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I don't care if your dog is a "registered therapy dog"...


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Um, my dentist's office let a lady bring her dog in today.

 

It was weird.

 

And NO, it wasn't a service dog. Just the lady's dog. Her and her friend/roommate whatever brought it in. The one lady sat in the waiting room with it while the other lady got her work done.

 

It was weird. I asked my hygenist about it, and she was very diplomatic and sweet. Apparently it's just really important to the lady that her dog goes EVERYWHERE with her.

 

Still, I don't particularly want a dog in my dentist's office. I don't like dogs. There, I said it. And while I respect that others are more than within their rights to have a pet, I think it's reasonable to assume I shouldn't have to interact with/put up with a dog at the dentist. It's just weird.

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I personally believe the therapy dog thing has gotten out of control.

 

My DH's xgf got her Dr. to wrote a note that her teacup maltese was a therapy dog for anxiety. :001_huh: I've since come to learn that it is not uncommon for people who are dog-fanatics to find a way to register their dogs as therapeutic.

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I know several people who had their dogs registered as therapy dogs so they can take them into stores, etc. It's a pretty easy procedure, and most well behaved dogs can pass the test. But that doesn't mean they need to accompany their owner to Walmart and Subway. But since they're therapy dogs, nobody wants to risk offending people. You can't always tell whether a person needs their dog just by looking at them. But these folks I know just love their dog and want them to be able to go places. It's annoying, because I have a friend whose dd really DOES need her therapy dog and people who abuse the system make it harder for those who really need the service dog. (and from what I've been told, a service dog and a therapy dog are two totally different things)

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I personally believe the therapy dog thing has gotten out of control.

 

:iagree:

My mom's coworker wanted to move into a new apartment complex that did not allow dogs. She got her doctor to write a letter stating that her dog was necessary for "emotional companionship" and she was then allowed to move in. :confused1:

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I'm not sure if this is considered therapy or service, but I have one friend that has a dog for her two autistic sons. It's helped her a lot with the boys and keeps them calm. The dog also keeps tabs on the boys so if one tries to walk off, the dog alerts the mom. I have another friend who has a dog for her diabetic daughter. The dog has been trained to pick up on her blood sugar levels and alerts them when her blood sugar is about to drop. The need isn't obvious, but has changed the lives of those families.

As for the dog you saw, that's just gross. It sounds like the dog AND the family need more training!

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There is a *massive* difference btwn Canada and the States in terms of what is a registered service animal and not.

 

Canada apparently has very strict training and testing procedures.

 

And if a service animal was behaving in that manner, you would be encouraged by service agencies to report it.

 

Here, they *must* be wearing their vest in any public area, or they're just a pet.

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I wonder how places would feel if I brought my two very large labs everywhere with me because I just HAD to have them with me. :glare:

 

Yeah, I'm thinking that wouldn't go over well.

 

I say all of us who have large dogs start taking them everywhere and we will see how long the little dogs are allowed to be everywhere just cause they're so teensy.

 

Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine?? :tongue_smilie:

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I'm not sure if this is considered therapy or service, but I have one friend that has a dog for her two autistic sons. It's helped her a lot with the boys and keeps them calm. The dog also keeps tabs on the boys so if one tries to walk off, the dog alerts the mom. I have another friend who has a dog for her diabetic daughter. The dog has been trained to pick up on her blood sugar levels and alerts them when her blood sugar is about to drop. The need isn't obvious, but has changed the lives of those families.

As for the dog you saw, that's just gross. It sounds like the dog AND the family need more training!

I know a family w/a dog that's specially trained to be of service to their child w/Autism. The training the dogs go through is just incredible. Then, a family member goes for 10 days? 2 wks? worth of training at the facility with the dog, teaching them about how to handle it, what the commands are, etc.

 

Intensive stuff, and NOT something you do w/the typical family Fido.

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Huh. My only experience has been with a fellow homeschooler's therapy dog. The first time I met her she had the dog and was like, is it okay if I bring the dog into your house (it's for her ds, who wasn't with her at the time). I was like, uh... but that dog was THE most calm and tolerant dog I've ever met in my life. My kids are bonkers around dogs. They're really terrible with them. But this dog was amazing. I was so impressed. It kind of brought me around on the whole idea.

 

If some people really benefit from them and some dogs can really be trained to be as calm and good as that dog I met, then it's really sad that people finagle having their dogs registered when they shouldn't be.

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I know a family w/a dog that's specially trained to be of service to their child w/Autism. The training the dogs go through is just incredible. Then, a family member goes for 10 days? 2 wks? worth of training at the facility with the dog, teaching them about how to handle it, what the commands are, etc.

 

Intensive stuff, and NOT something you do w/the typical family Fido.

 

I wish I could get one of those dogs for my son. I know Specialmama says her son's dog helps him immensely. I need to go to Canada. :p canada-flag-68.gif

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Still, I don't particularly want a dog in my dentist's office. I don't like dogs. There, I said it. And while I respect that others are more than within their rights to have a pet, I think it's reasonable to assume I shouldn't have to interact with/put up with a dog at the dentist. It's just weird.

 

That's what I keep telling my dentist. One of these days, a patient will be there who doesn't like dogs or is allergic to them. He and his staff always want me to bring Aidan. I've done it twice. If anyone had minded (I asked), I would have taken Aidan out of there. The dentist has a Labradoodle that he brings to work sometimes, too.

 

Aidan is a Very Happy, Friendly, Outgoing dog. He is the dog version of our dentist's receptionist in personality. He is not a useful dog, like a trained therapy dog, service dog or working dog is.

Edited by RoughCollie
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Huh. My only experience has been with a fellow homeschooler's therapy dog. The first time I met her she had the dog and was like, is it okay if I bring the dog into your house (it's for her ds, who wasn't with her at the time). I was like, uh... but that dog was THE most calm and tolerant dog I've ever met in my life. My kids are bonkers around dogs. They're really terrible with them. But this dog was amazing. I was so impressed. It kind of brought me around on the whole idea.

 

If some people really benefit from them and some dogs can really be trained to be as calm and good as that dog I met, then it's really sad that people finagle having their dogs registered when they shouldn't be.

 

I firmly believe that if a person needs a service dog because it is medically necessary, that they should have one. As long as it is a trained service dog. Trained.

 

I have a big problem with all of these purse dogs that are taken every where. I have had 2 times now (I realize that is not a lot) that I have been in a grocery store with my kids and have walked by a little froofroo dog in a purse that has snarled and growled at us as we walked by. Not ok. Not acceptable. That really ticks me off.

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I think most service dogs in the US, trained by legitimate organizations, are trained to Canadian standards. However the actual rules in the US are different. While service dogs are not required to wear a vest or any other identification, there are 2 questions any public place has a right to ask of the dogs' handlers. They may ask if the animal is a service dog and what 3 tasks the dog performs to help mitigate the disability. Service dogs are permitted to accompany their owners almost anywhere, including hospitals and restaurants. Any service animal may be asked to leave a public place if they are behaving in a manner that is disrupts the place's reason for being. So a dog that is howling in a movie theater or growling on a public bus can and should be removed.

 

Therapy dogs are completely different and I have no idea what their rules are like. The vast majority of legitimate service animals will be wearing vests and tags when working. My DS' dog knows she's working WHEN we put her vest on. But, vests can be bought online by anyone who wants to claim their dog is a service dog. That's illegal, but it happens. True service dogs are invaluable to their owners. They allow their owners the ability live a more normal life. Anyone who is passing their pet off as a service animal is just making life harder for those people who already have more than enough challenges to face.

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I wonder how places would feel if I brought my two very large labs everywhere with me because I just HAD to have them with me. :glare:

 

Yeah, I'm thinking that wouldn't go over well.

 

I say all of us who have large dogs start taking them everywhere and we will see how long the little dogs are allowed to be everywhere just cause they're so teensy.

 

Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine?? :tongue_smilie:

 

I was thinking something along these lines when I spotted a dog in a purse in Walmart.

 

Wonder how it would go over if we took our German Shepherd in there. :D

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My cat will follow me around like a little dog when I bring her out of the house. I should go and have my doc write me a note so I can have a "registered therapy cat." And you know, the peeing, snarling thing at the laundromat was one of those little teacup dogs. My cat could totally have taken him.

 

What really got me was that when I pointed out to the woman that he was peeing on things, she said, "Oh yeah, he's marking his territory." Didn't phase her one bit. Nor did she make any attempt to get him to stop.

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*jawdrop* sorry, but real service dogs don't stand around, snarl, and mark their territory. Yes, the rules are so lax on therapy dogs, that apparently you can "train" your own dog and buy them the vests online, etc. I agree that there are some people that do have these dogs for good reason (pp mentioned autistic and diabetic children). But not EVERY therapy dog has to go EVERY place and those that are being used for more than just comfort and are truly TRAINED, won't behave as some have described. Teacup dogs, well, I just don't see them as "therapy" dogs...just companions. There is a difference.

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Told you!! You smiled!!!

 

Nakia, your dog is ADORABLE. And it's all the cuter because his name is Diesel, which makes me imagine some sort of large, intimidating dog. And he's all tiny and cute and wearing a sweater. :D

 

(But I still wouldn't want him in my dentist's office.)

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There is a *massive* difference btwn Canada and the States in terms of what is a registered service animal and not.

 

Canada apparently has very strict training and testing procedures.

 

And if a service animal was behaving in that manner, you would be encouraged by service agencies to report it.

 

Here, they *must* be wearing their vest in any public area, or they're just a pet.

 

 

Um... yeah. This "therapy dog" thing must be new because I've never heard of it before. Granted, I haven't lived in the US for over 18 years, but I don't recall there ever being "therapy dogs." There were service animals for disabled people, like blind or autistic people or people in wheelchairs.

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Nakia, your dog is ADORABLE. And it's all the cuter because his name is Diesel, which makes me imagine some sort of large, intimidating dog. And he's all tiny and cute and wearing a sweater. :D

 

(But I still wouldn't want him in my dentist's office.)

 

LOL! My husband named him. As if you couldn't tell.

 

And having a dog in a dentist's office is disgusting. Period.

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When it barks and snarls at everyone in the laundromat, and starts peeing on the rolling baskets, it's time to take the thing home. :glare:

This is not a service dog. Service dogs are highly trained. This is either someone's pet that they are trying to slip by the no-pets landlord, or perhaps a dog in training, though I've never seen one act like that.

 

The new thing is to call a pet a "comfort (or therapy) animal" and the law has recognized them in really fuzzy, vague ways.

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In my neck of the woods, a therapy dog is one who is trained and goes to visit people in nursing homes, hospitals, and participates in Paws to Read, and things like that. These visits are organized by a kennel club or other organization and are for the benefit of the people who are visited, not the dog owner.

 

http://www.tdi-dog.org/

Edited by RoughCollie
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In my neck of the woods, a therapy dog is one who is trained and goes to visit people in nursing homes, hospitals, and participates in Paws to Read, and things like that. These visits are organized by a kennel club or other organization and are for the benefit of the people who are visited, not the dog owner.

 

http://www.tdi-dog.org/

 

:iagree:

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I wish I could get one of those dogs for my son. I know Specialmama says her son's dog helps him immensely. I need to go to Canada. :p canada-flag-68.gif

That's who I was referring to, I just didn't know if SpecialMama had mentioned her son's service dog here, so wasn't specific :D

 

AFAIK, even 'therapy' dogs here have to meet rigorous standards, you cannot just simply buy a vest and ta da! They do have different therapy dogs, I looked into it at one point, research for something I was working on.

 

Very different here vs US.

 

(Please don't misunderstand, I do realize that there are some places that do the incredible training, testing, etc...I'm saying that there isn't the enforced unilateral standard saying that 'all service/therapy animals must...' in the same way there is here, from the info I found.)

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This is a huge pet peeve of mine. (i have a dog, so this isn't an i hate dogs thing.). My mom used to always bring her schipperke everywhere she went. It made me batty. She would just walk around with the dog on the leash, and force the poor store clerk to say something to her, at which point she'd act all surprised that dogs weren't allowed. The dog pooped in the middle of a baby store one time. I lectured her about it nonstop, but she ignored me.

 

Then she got the dog registered as a therapy dog. That's when I refused to go anywhere with her if she brought the dog. The selfishness of it infuriated me. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything you can do about it, and I hate that it puts people with true disabilities in a bad situation.

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We have a service dog training facility near us, so I see the dogs in training out and about all of the time. They are always vested, they never snarl or bark, and they do not pee and poop in stores. Dogs that are truly in training have already been taught decent manners before they ever take them in public.

 

Even if you don't like dogs, there is one upside to having these around all the time. I never see "pretend" service dogs in public places. I'm guessing it would be too obvious what isn't a service dog when you've seen the real thing.

 

BTW, I love my dogs and take them lots of places, places that are appropriate. And I've got to say even with my "non-trained" dogs they do not use the pet store as a bathroom or ever snarl or bark at people!b

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I think most service dogs in the US, trained by legitimate organizations, are trained to Canadian standards. However the actual rules in the US are different. While service dogs are not required to wear a vest or any other identification, there are 2 questions any public place has a right to ask of the dogs' handlers. They may ask if the animal is a service dog and what 3 tasks the dog performs to help mitigate the disability. Service dogs are permitted to accompany their owners almost anywhere, including hospitals and restaurants. Any service animal may be asked to leave a public place if they are behaving in a manner that is disrupts the place's reason for being. So a dog that is howling in a movie theater or growling on a public bus can and should be removed. /QUOTE]

 

Do you have a source for the part I bolded?

 

According to this link the ADA only gives business owners the right to ask if the dog is a service dog. Customers do not need to provide any more detail (or proof) than that.

 

What I hate is that legally hotel owners, for example, are not allowed to exclude service animals from rooms that they otherwise keep animal free for the benefit of people with severe allergies, even if the hotel has other rooms that accept animals. I think in our attempts to protect the rights of those with disabilities, we have swung too far in the other direction in some areas.

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I'm surprised a dog with that demeanor is allowed to be a service dog. They have to have the right temperament to qualify. I've seen very sweet dogs who haven't qualified.

 

I agree with what RC said about therapy dogs. Then there are guide dogs for the blind and other service dogs for various disorders.

 

I can actually see how a dog can calm someone suffering from anxiety. A few months back there was an adorable dog at a nice restaurant. Dd thought it was the cutest dog and she asked if she could go talk to the man about his dog. He was very nice to her and shared his story. His little dog does help him with his depression and anxiety, but the dog also could tell him when he was about to go into a diabetic coma. He told dd that she couldn't pet the dog because it was on duty and had to remain very focused. And boy was that dog focused. I have never, ever seen a therapy, service or guide dog EVER that didn't have a wonderful disposition.

 

 

I'm a huge animal lover and would love to bring my dogs with me everywhere, but dogs, unless service/guide dogs, just shouldn't be allowed everywhere. I often wonder how it affects people with allergies.

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That's who I was referring to, I just didn't know if SpecialMama had mentioned her son's service dog here, so wasn't specific :D

 

AFAIK, even 'therapy' dogs here have to meet rigorous standards, you cannot just simply buy a vest and ta da! They do have different therapy dogs, I looked into it at one point, research for something I was working on.

 

Very different here vs US.

 

(Please don't misunderstand, I do realize that there are some places that do the incredible training, testing, etc...I'm saying that there isn't the enforced unilateral standard saying that 'all service/therapy animals must...' in the same way there is here, from the info I found.)

 

Yeah I figured that's who you were talking about too. :) I think she and I talked about it in PM's but she may have posted about it as well. I cant remember. hehe How is Special K by the way? I miss her! :):grouphug::grouphug:

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My sons attend/ed a part time public school program for homeschoolers that offers standardized testing each spring. The teacher administering the test had her new *puppy* in the room with the kids who were testing. Apparently it kept trying to eat my son's shoelaces while he was taking the test. I was so mad.

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We're trying to train our dog to be a service dog. I doubt that he will ever 'officially' be a service dog, but he's been great for our daughter with autism. My daughter is a runner and our dog (a collie) will do what I consider to be an amazing thing with her. If she darts away from us, he runs in front of her and curls his body around her legs. He deliberately turns his face away from her and edges his body around her until she has to move backwards. He then guides her to us (although typically we catch up before he moves her too far). He plays with all the kids but he is especially alert to her.

 

He became ours after someone deserted him on our road (we live way out in the country).

 

I think he would be way too energetic to actually take into a store, but I see the value in having service animals for kids like my daughter.

 

I really don't have a problem with anyone naming any type of pet a service animal. However, there is a responsibility that comes with proclaiming an animal to be used for service for those with disabilities. My understanding is that if a dog is snarling and growling, they can be asked to leave a public place. Service animals should almost be invisible. The ones I've met ignore other people/animals and are focused solely on their owner. They are working and they know it.

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We're trying to train our dog to be a service dog. I doubt that he will ever 'officially' be a service dog, but he's been great for our daughter with autism. My daughter is a runner and our dog (a collie) will do what I consider to be an amazing thing with her. If she darts away from us, he runs in front of her and curls his body around her legs. He deliberately turns his face away from her and edges his body around her until she has to move backwards. He then guides her to us (although typically we catch up before he moves her too far). He plays with all the kids but he is especially alert to her.

 

 

That is awesome!!! UGH! I so want to get a dog for my son, but DH isn't ready for an animal yet. My son is a runner too and non verbal. I think a dog would do wonders for him. I need to show dh your post! :)

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Service animals should almost be invisible. The ones I've met ignore other people/animals and are focused solely on their owner. They are working and they know it.

:iagree:I would complain to management of any establishment where a dog became aggressive (even a low growl) or displayed otherwise inappropriate (peeing/pooing inside) behavior.

 

People pretending their pets are service dogs or therapy dogs is getting out of hand.

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I agree that the term 'therapy' dog has become rather lax. Both my mom and my brother have tiny yorkies that they registered as therapy dogs. My brother definitely does not need one, my mom can have severe depression at times so I *kind* of understand how it could help her. Honestly, I just feel bad for the dog, though.

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That is awesome!!! UGH! I so want to get a dog for my son, but DH isn't ready for an animal yet. My son is a runner too and non verbal. I think a dog would do wonders for him. I need to show dh your post! :)

 

My daughter is non-verbal as well. She uses pecs to communicate. She also will not respond if someone is yelling 'Stop!' or her name, etc. She's very happy but very much doing her own thing.

 

Also, I've never been a dog person. I had always told our family that we would not have dogs. However, Trouble (our dog) won me over. :) And our daughter loves him. She is always requesting dog biscuits to feed him. I was worried when he first showed up but now I think he was sent by God.

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I do think the "therapy animal" trick is misused. There are legitimate uses for animals for therapy, the sad thing is that some people just want an excuse to break the rules. My sister did this in college--she wanted to keep a rabbit in her dorm room (a rabbit she inherited from a friend who got busted for keeping it in his room) so she got a note from her doctor saying it was a therapy animal. To a certain degree, any pet can be therapeutic--but there was really no special need here, the need was her wanting to not follow the rules everyone else followed.

I have seen many, many cases where a dog is a life-changing companion for someone with a particular need. A family near us has a boy with Downs Syndrome who has a service dog. I know some autistic kids have service dogs, and one of their purposes is to facilitate social interactions. I can see how someone with severe anxiety could benefit from having a constant animal companion. I think if an dog (or other animal) is to be given special permission to be in places where it would not normally be welcome there should be A) a specific defined need (or needs) and B) the animal should have specific training to meet those needs AND to behave impeccably in public.

And, people's allergies are real medical issues as well and need to be given fair consideration--as in the animal-free hotel room issue.

 

Like all real-world issues, the answers are really not clear-cut. Which helps some people abuse the system.

 

--Sarah

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My daughter is non-verbal as well. She uses pecs to communicate. She also will not respond if someone is yelling 'Stop!' or her name, etc. She's very happy but very much doing her own thing.

 

Also, I've never been a dog person. I had always told our family that we would not have dogs. However, Trouble (our dog) won me over. :) And our daughter loves him. She is always requesting dog biscuits to feed him. I was worried when he first showed up but now I think he was sent by God.

 

Awwww. The bolded made me misty. Our kiddos sound like they are a lot alike. When my ds runs, he doesn't stop either not matter how you shout after him. He's very much in his own world too. There is a puppy store in my city and I take the kids there sometimes to play with the dogs, and my son just watches the dogs run around him. He doesn't really interact with them and doesn't really know what he's supposed to do when they're around him, but they get his attention. He'll be sitting on the floor rocking and the dog will come near and I see him give it a sideways glance. I wonder if he had a dog of his own if it would bring him out more.

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I do think the "therapy animal" trick is misused. There are legitimate uses for animals for therapy, the sad thing is that some people just want an excuse to break the rules. My sister did this in college--she wanted to keep a rabbit in her dorm room (a rabbit she inherited from a friend who got busted for keeping it in his room) so she got a note from her doctor saying it was a therapy animal. To a certain degree, any pet can be therapeutic--but there was really no special need here, the need was her wanting to not follow the rules everyone else followed.

I have seen many, many cases where a dog is a life-changing companion for someone with a particular need. A family near us has a boy with Downs Syndrome who has a service dog. I know some autistic kids have service dogs, and one of their purposes is to facilitate social interactions. I can see how someone with severe anxiety could benefit from having a constant animal companion. I think if an dog (or other animal) is to be given special permission to be in places where it would not normally be welcome there should be A) a specific defined need (or needs) and B) the animal should have specific training to meet those needs AND to behave impeccably in public.

And, people's allergies are real medical issues as well and need to be given fair consideration--as in the animal-free hotel room issue.

 

Like all real-world issues, the answers are really not clear-cut. Which helps some people abuse the system.

 

--Sarah

 

A therapy rabbit? Wow- I learn something new every day here. Shame on the doctor for signing the note.

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My cat will follow me around like a little dog when I bring her out of the house. I should go and have my doc write me a note so I can have a "registered therapy cat." And you know, the peeing, snarling thing at the laundromat was one of those little teacup dogs. My cat could totally have taken him.

 

What really got me was that when I pointed out to the woman that he was peeing on things, she said, "Oh yeah, he's marking his territory." Didn't phase her one bit. Nor did she make any attempt to get him to stop.

:svengo:

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Huh. My only experience has been with a fellow homeschooler's therapy dog. The first time I met her she had the dog and was like, is it okay if I bring the dog into your house (it's for her ds, who wasn't with her at the time). I was like, uh... but that dog was THE most calm and tolerant dog I've ever met in my life. My kids are bonkers around dogs. They're really terrible with them. But this dog was amazing. I was so impressed. It kind of brought me around on the whole idea.

 

If some people really benefit from them and some dogs can really be trained to be as calm and good as that dog I met, then it's really sad that people finagle having their dogs registered when they shouldn't be.

 

there's alot of screening the dog goes through before they'll start training it - they choose calm dogs (among other specific traits). only some dogs within a breed are able to detect epileptic seizures coming, and they will train them.

 

I'm all for dogs that provide a legitimate service/therapy. people registering their pets because they can't go anywere without fifi, really need to get a life - there really needs to be some requirements for what constitutes a therapy dog, and they should be required to produce proof just because this is so abused. a doctor's letter should NOT cut it. there also needs to be an ability to expel badly behaving dogs out - no matter if they're "therapy" dogs.

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So after reading the thread I wanted to know what I would have to go through to get a dog certified as a "therapy dog." Not much, but the bottom of the page had a disclaimer that "therapy" dogs are not "service" dogs so they aren't afforded the access to places under the law like "service" dogs. Wiki has some great articles about them.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy_dog

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistance_dog

 

Institutions may invite, limit, or prohibit access by therapy dogs. If allowed, many institutions have rigorous requirements for therapy dogs.

 

So I am sure the laundromat could prohibit the said animal and I would bring it to management's attention.

Edited by jennsmile
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One of my complaints about this is that some people have severe dog allergies. I have a child with a dog allergy and asthma. Renting a hotel room where a dog has been or being in a dentist office could cause a reaction that could result in an ER trip. If we know that the child will be around a dog, we medicate ahead of time. But I wouldn't think I would need to medicate before a dentist visit.

 

Real service dogs provide a wonderful help but people who just carry around their little dogs are being incredibly selfish. Or maybe they don't realize they're endangering other people.

 

when my ASD son was younger, he was petrified of dogs. Now, he's just wary, but will still scream at the neighbors tiny dogs if they get too close. (these dogs have come IN my house when a door was left open.) people would insist their animal was harmless and allow them off leash, while my child is freaking out. they put their animals ahead of humans. that's what makes me most angry.

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