Author Topic: This is my plan - feedback appreciated  (Read 356 times)

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Offline stargirlmadworld

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This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« on: August 04, 2017, 02:24:37 PM »
I am looking to obtain my first dog and first ESA. Here is my plan as I have understood the rules and requirements to be. Please let me know if I am off in any of these. I'm a bit confused over how this is supposed to be done and there seems to be a lot of different information out there.

Step 1.

Save money for dog needs (food, toys, beds, etc).

Step 2.

Complete dog rescue requirements for putting in an application (have a vet I can put down on my application, check with references, etc)

Step 3.

Obtain 2 letters from my psychiatric nurse regarding my mental illness and treatment. 1 for the dog rescue, 1 for my apartment complex.

Step 4.

Apply to the dog rescue with my fully completed application.

Step 5.

Notify apartment complex I will be getting a rescue dog.

Step 6.

(Hopefully) have my application accepted and obtain a dog :biggrin: from the rescue group.


Does this sound like a good plan? Please let me know if I need to change or modify something. TIA!  :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw:

Online Kirsten

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Re: This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 05:20:37 PM »
You need to negotiate the reasonable accommodation with your landlord before bringing the dog home.  Some landlords are exempt and it's possible in some cases that your landlord could require you to get a certain size of dog or avoid certain breeds (not always so, but occasionally so).

If you get the dog before getting approval from the landlord, it may put you in violation of your lease and it may disincline your landlord to being agreeable, which can make the whole process highly stressful and lengthy.  Here's the start of our series of articles on ESAs in housing:  http://servicedogcentral.org/content/ESA-housing  It includes links to our sample letters for you to write (requesting the accommodation) and for your doctor to write (confirming the disabiling mental illness and the nexus between the disability and the dog).

Yes to saving up and making sure you have the resources for initial costs and can provide maintenance as well as maybe start a little emergency fund for, well, emergencies.  The first year is generally the most expensive because it includes adoption fee, spay/neuter, and start up shots, as well as equipment needed to care for a dog (bowls, collar, leash, crate, grooming supplies, toys, treats, chews, basic obedience class).

If this is going to be your first dog, the basic obedience class can be very important because not only will you receive instruction on the standard things like walking politely on leash, holding still for nail trims, coming when called, not jumping on people, being gentle with his mouth when playing or taking treats and so on, it also gives you an expert to consult when your dog comes up with something interesting and unexpected while also annoying or troublesome.  For example, Tardis's latest thing is locking me out of the house when I take the trash out.  Fortunately he's not the first dog to come up with this trick so I'm prepared.  :wink:

You should also call around and select your vet before bringing your dog home and arrange for a first visit preferably within 24 hours of taking custody of the dog.  Why?  You need to make sure he is healthy before you take him home.  If he's ill when you get him, then the rescue is responsible for treatment to return him to good health.  If you cannot prove he was ill when you got him, then you are responsible.  The problem is that a lot of disease is passed around when large numbers of dogs are housed together, such as in a boarding facility or shelter.  Owned pets will be fully vaccinated and at much lower risk of catching something than a dog with unknown history who may not have been fully vaccinated or been on flea, tick, and heartworm preventive.

I have some tips on choosing your dog as well.
1.  Choose a young adult.  On average they are far less destructive than puppies (chewing furniture, carpet, mouldings and windowsills).  They tend to be easier to house break because their bowels and bladder are fully mature and under their control.  In fact a lot of them will already be housebroken.
2.  Choose a dog who is under 20 pounds.  This will make it far easier to get your landlord to agree and to find other housing in the future if needed.  Landlords generally are much more willing to accept small dogs than large dogs.
3.  If getting a dog from a shelter, choose a mixed breed dog, preferably one who looks sweet and innocent.  You get the best health on average from a good breeder, but when you choose from a shelter you get the best health on average from mixed breed vigor.
4.  Choose a dog who is friendly to strangers (both human strangers and other dogs) because this will make your life much easier in the long run.
5.  If the shelter fosters dogs, choose one who has been fostered because you get much more detailed information about his personality and habits if he has been living in someone's home and because he's less likely to be stressed and more likely to be acting like his own natural personality.  Sometimes dogs in shelters act quiet and reserved because they are terrified when really they are rambunctious demolition experts and you don't find out the true personality until you've had them home for a few weeks and they've had a chance to settle down.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 09:06:00 PM 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 stargirlmadworld

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Re: This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 07:46:27 PM »
Thanks for such a thorough response!

Am updating my plan now. Will definitely be sure I have everything arranged before I put the application to the rescue in. I have to have a letter from my apartment complex that I am allowed to have a dog, so I will have to talk to them about getting a dog before I can apply for one.

Working on getting my letters right now.

Offline Poedog

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Re: This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 08:22:47 PM »
Agreed with all that Kristen said.
My experience was a bit different, I just had to hand in a letter, they gave me a form to fill out, and that was that. You don't have to apply to have a pet or an ESA where I used to live, you essentially just let them know, since they had no weight or breed restrictions. Which was good, since I fell in love with a 110 pound mastiff haha.
I do agree with the adult dog comment, as well. Sometimes dogs will have a history; my dog was raised in one family for 6 years until I got her, lived with kids, cats, and a dog. I essentially hit the dog lottery with her. She's great with babies and she's great with 100 year olds with dementia. Other dogs she was scared of at first but now is almost never even slightly timid. So, if you can find an adult dog where you have more history (it really is possible), then that's great, but obviously there is always a layer of the unknown.

Good luck! Getting my ESA has been the best choice I've ever made. I truly cannot express how much I adore this sweet dog. Keep us updated!

Offline Azariah

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Re: This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 09:06:38 PM »
It sounds like you have things really thought out.

I would add to Kirsten's list to choose a breed of dog/mix that does not tend to be vocal. Some breeds like mine can be very vocal and you aren't going to want this headache in an apartment. I can train mine to be quiet when I am home but they howl the first five minutes when I leave. My sister lives in a town home and I had done some research for her. Herding breeds tended to be the most vocal if I recalled.

I also second the obedience. Beyond the stuff listed you may also need to travel with your dog at some point. It will make your life far easier if your dog has some training.
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Offline stargirlmadworld

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Re: This is my plan - feedback appreciated
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2017, 05:41:09 AM »
My plan is to adopt a rescue corgi. Small breed, adult dog, very trainable. I have looked at a local pet supply store that offers dog training and has very good reviews. So I will definitely do the basic training with my new dog. I need the training most of all!

I know corgis tend to be vocal, so I know training will have to come into play there.

Wrote my letter requesting more letters to my psych nurse last night. Hoping to get a quick response.

Will update when I do! This is turning into quite a journey.