Beyond Frustrated at People's Completely and Totally Rude ways of Treating my ESA

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Beyond Frustrated at People's Completely and Totally Rude ways of Treating my ESA

This is a discussion on Beyond Frustrated at People's Completely and Totally Rude ways of Treating my ESA within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I'm Mama Bear right now. Sorry for post number two today. I think I got the living situation figured out. Sort of. We Sober People ...

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Old 01-08-2015, 01:13 PM
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Unhappy Beyond Frustrated at People's Completely and Totally Rude ways of Treating my ESA

I'm Mama Bear right now.

Sorry for post number two today. I think I got the living situation figured out. Sort of.

We Sober People where I live have a secret Facebook group for finding roommates, housing, etc that are not Sober Living Houses. It was recommended to me by a good friend I post there as it's unlikely an SLE will take Stella and I.

So, this is what I wrote (minus where I live and how much I'm going to pay) and the picture of my girl that went along with it.

"Hi! Looking for a room to rent or someone to rent a 2 bdr with me and my 25 ish lb certified support dog Stella. No kids, she's too skittish around them. Let me know!"



Good news is, I think I found a roommate.

Bad news? One guy goes: "Certified AND skittish?" And another woman goes " in a choke chain?"

The guy then proceeds to "a skittish dog cannot be of service. Fact. Have some humility."

Like.

A) it's not a choke collar first of all, it's a martingale.
B) do you guys want to live with me? No? Ok so leave me and my poor ESA alone

I responded with
Here: a certified emotional support animal offers EMOTIONAL support to its disabled person. That is its sole requirement. It is not allowed in public. It is however qualified for ADA housing and flying rights.

A SERVICE dog does tasks that are trained to mitigate distress, do something the disabled person is unable to do themselves. These dogs are allowed in public.

My dog, is an emotional support dog because of what she offers me, personally, and what I suffer with. I don't bring her around children as I'm a responsible dog owner, though all she would do is run away anyways. She's not skittish towards me and many others, and IS in fact of great support. She is not a SERVICE dog.

Now. A choke collar? That was a cheap shot. You, Jason, taking cheap shots.

Do you want to rent a room with me? No? Ok. So why is it you're posting your nonsensical, ill informed crap about my dog?

Anyways. Sorry. Pity party over here. Just turn all fiery and get angry when people doubt me and especially when they doubt my dog!
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:32 PM
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Tell folks that your dog slips collars, hence the martingale. One of my dogs slips collars unless you have them hiked up tightly around the top of his neck, so I have an all nylon (no chain) martingale. On a couple of occasions people have said something about it, and telling them why I was using it and that it's none of their business in the first place shut them up pretty darn quickly.

As for the support dog aspect... I can't give too much comment. Still none of their business.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:18 PM
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I think that a lot of people these days are not fully aware of all the different capacities in which animals serve people. That, paired with the fact that many can and do take advantage of assistance/support/service animal status for tax benefits and as a hall-pass for their dogs, and you have a lot of skeptical people. Don't take it personally.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:36 PM
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Face it, some people are just idiots. Obviously that's not a "choke chain," which isn't the correct term anyway. As for being skittish around kids, my dog isn't particularly skittish around kids, but sometimes kids do things that scare him--like come up from him unexpectedly from behind. I try to prevent it, but when parents refuse to supervise their little ones, sometimes it's hard to catch them in time. But people seem to think that because he wears a tag that says he's a therapy dog that means he should never react to anyone. Now, the same kids who've startled him, when they approach him correctly, have been perfectly able to pet him, and it's not like he's bitten anyone, but he will jump to get away from someone who suddenly grabs him from behind, just as I might jump if startled from behind by someone I didn't realize was there.

Just today, I had to get between him and three--count 'em, three--small children (the oldest was maybe six) who were running after us in a Petco, totally unsupervised. Their parents were entire aisles away from them, and we were hardly the only owner/dog pairing in the store. Worse, since the children were not speaking English, I was afraid if they did catch up with us, I wasn't sure that I could explain to them how to approach/pet a dog appropriately, or if the younger ones would bother to listen and follow instructions if I could, and I really didn't want to be supervising three small children and my dog anyway. I ended up having to hustle him out of there as quickly as possible, which irritates me, because I was trying to give him an outing, which has been difficult to do, given the January weather, and we both typically enjoy going to Petco. Dogs have to be on a leash in Petco. I'm not suggesting that children have to be leashed, but I don't see why there couldn't be a sign on the door informing people to supervise their children around other customers' dogs and to ask if the children may pet the dog prior to telling them to go ahead and do it (I've had people do that too and then wonder why he backs up and cocks his head at them when they bring their hands down over his head--well, gee, folks, he couldn't see your hand coming down from up above, so he backed up to see what it was; hold your hand where he can see it, and he'll likely plop his head directly into it, because that's the signal he understands as "Let me pet you.")
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:08 AM
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I'm so sorry you're having trouble with people in regards to your ESA. I'm sure it's really frustrating!
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:28 PM
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I'm sorry people are being so rude. It's definitely coming from ignorance on their parts. I have a greyhound as an ESA who wears martingales, and is super skittish too! But I've also only had him for almost three months. He's still adjusting to life in an apartment. He knows only a few basic commands (like wait, since it is very important for daily use), walks pretty well on a leash (though not to heel), and is not the best mannered dog around (very nose oriented and loves food). But his presence makes me be able to live on my own. To be able take the garbage out at six in the evening when it is really dark (during the winter), because I am terrified of the dark and have panic attacks when I'm forced to face that fear. But having him makes me able to push myself and say "you have to go outside, Aiden needs to use the bathroom". I wish people would be more understanding as well. I’ve been accused of lying to be able to keep my pets because I don’t take medication. It hurts, and is infuriating at the same time.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:31 PM
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An ESA is a beautiful thing and it sucks that people don't see how useful they really are. My BF is diagnosed with bipolar & depression as am I, including severe general anxiety and OCD. Although my girls are not ESA certified (so far we have no housing issues but we are looking into it as we may have some issues if we move with Athena being 60+ lbs and Nala having bully in her) they really do help get us out of our 'funks.'

Animals are the best support systems, just last week I had an anxiety attack over Athena's reactivity and although I was very upset with her at the time (I know it's not her fault but sometimes it gets so overwhelming the first reaction is to blame them) she came right up to me and slobbered all over me. Within seconds I was laughing and hugging her, mad at myself for ever thinking she was anything but perfect for me. Our pets offer us something neither meds or even other humans can offer us and it must suck for those who don't understand or experience that kind of thing. Just be glad you experience one of the greatest wonders of the world... unconditional love
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:56 PM
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Not to say anything against your dog but I think the ESA thing is a bit...hard to grasp sometime. I'm genuinely asking because I don't know--how is it a dog with fear/emotional problems themselves can be support animals? What sort of tests do they have to follow? I'm just struggling to understand because if the main qualification is a dog being emotionally supportive, nearly everyone would qualify for that. I mean who hasn't had their dog lick away tears or snuggle up when you're depressed? While I'm not saying you are abusing this system, I can definitely see how easily this label can be abused and taken advantage of.
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:33 PM
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Hi Traciek,

My BF has PTSD as well as physical injuries that make him unable to work and so he has had to live on disability for the last few years. None of our dogs are emotional support animals, I don't even know if we have those in Canada, but his dog, my dog and his friend's dog who he takes care of literally get him out of bed in the morning, and give him purpose and structure. This is beyond snuggling when one is depressed, or licking tears away; they literally giving him a reason to keep going. I understand your questions, and I agree that using such subjective criteria leaves it open to abuse, but I also understand just how helpful and important these animals can be for those who struggle with mental illnesses and/or lack emotional support from friends/family.
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traciek88 View Post
Not to say anything against your dog but I think the ESA thing is a bit...hard to grasp sometime. I'm genuinely asking because I don't know--how is it a dog with fear/emotional problems themselves can be support animals? What sort of tests do they have to follow? I'm just struggling to understand because if the main qualification is a dog being emotionally supportive, nearly everyone would qualify for that. I mean who hasn't had their dog lick away tears or snuggle up when you're depressed? While I'm not saying you are abusing this system, I can definitely see how easily this label can be abused and taken advantage of.
"How To Qualify
For a person to legally qualify for an emotional support animal (ESA), he/she must be considered emotionally disabled by a licensed mental health professional (therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.), as evidenced by a properly formatted prescription letter. Typically, a medical doctor does not qualify because they are not a licensed mental health professional. Some airlines and property managers will accept a verification form completed by a family doctor, however.
The letter should state that:
  1. You are currently his/her patient
  2. Are under his/her care for the treatment of mental disability found in the DSM IV or V (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 4 or 5).
  3. Your disability substantially limits at least one major life activity
  4. He/she prescribes for you an emotional support animal as a necessary treatment for your mental health.
In addition, the letter must be dated, written on his/her letterhead, include his/her license type, number, date of license, and state in which the license was issued."


Although I see your concern of this title getting abused, there are stipulations and it's not like you can just decide your animal is an ESA that easily.
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