Author Topic: I made a mistake - damage control  (Read 877 times)

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Offline Odd1Out

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I made a mistake - damage control
« on: June 27, 2017, 01:13:39 PM »
First off hello, I am new. I have lurked on this site off and on, read a lot of threads, and currently have like 20 open. I hope that I can find community here, and support from people going through the same things I am. 

This is going to be really stupidly long, but I wanted to get everything out there first run. Or at least most everything I could think of. My wordiness is part of the way I cope with anxiety and talking about issues. I feel like I am going to get back lash for it and my wants with treatment but I am attempting to reach out for help, or at least perspective from someone else.

TL;DR
While working with a therapist/starting therapy for severe disabling anxiety I have been approved for an ESA and am awaiting a letter from her for my apartment. My apartment does not allow dogs but does allow ESAís/SDís, itís even in the lease, Iíve asked about it before and was told Ďjust bring in a letterí before. In the process of waiting for my letter, I stupidly contacted a breeder, found my dream dog, and put in a deposit on my puppy. I am now in the place of waiting for my letter, getting my letter approved by my landlord, and doing both before my puppy comes home on the 6th. I messed up royally, I know I did, and I feel the impending doom because of it.

To be honest I donít know what I am looking for here. Perhaps advice on how to move along and get things where they need to be. Maybe just to be told Iím a failure and to forfeit my deposit and never get a dog because I donít deserve one. Maybe just a pat on the back and to take things one day at a time. I will take anything at this point.


The long:
Background on me:
The only time I leave my home is to go to work, and I wouldnít say this is something I do well, more of cope with just to survive. I HAVE to work. And to go to a friendís house every Wednesday for 3 hours, which my husband drives me to and from so not really Ďaloneí. Grocery shopping is done at off peak hours (think 10pm) only on days that I have not already had a major stressor or I become over stimulated and end up with a panic attack. I say ďanxiety is natures laxativeĒ when joking with my friends about not feeling well and am sick quiet often. Because of it I have developed an eating disorder, both confirmed by a doctor and a therapist. The therapist labeled it as atypical anorexia, I donít not eat because of weight issues but because of learned food aversion and because of it I am fat - metabolism shut down combined with cycles of eating semi normally and fasting and then binging plus inactivity due to not being able to go out and be active.
 
Things I canít do:
Cannot go grocery shopping alone, or during crowded times. This is my biggest problem as I would like to be able to go shopping even if itís not alone. I have panic attacks, get worked up, and depending on how bad it is that day have a mental break down - crying and all.
I canít make or receive phone calls. When I do I have a shut down after and get physically ill. Usually results in me sleeping for 12 or so hours or not sleeping for days afterwards.
I get adrenaline rushes and cold sweats in minor stressful situations, usually after things have been settled and I come down and usually accompanied by purple fingers and physical shivering.
Watch socially stressful Tv, I often find myself pausing and playing or flat out skipping over socially awkward interactions because they Ďtriggerí me (hate that word) and spark my anxiety.
Go for walks or other outdoor activities alone. ThisÖ I hateÖ so much. I used to be so active, I used to be outside all the time now IÖ live my life in my small apartment and itís breaking me down. 
Learning to drive isÖ difficult. I often have break downs and or panic attacks. While I have gotten better about physically driving on the road I have a shut down when it comes to parking. I have not driven in almost 2 weeks since the last instance. Since starting to learn to drive being a passenger in a car has become an issue, while I used to love car rides because they were Ďout of the houseí without being out, I am now finding myself panicking while in the car. I am 26, I should be able to drive.
Go into social situations with crowds, ie shopping, festivals, beaches, conventions, class room situations. Talking to strangers, or even people I know but am not Ďfriends withí including relatives, is hard to borderline impossible.
Use elevators. Hell no to that thank you very much.

For the last 7 years I have lived my life as a shut in with anxiety festering in my gut. I needed help. I was fed up. Iím ready to get better. This is not life and frankly I am done. Looking into SDs and ESAs I decided an ESA dog was a treatment coarse I wanted to go down for a variety of reasons, forced schedule, responsibility training, the need to go out/exercise the dog, and companionship from the dog during the day, not to mention the visual deterrent of a large dog to help distance people from me.

About a year ago I went to a doctor for help, his response was Xanax and Ďjust get a letter from one of those online places thatís what everyone doesí. I promptly shredded the prescription when I got home and did nothing since till about 2 months ago.

First route was to go through Certapet, or w/e, like was suggested by the doctor I was seeing at the time. Easy enough, plunk down 150 bucks, 24 hours later you get a phone call with a therapist and tell them you are sad, then 24 hours after that you get a nifty little litter that says you get any dog you want and that was that. Ok I can deal with a phone call even if I really donít want to, itís for a dog and I want a puppy right? I decided not to go that route for a few reasons, the major one being I didnít want to pay for the letter, get rejected(we all know why it would likely be rejected), and then have issues once I got a ďrealĒ letter. I didnít want the quick fix cop out ĎI just wanted a dog so here ya goí, I want to get BETTER. I want to not be miserable, and that takes work.

Enter plan b - the therapist. Now I wonít say I like the woman I am seeing, but I wonít say I hate her either. I am a few sessions in and have another one on Saturday and plan to continue, if not with her with someone else. It is safe to say I ďhateĒ therapy though, because it makes me uncomfortable. But I am willing to do it because I am at the point that I see the value in it but it will not be an overnight change to something I look forward to doing, if at all. I know you canít help someone that doesnít want to be there/isnít ready for help but that isnít where I am, I want to be there I just donít like being there. I found a place very into alternative care, has therapy dogs, and allows clients to bring in their ESAs, and has a ton of professionals of different ages and both genders that work with a wide range of issues. Session one she green lit the request for an ESA as part of my continued treatment.

Given these things I would say that normal daily activities are greatly impacted because of my condition and that I am not able to live a Ďnormalí day to day life, and would qualify as disabled and the therapist I have started to see agrees, in fact she was the one to state I would qualify as disabled before me (I didnít think it was really Ďthatí bad. I Ďcaní go to work, there are people MUCH worse than I am, and I felt I donít/didnít deserve/qualify for a service dog. She stated that even though I work, my symptoms are still there and I have Ďlearned just to cope with them because of necessity instead of abilityí) so it was not as if I was simply looking for validation or something. For the record, medications are 100% out of the question and will not be part of my treatment in any way.

For now the plan is for me to get a puppy as a ESA, train it as if it would be a service dog (I know not the same thing) with specific tasks to help with my symptoms and down the line if evidence is compelling enough move forward to have me being classified for a PSD and my, at this point dog, becoming a service dog.

We had a 48 hour trial run with a puppy before he went home to his new owners as a favor. Now, I HATED that puppy, and had no hard feelings going hereís your pup, love him lots, not my problem, see you later, enjoy. But it did lead to one certainty. A dog helped instantly. He had to go out, there was no argument about it. He had to be walked there was no argument about it. He had to be cared of regardless of my disorder. Many of my outdoor issues were gone because I -had- a -reason- to be outside and didnít feel the weight of my anxiety. I was mentally engaged as I went back to my dog training roots and had a task at hand. I found myself too busy and tired over those two days to worry about the 101 conversations I would normally replay over and over again in my head. This treatment works for me, and even with my hate of that landshark, it was a clear indication that this treatment was what I needed and when he left I was horrified. My fears became real, after I slept for the first time in two days, two days where I for the first time in 7 years didnít have symptoms, I was right back to where I was, miserable, inside, and desperate for help. This was two weeks ago. Despite me trying to Ďplaceboí my way into pretending it wasnít the dog and if I just give myself the motivation I can go out, that front door is the biggest challenge in my life.

Sounds all well and good and I am on the right track. But I made a mistake.

I found a puppy I wanted. Desperately. I thought what was the worst that could happen by just looking at options while we wait for the actual letter? Well, the worst happened. I messed up. I know I did and I know I went about this wrong 100% from the get go but now is about damage control, moving forward, and hopefully bringing my puppy home. I found a breeder that breeds dogs with the intent of emotional support, therapy, and service dogs in mind. That not only had puppies, but after a few every long emails, had the perfect puppy for me and my situation. There was never any push or red flag behavior from the breeder of pay now or lose your puppy, but I knew that if I did not I would lose the possibility for the perfect dog for me. So now I am sitting here with the possibility of losing my deposit of the puppy, and worse still losing the puppy.

I know 100% this treatment will work for me, and I know this is a legitimate and bad place to be, but my anxiety over this is intolerable at this point. For the record we are good tenants, we keep to ourselves, have a cat that they know about/we paid the deposit for, we donít make a mess, and follow our lease. Maybe I just needed to get this off my chest, but mostly I need advice on how to process. I am mostly expectingÖ not good thingsÖ either because of my anxiety and that is just how I think or because I already know I did it wrong.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 01:59:24 PM »
1.  Ask the breeder if they will keep the puppy a little longer for you.  I asked this of my breeder and she agreed.  I wanted my puppy to spend more time with the adult dogs she had before bringing him home because I had an adult who was not going to model good behavior for him and I wanted to give him a head start.  Offer to pay the breeder for the extra time.

2.  Find a board plus train trainer who uses only positive methods (for a little puppy, its important that there be no aversives used).  Then your pup gets a head start on training while you wait for your paperwork to get sorted out.

3.  Call your therapist's office and ask when to expect the letter.  Maybe things will just happen to work out in the time frame you have.

I don't see any point in attacking someone for acknowledging they made a mistake.  Would it have been better if you'd gotten the letter all sorted out before looking at puppies?  Sure.  But it's not like this situation hasn't happened before.

Is this the only puppy for you and you have to give up getting an ESA if this particular deal falls through?  Does it mean you'll be blacklisted if you back out of the deal?  No, of course not.  You won't get penalized by a good breeder for correcting a common error and trying to do the right thing now.  And there are other very wonderful puppies out there.

So either way, you're going to survive this and in the end it really will be okay. 

Are you at all familiar with thought distortions?  The one you appear to me to be doing is called catastrophizing.  It might be worth discussing with your therapist because there are techniques for identifying when you are in a thought distortion and for pulling yourself out of it, which means less distress and suffering for you.  I mention this because you said you were relatively new to therapy and this is one of many things you can get from therapy to make your quality of life much better.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Kirsten

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 02:08:37 PM »
Note:  I've only processed about 15% of your post.  I have a print disability and reading is very hard for me.  But you seemed distressed so I wanted to answer quickly the most urgent part that seemed to be at the top.

I just saw a comment that you weren't sure about your therapist.  That's normal or within the realm of normal.  Not every therapist is going to be well matched to every person with mental illness.  It's very common for a person to need to try out more than one therapist to find the one that is a good fit for them.  That's okay.  They know this and are okay with it.  It's perfectly okay to say it just doesn't feel like a good match and that you'd like to see someone else.  It's even okay to ask them for recommendations of where else to try.  It's a good idea to give them a good solid try though because often people aren't exactly as you see them when your first meet them and you find out once you get to know them that you like them a lot better than you did initially.  Of course it can go the opposite way as well.  I'm just encouraging you to see each therapist several times before making a decision about whether you can benefit from their treatment or not but at the same time telling you that if it becomes obvious that this therapist is not going to work out for you that doesn't mean therapy won't work out for you.  It just means you haven't found the right therapist and/or therapeutic approach yet.  They come in many different personalities and flavors of treatment.

Welcome aboard!  I'm glad you decided to speak up and ask for help.  HUGS.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Online Solace

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 02:10:42 PM »
Take a deep breath.  It's okay!  I can't imagine that the breeder would mind holding the puppy for a little bit longer.  As Kirsten mentioned, there are great reasons for the puppy staying a little longer anyway!  Just give the breeder a call and explain the situation. 

Offline ember

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 04:18:40 PM »
Is there anyone you know who is dying to puppy sit for a little bit? All the joy for them, none of the expenses (you provide crate food etc)? Or maybe even a parent friend who wants her kids who know how much work a puppy is?

Offline Moonsong

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 05:08:56 PM »
First off - breathe, relax. You're going to be fine.

We actually get people on here sometimes who appear to be simply looking for an out to bend the rules. You are clearly not that case. You are clearly someone with good intentions who made an honest mistake, and is now trying to fix that mistake. I commend you for it. And honestly; getting the puppy too soon...it seems like a super easy mistake to make; the puppy is the most exciting part! I remember having to wait for my Maximus to come home, and it's so incredibly difficult to just wait knowing your pup is (even potentially) out there.

Max came home at a bad time, too. He came home a week before I was supposed to go back to brick and mortar school. We worked things out, though, because my brother was in college and he came home soon enough from after my parents and I left that it wasn't a problem. Then, I ended up doing online school and was home with him all day.

The moral of that story is that it's possible to work things out, even in an unideal situation.

My first idea was to contact the breeder and see if they can hold the puppy for you until things get sorted out. Other people gave great suggestions as well, though. Another one I thought of is if you have any friends or family who would be willing to hold onto him until the paperwork gets sorted out.

And you know what? If things don't work out and you have to give up this puppy and try again, it's okay. It doesn't mean that you don't deserve to have a dog, or an ESA. You're still a wonderful person trying to do what's best for yourself, your future puppy, the law, and others. Be proud of yourself! Not everyone can own up to a mistake and try their best to fix it like you have.


I'm sure things will work out, though. There are lots of options for keeping a puppy somewhere else until paperwork is filed.


By the way, welcome to SDC :smile:.
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Offline Odd1Out

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 10:04:32 PM »
Thank you all for your kind words! After posting that massive word vomit I finally got some sleep which I was more than pleased with. I feel a bit better that I am not the worst most irresponsible terrible person out there and that there are options to help smooth this over and to bring my puppy home. Plus sleeping finally after not sleeping for 2 days helps me think things through a lot better instead of going just into panic mode.

Kirsten:

1) Iím going to email the therapist tomorrow to see if I can get an ETA about the letter as well as give her some sample letters I have been coming across here and there. I also didnít know I needed to write a letter as well so I am going to work on that tonight. I am hoping we can get it at the latest when we go in on Saturday and then we can drop it off at the office that day too. Obviously sooner is better than later, so if I can get it before Saturday I would be thrilled.

2) I will get in touch with the breeder about waiting another week, I canít see it being too huge of an issue but I also want my puppy ya know? Haha. I may have to pay a boarding type fee, but honestly I donít think she would.

3) Last choice, do this or no puppy I will do a board situation. The problem here is they are all ďfree runĒ boarding, which can wreak havoc should my puppy be attacked. Last thing I need is a dog reactive animal that I may pursue as a SD. I also worry this will set back major training points such as crate training, typical new home puppy screaming, and most importantly house training. But I am looking into my options for this. If we go this route he will be here till his vet check on Saturday before dropping him, sadly, off at a boarding facility.

To be honestÖ I catastrophicize (sp?  Donít think thatís a word) things ALL the time. It is something I am coming to recognize but itís hard to tellÖ is this called for because youíre in a bad situation or are you SUPPER over thinking the situation? It will deff be something I talk to my therapist this weekend so thank you for pointing that out! 

Yea Iím really not sure how I feel about her. I donít Ďlikeí her, but I donít hate her like I thought I would either. I had a lot of bad experiences with child therapists, which largely have made me uninterested in therapy. So I think it will take a few tries and possibly a new therapist/see a few different ones. With social disorders itís hard to tell if you donít like someone or you just donít want to be around them because itís social haha.

Kirsten + Solace:

The puppy is a bit ďolderĒ in quotes because heís not older at all haha. He will be a few days shy of 14 weeks when we get him. I talked to the breeder for about a week, and then there was a two week between the deposit and when he is coming home. Which I am thrilled about because bigger bladder than an 8 week old XD lol.

ember:

Unfortunately no. Both my parent friends just got new puppies and new babies and I have one who MIGHT have been open to something like that, but she was recently mauled by someoneís dog and is really nervous around dogs that arenít hers now. Not a nip, but grabbed shaken, grabbed again, shaken more, this dog was ready to kill her, so I donít want to push my new home sick puppy on her for obvious reasons. I think if he was house trained and crate trained it would be a different story to try and get someone to watch him for a little while.

Moonsong:
That really was my worry both internally as well as coming here and hopefully joining a community. Part of me feels like Iím -faking- it because I want a dog and know I canít have one. But I know that is totally silly because getting a dog hasnít become a serious conversation till about a year ago when I started (and failed) to get help for the first time. It was always Ďya at some point in life I want a dogí but was never a huge drive for me? So while internally I feel like I am just trying to bend the rules, I also know if that was the case this would have been something we started years ago before spending the last almost decade of my life with crippling anxiety. While we have a large complex there are also a few people here with dogs that I know 100% arenít ESAs or SDs and that the manager doesnít know about so I am sure if it was simply I want to get a dog I canít have, why go through the trouble when managers arenít likely to notice that I have it?

Thank you for your kind words, they mean a ton me to right now. I hope this all works out for the best and that I am just panicking about it. Mostly I am just ready to be done with this and to get better.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 10:29:16 PM »
I would not board a puppy in an environment where he has unrestricted contact with other dogs, not only because of the risk of injury or emotional trauma (not all adults are tolerant of puppies) but because his immune system may not be up to the challenge.  Please check with your vet before boarding to make sure he's had all three sets of puppy shots plus bordatella and discuss whether the new flu shot is recommended.

Heck, I wouldn't board my healthy adult in a situation where he has unrestricted access to unknown dogs.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Odd1Out

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 11:15:17 PM »
I would not board a puppy in an environment where he has unrestricted contact with other dogs, not only because of the risk of injury or emotional trauma (not all adults are tolerant of puppies) but because his immune system may not be up to the challenge.  Please check with your vet before boarding to make sure he's had all three sets of puppy shots plus bordatella and discuss whether the new flu shot is recommended.

Heck, I wouldn't board my healthy adult in a situation where he has unrestricted access to unknown dogs.

Thankfully if it does come to boarding, still looking for a more -kennel- type setting, he is fully vaccinated other than rabies which wont be for another 2 months. The only thing he would need would be bordatella, which since he will be going to the vet the day before hand for his new puppy health check (if we end up boarding) we can take care of that then.

The only kennel setting I can find currently is 1200 for two weeks, yikes.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 12:39:35 AM »
It takes a minimum of four days for a bordatella vaccination to take effect.  I suggest you ask the breeder to take care of it for you while he is still in her care so he is fully protected in case you need to board him.

I figure boarding for two weeks ought to be more in the neighborhood of $300-$400.  I realize these costs will vary by location, but it might be worth asking around, maybe asking your vet if he can recommend someplace to board, then checking at local pet stores for boarding facilities they know of and so on.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 12:43:12 AM by Kirsten »
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 04:49:04 AM »
This is just a shot in the dark, but I see you're in Washington. If you don't see a boarding kennel to your satisfaction, maybe you could see if there's a puppy raising club in your area, and ask if anyone who doesn't have a pup at the moment would be willing to watch your pup for a bit? They crate train and house train, etc, because that's a part of it.

I'm not sure if it would work, and either the breeder or with you would be preferable, but maybe it's an idea to look at.
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 09:27:43 AM »
It's true there should be a lot of puppy raisers in Washington state because there's a very large program there (GDB).  It would be nice to have your pup in a home rather than a kennel and puppy raisers are trained specifically in how to raise puppies for service work (specifically guide dog work).
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Odd1Out

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Re: I made a mistake - damage control
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 02:34:44 PM »
Oh boy late update time XD. Sorry to leave this up in the air for so long!

So my therapist got me my "note" right before telling me because we couldn't afford weekly she wouldn't work with us (yikes, no wonder she only works one day currently). She didn't sign it, which I didn't notice before we left so my fault there. We went to our office and got a rather snotty woman who pointed it out and oh by the way we now have actual paper work. Took almost 2 weeks of hounding this therapist to fill out the paper work and three tries because she kept missing questions. It was a total of 9 yes/no sign here and should have taken her 2 minutes to fill out but we had to go back 3 times. She gave us a rather snotty email about how we should maybe have a talk about what an ESA is and that it's not a service animal with out landlord. Which, we know, my landlord knows, there was a note stating how to fill the paper work and that it was ok to say no its not a survive animal because it's not, its a ESA. It was a royal mess dealing with that woman. 

Handed in the paper work about a week after we got the pup, thankfully to the actual manager, she looked at it said ok i'll put it in the file.

So it all worked out but was a MASSIVE pain and not for the reason I thought it would be. They deff knew we had him for at least a week before the papers were officially in but they, at least didn't seem to, care. If they did we never heard anything about it.

So now just looking for a new therapist but frankly with the terrible taste I have in my mouth from the last one I'm dragging my feet about it.