Author Topic: Man and service dog denied at North Dallas restaurant  (Read 626 times)

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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Man and service dog denied at North Dallas restaurant
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2017, 12:31:23 PM »
Veterans and parents of disabled children are the prime targets of scam organizations and incompetent volunteers.  They get set up for horrific experiences more so than any other disability group.  Why?  Because of public sympathy, which makes it easier to fund raise for them.  It's not because of the PWD themselves, they aren't causing it, they are victims of it.  So there's another reason not to hate on them but to try extra hard, above and beyond, to help them.

What SHOULD veterans do?  They should be getting dogs from ADI programs.  WHY?  Because some of their access issues will disappear if they do, in particular access issues on military bases and VA facilities, two things you can reasonably expect a veteran is going to need to access.  It doesn't matter so much with your average non-veteran.  But those are two places where it actually does matter whether you owner-train, go with a program or go with a private trainer.  Sadly, there aren't enough ADI programs participating and that's largely because most programs placing dogs with veterans aren't placing actual service dogs but public access ESAs.  Because that's what well-meaning but ill-informed volunteers think is needed.  Long run, it's not helping those veterans at all because it's increasing conflict and stress in their lifes unnecessarily.  The veterans can't see that because they can't see the big picture like we can and they're not being guided by anyone who can.  Social media tells them ADI dogs are bad and they can get a dog faster and cheaper by going to XYZ instead (except XYZ doesn't actually know what it takes to create a fully functional service dog and thinks all that is needed is a nice dog).

Similarly parents go to legitimate SD producers who tell them their child isn't mature enough yet for a service dog.  Then they turn to social media and discover glowing accounts of miraculous Lassie dogs saving children's lives and who are they going to listen to and believe?  They're freaking desperate.  For those without children consider this, consider it's your dog and your vet tells you it's terminal and the wisdom of the internet tells you there's an herbal remedy for that, what do you do?  Desperate choices are often poor choices.  Does that make the parent evil?  NO it makes them a perfectly normal loving parent in a horrible situation who needs help.

Now let's look at the bulk of owner-trainers.  They're people who are either severely mentally ill or believe that they are disabled by mental illness.  They're stygmatized by the media and feared by the general public despite the fact that they have a lower violent offender rate than the general population has and a higher rate of being victims of violent crime than the general public.  On the one hand, they need to try to hide their condition in order to survive and on the other they have to be very bluntly open about it to get the help they need.  There's still a bias in the SD industry against providing real service dogs for these people for a number of reasons.  Some fear they will harm the dogs because that's what crazy people do according to common wisdom.  Some fear outright abuse of the dog or neglect.  Most don't understand what a trained PSD does and think it is a comfort animal being passed off as a service dog.  Incompetent owner trainers are not helping to remove this belief.  Many of these owner-train because they cannot get a dog from a program.  Then there's also social media still perpetrating a lie that was planted some 15 years ago that somehow PSDs need to be raised from pups so they can bond properly to be good PSDs (the opposite is actually true).  What freaking chance do these people ever have of getting a well trained do to help them when they really do need help?

So these three groups, all three victims of a system through no fault of their own, these are the people who make up most of our problem with ill behaved dogs in public.  The other part, of course, are the fakers.  But I think that in actuality if you were able to poll all the problem teams you would discover that more likely than not the person causing problems in your area is one of the victims, not one of the villians.  My sense generally is that about 3 out of 4 are genuinely disabled people, just like us, who need help but are floundering and failing.  The other quarter are scammers just working the system.

So what happens when we turn on them, on the three-quarters of problem handlers?  When we turn on our own?

Instead of complaining and ranting about them, which solves absolutely nothing for anyone, we need to be looking for constructive solutions.  Those three-quarters deserve help.  They need help.  They are like us, but more disadvantaged in their options and resources and victimized by social media on top of everything else.  Shouldn't we care about them?  Shouldn't we try to at least find some compassion for them?  We could so easily be among them.  Aren't there ways we can help?  I know for sure though there are ways we can stop harming them and that's by not judging or excluding them.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Man and service dog denied at North Dallas restaurant
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 12:46:30 PM »
I'm open to hearing suggestions about how to help. I'd like to help.

I'm eagerly awaiting the results of a randomized-control trial being run with federal funding. One group of vets with PTSS was provided with pet dogs; the other with ADI service dogs.  The researchers are comparing outcomes.

I spoke with a very good psychologist in the field. He worries that some veterans are not getting proper treatment for PTSS because therapy is not always pleasant and they are resistant to using medication.  They believe the Lassie story and choose a dog instead.

So I've made a change. I'm usually reticent about my personal history, but when I find myself in a conversation with someone who thinks a dog will fix PTSS better than conventional medicine, I speak up about my experience recovering from a traumatic experience. I followed medical advice. I am no longer troubled by symptoms.

Offline ccunnin3

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Re: Man and service dog denied at North Dallas restaurant
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 12:52:57 PM »
I can confirm that finding a program for a mental illness other than PTSD is very difficult. I have done extensive research but still only know of 2 organizations in the entire US who will place a dog for mental illness other than PTSD. Obviously need cannot be met.

But part of the issue those handlers are running into is that they don't want to do the work in recovery before getting a dog. If they did, not only would they be more likely to succeed at OT but they would be better equipped to handle access issues like this. They want a service dog as a magic cure instead of doing the necessary hard work and then I end up suffering for that choice. Call me "heartless" but if they aren't willing to do the work there isn't anything I can do to help them.
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