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The federal Transportation Department said in an email on Friday that it planned to solicit public comments this summer on the appropriate definition of a service animal and suggestions for strategies to prevent travelers from abusing that definition.

“Air travel should be safe for passengers and airline employees and accessible for all passengers,” the agency said in a statement. “We will monitor Delta’s policy to ensure that it preserves and respects the rights of individuals with disabilities who travel with service animals.  The agency has made other moves in recent years to address the increase in service and support animals.”
By TIFFANY HSU, JAN. 19, 2018

Does anyone know how we can make our voices heard at the DOT level?  This is the effort that crashed and burned last year. I've heard conflicting accounts of who was to blame, but the general consensus was that the psychologists refuse to bend at all on restrictions for emotional support. I heard that one committee member said that if a passenger is not mentally ill but believes he needs the animal to fly, then it's no different and he must be allowed to have the access.


My vets role is to help me maintain animal health.  Because she knows Scooter is a SD,  I sometimes get a small discount. 
For example, we go in for an ear check about 5 days before an expected flight.   It is a super short visit, just to be sure no swelling in the ears that would cause pain (that we have about half the time).   I pay a minimal fee for those visits. 

My groomer does nail trims ever other week for me for $5.  I drop off on the way to my allergy shot, pick up on the way home.  Super simple.  Normal price is $10.  She says Scooter is easy, plus I'm a regular. 
Scooter is definitely a morning dog.

He is also crated at night, at least at home.  Hubby is adamant no dog in bed, and keeping a dog crate trained seemed a good thing to me. 

In the morning, the alarm goes off, I get up and shower then let Scooter  out of bed and we head outside.  Scooter is ready for ball, chase, sniff for stray cats and squirrels,  you name it.  Back inside for breakfast and Scooter wants more ball, chase  (he carries the ball around and runs around the dining room table with head and tail held high).    We play and few minutes while my tea steeps.  Then breakfast, followed by morning rubs and brushing before we walk the two blocks to work. 

If traveling, he doesn't always have a crate.  He will bed down on a cushion on the floor next to the bed until he hears m e start to stir.  The next thing I know, he has jumped onto the bed and is letting us know he knows we are awake.

At night, he starts complaining it is late by 10pm.  He will disappear into the other room and sit next to his crate.  If I don't take the hint, he comes and gets me, leads me to the other room and goes into his crate, then looks expectantly. 

Funny dog.
Thanks to Kirsten, I learned that shaved crayons (non-toxic) can be fed to a dog to identify poop. The information gleaned is just what I need in order to be more confident when traveling.

The conventional wisdom is that it takes dogs 8-10 hours to digest and excrete regular kibble.  My dog ate uncolored kibble for breakfast at 5 a.m. yesterday, a small amount of uncolored kibble for lunch at noon, and then he got some shaved green crayon in his kibble last night at 5 p.m., and shaved pink crayon in his breakfast at 5 a.m. today.  This morning at 6:30, he pooped-- no color.  It was a full-meal poop, not a skimpy little one that can happen in unusual situations.  I conducted as complete a fecal examination was was possible, using my cell phone flashlight.  No green streaks or flecks. Unless the Crayola formula has been changed to something that degrades during digestion, this was not his dinner.

I have just learned that it took at least 24 hours for my dog's meal to pass through his system.  I had assumed that breakfast is excreted after dinner, and dinner is excreted the following morning. 

I'm not quite sure how I will incorporate this information!  If you've ever traveled with a dog with a tendency toward diarrhea or loose stool, you can relate to my anxiety.  Conventional wisdom is to skip breakfast before flying, but now I wonder if it makes more sense to skip dinner the night before, and feed a light breakfast (more likely to help the dog poop in the morning anyway). The dinner is the meal that would be cued up in the gut and threatening to make an unscheduled appearance under stress.  Breakfast would not be digested before the following morning.

The thought of feeding my dog right before a flight goes against all my instincts. Hills w/d is loaded with soluble fiber that soaks up excess water and produces a firm stool, but it also slows digestion. I feed a blend of kibbles (6:1 w/d and Acana) so maybe if I slowly increase the proportion of Acana I can get a firm stool with normal digestion time.
Obviously we all got the wrong dogs.
Health & Maintenance (publicly viewable board) / Re: Dog anal stink
« Last post by mommagrizzly on Yesterday at 12:21:02 PM »
Oh, yeah, that definitely does sound like anal glands. It's weird that your groomer and vet haven't been able to find anything. Strangely enough, I sometimes have the same problem with my dog. She will smell like it every once in awhile, but her anal glands are totally fine. Haven't been able to figure out why so I guess we're both on the same issue here! I feed my dog a salmon based diet. I can only smell it if I get close to her rear end though.

To me it smells like nasty fish and pennies (metallic).

Keturah does this every so often too. It is awful. 
I am very much NOT a morning person, but Keturah is. She always wakes up ready to live life and party.
This topic has been moved to [In other news].

[Treat concussion with squirt of medicine up nose?]
Hey it's great to hear that all went well and that we were able to help with advice and info.  It's never too late to hear about resounding success!  Congrats!
In the News (publicly viewable board) / Re: Mother, make it stop!
« Last post by SandyStern on January 19, 2018, 11:40:32 AM »
To answer Kirsten's hypothetical: I'm going to execute a lawyerly dodge and say I think it might be a moot point because I doubt that the seizures would return if the handler went to the store without the dog.  And if the seizures stopped because of the dog, I'm going out on a limb to say that the handler could learn how to calm herself without the dog.
Two things about public access for ESDs.

1.   I don't think national standards would be effective to phase in public access for ESDs without preserving many of the problems we now have.  Verification of proper public behavior and stress testing would be the most difficult aspects of a licensing plan even for SDs.  That's a big deal. We don't talk about it much, but task training is the bulwark against huggers and frauds simply because few people are going to put the time and effort to task train a dog.  How would ESDs be trained for public access? To the extent that programs might be willing to train ESDs, those programs are likely to be run by huggers, whose predilections for overlooking deficits are well known, or frauds like he-who-shall-not-be-named in Virginia.  I do not see a burgeoning industry in programs that spend 2 years training dogs in public behavior, as well as washing out half of them, so they can be presented to someone who then hopes to bond with the dog enough to get emotional support. No, the common presentation will be a PWD whose pet helps her, so she goes looking for public access training. It's not going to end well, as we all know, because the dog is unlikely to have the confidence and steadiness it needs to function in public. I suspect that we would see a lot of the outcomes that Kirsten warns newcomers about: they will develop a dependence on the dog, the dog will not function properly in public, the right of access will be stripped (in our hypothetical case by revocation of the license) and the effect on the PWD will be devastating. You all know the reasons that I stand back and view this with a jaundiced eye.  My dog and I have been attacked by dogs handled by people who would be the first in line to get an ESD license for their dogs. Those tough-guy veterans with anger management problems (I've known and cared deeply for 2 of them; I'm not being snarky) are going to get licenses for Cujo.  They will be very sorry after Cujo takes the face off a child.  They will sob that they never saw it coming.

2.   I think we should not compare ESDs to SDs even in an effort to be complimentary. They are different in every way except that they are both dogs. 
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