again.

Anyway, when I was diagnosed and was looking it up, I noticed that it was something people didn't seem to think much of, but it actually does kill people. And certainly, some of those attacks I had were very scary (the night I spent using the inhaler every 20 minutes and waiting for my doctors office to open...). And I don't think mine was even regarded as being particularly serious.

I know someone who has a SD for asthma. And another person who has a SD for breathing issues, not sure if it's asthma, but interestingly, he alerted someone else (who handles him in agility) for an asthma attack. I'm going to admit that when my "asthma" (if that's what it was) seemed to be getting progressively worse, I started thinking that maybe I could at least train my dog to be a SD so I could take her on the plane with me. But I'm not so sorry to be able to breathe instead.
I've had doctors suggest having a service dog for asthma See, I have bad asthma (diagnosed at age 2), and I also have anxiety... the combination makes for a scary situation when I can't get my asthma under control.

At this point in my life, I feel like it's something I can handle on my own. I've learned how to handle it well, thanks to my mom and grandmother (who both had/have asthma). I have a stockpile of medications, and know what to do when an attack starts.

Asthma attacks kill a lot of people. Attacks are very, very scary. Back in college, I went to the ER and my blood oxygen level was measured in the low 80s (I think 95% and up is in the "normal" range). I was hospitalized as a toddler for a couple of weeks.

Anyway, my point was simply that so many people are diagnosed incorrectly. It wasn't a personal attack. It wasn't saying that the SD owners in here are fakers. It wasn't saying that autism isn't real. It wasn't saying the need for a SD isn't important. It was simply saying that, as I've experienced and studies have shown, doctors like to jump on the misdiagnosis bandwagon.

If your doctor incorrectly diagnoses you with (insert whatever disability/illness/etc you want) and you decide to train your dog to be a SD, are you now considered a faker? What if you have a very well behaved dog and very bad (undiagnosed) anxiety and your dog helps you survive out in public? Are you a faker too?

See, this is why well behaved dogs in public don't bother me. I don't notice them, they don't harm anyone, and life goes on.
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  #235  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:59 PM
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Well, you're getting your wish either way, as my lunch break is ending and I have a job I have to get back to.
Again, you're not reading what I'm writing. I was suggesting, for your sake, that stepping away may be a good idea. I don't care if you continue to post or not. It's certainly not my wish.
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  #236  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:08 PM
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or we just accept that well behaved dogs that sometimes aren't service dogs are going to be out in public with people that aren't really disabled and ill mannered dogs should be sent home regardless of their status of service or non-service dog.

I prefer the latter, much easier and creates much less problems for all involved. I don't take my dogs shopping because I don't want to shop with them, but I wouldn't mind going to a mall on a hot summer day while my wife goes to all her Express, and limited banana republic and Macy's and all that jazz to shop, and I could just take a stroll with my dogs sometimes.
This would be the solution in my ideal world. In a lot of ways it would make things a lot easier for SD handlers overall, because dogs in public would be normal and not attract speculative stares and weird comments from strangers with them guessing at your medical history and stuff.

I don't think it's going to happen though. Not on a nationwide basis anyway.
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  #237  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:25 PM
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I've had doctors suggest having a service dog for asthma See, I have bad asthma (diagnosed at age 2), and I also have anxiety... the combination makes for a scary situation when I can't get my asthma under control.
....

See, this is why well behaved dogs in public don't bother me. I don't notice them, they don't harm anyone, and life goes on.
Yeah, I freely admit that the only reason my own mind went to the SD thing with my asthma diagnosis was an excuse to keep my dog with me. I'm not sure how trainable it is, though? I think what they are supposed to do is alert when you are going to have an attack, and I'd think that would be something a dog either naturally does, or doesn't do.

And that final line was pretty much my point when I said I no longer cared about fakers if the dog was well behaved. They just don't draw a lot of attention, if they're behaving. It only becomes an issue if the dog acts up. Like most of the people on this thread, I hate things like that ad that sells people a packet to "make their dog a service dog!" Because it puts the idea into the heads of people who really don't understand what's entailed, and don't have dogs that are likely to behave in public. Which is, of course, very negative for access issues.
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  #238  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:37 PM
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Yeah, I freely admit that the only reason my own mind went to the SD thing with my asthma diagnosis was an excuse to keep my dog with me. I'm not sure how trainable it is, though? I think what they are supposed to do is alert when you are going to have an attack, and I'd think that would be something a dog either naturally does, or doesn't do.

And that final line was pretty much my point when I said I no longer cared about fakers if the dog was well behaved. They just don't draw a lot of attention, if they're behaving. It only becomes an issue if the dog acts up. Like most of the people on this thread, I hate things like that ad that sells people a packet to "make their dog a service dog!" Because it puts the idea into the heads of people who really don't understand what's entailed, and don't have dogs that are likely to behave in public. Which is, of course, very negative for access issues.
I think it would be used similarly to a seizure alert dog. The dog would also help to keep the asthmatic calm until they can get help. They can also alert to smells and chemicals that can trigger an asthma attack.

I totally agree that well behaved dogs aren't going to draw attention.

With the amount of misdiagnoses out there, wouldn't it just be better for well behaved dogs to be allowed places? For example, asthma is commonly misdiagnosed... so if you tell Mr. Manager of Walmart that your service dog helps alert asthma attacks, there's a good chance he'll think you're full of it. But... if well behaved dogs were allowed without issue, NO ONE would question whether or not you had a legit diagnosis.

It doesn't matter if you're faking or not- you could have a wonderfully well behaved dog in a public place and be totally faking needing it, but I wouldn't pay you a lick of attention. I would just assume you needed the dog as a service dog, and go on my way. If your dog isn't causing a scene and is behaving, most people aren't going to pay attention.
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  #239  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:59 PM
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With the amount of misdiagnoses out there, wouldn't it just be better for well behaved dogs to be allowed places? For example, asthma is commonly misdiagnosed... so if you tell Mr. Manager of Walmart that your service dog helps alert asthma attacks, there's a good chance he'll think you're full of it. But... if well behaved dogs were allowed without issue, NO ONE would question whether or not you had a legit diagnosis.
You don't have to tell them what kind of attacks the dog alerts to though, because that violates your privacy rights. When asked, I always just said,

"He alerts me to medical episodes and is trained to do supportive tasks such as take me to a safe location," etc. and rattle of a list of tasks without revealing what my medical condition is.

Sometimes they'd get wide eyed and ask "what kind of medical episode?". Which is technically illegal, but the manner they asked was always curious vs. accusatory, so I just told them that trained SDs are are able to alert people to a lot of conditions such as dangerously low blood sugar, impending seizures, heart problems, anxiety attacks, PTSD flashbacks, etc. so that they can either take preventative measures in time to stop the problem or get into a safe location and get help before it becomes life threatening.

They always seemed appreciative. If you approach questions from an educational standpoint there are ways of doing it without letting the whole world know your medical history.
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  #240  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:16 PM
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I sat and read the entire thread, I agree with Linds that I'm just not seeing the personal attacks and think it's sad that people are getting so haughty when it's an area where there really needs to be more education.

As it is, I don't feel qualified to judge people I see out with SD's as to their validity, I have also never seen a dog out as a SD who was well behaved. If I were to see an unruly 'SD' I would hope to see them asked to leave, legitimate or not.
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