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SwordInTheDarkness

456d

I'm thinking about getting a dog, but I'm not sure if I want a trained therapy dog or a pet. I know one can be both, I just haven't decided if I want to find one that's specifically been trained as a therapy animal. I do know I want a small dog that doesn't shed a lot. And I have a name already: Legend Fluffy Destroyerofwolds. My son mentioned that Legend (a YouTuber's pet's name) was a strange name for a dog, but I fell in love with it. The "middle" and "last" names are inspired by a meme I saw years ago and loved.

Top reply
    • 4byfour

      271d

      @unicorn I love that you got a senior dog!!!

    • unicorn

      281d

      I’ve had an ESA (emotional support animal) dog for almost two years, and she’s been really helpful for my anxiety and social isolation and stuff in addition to therapy and medication. I think ESAs can be a great tool, but I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading up on all of the legalities (i gave a brief outline in an earlier comment) and getting your ESA letter before even getting a dog. Also the financial and other responsibilities related to having a pet and the different breeds and their needs (for example, a border collie was bred to be a working dog, so they need much more exercise and mental stimulation than a dog breed that was bred for companionship). I’ve still had to pay for training, unexpected vet bills, boarding, grooming, and anything else a pet requires. Just know what you’re getting into. Also, I would recommend reading up on the differences between a therapy dog, a service dog, and an emotional support animal and their purposes and capacities. I don’t think a therapy dog is quite what you think it is. They are usually trained to provide comfort, etc. to a wide range of people in settings like hospitals and such. I’ve known several therapists who have therapy dogs to help their clients. They can be helpful, but an official therapy dog is not really a one-person thing. If you do end up getting a dog, there are lots of great options besides getting a puppy, which can be a LOT more work. When I was looking for my dog, I knew I wanted a small, mellow dog that was already potty trained and such, so I looked at shelters and rescues. I found my dog, who was a sweet, mellow, cuddly, house-trained, 8-year-old chihuahua mix, at a rescue, and she’s been a great fit!

      • 4byfour

        271d

        @unicorn I love that you got a senior dog!!!

    • nauttie

      408d

      If you find a dog you get along with you can register them as a service dog. Or get them officially trained. I have panic/anxiety attacks and when I'm home with my terrier mutt he calms me down if he can sense I'm not ok. He's an idiot overall so I haven't had him trained or registered. But technically most places can't say you can't bring an animal in the store if you say they're an emotional support animal. It's borderline illegal to ask for proof. I don't recommend doing that. But if you're feeling bad enough and have to do something and the pet help, it's worth a shot. Still go the lost legal routes as possible, tho.

      • unicorn

        281d

        @nauttie This is not quite true. Service animals and emotional support animals are very different both functionally and legally. Service animals are rigorously trained to do specific tasks to aid their owner and are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which allows them to go in public. Stores and other places are not allowed to ask for documentation that the animal is a service animal or what the handler’s disability is, but they are allowed to ask about the tasks the animal performs and whether it is necessary due to the person’s disability. Emotional support animals are NOT covered under the ADA, so they are NOT allowed in public places that do not normally allow pets. They are, however, covered under the Fair Housing Act which means landlords whose property falls under the FHA are required to provide reasonable accommodation even if it is no-pet housing, and they are not allowed to charge additional rent or a pet deposit for the animal, but the animal owner is still responsible for paying for damage done by the animal. If the accommodation would not be reasonable (for example, the owner or a roommate is allergic to your animal, the animal is an animal that could not be reasonably accommodated, the animal would cause significant financial issues for the landlord, or the animal has a history of aggressiveness or is hostile toward other tenants), the landlord is allowed to deny the animal. An ESA can be any type of animal and is not required to receive special training, but it is ONLY legally considered an ESA if you have a letter from your doctor or therapist stating that it is an important part of your treatment or something else along those lines. Many places only consider the letter valid for a year, so you have to get a new one every so often. You don’t have to register the animal anywhere, and registering it does not make it an ESA (companies make a lot of money off people thinking they have to just pay to register their animal so it’s considered an ESA). The letter from the professional is what makes it legal, and landlords are very much within their rights to request that documentation. Stores and other places are also very much within their rights to deny ESAs. Fake ESAs, fake service animals, and people trying to pass their ESA as a service animal cause many problems. These scenarios contribute to the misconceptions and even stigma all around and cause issues for the people who really need service animals and ESAs. Untrained animals in public can also be dangerous to service animals and other people, which is one of the reason why ESAs are not allowed in public spaces. ESAs are meant for people with documented disabilities as a sort of accessibility aid to make living in their house or apartment as accessible/livable as someone living there without a disability. They are not meant for people who just want to make their landlord accept their pet. I’m not saying this is what you’re saying. These are just common things. The reason why I know all this stuff is because I’ve had my own ESA dog for almost two years. I struggled with crippling anxiety, and getting an ESA is one thing I considered to help myself in addition to therapy and medication, especially because I was really socially isolated. I made sure to read up on all the laws and everything before I even looked for a dog, though, so I’m well aquatinted with the legal side of things. So far, she has been a great help to me.

      • dizzydoowhereru

        281d

        @nauttie please don't do this. If your animal is not trained rigorously for public access work they could harm real service dog teams.

    • SwordInTheDarkness

      455d

      *Destroyerofworlds

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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