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Wanted to add that if you can certify Sugarfoot as an emotional support animal, you wouldn't be lying about her importance to your well being.

 

I know emotional support animals are less clearly defined and accepted than service dogs, but it's sure worth a try.

 

If you can teach her something that would qualify her as a full fledged service dog, even better. Maybe there's a trainer around who could help you with this?

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There was a pair of senior dogs awaiting a new home on one of the rescues I was watching this summer. (The olderly owner must have passed away, I think.)

 

They ended up being adopted into a senior living community, where they had access to a small fenced yard and would be companion animals to all the folks living there. I thought that was absolutely BRILLIANT! :D

 

I am heartened for you, Geonni! Maybe, also, there would be folks in your new living situation who would be able to help exercise Sugarfoot - local kids or visiting family members of other residents?

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I'm with Donald on this. Do what you need to do. I don't get any kind of a vibe that you would take unfair advantage.

 

Another thought I've had is this: Your posts are very articulate and well-written. I wonder if you would consider the idea of tutoring in exchange for dog-walking?

 

I've tutored high school kids in math and science for the past few years; I know that many (not all) of them are mature enough for this responsibility. Myself, every year I hire a UCSD student to walk my dogs 2-3 times a week. It's not really because they need the extra walks so much, but because this allows the student and dogs to thoroughly get to know each other. Then when we travel, I'll feel confident in having the student house-sit and be in charge for a few days. If something comes up without much notice, I can just text-message the student and have her step in. The job must be desirable. It's like the Dread Pirate Roberts; this year's student selects next year's, and I never have to recruit.

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I'm with Donald on this. Do what you need to do. I don't get any kind of a vibe that you would take unfair advantage.

 

Another thought I've had is this: Your posts are very articulate and well-written. I wonder if you would consider the idea of tutoring in exchange for dog-walking?

 

I've tutored high school kids in math and science for the past few years; I know that many (not all) of them are mature enough for this responsibility. Myself, every year I hire a UCSD student to walk my dogs 2-3 times a week. It's not really because they need the extra walks so much, but because this allows the student and dogs to thoroughly get to know each other. Then when we travel, I'll feel confident in having the student house-sit and be in charge for a few days. If something comes up without much notice, I can just text-message the student and have her step in. The job must be desirable. It's like the Dread Pirate Roberts; this year's student selects next year's, and I never have to recruit.

Any kid tutored for math by me would break out in hives at the mere mention of the subject. My science is rather spotty. I'm self-educated, and quit school in the 11th grade. I do have a GED, and I studied automotive mechanics for awhile, until the money ran out. I could possibly woo a kid to the practice of reading, and help with compositions.

 

What I'd really like to do is sell my fantasy manuscript. A relatively well-know producer has expressed an interest in making an animated film of it, but he's been fuzzling with investors, etc. for three or four years now, and is largely uncommunicative. I begin to doubt his commitment. I even wrote a screenplay for him, but what I'd really like to do is sell it as a novel. It's good. (Not just my mother's opinion. :P ) but everyone in creation has a fantasy manuscript, and I can't afford an agent. The good publishing houses mostly don't accept author submissions - especially unsolicited ones...

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I am another one in the camp of supporting you in your effort to have Sugarfoot classified/registered as an emotional support animal - hopefully paving the way for her to stay with you.

 

Like you, I am very much against people who stretch or flaunt the 'rules' for fake assistance dogs so that the dog can enjoy privileges not earned and/or it makes the life of an owner easier (or the owner just feels entitled). But in your situation, an ESA designation for Sugarfoot seems perfectly legitimate.

 

Good Luck.

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The two questions for service dogs are:

(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.

 

I don't know as much about emotional support animals, but it does seem it could be a possibility for you and Sugarfoot. I hope it works out!

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Oh, no, I hope everything works out for you. I'm glad you might have found a solution. I was looking at harnesses the other day and I saw a MLP one and thought of you.

 

 

I'm with Donald on this. Do what you need to do. I don't get any kind of a vibe that you would take unfair advantage.

 

Another thought I've had is this: Your posts are very articulate and well-written. I wonder if you would consider the idea of tutoring in exchange for dog-walking?

 

I've tutored high school kids in math and science for the past few years; I know that many (not all) of them are mature enough for this responsibility. Myself, every year I hire a UCSD student to walk my dogs 2-3 times a week. It's not really because they need the extra walks so much, but because this allows the student and dogs to thoroughly get to know each other. Then when we travel, I'll feel confident in having the student house-sit and be in charge for a few days. If something comes up without much notice, I can just text-message the student and have her step in. The job must be desirable. It's like the Dread Pirate Roberts; this year's student selects next year's, and I never have to recruit.

 

Do you need anyone for this school year? I'm going to be attending in the fall :D .

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Geonni, is Sugarfoot tall enough that she could provide balance/stability help when you walk? that would certainly fall under the 'service dog' definition.

 

Ruth and Gibbs

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Geonni, is Sugarfoot tall enough that she could provide balance/stability help when you walk? that would certainly fall under the 'service dog' definition.

 

Ruth and Gibbs

Not really. The funny thing is, I am helped by Sugarfoot when I'm out with her because paying attention to what might be/is freaking her out frequently sidetracks me from my own panic loop. She is an unwitting therapist - she switches roles with me. If I'm busy helping her to get through something difficult, my own demons sink out of sight. Sometimes I fancy that she knows exactly what she's doing - but it would be a hard sell to someone who is accustomed to the regular sort of Emotional Support Animal.

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Not really. The funny thing is, I am helped by Sugarfoot when I'm out with her because paying attention to what might be/is freaking her out frequently sidetracks me from my own panic loop. She is an unwitting therapist - she switches roles with me. If I'm busy helping her to get through something difficult, my own demons sink out of sight. Sometimes I fancy that she knows exactly what she's doing - but it would be a hard sell to someone who is accustomed to the regular sort of Emotional Support Animal.

 

I think that would count for an Emotional Support Animal, honestly. ESA's are companion animals that provide some therapeutic benefit, but don't need to be trained for specific tasks. An emotional support animal could have housing access without public access.

 

https://www.animallaw.info/article/faqs-emotional-support-animals

 

I know people who train service dogs, and I really do hate when people "fake" a service dog to bring them to lunch or whatever, but I'm with Donald or whoever said it up there, if it's about keeping your dog, this seems like an ethical move to find any way they could qualify. And it really sounds like she provides emotional support for you, which would qualify.

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It sure sound like you qualify for an ESA at least, if not a full blown service dog. Sugarfoot already appears to be an ESA. I would suggest contacting a trainer and trying to train her as a service dog. It doesn't have to be much. Bringing you your shoes, opening doors, or anything that alleviates your mobility issues. I believe a service dog ,it's have 2 behaviors trained specifically to alleviate someone's disability.

 

I am NOT suggesting you fudge the rules. But from what I can tell, you could play by the rules and be able to keep your dog, who clearly helps you.

 

You aren't looking for special treatment (airplanes, restaurants, etc.) You are looking to be able to keep your dog, who makes your life much easier than it would be without her. Even if she were a service dog, I think you know that she wouldn't (at this point) be a candidate for public access work. But she makes your home life significantly easier.

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OK. The application papers are on the way. I'm told that in my state, CA, I cannot be refused housing with an assistance dog.

 

Thanks everyone...

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I understand your ethical dilemma and respect that you have not taken advantage earlier of your doctors signing off that you need a support dog, but now you genuinely have a need. I think you answered your own ethical dilemma by saying that she helps you through anxiety/panic attacks and what more could an emotional support dog need to do.

 

Good Luck, I was heartbroken for you when you first posted and really hope that this works out.

Karen

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Have you considered self-publishing your novel?

I PMed you on this, since it's not about dogs.

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Once again I say thank you to everyone who posted here. If you go to this link,

 

http://atpeacewithpink.blogspot.com/2015/08/waking-up-is-hard-to-do.html

 

you will find what I wrote as a thank-you card to you all, and some other friends of mine. And a bit of a surprise, too.

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Wow! What a transformation!

 

And, yes, quite a surprise. Congratulations to you and your beautiful new Maid.

 

Wishing you all the best as you continue your great new journey together.

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Dear Geonni,

 

When Martin Luther was asked what he'd do if he believed the world was going to end tomorrow, he said,

"I'd plant an apple tree."

 

Good luck with Maid.

 

Donald McCaig

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Just read your blog post and it made me cry.

I hadn't replied to this thread before but had thought about you often and cried at the thought of you having to give your dog away.

I'm glad you decided you don't have to. I understand your conditions and realize it's not an easy decision. But I'm sure you can do it.

I'm 48, have an auto imune disease and could loose 40 pounds. They're not that evident, I walk a lot and people don't usually think I'm that overweight. But I'm always tired and don't sleep well. And things hurt and ache. You're an inspiration to me. Among other things, because my dog needs me to be healthy and fit.

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Geonni, I read your blog and I am truly happy for you.

 

As we age, maintenance of mobility is really important and the dogSS will assist in this regard. I work at home and if it wasn't for the dogs, I would probably be a total recluse and never leave my computer chair.

 

How about kicking it up a notch and enrolling an agility class? I know people in their 70's who are still competing and running.

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