Therapy dogs, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) Service Dogs, or family pets... Life is better with dogs. I think everyone should be allowed to have a dog live with them. If it was up to me, they would be allowed in all housing without an additional pet fee or pet rent. I don't think you should have to have a mental health diagnosis to have an emotional support animal. I think we all benefit with dogs in our lives. I know some people have pet allergies or fears. This article is not about people that do not want a dog. I am talking about people that do want dogs. This is for people that love dogs and love living with them while respecting the rights of the people around them. While, I am making my wish list, I would love to see affordable dog obedience classes offered at community centers and senior centers. For those that are confused about the different classifications, clickhere for definitions. It is important to know the legal difference between the classifications covered by the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) so we don't affect the lives of people that are relying on dogs to perform tasks and live life as fully as possible.. For this reason, please never pretend that your dog is a service dog. It really puts a sour taste in most people's mouth. Don't be "that" person.
You're not fooling anyone. You're just being rude and taking advantage of laws designed to protect people that need to have their dogs with them.
As a pet sitter, I meet all kinds of people. I know a stroke patient that can no longer walk her dogs. People with PTSD benefit greatly from the companionship of dogs. I have helped all sorts of people that travel frequently for work. I know firsthand how much dogs
enrich the lives of their owners. We know that dogs are great company, loyal and faithful. Many dogs are working dogs and make life better for people by performing tasks for people that cannot do these tasks without help. Dogs are amazing friends and little workers. Whether you have a working farm dog, a K9 police dog, a search and rescue dog, or a cherished family pet, they are all spectacular animals.
I am blessed to have had five generations of women living at the same time (shown in the photo below in 2017). I have seen in my family how much a good dog added to life at any age. My young grand-daughters love to learn about dogs, my daughter loves to play with them, my mother loved the companionship. Her little dog Eddie brought the last smile to her face when she was in her last days. My grandmother enjoyed the comfort of my dog, Betty, even when dementia had ravished her memories and she no longer recognized us. My mother and grandmother are no longer with us so this picture and my memories of them are especially sweet. Dogs are happy to be part of the family. In my family, most of us have dogs that we think of as family. They sleep in our beds and cuddle us on the couch. They have consoled us after heartbreak and divorce. They have welcomed our grandchildren and helped us to feel safe during storms. Sometimes we help them feel safe during a storm (Betty is not a fan of thunder). They are part of our family. We all love our dogs. How many of you have felt like your dog or cat is your only friend at least once in your life?
I live in Los Angeles and it is a very dog-friendly place. But, I have lived many places that were not dog-friendly at all. So, what can we do to help our animals be more welcome in even more public places (and at homes)?
These few things can make living with pets easier and more pleasant for everyone. We owe it to our pets to do our part. They do so much for us.
I hope you have many safe and enjoyable years of going wherever you want with your furry best friend. Thank you for letting me rant a bit. If this has given you anything to think about or has been helpful to you in some way, please feel free to share with your family and friends.