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Emotional Support Dog at the Gym

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  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    bosque1234 wrote: »
    Disability rights advocate here.

    ESAs, (emotional support animals) are not covered under ADA, only Fair Housing Laws. Service animals and guide animals like dogs can be trained to the tune of $30K-$50K and higher in terms of staff/training time to assist all kinds of folks with disabilities such as blind folks, mobility impaired folks, etc. Remember, a highly trained animal provides a legal, sometimes life saving service for the human it serves. It is a very expensive 'assistive device.'

    By law written in ADA all anyone can ask the person with the animal is (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? That's IT. We have all seen very poorly trained if trained at all, 'pets' like the one in the gym. This is breaking laws. This makes it much harder for folks with real disabilities and REAL service animals to access public space and programs. FAKES ruin it.

    You can legally attempt to get your ESA approved by landlords/etc to stay with you in housing, but that's that's the only real place they are hands down accepted. Idiots, quite frankly, have ruined airline travel for many people by claiming their pig, peacock, untrained pit bull, etc is an ESA and have gotten kicked off or had the animal create havoc on a flight. This makes it very hard for people with disabilities to fly.

    A gym is not supposed to allow ESAs by law into the facility. Asking the person the two questions above could be a way to establish that the pet needs to go, ESPECIALLY a poorly trained animal which is always obvious due to their haphazard activity. Of course people will lie in their answers. But the best way to tell if an animal is a trained service animal is how the animal behaves and how the person interacts with it.

    Quietly, with quick commands, the animal is not distracted, doesn't wag it's tail all over the place and drool, hunt for food, isn't looking for attention, is focused on it's person and stays very close to it's person. The animal should not smell, be messy or dirty, should not be aggressive, not bark, and not pee or otherwise, ever, inside in a building.

    This why you do NOT go up to a service animal and pet it. You ask the person with it about this or just please, ignore the animal and allow the disabled person some much needed time for their outing/workout/grocery shopping trip, etc.

    That is the real way the ADA works.

    Remember *why* these service animal laws were created, they are a civil rights law for equality and inclusion, NOT so you can bring your irresponsible, yappy Chihuahua to the gym.

    Very well explained.

    Anyone that has ever been around a real service animal will see the vast difference in their behavior compared to (most) ESA's. I know in many cases the animals are matched to the human they will assist, and not trained until found suitable for that specific person and their assistance needs. Personality traits, physical demands, size and agility, etc were all part of the process. But all that I have ever seen are extremely efficient at the assistance they provide, and seem to love doing it. A vet I am acquaintance with has a PTSD service dog, and their bond is like a parent and child.

    I worked for a food broker that represented a major pet foods brand that placed service dogs all over the world. We attended one of the local events and got to talk to some of the people involved in the selection and training process, and as you stated the costs were very high. Yet they chose to place these service animals on a regular basis, at no cost to the humans getting the help.

    Which is the parent and which is the child?
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Posts: 9,412Member Member Posts: 9,412Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    alohajls wrote: »
    My encounter with an emotional support dog at the empty gym in my apartment building:

    I'm on the treadmill, almost done. A young woman walks in and I hear her walk behind me (the treadmills face the window) to the other side of the gym. Then I smell it--that wet dog smell. I look over to her and she has a yellow lab with her, perfectly well behaved. Dogs are great, but I'm allergic and just not used to being around that dog smell.

    I said, 'Hi, is the dog staying?'--not mean or hostile, just a little skeptical as I'd never seen a dog in a gym.
    She said, 'Oh, he's an emotional support dog. Is it okay if he stays?"
    I said, 'No, that's okay, I'm about done. I'll go.' We were the only two in the gym.

    The look on her face as I left was a little heartbreaking, she looked so crushed. Was I the jerk? I didn't pitch a fit, I didn't complain, I just didn't want to work out with that smell. Leaving seemed like the best solution.

    Worth noting--I leave the gym for just about any minor annoyance, I don't want to be there enough to power through the annoying guy grunting loudly, or the annoying girl singing along with the music on her headphones, the guy who brings his toddler, etc.

    I realize that this was an emotional and not a service dog, but I always wonder would would happen, in practice, if there was someone with a life threatening dog allergy and someone using a service dog in the same room/inclosed space. The ADA says that both parties need to be catered to, but how exactly would that work in some instances?

    I'm assuming in the case if airline flights, they airline would be required to rebook a flight (recirculating air and such), but that's just one situation.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe animal allergies are commonly life-threatening. I'm allergic to cats and dogs. My sinuses clog, I sneeze, my eyes water, and my nose runs. It can be miserable, but I'm not going to die. I have asked to be re-located on airplanes if there is a dog or cat nearby. Now, when I'm flying, I take an allergy pill before getting on the plane just as a precaution.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you're correct honestly. While not related to fitness, I would expect that accommodations would have to be made for someone with allergies in the context of school (including university study), even if those allergies weren't life threatening. Mind you if there was only one section of the class that was being offered that'd be an, interesting, logistical (and financial) challenge

    people can have severe reactions where their air passages swell making it difficult to breathe.
  • whitpaulywhitpauly Posts: 978Member Member Posts: 978Member Member
    They do have a legal obligation to back up their claim. That said, the gym also has a strong incentive not to force them to back up the claim because that can easily be viewed as discrimination and a litigious person can get an almost guaranteed win under ADA law in most places.

    The people who abuse the service animal programs really ruin it for those that actually have need of a support animal.

    Depends on where you are, I guess. In my state, you can't challenge them and only ask very specific questions to confirm.

    Here too, I work in a hair salon and it used to be no animals period but certified service dogs were the exception,now they've changed it so we're not even allowed to ask,just assume it's a service animal 🤷
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Posts: 7,857Member Member Posts: 7,857Member Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    robertw486 wrote: »
    bosque1234 wrote: »
    Disability rights advocate here.

    ESAs, (emotional support animals) are not covered under ADA, only Fair Housing Laws. Service animals and guide animals like dogs can be trained to the tune of $30K-$50K and higher in terms of staff/training time to assist all kinds of folks with disabilities such as blind folks, mobility impaired folks, etc. Remember, a highly trained animal provides a legal, sometimes life saving service for the human it serves. It is a very expensive 'assistive device.'

    By law written in ADA all anyone can ask the person with the animal is (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? That's IT. We have all seen very poorly trained if trained at all, 'pets' like the one in the gym. This is breaking laws. This makes it much harder for folks with real disabilities and REAL service animals to access public space and programs. FAKES ruin it.

    You can legally attempt to get your ESA approved by landlords/etc to stay with you in housing, but that's that's the only real place they are hands down accepted. Idiots, quite frankly, have ruined airline travel for many people by claiming their pig, peacock, untrained pit bull, etc is an ESA and have gotten kicked off or had the animal create havoc on a flight. This makes it very hard for people with disabilities to fly.

    A gym is not supposed to allow ESAs by law into the facility. Asking the person the two questions above could be a way to establish that the pet needs to go, ESPECIALLY a poorly trained animal which is always obvious due to their haphazard activity. Of course people will lie in their answers. But the best way to tell if an animal is a trained service animal is how the animal behaves and how the person interacts with it.

    Quietly, with quick commands, the animal is not distracted, doesn't wag it's tail all over the place and drool, hunt for food, isn't looking for attention, is focused on it's person and stays very close to it's person. The animal should not smell, be messy or dirty, should not be aggressive, not bark, and not pee or otherwise, ever, inside in a building.

    This why you do NOT go up to a service animal and pet it. You ask the person with it about this or just please, ignore the animal and allow the disabled person some much needed time for their outing/workout/grocery shopping trip, etc.

    That is the real way the ADA works.

    Remember *why* these service animal laws were created, they are a civil rights law for equality and inclusion, NOT so you can bring your irresponsible, yappy Chihuahua to the gym.

    Very well explained.

    Anyone that has ever been around a real service animal will see the vast difference in their behavior compared to (most) ESA's. I know in many cases the animals are matched to the human they will assist, and not trained until found suitable for that specific person and their assistance needs. Personality traits, physical demands, size and agility, etc were all part of the process. But all that I have ever seen are extremely efficient at the assistance they provide, and seem to love doing it. A vet I am acquaintance with has a PTSD service dog, and their bond is like a parent and child.

    I worked for a food broker that represented a major pet foods brand that placed service dogs all over the world. We attended one of the local events and got to talk to some of the people involved in the selection and training process, and as you stated the costs were very high. Yet they chose to place these service animals on a regular basis, at no cost to the humans getting the help.

    Which is the parent and which is the child?

    I'm actually glad you asked that. I second guessed myself for stating it so briefly the first time, but didn't want to take up so much space that it turned into a TL:DR post.

    But in most environments I have witnessed the dog is definitely the parent. It is vigilant in protecting the human, and they have various levels of alerts that the dog uses when he identifies anything the veteran might perceive as a threat, or otherwise cause him anxiety. This includes keeping an eye on all other humans and animals in the area, only changed when the human identifies them as "friendly" to the dog. The man will usually ask people if he can approach and shake their hand, then identifies them verbally as "friendly" to the dog. His closest and most trusted inner circle friends/doctors/etc are hugged (man hugged) and identified as "very friendly". This lets the dog know when it can relax the alerts for people in the immediate vicinity that have been identified. However if any person not identified through this method comes into the area, the dog is more alert to them immediately.

    If in a controlled environment with only people identified as "friendly" or "very friendly" the roles reverse. He dog becomes like a playful little pup seeking love and affection from the human. His focus is still primarily on the owner, but he will play with toys, run around some, and interact in a closer to usual human/pet relationship. And this continues unless the owner moves out of that environment, or someone not properly identified enters it.
    Though I haven't witnessed it myself, they also have communication for "safe spaces" when they are locked in their home, or areas with controlled entry. In these places the dog will just be a dog, still maybe alert to the usual things, but will chill out, take a nap... dog things.


    I met this man before he had his dog when we were both dealing with some PTSD issues. He was dealing with severe and lengthy combat related trauma and had a very small world of people he would even speak with, usually even then only in controlled environments. Going outside any of those environments would cause him very real and intense anxiety.

    The first time I saw him with his dog was by chance, and if not for the physical appearance I would never have known it was the same person. The impact this service animal has had on him is profound.

    There's a charity here in the UK that matches PTSD survivors with rescue dogs, recognising that is a symbiotic relationship between the two. That's much more in the emotional support space than assistance dog as you describe.
  • SuzySunshine99SuzySunshine99 Posts: 994Member Member Posts: 994Member Member
    hotel4dogs wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    I actually don't believe in service dogs from an ethical standpoint. I just don't think any sentient being should be conscripted to a lifetime of 24/7 servitude.

    What I coincidence @33gail33. I was just chatting on another forum about the incredible strides my niece has taken since her mom and dad were able to acquire a service dog for her. She is autistic, and since having the dog she has made incredible progress in being able to interact with family and friends as well as simple daily functions.

    Oh, she has also just recently started eating again, the animal is helping her overcome the food rejection common with some autistic folks.

    The dog? She's a yellow lab mix. 100% part of the family, loved and treated like gold by everyone, and anyone who knows anything at all about dogs could clearly see the joy she has in going through her routine, hanging tight by my niece and just loving that girl.

    It's very much a partnership. So, your post ...well...there is nothing even worth carrying on a conversation about, but it did warrant a reply.

    The show Cat From Hell now has a Cat from Heaven segment and one featured a cat who had similarly positive effects on an autistic child. There was also one about a cat who goes to a local library and helps kids who have trouble reading feel more comfortable.

    I mean, if we are still on the dogs as employees analogy, I'm going to concede that they are generally going to be better employee types than cats, but I had to plug a couple of cats too!

    ;-)

    There's everything right with a good cat :) I admit it's difficult to imagine a cat as a service animal/companion, but suffice to say I believe a fair number of humans sorely underestimate the benefit and value our 4 legged friends can add to a life. :)

    We adopted a cat from our neighbours a few years ago before they moved. We already had two other cats at the time.

    My daughter struggles with clinical depression and anxiety, as well as some physical issues. From day one, Simon latched onto her as his 'person.' He just knows when she's not having a good day and won't leave her side at those times. There have been lots of times when I know she's having a particularly rough time simply by watching him.

    He has the gift of always being able to calm her when she's anxious, and make her smile when her depression flares. He's her silent, non-judgemental therapy companion, and worth a million bucks to us all. <3

    A good companion tends to be amazing that way. :) It blows my mind sometimes that some folks can't see a family dog or cat as family. They are, very much so.

    I know this won't be a popular opinion....I'm sorry in advance for those I'll offend.

    I have absolutely no problem with you feeling that way about your dog. I do have a problem if you expect everyone else to feel the same way about your pet. Believe it or not, there are people that do not like dogs, are afraid of dogs, or just do not want to be around them.

    I don't believe they should have all the "rights" of a human member of your family, and that means respecting the rules of public places. To be clear, I'm not saying that you personally do this, but there seems to be a huge uptick in people bringing their dogs to stores, restaurants, etc. and expecting that this is no problem for everyone. I also see more and more people ignoring leash laws in public parks. It's really an issue of respect for your fellow humans.

    Actually I suspect (hope) that it is a popular opinion.
    I feel that way about kids, too...

    Ha...I have a much higher tolerance for kids. I know at some point they will learn to stop drooling on themselves and pooping on the floor. :p
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,875Member Member Posts: 2,875Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    I actually don't believe in service dogs from an ethical standpoint. I just don't think any sentient being should be conscripted to a lifetime of 24/7 servitude.

    What I coincidence @33gail33. I was just chatting on another forum about the incredible strides my niece has taken since her mom and dad were able to acquire a service dog for her. She is autistic, and since having the dog she has made incredible progress in being able to interact with family and friends as well as simple daily functions.

    Oh, she has also just recently started eating again, the animal is helping her overcome the food rejection common with some autistic folks.

    The dog? She's a yellow lab mix. 100% part of the family, loved and treated like gold by everyone, and anyone who knows anything at all about dogs could clearly see the joy she has in going through her routine, hanging tight by my niece and just loving that girl.

    It's very much a partnership. So, your post ...well...there is nothing even worth carrying on a conversation about, but it did warrant a reply.

    The show Cat From Hell now has a Cat from Heaven segment and one featured a cat who had similarly positive effects on an autistic child. There was also one about a cat who goes to a local library and helps kids who have trouble reading feel more comfortable.

    I mean, if we are still on the dogs as employees analogy, I'm going to concede that they are generally going to be better employee types than cats, but I had to plug a couple of cats too!

    ;-)

    There's everything right with a good cat :) I admit it's difficult to imagine a cat as a service animal/companion, but suffice to say I believe a fair number of humans sorely underestimate the benefit and value our 4 legged friends can add to a life. :)

    We adopted a cat from our neighbours a few years ago before they moved. We already had two other cats at the time.

    My daughter struggles with clinical depression and anxiety, as well as some physical issues. From day one, Simon latched onto her as his 'person.' He just knows when she's not having a good day and won't leave her side at those times. There have been lots of times when I know she's having a particularly rough time simply by watching him.

    He has the gift of always being able to calm her when she's anxious, and make her smile when her depression flares. He's her silent, non-judgemental therapy companion, and worth a million bucks to us all. <3

    A good companion tends to be amazing that way. :) It blows my mind sometimes that some folks can't see a family dog or cat as family. They are, very much so.

    I know this won't be a popular opinion....I'm sorry in advance for those I'll offend.

    I have absolutely no problem with you feeling that way about your dog. I do have a problem if you expect everyone else to feel the same way about your pet. Believe it or not, there are people that do not like dogs, are afraid of dogs, or just do not want to be around them.

    I don't believe they should have all the "rights" of a human member of your family, and that means respecting the rules of public places. To be clear, I'm not saying that you personally do this, but there seems to be a huge uptick in people bringing their dogs to stores, restaurants, etc. and expecting that this is no problem for everyone. I also see more and more people ignoring leash laws in public parks. It's really an issue of respect for your fellow humans.

    Are you assuming I do not respect my fellow humans? Have I made one single comment that suggests I expect everyone else to feel the same way? Or expect animals to have the same rights as humans in public places? As a matter of fact I suggested the OP go to the gyms management with the issue.
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    I don't see the dog in the gym being a problem. I do see the animal being allowed to roam around unleashed as being a huge issue. The last thing some guy/gal lifting heavy stuff needs is a nose poked into their crotch or butt. I would ask that the gym stipulate that the animal has to be leashed at all times.

    So with all due respect and no clue as to why you singled me out here, I would suggest that the issue here is yours and not mine. :) See, my dogs are family members, but I don't expect anyone else to treat them as their family members. Massive assumption on your part.

    I'm sorry, I thought I made it clear that I wasn't assuming you personally were guilty of not respecting others, just that I saw it as a trend in general.

    The only reason I quoted your comment was because you had said that it "blows your mind" that there are people who do not see pets as family members. That's the part I was responding to.

    I read this as him saying it blows his mind that there are people who have pets and don't see their own pets as family members. IMO, it is consistent with seeing those pets as family members that you would respect the law applying to them and not jeopardize their safety, and IMO letting a dog run free in an unapproved area would be an example that might jeopardize the dog's safety (as well as being disrespectful to other humans).

    So more about the responsibilities of pet owners to their own pet.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,499Member Member Posts: 2,499Member Member
    mbaker566 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    alohajls wrote: »
    My encounter with an emotional support dog at the empty gym in my apartment building:

    I'm on the treadmill, almost done. A young woman walks in and I hear her walk behind me (the treadmills face the window) to the other side of the gym. Then I smell it--that wet dog smell. I look over to her and she has a yellow lab with her, perfectly well behaved. Dogs are great, but I'm allergic and just not used to being around that dog smell.

    I said, 'Hi, is the dog staying?'--not mean or hostile, just a little skeptical as I'd never seen a dog in a gym.
    She said, 'Oh, he's an emotional support dog. Is it okay if he stays?"
    I said, 'No, that's okay, I'm about done. I'll go.' We were the only two in the gym.

    The look on her face as I left was a little heartbreaking, she looked so crushed. Was I the jerk? I didn't pitch a fit, I didn't complain, I just didn't want to work out with that smell. Leaving seemed like the best solution.

    Worth noting--I leave the gym for just about any minor annoyance, I don't want to be there enough to power through the annoying guy grunting loudly, or the annoying girl singing along with the music on her headphones, the guy who brings his toddler, etc.

    I realize that this was an emotional and not a service dog, but I always wonder would would happen, in practice, if there was someone with a life threatening dog allergy and someone using a service dog in the same room/inclosed space. The ADA says that both parties need to be catered to, but how exactly would that work in some instances?

    I'm assuming in the case if airline flights, they airline would be required to rebook a flight (recirculating air and such), but that's just one situation.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe animal allergies are commonly life-threatening. I'm allergic to cats and dogs. My sinuses clog, I sneeze, my eyes water, and my nose runs. It can be miserable, but I'm not going to die. I have asked to be re-located on airplanes if there is a dog or cat nearby. Now, when I'm flying, I take an allergy pill before getting on the plane just as a precaution.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you're correct honestly. While not related to fitness, I would expect that accommodations would have to be made for someone with allergies in the context of school (including university study), even if those allergies weren't life threatening. Mind you if there was only one section of the class that was being offered that'd be an, interesting, logistical (and financial) challenge

    people can have severe reactions where their air passages swell making it difficult to breathe.

    Yes, I'm not sure where I said they can't. I'm well aware that anaphylaxis is a thing. That doesn't, however, negate the fact that institutions are going to have to deal with the question of how to accommodate students when one of them has an allergy and one of them needs the thing that is the allergen to function equitably in an educational environment and/or maintain an adequate level of personal safety.
    edited August 12
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,620Member Member Posts: 6,620Member Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    robertw486 wrote: »
    bosque1234 wrote: »
    Disability rights advocate here.

    ESAs, (emotional support animals) are not covered under ADA, only Fair Housing Laws. Service animals and guide animals like dogs can be trained to the tune of $30K-$50K and higher in terms of staff/training time to assist all kinds of folks with disabilities such as blind folks, mobility impaired folks, etc. Remember, a highly trained animal provides a legal, sometimes life saving service for the human it serves. It is a very expensive 'assistive device.'

    By law written in ADA all anyone can ask the person with the animal is (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? That's IT. We have all seen very poorly trained if trained at all, 'pets' like the one in the gym. This is breaking laws. This makes it much harder for folks with real disabilities and REAL service animals to access public space and programs. FAKES ruin it.

    You can legally attempt to get your ESA approved by landlords/etc to stay with you in housing, but that's that's the only real place they are hands down accepted. Idiots, quite frankly, have ruined airline travel for many people by claiming their pig, peacock, untrained pit bull, etc is an ESA and have gotten kicked off or had the animal create havoc on a flight. This makes it very hard for people with disabilities to fly.

    A gym is not supposed to allow ESAs by law into the facility. Asking the person the two questions above could be a way to establish that the pet needs to go, ESPECIALLY a poorly trained animal which is always obvious due to their haphazard activity. Of course people will lie in their answers. But the best way to tell if an animal is a trained service animal is how the animal behaves and how the person interacts with it.

    Quietly, with quick commands, the animal is not distracted, doesn't wag it's tail all over the place and drool, hunt for food, isn't looking for attention, is focused on it's person and stays very close to it's person. The animal should not smell, be messy or dirty, should not be aggressive, not bark, and not pee or otherwise, ever, inside in a building.

    This why you do NOT go up to a service animal and pet it. You ask the person with it about this or just please, ignore the animal and allow the disabled person some much needed time for their outing/workout/grocery shopping trip, etc.

    That is the real way the ADA works.

    Remember *why* these service animal laws were created, they are a civil rights law for equality and inclusion, NOT so you can bring your irresponsible, yappy Chihuahua to the gym.

    Very well explained.

    Anyone that has ever been around a real service animal will see the vast difference in their behavior compared to (most) ESA's. I know in many cases the animals are matched to the human they will assist, and not trained until found suitable for that specific person and their assistance needs. Personality traits, physical demands, size and agility, etc were all part of the process. But all that I have ever seen are extremely efficient at the assistance they provide, and seem to love doing it. A vet I am acquaintance with has a PTSD service dog, and their bond is like a parent and child.

    I worked for a food broker that represented a major pet foods brand that placed service dogs all over the world. We attended one of the local events and got to talk to some of the people involved in the selection and training process, and as you stated the costs were very high. Yet they chose to place these service animals on a regular basis, at no cost to the humans getting the help.

    Which is the parent and which is the child?

    I'm actually glad you asked that. I second guessed myself for stating it so briefly the first time, but didn't want to take up so much space that it turned into a TL:DR post.

    But in most environments I have witnessed the dog is definitely the parent. It is vigilant in protecting the human, and they have various levels of alerts that the dog uses when he identifies anything the veteran might perceive as a threat, or otherwise cause him anxiety. This includes keeping an eye on all other humans and animals in the area, only changed when the human identifies them as "friendly" to the dog. The man will usually ask people if he can approach and shake their hand, then identifies them verbally as "friendly" to the dog. His closest and most trusted inner circle friends/doctors/etc are hugged (man hugged) and identified as "very friendly". This lets the dog know when it can relax the alerts for people in the immediate vicinity that have been identified. However if any person not identified through this method comes into the area, the dog is more alert to them immediately.

    If in a controlled environment with only people identified as "friendly" or "very friendly" the roles reverse. He dog becomes like a playful little pup seeking love and affection from the human. His focus is still primarily on the owner, but he will play with toys, run around some, and interact in a closer to usual human/pet relationship. And this continues unless the owner moves out of that environment, or someone not properly identified enters it.
    Though I haven't witnessed it myself, they also have communication for "safe spaces" when they are locked in their home, or areas with controlled entry. In these places the dog will just be a dog, still maybe alert to the usual things, but will chill out, take a nap... dog things.


    I met this man before he had his dog when we were both dealing with some PTSD issues. He was dealing with severe and lengthy combat related trauma and had a very small world of people he would even speak with, usually even then only in controlled environments. Going outside any of those environments would cause him very real and intense anxiety.

    The first time I saw him with his dog was by chance, and if not for the physical appearance I would never have known it was the same person. The impact this service animal has had on him is profound.

    Thanks. It wasn't TL, and I did read. :smile:
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