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Interesting Development Re Service Dogs


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This type of discussion will end when there is a National Certification board and requirement for health related animals.  There would be standards and a certificate required after meeting those standards. When and until this happens this type of discussion will go on and on and on. Do some animals provide a legitimate service to people?  Yes.  Do all animals provide a legitimate service? No.

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32 minutes ago, PrincessLuver said:

 

This is one of the reasons why the airlines are really starting to tighten up on many of these "fake animals" because kids, passengers and flight staff have been attacked and seriously hurt.  

 

I have seen plenty of well trained service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, that are truly marvelous in how they behave and work with their owner and I have no problem with them.  

 

But the people pushing their "fake service animals" around in doll buggies on cruise ships and airplanes are something I find bordering on illegal and a threat to others.

I know that poor man trapped in the seat next to the window no where to go! 

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2 hours ago, voljeep said:

saw a Shih Tzu on a cruise a few years ago ... we had one (RIP Checkers) ... and had no idea why that was allowed, until I looked it up when we got home ...

 

Diabetic Alert Dogs
Shih Tzu can be trained to alert their handlers when there is a change in blood sugar levels. This way, the person knows to check his or her blood sugar immediately and take the appropriate actions. If their owners require medical attention, the dogs can alert others in the household or seek out nearby help.

  • Seizure Alert Dogs
    There is some debate on this particular category of service dogs. Their job is to alert their owners to an oncoming seizure. Many doctors say it is not possible for a dog to be trained to sense an upcoming seizure. However, many dog experts and trainers say it is absolutely possible. In fact, there are cases of dogs being able to detect imminent seizures naturally, without any training. For now, if you train your Shih Tzu to alert you of an oncoming seizure, then it would be recognized as a service dog by the ADA.

While i agree these dogs can provide a needed service to their owners ,they should be trained on how to behave in public. there needs  to be real certification! I would never worry about a trained service dog they are more than welcome to share my space! I have asked before if it was okay to pet the answer was sure,another time told no sorry she is working! I respected both answers!

 

I love animals! However this comfort dog stuff is just out of control!

 

Edited by Reader0108598
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Aside from whether or not an 'emotional support' animal should be allowed on a cruise and, might I point out, there is no question in my mind that a true service animal should not even be questioned, the fact that it was mentioned that the owner of this animal threatened another passenger should be grounds enough to ban her from cruising on that line.  This is the part I find most disturbing, although, if she was truly accosted by that other passenger, my question would be, 'did he speak to her aggressively or did he grab her'?  If it escalated to a physical confrontation, they should both be banned.  If he just said something to the effect of 'why the heck did you bring that dog with you?', well, that's another story.   Any true service animal should not threaten the well being of another passenger and nobody should have the right to say they will 'turn their dog loose' on another passenger. 

Happy cruising everybody!! 

 

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First of all I love my dog. He's my avatar and can be incredibly soothing. BUT he would go nuts on vacation. It's not fair to him.  IMHO if people cannot leave their non-service ESA dogs / cats / ponies / rabbits / snakes / birds alone they should stay with them .... at home or in a pet allowed hotel.

 

Just my 2c

Edited by Ombud
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1 minute ago, Ombud said:

First of all I love my dog. He's my avatar and can be incredibly soothing. BUT he would go nuts on vacation. It's not fair to him.  IMHO if people cannot leave their non-service ESA dogs / cats / ponies / rabbits / snakes / birds alone they should stay with them .... at home or in a pet allowed hotel. 

 

Just my 2c

One of the best posts I have seen yet!

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Regarding the post you referred to, it was vile enough to get her kicked out of two groups that I'm aware of.  I saw it too.  Out of curiosity I looked at her FB page where she posted a picture of her dog drinking champagne on a Princess ship.  Thinking the original post was a drunken one - sad to see that from a veteran on Veteran's Day.

Edited by azbirdmom
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59 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

See comments in red.

I am sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between visually impaired person with seeing eye dog and little yuppy "support" yorkie. As pointed out by previous posters who actually had support animals, they are well trained working dogs that are not going to attack anyone or even come near you unless specifically permitted by handler/owner. 

Anxiety is something you can treat with medication for crying out loud, it is not comparable to issues service dogs are for (that includes diabetic dogs etc.). Again, REAL service dogs are trained to be in public places and not be a nuisance to general public.

 

And on a second subject, I feel anxious being away from my dog because he doesnt like being boarded, therefore I should be able to bring him on my 2 week cruise? 

 

I have seen my share of the "companion" pets on cruises vs true working dogs. Believe me, people can tell the difference, even without a "working dog" harness.

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14 minutes ago, Ombud said:

First of all I love my dog. He's my avatar and can be incredibly soothing. BUT he would go nuts on vacation. It's not fair to him.  IMHO if people cannot leave their non-service ESA dogs / cats / ponies / rabbits / snakes / birds alone they should stay with them .... at home or in a pet allowed hotel.

 

Just my 2c

Ombud,

I have been meaning to say this, but have not had the chance (didnt want to hijack the topics), I ❤️❤️❤️ your avatar. He/she is the cutest puppy ever (well after mine of course).

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This subject makes me angry and sad, simultaneously. I feel that this issue defines the entitlement issue that is ever present in our society. There are folks that REQUIRE a service animal. There are folks that do indeed gain support from an animal. However, what we're talking about in this example is neither. I think we can all agree this dog is simply a pet, not trained to quell a panic attack, not trained to detect a seizure, not capable of opening a door. This owner feels entitled to bring the dog. Until the powers that be stand up to this sort of behavior, it will continue. Until other customers stand up and speak up to those powers that be, nothing will change. If you have pictures of a dog on a ship drinking champagne - send them to the cruise line (as I've been thinking - better yet did it get mentioned to staff while/just after it happened?). If you have screenshots of a passenger admitting she was going to let her dog loose on another passenger - send them to the cruise line.

 

We here on CC can chat, debate, etc. but we are powerless to ignite change from our keyboards unless it's directed to those in power at the cruise lines.

Edited by JennyB1977
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4 minutes ago, nattie said:

Ombud,

I have been meaning to say this, but have not had the chance (didnt want to hijack the topics), I ❤️❤️❤️ your avatar. He/she is the cutest puppy ever (well after mine of course).

Thank you. He's a good traveler. Went all the way from SF through the USA to Boston, flew back in cargo as he was 14 lbs. But staying in pet accepted hotels. (For non-USA people that's 3200 miles in a week)

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I have two comments; if emotional support dogs are so crucial, why weren't they around 20, 30,40, years ago?

Also, I've noticed that most of these dogs are owned by older women who seem to feed on the attention people give them and their animals. I call them "attention dogs". They allow strangers to pet them which one would never do with a true service animal.

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1 hour ago, Ombud said:

First of all I love my dog. He's my avatar and can be incredibly soothing. BUT he would go nuts on vacation. It's not fair to him.  IMHO if people cannot leave their non-service ESA dogs / cats / ponies / rabbits / snakes / birds alone they should stay with them .... at home or in a pet allowed hotel.

 

So I hear you saying my comfort bison is okay then?

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1 hour ago, nattie said:

Again, REAL service dogs are trained to be in public places and not be a nuisance to general public.

 

No one said anything to the contrary.  But you seem to think that a dog that is trained to detect a diabetic incident is "real" and a dog that is trained to detect an anxiety incident is not.  I assure you that both are "real", and neither of them is a yuppie Yorkie that is along for the ride.  Please stop thinking that anxiety isn't a real issue or that there is no such thing as a dog that is trained to address the issue.  Nobody here is suggesting that "any old dog" counts.  Go back and see what I actually posted. ("The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?)   I am talking about dogs that are specifically trained to deal with anxiety.  If you suffered from a social disorder that could be addressed either by a trained dog or pills 4 times a day, which would you select? 

Edited by JimmyVWine
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21 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

No one said anything to the contrary.  But you seem to think that a dog that is trained to detect a diabetic incident is "real" and a dog that is trained to detect an anxiety incident is not.  I assure you that both are "real", and neither of them is a yuppie Yorkie that is along for the ride.  Please stop thinking that anxiety isn't a real issue or that there is no such thing as a dog that is trained to address the issue.  Nobody here is suggesting that "any old dog" counts.  Go back and see what I actually posted. ("The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?)   I am talking about dogs that are specifically trained to deal with anxiety.  If you suffered from a social disorder that could be addressed either by a trained dog or pills 4 times a day, which would you select? 

Since we are talking "personally" I would say pills, since tracking my dog everywhere is quite a hassle, but thats just me.

 

If I cant tell the difference in the behaviors of "support" dog for anxiety and working dog than the issue is non existent. To me it becomes an issue when all sorts of "attention" dogs (thank you whomever posted this for the term) claim to be "support" dogs.

 

And yes, I agree with you that there is no way for cruise line or airline to tell whether a person is lying or not when declaring an animal for travel. This is the true issue here with people abusing the system because of "me first" attitude. I am just thankful "support cats" are not a thing yet (I might be jinxing myself here).

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4 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

 

I'm not ready to concede that "emotional support" and "comfort" are "nothing" or "not a service".  Mental health is a huge, developing field and we are only now just getting our heads around it. (Pun intended).  There are millions of people who go to therapists to talk about issues and they receive little more than emotional support.  But to suggest that the support they receive is "nothing" and that the therapist provides "no service" does an injustice to the entire field of mental health.  The old way of "Buck it up, buttercup" is a failing strategy.  I don't know if you are employed, but if you are, and you obtain health benefits from your employer, I'll bet that mental health and emotional support are real things that are now covered in some respects.  I can walk down one flight of stairs at my place of business and go into a clinic that provides massage therapy, mental health counseling, ergonomic advice, and all sorts of stuff that was unheard of 10 years ago.  

 

So now let's tie that in to cruising.  Ships are crowded.  Crowds cause anxiety in some.  When anxious, people find comfort in emotional support.  It s irrational to think that people should travel with their therapist.  Emotional support animals are proven to ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and focus people who do need grounding.  The benefits are real, and not imagined.  So it stands to reason that people who get anxious in crowded environments would benefit from whatever coping strategies that help them, provided that the coping strategy is not disruptive.  For example, if someone says that their anxiety dissipates when they sit in the corner and light fires, well, I'm sorry, but that isn't going to work on a ship.  But holding a dog?  Why not?  Who cares?  The issue here is how does the cruise line differentiate between an actual emotional support dog that provides a real, tangible service, and a pet who gets on board because the person lies?  I don't think the issue is whether, as you phrased it, "Does an emotional animal provide a service?"  We are way past that in terms of proof.  The answer is an unqualified "yes".

So, as you said, "But holding a dog? Why not? Who Cares?".  Well, I care. I don't want someone standing in front of me at the buffet, Scoops, Pizza or burger place petting their dog, cat, snake or monkey around the food I'm about to eat or handle the utensils that I would be handling.  This is just another example of how society has changed to, "I can do whatever I want to do and if you say anything, I'll sue".  If the cruise line is going to allow these animals, the human should be made to hire another human to wait on them and the animal hand and foot and keep them away from the food areas.  Sound mean and uncaring?  Well, sometimes common sense appears that way.

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46 minutes ago, nattie said:

I am just thankful "support cats" are not a thing yet (I might be jinxing myself here).

 

Just wait for the support ferrets to appear. That would be a barrel of trouble!

Edited by brisalta
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1 hour ago, JimmyVWine said:

If you suffered from a social disorder that could be addressed either by a trained dog or pills 4 times a day, which would you select? 

I'd select the dog and travel in a way that would be acceptable to him. (Actually I do that too as it would be mean of me to expect Koda to behave 24/7 on a cruise ship. Hence we search out pet friendly hotels on land and leave cruising to just me)

 

But this thread is about an obvious pet on a cruise

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1 hour ago, JimmyVWine said:

I am talking about dogs that are specifically trained to deal with anxiety.  If you suffered from a social disorder that could be addressed either by a trained dog or pills 4 times a day, which would you select? 

are you stating the "social disorder" is "anxiety" ... or something else ?

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10 minutes ago, voljeep said:

are you stating the "social disorder" is "anxiety" ... or something else ?

PTSD? Are true ESA trained to handle that? I would appreciate a REAL certification program. Eliminate calling pets ESA

Edited by Ombud
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7 minutes ago, voljeep said:

are you stating the "social disorder" is "anxiety" ... or something else ?

 

I think a good example of a service animal for a mental or anxiety disorder would be one for PTSD, if that helps explain the difference. This would go beyond the role of an ESA

Edited by vjmatty
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So, I decided to get the information regarding "comfort companions" straight from the horse's mouth.  I called Princess and spoke to a customer service representative and explained to her that I suffer from anxiety and need my "comfort companion" with me. I asked for the restrictions and what I needed to do to ensure a pleasant experience.  She explained that I just needed to make sure I could control my "comfort companion" so as not to disturb other passengers.  There are no additional fees or charges so long as there is no damage to the room.  I asked her to hold for a moment and called out to my wife, "hey honey, Princess said that you travel for free so long as I can control you".  I booked the cruise with notification of having my "comfort companion".  Man the wife is really happy!  

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