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Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

The Story of A Psychiatric Service Dog Team

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Sep 28th 2006

By: Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.


One year ago, a desperate, young twenty-two-year-old woman was brought to my office by her grandmother. She was tearful and depressed but her major complaint had to do with acute anxiety. Her grandmother was present because Juli was at the point where she was fearful of leaving the house unless accompanied by another person. In fact, her grandmother drove her to the appointment because Juli was now fearful of driving. Although she never experienced an auto accident, never had a traumatic experience outside of her home, and had no logical reason to feel so extremely fearful, Juli was paralyzed with fears and phobias about the outside world. In Juli’s own words, “I was suffering from severe agoraphobia and social anxiety. At the same time, I experienced severe depression.” In sum, her life was at a standstill.


Anxiety disorders are like infectious diseases. If left untreated, they spread like germs, causing an ever increasing amount of sickness and disability. Juli had tried therapy before but without success. Now, she could no longer sit in a restaurant and enjoy a meal with family or friends. She couldn’t attend basketball games, go to the gym to workout, go to work, make purchases at the grocery store, or take a stroll down the block. Because she could not work, Juli lost the ability to support her self and was too paralyzed with fear to go to the welfare office or to social security to apply for financial benefits. Without the active financial support of her family, Juli would have been in even more dire circumstances.


Whenever Juli tried to summon up her courage and do the normal things that others take for granted, this is what she experienced: “I became overwhelmed with nausea, dizziness, and panic. I had numbness and a tingling sensation in my hands and feet and my vision became blurred. I even felt like would pass out and that was terrifying. I was especially afraid I would faint while driving or walking in the street. I would have the petrifying thought that I would lose control and die.”


The fact that she could no longer earn her own living filled Juli with guilt because she was relying on her family for financial support. Juli’s father, a warm and loving man, paid all of her bills since she stopped working. However, this was a drain on his finances as he needed to apportion money for her younger sister and brother who were of college age. Besides all of this, the inability to earn a living added to Juli’s fears about her ability to function as a normal and independent woman in the future. In short, her anxiety disorder caused her pride and dignity to take a severe beating. As she describes it, “It was a viscous cycle. I panicked about not being able to work and I couldn’t work because I panicked.”




Two major approaches were taken to help Juli recover from her debilitating anxiety and panic disorder. First, she was referred for psychiatric evaluation and medication treatment. The psychiatrist to whom she was referred prescribed a combination of anti anxiety and anti depressant medications to help alleviate her major symptoms.


Second, Juli and I began a course of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In this treatment, Juli kept a record of her thoughts prior to, during, and after her panic and anxiety attacks. She was then taught to examine the extent to which these thoughts were unfounded and helped to cause her bouts of anxiety and panic. She learned to replace her fearful and unrealistic thinking with assessments based in reality and fact. In addition to this, Juli and I practiced deep breathing and muscle relaxation in the office in order that she could learn how to reduce the damaging effects of fear and anxiety on her body. She practiced at home and elsewhere, particularly if she felt her anxiety increasing. Lastly, Juli and I practiced meditation, which she learned to use on a daily basis so that she could develop a calm and relaxed mindset.


Gradually, Juli made minor improvements and she could do more things with her life. She began attending therapy sessions on her own without her grandmother. She was able to drive herself to the sessions and gained a hard earned sense of improved self esteem.


However, the work was painfully slow and fraught with setbacks and relapses. When Juli was too fearful, she was unable to drive to the sessions. “There were times I would call Dr. Schwartz from my cell phone frenzied, pulled over on the freeway and he would have to talk me down just to get me back home safely.” Her social life remained limited because she could not go to restaurants and concerts with her friends. She was afraid of crowds at concerts and sports events, and avoided restaurants because her anxiety led to the nausea that robbed her of her appetite. Finally, the mere thought of work led to spasms of fear and the wish to avoid.




Juli was becoming increasingly desperate. Her parents were complaining that she was not improving. Juli was living and had been working in Colorado, while her family with the exception of her maternal grandmother, lived in California. Each parent was pressuring Juli to return to California. Juli was resistant to this idea. It was important to her to assert her independence and to prove that she could care for herself. Yet, her financial situation was reaching crisis proportions and the family was complaining about the cost of maintaining her in Colorado while she could not work. Juli’s father was becoming increasingly frantic about finances and was pressuring his daughter to either return to California or get a job. He was losing patience. It seemed as though her therapy and progress were at an impasse and might end in failure.


Mingo, the Co-Therapist:


For several years now my wife has been involved in training service dogs. This was of particular interest to me because I had read about the value of using dogs and other pets as co-therapists in the consulting room. Clearly seeing how distressed Juli was from the moment she entered my office, I asked her if she would like to have one of my wife’s service dogs present during the session. I explained that she could hold and pet the dog, which might help her to feel calmer. An animal lover, who once had a dog that her mother gave away, Juli, was excited by the idea of a dog being in the office. I excused myself and invited the most special dog I have ever met, Mingo, into the room.


Mingo is a Golden Retriever and a fully trained and certified psychiatric service dog. She is warm and loving and has an instinct about when people are in need. From the moment I brought Mingo into the office to meet Juli, a tight bond was formed between the two of them. Mingo went right up to Juli, put her snout into Juli’s stomach and pressed as tight as she could. Juli wrapped her arms around the dog and another important step was taken toward Juli’s recovery. Every session thereafter, Mingo was present and available to Juli, who derived great pleasure and relief from her stress by stroking the dog’s thick, soft fur. As Juli describes it, “There is something so reassuring about having a dog in your lap when you panic. It’s like all your anxiety melts right off and onto them.” There was no question in my mind that Mingo was my co-therapist during these sessions.


But, how could this help Juli in the outside world? When she left the office to go home her fears returned. She did all of her therapeutic homework, including cognitive work, deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation exercises. She was fully compliant with her medications, which had been modified by her psychiatrist in the hope that the right combination of medicines would resolve her symptoms. While there was slight improvement, it was not enough to improve the quality of her life. Something more had to be done to break the deadlock and help Juli get on with her life.


Enter Lily:


I began to entertain the idea of Juli purchasing a psychiatric service dog of her own that could accompany her and be a comfort when she needed to leave the house for any reason. However, to my dismay, I soon discovered that purchasing a trained emotional support service dog is prohibitively expensive. I was beginning to feel as desperate as Juli and her family.


Then an idea occurred to me that just might be able to work in Juli’s favor. What if Juli adopted a puppy from the humane society that could be trained to be an emotional support dog? When I proposed this idea to Juli she became very excited.


As Juli expressed it:


“The idea of having a dog appealed to me because of my experience with Mingo and because I thought I might feel safer, like someone would be able to look out for me all the time. Maybe this potential dog could alert someone if I did run into trouble and that thought seemed to put my mind at ease.”


Juli always missed the dog her mother gave away, loved dogs in general, and welcomed the idea. I suggested that she give careful thought to this idea since caring for a dog is a major responsibility and expense and she might not have the necessary inner and outer resources to adopt and raise a puppy at this time. However, there was no restraining Juli. She was so excited about the idea that she recruited a friend to go with her to pet stores and the humane society.


I began receiving excited phone calls from this young woman on the weekends when she would be out with her friend looking at puppies. Juli would ask me about one type of breed or another and its suitability for her purposes. Usually, her choices were of very cute puppies that were destined to grow up and become large and ferocious canines that would be difficult to train. Besides that issue, there was the simple fact that pure bred dogs were extremely expensive.


One fine and quiet Sunday afternoon while I was out shopping at the mall, my cell phone rang. I answered the call to the irate voice of Juli’s father who wanted to know if I was aware that his daughter had just adopted a puppy from the pound. He was convinced that his daughter had completely lost her mind and should be sent home immediately. I assured him that, while I could not discuss his daughter with him due to issues of confidentiality, I was certain that she was not crazy and that I would look into the situation. He was skeptical but somewhat re-assured that I was willing to check it out. That phone call left me feeling very much like I had made a serious blunder in suggesting what now seemed like a hair-brained idea. Ten minutes after this conversation the phone rang again. This time it was Juli who reported to me, with great excitement, that she had just adopted a puppy from the humane society. She also complained about her father, whom she had told so he could send her some extra money to adopt the dog. I then understood why her father was outraged. He feared the puppy would be an additional drain on his fragile budget.


Juli and I met Monday morning as we were scheduled to do. Accompanying her was the cutest puppy I could ever imagine. Juli named her Lily and often referred to her as “Miss” Lily. Lily was brown with big floppy ears and very large paws. Clearly a mix between a Labrador retriever and some other large breed, Lily was going to be a big dog. More than anything, Miss Lily was as friendly and cuddly as could be desired. She seemed to have the perfect temperament to be an emotional support dog.


Needing to solve the next problem of how to get Miss Lily and Juli trained, I gingerly approached my wife, the executive director and founder of Golden Kimba Service Dogs. Why did I approach my wife gingerly? Well, I knew that Juli could not pay for training sessions and that there was no way anyone could approach her father about adding more financial aid. Like the trooper she is, my wife took Juli and Miss Lily on for free and began training both of them.


Major Changes:


Although the going was not easy, adopting, training, and being with Lily utterly changed Juli, her life and her ability to cope. As her constant friend and ally, Juli felt reassured with Lily’s presence. She began leaving her apartment to go on walks with Lily. On the streets or in the park, Juli met many people who came up to her wanting to pet the cute little puppy. Juli began taking training lessons with my wife. Eventually, Lily earned herself an official service dog in-training vest and Juli, an official I.D., which allowed them to enter stores and restaurants without being hassled by management wanting them to leave.


As Juli grew in confidence, she started to work, socialize, and feel terrific about herself.

Juli and Lily are now a spokesperson team for the use of emotional support dogs for people who are disabled by emotions they cannot seem to control. Even that is a major break through for Juli who, previously was so fearful she never would have spoken to strangers.


Lily is still in training and she and Juli and Lily continue to learn a lot about how to work together in public. But the main idea is that Juli is able to live her life again with the help of her friend and companion, Lily. As Juli sums it up:


“Lily is my best friend. I feel safe with her. She has been a blessing in my life. Having a service dog is crucial for someone with my kind of illness. I have to take her on walks, I have to go to the store to buy her food, and it forces me to get out. It’s a win-win relationship. I do for her and she does for me, without even knowing it. My life would never have been the same without her.”


The story of Lily and Juli continues, but now there is hope.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Pitbulls AS Service Dogs - - Mar 19th 2015

Lets just DO  awat with  ALL service dogs if you want to say what type of breed can be used.. I  have a PIT  now as a service dog and shes the best dog, ive ever owned in my life.She was born to no most of what to do as a service dog. plus i wouldnt take nothing for her. She has taught me never to judge, and to love all. maybe the ones saying ban pits should try living with a pit as a SD.. They are the best breeds ever. LEARN  people learn.. its all how they are raised. I thought all the bad to against this breed. until the night my son brought my dog in my house. the best SD ever. she dont even no how to growl. get real people. They are like any other dog. its how they are raised..

about can dogs help people - melissa medellin - Mar 22nd 2012

i was wondering can dogs help people with panic attacks

NEW SERVICE DOG LAWS 2011 - Pami - Feb 28th 2011

How many people that have a service dog read the new service animal laws for 2011, It start in March. If you have not read it yet, you need to do so it will help you know the right laws so you can't get in trouble by the law.

Write back what you think about the new SD Law!

SELF-TRAINING A SERVICE DOG!! - Lerry - Oct 22nd 2010


Thank you for your article! - Stephanie - Sep 23rd 2010

Thank you, Dr. Schwartz, for this inspiring article. I also suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorders and depression. I've had it since I was about 6 or 7. It got OK for a while but in the past 10 years it's been very dabilitating. Juli's story sounds very much like my own experiences, I'm currently unable to drive, work, or leave the house alone.  I now have a PSD in training, he has made a tremendous difference in my life and makes going into public places much more comfortable.

A good dog, is a good dog. Right temperment for the right job - Laura - Mar 17th 2010

I am using a mixed breed as a Service Dog and I am....OMG an owner trainer.  I have worked with animals for over 20 yrs and in the last 2 yrs have gone on and have done all the training on our "pet" dogs.  My disability began gradually then suddenly went down hill.  The wait for "professionally"/program dog is anywhere from 2-5 yrs.  Sorry folks I couldn't want that long.  The dog I selected had over 100hrs of leash/training time.  He was the most stable dog in the family (CGC tested), great work ethic and a strong boy (something needed as a mobility/stability dog). 

He has a very short coat, low shed, low order, small enough to stay out of the way, large enough to support me & carry my supplies.  What does he look like? What dog fits that description?  A pit bull.

He is smart and willing, the cat beats him up at home.  When he is in harness he is at "work".  We have had people bump into him, a child take a flying leap on top of him (while he was dozing in a "down" - all he did was grunt and lick her), his tail stepped on etc.

A Service Dog is ALL about temperment.  There are labs that would NEVER make it as SDs because they bite, snap and can't concentrate to be a good partner to their human.  It shouldn't matter what the breed is, what the dog looks like as long as it CAN DO THE JOB!

His mom was a lab/pit mix (pit coloring and head, coat like a lab) and his dad? Who knows.  There were at least 2 different daddies in her littler.  My boy at 14 weeks was about 15 lbs, the next biggest? 7 lbs.  From various trainers and breeders we have seen they think there is a good chance his dad was a weimer.  If you mix a straight weimer w/a lab and get a short coated dog, what do you get, something that really looks like a pit.  Lots of dogs look like what the public believe a "pit bull" to be.

Don't fall for the hype and DON'T restrict what I need to live a useful life, something that allows me to leave my house.

SD Training - Pami - Feb 25th 2010

I found a good book that will help people that self-train their own service dog. DOG TRAINING IN 10 MINUTES BY CAROL LEA BENJAMIN

Let me know how this book help you in training your Service dog.

Stronger Laws - Stacy - Jan 15th 2010

How many people want stronger laws for people that self-train their own service dogs!

I do I think they should have to go to dog training class and clicker training classes and know one trick before they can be a true service dogs.

I also think they should have to wear a vest with patches or a dog backpack with patches as well!

To many people are making their pet dog a service dog just so they can take them out in public.

Please don't lie about your pet dog being a service dog it makes it harder on people that do need a service dog with them 24/7 have a heart.

Pitbulls - Lee - Dec 11th 2009

Stop pitbull from being service dog!

Service Dog IDs - Mark - Nov 9th 2009

We have enough problems with the public and our service animals. If you have a service dog having an ID will reduce conflicts substantially. I got mine from - Good folks



New Service Dog Laws - Cindy - Sep 14th 2009

IF you want to see new laws for SD in your state take a stand by writing or email your governer, congress person. Should SD have to wear a uniform?

Should SD have to take the Public Access Test? Or a Clicker Training Class. Please let them know if you want this pass or not!

Let me hear from you please write!

Still a wealth of misinformation - Kirsten Richards - Jul 25th 2009

Doctor, you are still a wealth of misinformation about service animals.  You make statements that are not true, and because of your THERAPY credentials (not even an MD) people assume you know what you are talking about when you quite obviously don't.


"Under the provisions of the disability act, which is federal law, airlines and others, are not allowed to question you about your disability or the nature of it. You may need to get in touch with your local congress person and report both the airlines and the incidents when these happen."

1.  The ADA does not apply to aircraft.

2.  Under the ACAA, which DOES apply to aircraft, passengers traveling with emotional support animals or psychiatric service animals are required to provide documentation and give 48-hours' notice before flight.

"The final rule limits use of emotional support animals to persons with a diagnosed mental or emotional disorder, and the rule permits carriers to insist on recent documentation from a licensed mental health professional to support the passenger’s desire to travel with such an animal. In order to permit the assessment of the passenger’s documentation, the rule permits carriers to require 48 hours’ advance notice of a passenger’s wish to travel with an emotional support animal."


"under section 382.117(e), airlines can require passengers traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals to provide certain documentation. This information is not a medical certificate in the sense articulated in section 382.23, but airlines are entitled to obtain this documentation as a condition of permitting the emotional support or psychiatric service animal to travel in the cabin with the passenger."

For pity's sake, get it straight before you set up a lot of mentally ill people to get themselves into extremely stressful and mentally unhealthy situations.  What you are doing is grossly negligent coming from a person who is supposed to be helping the mentally ill.

For further information on service animals under the ACAA, contact Robert C. Ashby, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Room W94-302, Washington, D.C., 20590 (202) 366-9310 (voice); 202-366-7687 (TTY);

Editor's Note: The law has changed since this article was written.  Articles we write even a short while ago cannot apply fully when laws are changed.  Pointing out the discrepancy between the current law and some statements in this article could be thought of as a public service.  However, the angry hostile and belittling manner of the comment is, to be charitable, unhelpful.  


Generally, a creditor who has won a lawsuit against a disabled person is trying to collect the amount of the judgment cannot size the person's guide dog, hearing dog, to satisfy the judgment. In New York, the dog's food is also exempt. More states prohibit creditors from taking a debtor's "health aids," which should include assistance dogs.

States that prohibit creditors from taking "health aid"

alaska, arizona, califormia colorado, connecticut, florida, georgia, idaho, illinois, indiana, iowa, kentucky, maine, maryland, mississippi, missouri, montana, nebraska, nevada, new mexico, new york, north carolina, ohio, oklahoma, oregon, south carolina, tennessee, texas, utah, vermount, virginia, west virginia.

If you do not see your state in this list people help pass this law in your state. Email or call also write a letter. To your congress person and your governer.

Send a letter to your local newspaper so other people can help out also.

Ask family and friends to help you out in getting this law pass. Go to your locfal town meeting and ask people there to help out also.


PIT BULLS AS SERVICE DOGS - Penny - Jul 7th 2009







No! PitBulls As Service Dogs! - Richard - Jul 3rd 2009

Let do a way with pitbulls as service dog, how do you know they will not attack someone or another dog. They do not make a good service dog. I think people just want to take their pitbull that's a pet out in public and lie and say its a service dog. Why not try another breed. To many people are afraid of this type of breed. Think of other people not just yourself when self-training your own service dog please!!

Service Dogs - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jun 15th 2009

Hi John,

I appreciate your comments but it is important to define terms and explain a couple of potential problems. An emotional support dog most certainly can be your psychiatric service dog. No question. Also, you can buy vests online and place them on your dog. However, if you try to enter restaurants, airplanes, supermarkets and other places you can be challenged. In fact, this frequently happens to all of us with these dogs.

It is important that the correct language be used when and if challenged about your right to bring your dog into these types of public places. It is important to say that "this is my service dog."

No one is allowed to ask you "why." According to the Americans with Disabilities Act" no one may ask you the nature of your disability.

However, there are times when difficulties still remain and those who challenge are not satisfied. This is why the vest or cape is NOT ENOUGH by itself, sometimes. Under these circumstances it is important to have an organization standing behind you that can support the fact that this is a service dog and that it is your service dog. That organization is the one that trains you and your dog and makes it official. I have been in situations and have seen situations where this happens.

Just be aware. It may not happen but it can happen and does happen. That is why the training and not just the cape, is so important.

Dr. Schwartz

Dog with perfect temperament for service work in Visalia, CA - JT - Jun 14th 2009

I did some temperament testing on this dog, Nika, the other day.  She is a border collie mix, with little to no herding instinct.  She is great with men, women, kids of all ages, dogs, cats, and is neiter timid, nor aggressive.

I posted a mention of her on craigslist because her shelter was running out of space.  Her time has been extended over and over again due to her temperament and easy trainability.

Here is the notice:

DID YOU KNOW! - John - Jun 12th 2009

Most people that have a Emotional Support Dog don't put the patch for ESD on their dog vest ect. They use the bar patch that says service animal it goes on both side of vest and on top any style DO NOT PET patch on the top of vest. Even if you have a service dog for any type of handicap you are not going to tell me you don't every have emotional problems and your service dog help you with this also.

To buy these patches go online to Pup'parel to buy.

Let me know how you like these patchrs and what luck you have when your working dog wears them.

Service Dogs - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - May 20th 2009

Hello WJW,

There is no reason for you to advertise having a psychiatric problem when you go out with your service dog. The vest worn by the dog says nothing about the disability the owner has. People use service dogs because they have a large variety of possible disabilities. In addition, according to Federal Law, through the Americans with Disabilities Act, no one has a right to ask you what your disability is. Now, that will not stop the ordinary person on the street from asking but you can always provide a vague and meaningless answer, such as "I have a problem the dog helps me with but I do not want to talk about it." Or, anything creative you can think of.

My wife has a service dog and she has no trouble telling people, if they ask, that she is a nervous person and the dog calms her in public.

If you want to be blunt, you could simply tell people, "its none of your business."

However, one of the great things about having a service dog that wears the vest is that people are curious. That is a very good thing for depressed people who work hard to avoid social contact. I have seen the very depressed get undepressed with their dog in public because so many people want to interact with them. That is a really good thing because the depressed person gets to feel social, maybe for the first time.

Try to think of the vest as a good thing.

Dr. Schwartz

it's a very real need - wjw - May 20th 2009

I have a doctor's note to have an ESD. There is no way i'd want to have a special tag or vest for the dog to take it out in public! Why would i want to advertise i have a psychiatric or emotional problem with all the stigma out there?  Still, it was a long road to get the medical care I needed to get a doctor's note declaring it a ESD. Now, I am trying to get my landlord to give me back my pet deposit and let me quit paying pet rent, never mind what i have already paid in pet rent!

I do not even want to take the dog out in public with me. Its all i can do to even get to a dog park with her occasionally (sadly). I did commit suicide a year or so ago and still have physical effects/consequences from that, not to mention i need the emotional companionship to keep me oriented in the now, so that i don't do it again. its a very real need. and maybe you wouldn't know it from passing me on the street. i try to hide it. i have pride like anyone else. I hold a job. barely.

its a shame that so many people are so intolerant, so jealous of and greedy for anything anyone else my seem to have that they do not. so little ability to empathize. well, i guess that is a disability in and of itself maybe? so sad that people seem to have the need to argue over split hairs, to prove themselves right or more knowledgeable than someone else. Geez, feel fortunate you have that much energy! Or maybe I should feel glad I don't have that drive to need to prove myself and need the necessary energy also?

Anyways, I really would rather not have the responsibilities that come with needing an ESD. I have allergies. I don't have a lot of energy to care for it/her. Right now I am struggling with paying the extra rent required to live in a place that allows "pets".  I remember when I didn't need a ESD, when I used to be well. I'd give up the dog to have that wellness again!!! 

DO AWAY WITH!! - Fred Smith - May 10th 2009

lets do away with people that self-train their own dog to be a service dog. these people do not do the temperment test. Or do the right type of tasks. Please go online and read what tasks a service dog does for your type of handicap please. Just put down service dog tasks and it will show up! Make a copy of it and do all the tasks its says. Also read the ADI on service dogs and service animals laws also. So you will have the best service dog if you are self-train.

I will be writing my governer in Washington State and are congress persons. So if you want to email them and voice your opion on this please help me out.  Let them know what other law you want pass for service dogs.

Also if you want to ride the bus free for people that have a service dog in their uniform please help us out. Why because lot of handicap people that have a service dog can pay the price of public buses. This will also help you out in the long run.

GOOD TIME TO TRAIN - Annie - May 9th 2009

If you are thinking of getting a dog to be a service dog that you can self-train the best place to get a dog would be at your local dog pound.

Most people that do train their own dog to be a SD get black labs, Border Collies, smooth hair collies, why they pick these type of dog because they are smarter and can be trained easier.  Try a dog that is 5 to 6 month old then you will not have to go threw potty training. Also they get a dog that is a mix breed of these dogs.

If you need a small dog to be your SD people get these type of breeds also they can be mix with these breeds.

Cogi, White Highland Terrier, Fox Terrier, Silky Terrier, Pugs are the most common little dog for SD.

To get the best vest and Patches go online to Pup'parel or check out the second best place online Raspberry. Pup'parel will is the on SD website I know that will coustom make a patch if you don't see one you like. But then you will have to let her use that design on her website so other people can order it.

I hope this will help you out when looking to self-train your own SD but remember Service Dogare NOT to be petted when on duty, so its best to have some type of patch that says do not pet or do not touch or just two hands with a line threw it no text.

Also remember a Service Dog is not PET its a working animal let people know if you talk to the dog or pet the dog, it takes it mind of the job its doing and can put me in danger.

Just tell them nicely. Alway teach your SD to alert you to the smoke alarm and teach your dog it left from its right so the dog can alert you to traffic and people around your ECT.

 Let me know how it goes for you when getting a dog from the pound, you will be saving a dog life so it will not be put to sleep.

Service dogs - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Apr 18th 2009

Becky: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder and is considered a mental illness. The organization, Compassionate paws is a wonderful organization and I am very pleased you found them. You most certainly do have a service dog from them and that is wonderful for your children. Congratulations.Sally and others: Yes, you can legally train your own service dog and you can obtain all of the patches. However, by doing all of this your self, you do not have the back up and support of an organization such as Compassionate Paws to help you during difficult situations. For example, I know of a recent incident in which an airline refused someone their service dog permission to board. It was only the urgent phone call to the organization that trained the dog and the person that helped get through the "red tape" and permit the passenger to fly with their service dog. This happened despite Federal law: American with Disabilities Act.Dr. Schwartz

Free service dog licences - Sally - Apr 17th 2009

If you have a service dog you can get the dog license free because they are not a pet! But a working animal. Also it would be best if you take basic training class from petmark pets all basics and clicker training then go to buy three different clicker books and train the dog to every think in them some of the thing will be a task you need other will be a trick! Anybody can self-train their own service dog. Also I found a great website to buy vest and patch at, go online to Pup'parel to order them. If you need them faster then ask how much more you have to pay to get it faster.Home this help people out!

WONDERFUL Service Dog Training Organization - Becky - Apr 9th 2009

I am so excited to have found a website that I can post this info on.  There is an organization out there that I think everyone needs to be made aware of and in a POSITIVE way.  The name of it is Compassionate Paws, Inc.  I just received a service dog from them and I have have to say, as the sole parent of 3 young boys with Autism, they saved our lives.  They are our guardian angels.  

Now I know that Autism isn't considered a mental illness and that the dog we specifically got from them is not considered a Psychiatric Service Dog but my children also have episodes of Bi-Polar, Anxiety and other issues that may be associated with having a Psychiatric Service Dog.

This organization prides themselves (among other things) on being supportive of the families exact needs.  They don't train on a textbook case of a disability and they work directly with the family from the start and when the dog is placed their commitment does stop.  Anyone considering a service dog needs to research this organization and not to be afraid of the idea that they only train for Autism.  My childrens disability far outreaches Autism and they did a remarkable job - the dog they provided even saved my oldest sons life last week. 

Just the other day the Director of Training called me up to check on our dog and was excited beyond words about the fact that the State of Wisconsin approached her about training a Psychiatric Service Dog for a lady with Schizophrenia.  The state heard about the success rate of Compassionate Paws and was intersted in the possibility of working with them.

In my research of Psychiatric Service Dog it led me to your website.

I am going to pass along the website for this organization if anyone is interested.  It is If you have any questions if they will be able to train for your specific needs, ask them.  They are completely honest and if they can't help, can and will lead you in a direction of someone that may be able to.  Finally, I didn't want to give my own personal info (didn't feel comfortable being the sole parent of 3 young disabled children) so the e-mail address listed above is the e-mail of the Director of Training, Vicki.

- Becky (parent of 3 children with Autism)

Service Vs Therapy animals - JD - Mar 24th 2009

I do understand the difference between a Service animal and a therapy

animal as I do own a dog that has been classed as a Therapy Animal.

I was given a perscription for a puppy by one of my Mental Health counselors, which was followed by letters from 2 shrinks( I call them that cause I can't think very well while on the high doses of meds that I am on and I can't remember how to spell Pyhkitryst)

But while those two letters I moved into an apt. complex and when I produced the letters I did not pay a pet Deposit, pet rent, nothing.

The people who wrok here at this complex see me trying to walk Harley and during the summer they watch me very carefully so if I start to stagger they call for a maintence man to take me and Harley home in their golf carts.  These are awesome people that have adopted my dog as their unofficial mascot.

Althought I would love to get her trained properly I can not affoed it, hell right now I am almost 4 months overdue to renew her license.

Service Dog Training Places - Jim - Mar 16th 2009

If you live in the State of Washington Please help us get more training places for service dog there is a big demand for Diabetic Alert Dogs, Asthma alert Dogs and Autism Service dogs.

We need for 86,000 People to email Sentor, Governer, Congress Preson in ect. Let them know what city you would like to see SD training places at. If you have another type of disablity you could ask them to have a training place for this.

the definition has not changed - Allan N Schwartz - Feb 19th 2009

Hi Tiffy,

No, the definition of a service dog has NOT changed. "Therapy dogs" are pets. Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities.

I am concerned with what you have discribed of your experiences at the airport. Actually, given your level of depression you qualify as a person with a disbility and you could, if you have not yet done so, apply for disability benefits under the social security act.

Under the provisions of the disability act, which is federal law, airlines and others, are not allowed to question you about your disability or the nature of it. You may need to get in touch with your local congress person and report both the airlines and the incidents when these happen.

I do not know if you have a service dog but you qualify for one. They do cost money but there are funds available for those who do not have that kind of money. Check out and

Good Luck

Dr. Schwartz

New Definition? - Tiffy - Feb 19th 2009

I understand there is a new definition of a service dog nowadays which can in some way include an emotional support animal IF the animal is trained to assist with the emotional problem, is that true?

You know what frustrates me?  The definition of a disability is something that limits major life activities for an individual.  I, for one, have spent the last 8 years of my life battling depression on a daily basis.  More often than not, I cannot get out of my bed and I'm becoming nocturnal.  Because my "issues" are "mental/emotional" and people can't see them, I am required to embarrass myself when flying by having to show airline personnel my ESA paperwork and allow them to make a scene about it in front of my fellow passengers.


Personally, I consider being so depressed that I can't get out of bed and don't even have the energy to committ suicide... a disability.  People don't realize there are very real problems that others struggle with and they are there, even if they can't be seen.


How sad it is that we live in a society where we have heartless people who are intolerant of the less fortunate and other heartless individuals who have abused the system to the point where people like me are frowned upon, just because I'm trying to make a healthy life decision by having my dog with me and quitting my medication.

Service Dog Laws!! - Patty - Feb 12th 2009

To many people get upset about the American with Disablities Act and the way the law is know. Then do something about it write or email your sentor, governer ect. And let them know what laws you want pass for SD and AD don't just get mad do something about it! It time to upgrade the law, tell your family and friend to do the same and your doctors.

Its the only way to get a law pass! lets do it today keep email and write tell law is pass!

Service Dog or Emotional Support Dogs - Peter - Jan 30th 2009

Some people still don't know the different from a SD and ESD if a dog does a task for you it a service dog even if its for anxity it not a emotional support dog and you can take it out just like any other service dog. Go online to or www.pup' make sure you look at both website before buying a vest and patch. Good luck with your dog.

DOGS DO HELP WITH RECOVERY... - - Jan 29th 2009

 It makes me so sad that people have enough time on their hands to write such cruel things. 

I myself suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and I have a dog that has made my life full again. How dare anyone write anything rude about emotional support dogs. Unless you suffer from panic disorder and acute anxiety there is NO WAY that you understand what a dog can do for your recovery. My dog was not "trained" by a trainer but when I went into a full blown panic attack in the middle of the night, he ran and threw his body into my moms door until she woke up and before i knew what had happened my mom was by myside giving me my medicine. If it were not for my dog I would have been suffering. My mom would have been sleeping and never would have known something was happening with me. 

He has a special way of sensing when I am in trouble, it is a bond that can not be explained and it makes me sick to my stomach that people who do not suffer from the disorder can write such cruel things.

A dog can help in more ways than you can imagine and I am truly blessed to have my dog in my life. I believe a dog can help people who suffer from panic.. I have seen it first hand :)

STOP SELF-TRAINING - Jamie - Jan 28th 2009

All people that self-train their own service dog should not be able to self-train anymore to many of these type of people NEVER train their service dog right!!! Let get a law pass were it says don't let people self-train SD anymore. People are forgetting to train their SD to do the smoke alarm alert, and under the table or chair out in public and not to go up to people with out the command to do so. I seen Service Dog go Potty in side a mall.

Service Dog need to be trained to ever thing under ADI go online and read the training under serrvice animal.

And also look up training for your type of disablity and find out how much train it well take. Also go online and put down service dog training tasks and read it.

You should do all the right training before you take your SD out in public!!

If you think this should be a law then email, write, call your governer, sentor ect. and let them know how you feel about people not training their SD right to be out in public.

Service Dogs are not allowed to growl at people out in public. That is npt a task! A task is what you need for your disablity only! otherwise its a trick!

So please let stop them and get this law pass for 2009! Please help me out in this for the safety of the public.

Found Service dog vest - Tim - Jan 20th 2009

If you have a service dog I found a website that sells service dog vest for only $11.99 the vest is called Z&Z camo HARNESS VEST go onling to

Then check out Pup'parel online for your type of service dog patch. Let me know what you think and how good this service dog vest and patches are working for you out in public.

Service dog show - Pami - Jan 2nd 2009

How many of you would like the TLC channle on TV to do a Service dog reality Show. If you would please email them and help my idea become a show.

This is a good way to teach the public about service dog. Just let them know you would like to see this. Let them know it was Pami idea for the show. The more people we have emailing TLC there more likely to do this show. And maybe you might even be on the show!

Please pass this on!!!!

Help Out! - Larry - Dec 30th 2008

Go online to Fundable and help a person raise money for a service dog and other things needed.

CHECK OUT!!! - Ammie - Dec 26th 2008

Go online and check out taffy's fund and help her and other people out! Also I found out from other people that she trying to start a training place for people that use this type of service dog epi-pen respond dog.

Please help her out! Lots of people don't know that 65% of people in just the united state self-train their own service dog for this type of disablity! Maybe you are one of these people.

Thank you, to all people that log on to this and helped out!!!

Self-Training Service dogs - John - Dec 23rd 2008

Why! don't people that self-Train their Service dog do it right I seen to many service dog not trained right. People should take training classes so dog  can act right out in public and not just act like a Pet. Service dog are to have a higher training then a pet!

So if you can't train them right don't take them with you, it makes a bad name for good service dog that had the right training.

You say - Jill - Dec 13th 2008

You say don't get service Dog Patches of the Internet then wear do people get patches that self-train their own service dog. I ask you to not tell people not to get their service dog patches of the internet. It better that people that self-train their service dog have away to buy uniform and SD patches.

If service dog don't have to wear anything on them to be out in public under American with Disablities Act don't you think its better that they buy patches and vest of the internet so people will know it a trues service dog just not a pet.

People can lie still and bring a dog in with no uniform out in public and if you ask them is it a service dog and they say yes but it really also they can ask you what tasks the SD does for you if you are smart enough and know what tasks a service dog does you can lie and say anything. How do they know you are lying or telling the truth.

People are still going to lie with a patch on or without one on.

I self-trained my own and she always wears a uniform and patch on when out in public.

I think it should be up to the person if they want to wear service dog vest and patches.

Lets stop tell people no!!!!!

Confused? - bj2circeleb - Dec 13th 2008

I'm also trying to understand how a dog which was used as a breeding dog was also a service dog. It was a female, which automatically puts her out of service during each heat cycle, at a minimum 6 weeks a year. You then have the period of the whelping and raising of the puppies and recovering from this. Most programs breed  their dogs every second heat cycle, which would be once per year minimum, which means the dog would be out of work for at least 3 months at this time. Put simply the dog would be unable to be used at least 4 months of a year. On top of this, the woman did not need the dog during the day and was quite capeable of managing without the dog all day, while her husband had the dog in the office with his clients. This is not someone who is disabled to a high enough level under the ADA to qualify to use a serivce animal, which is what all the arguments on this have been about.

Pam you say that Julie was trained not to turn off an alarm that was on lilli's collar. If she could be trained to do such a thing, then the alarm could be put her wrist and she would not need the dog!! Emotional Support like leaning against someone has been determined by the DOJ to not be tasks under the ADA for service dogs. To be a task for a SD a dog must be trained to perform a task which assists with activities of daily living, and whcih the person is unable to do for themselves via other means.

State laws for dogs in training do not apply to the carraige of dogs in the aricraft cabbin of the plane and in the states you mention they only apply to dogs with qualified trainers and not with owner trainers, which is what Julie was and hence lilli did not by law have public access rights until she was fully trained, which the article again claims otherwise on. The article also says that Mnigo was a service dog while in the office of a therapist which is no the case.

Many service dogs are very capeable of being both therapy dogs and service dogs. They are not for the simply fact that the handler of the dog requires the dog to assist them at all times and it is impossible for a dog to assist one person while assisting another!! And a disabled person requires the assistance of the dog and cannot hand the dog over to someone else to use for a few hours or even days here and there. It has nothing to do with a dog not being able to do the work of a therapy dog but the simple reality that a dog cannot do two things at the same time, and since service dogs are partnered with a disabled person who requires there assistance with activities of daily livnig this would be required of them duing a therapy dog visit. 90% of the service dogs I know are also registered therapy dogs, they simply do not do the work as they are needed to do other things, not that they are not capeable of it.

Confusing information... - hopesclan - Dec 11th 2008


I am still confused and concerned with the muddled definations and issues here.

In your response you stated:

'When she was alone with me, helping me to quiet my anxiety and tamp down my exaggerated startle response, or leaning on me in an airplane to help prevent a panic attack, she was working as a Psychiatric Service Dog.'

I assume that is the now the reasoning you are using to transport your dog as a 'service dog' while flying.  This is where I am confused:

"Emotional Support Dogs vs. Service Dogs - Allan N Schwartz - Nov 15th 2008

bj2circeleb, you continue to misunderstand, misinterpret and make incorrect assumptions. For example, neither my wife nor I are disabled. My wife trains service dogs. I use an emotional support dog in my psychotherapy office.... I do not understand why you do not understand, but, there are no inaccuracies in the article, absolutely none, only in your faulty reading and/or thinking.

Dr. Schwartz"

The confusing part here is that your husband, who is a doctor of psychiatry and would be qualified to evaluate you for a disability, without prompting, certified that you are NOT disabled.  According to that, you would not fit your own criteria for a PSD:

"In addition, the client must have proof of a psychiatric disability written by a psychiatrist, be medication compliant (if medication has been prescribed) and attend regular psychotherapy sessions."

Yet you say that Mingo served as a service dog for you in public including air travel (which does allow emotional support animals paired with a disabled owner--but there needs to be a certification that the individual is actually disabled).  Which goes back to the confusing part.

The fact is that the ADA and the other disability accomodating laws have one huge requirement: the handler must be disabled which has been the confusion within this whole discussion.

I do believe that a well trained PSD is helpful to disabled partners, but we need to remember that only a small fraction of the population with a mental illness has enough of an imparement to be considered disabled. 

I believe that therapy dogs also do a lot of good for the individuals they meet and greet, but they do not have public access rights, permission to fly in the cabin of the plane or exceptions in no-pets apartments. 

Emotional support animals on the other hand are allowed on planes and in no-pet housing, but that is if they have an actually disabled partner travelling and living with them.  I realize these are not your or your husband's definations, but the law's def (check that Bazillion link floating around).

I know many people who have trained their dogs in tasks typically used for service dog work.  They do laundry, grab the phone, turn off the lights.  Do they have a service dog?  No.  For them, these are not tasks in order to mitigate a disability.  They are useful tricks, but training alone doesn't qualify a dog as a service dog under the ADA.  The handler has to have a disability.

Don't have to - Jerry - Dec 10th 2008

You are telling the people the wrong thing about Psychiatric  service dogs. Under the ADA You don't have to have your PSD certified Please read the ADA again. Lots of people self-train their own PSD. Also by law you don't have to take the Public Access Test it up to each person if they want to.

All the PSD need to know is five task plus to call 911 and behave out in public and be potty trained and not pull on the leash and not be in the way of people.

Also read the ADI laws on service dog and how to train any type of service dogs.

Don't tell people a lie! all people need their PSD to do different type of tasks for their disablities. Not every person has the same disablities.

By reading what you said makes people think they can't have a PSD Lots of people can't afford one that why they self-train their own and take basic classes for the dog. before they train them to a tasks.

I don't think you understand the laws for PSD or other Service Dogs.

If you would like to get a nice PSD service dog patch go online to Pup'parel to buy also look at their vest and dog back packs 

If you want a different style PSD that she don't have she will make you one that you will like just email the website. also buy her service dog law card to kep in the dogs pocket so you can show people the laws its best to buy two. This will help you when out in public!!

I hope this will help everybody that has a PSD or is thinking of getting one!!

Clarifications - Pat - Dec 10th 2008

This thread has certainly turned into a spider's web! With regard to Juli and Lily: working with a Certified Service Dog Trainer and Instructor, Juli taught Lily several trainable tasks that helped greatly with her anxiety disorder and could be demonstrated (had she been questionned). Lily was taught to "block" in front of Juli to prevent overcrowding in public. Lily also learned a "Got My Back" command where she would stand in front of Juli and watch behind her. She leaned in to Juli's legs to warn her if someone was rapidly approaching or if she sensed danger. Lily also wore a medication reminder on her collar. When it went off (it actually crowed like a rooster), she would go to Juli and paw at her until she got up to take her meds. Juli was carefully trained to not turn off the alarm collar until after she had taken her meds. Lily also was trained to awaken Juli from nightmares by licking her face or placing a paw on her cheek. The dog actually acted as a reality check for Juli, who after being awakened from a nightmare and seeing the calmness of her dog, was able to realize that she had had a dream and that it was not real. This enabled her to return to sleep more easily and awake refreshed. Lastly, Lily was trained to walk Juli to an exit reapidly in the case of an approaching panic attack. She knew the "Go Home" command quite well and enabled Juli to get out of a public place quickly if needed. I have been training Service Dogs and Instructing their human partners for 8 years. I have worked with both physically and psychiatrically diabled clients and their dogs. I do offer a "Train Your Own Dog" program but the dog must pass a temperament evaluation, complete at least 3 levels of obedience training and/or be a Delta Society Registered Pet Partner (Therapy Dog) before they are accepted into our program. In addition, the client must have proof of a psychiatric disability written by a psychiatrist, be medication compliant (if medication has been prescribed) and attend regular psychotherapy sessions. After all of these conditions are met, the client and the dog work with myself or one of my trainers, and complete 60 hours of obedience and public access work. They complete weekly progress reports and eventually take the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test. If the client and handler  complete the requirements and pass the Public Access Test, then and only then, do they become a Certified Psychiatric Service Dog Team. The process is not easy but it is doable. In my professional opinion, and according to the Psychiatric Service Dog Society, Emotional Support Dogs are Therapy Dogs - they are not Service Dogs and they do not perform trainable tasks that lessen the effects of a person's psychiatric disability. Psychiatric Service Dogs are highly trained members of teams (one disabled client and one Service Dog). They have extensive experience in trainable tasks that they have been taught to specifically help with their partner's psychiatric disability. Depending on the state you reside in, some Service Dog Trainers have the same rights to be accompanied by Service Dogs as the Disabled Individual. New York, Colorado and Connecticut, all allow public access for service dogs in training and their trainers.

With regard to Mingo being a Service Dog: Mingo was trained as a Service Dog. She was also a Delta Society Registered Therapy Dog (Pet Partner). When she worked in Dr. Schwartz's office, she did Therapy Dog work. When she visited hospices, hospitals, schools and libraries with me., she was doing Therapy Dog work. When she was alone with me, helping me to quiet my anxiety and tamp down my exaggerated startle response, or leaning on me in an airplane to help prevent a panic attack, she was working as a Psychiatric Service Dog. Mingo was cross trained as both a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog. Most Service Dogs can't do both because their partners need their full attention at all times. Mingo was one of the extraordinary ones that was able to compartmentalize her 2 jobs and give herself wholly to each of them, depending on the circumstances.

The fact remains, uncontroverted by actual evidence from experts - Kirsten Richards - Dec 10th 2008

That a service dog without a disabled owner is NOT a service dog any longer.

It is not just the training which makes a dog a service dog, but the fact  that it is partnered with a person with a disability.  Remember that the ADA does NOT apply to service dogs in training, nor to service dog trainers.  It applies to people WITH DISABILILITIES.

IF your wife is not disabled, then she cannot own a service dog and has no particular rights to take it in public or on planes as a service dog.

My authority on this point is the U.S. Department of Justice.  Yes, I did specifically ask them whether a dog used by a therapist in the treatment of their mentally ill patients was a service dog and was given an emphatic, "no."  There is a distinct difference between therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and retired service dogs.  At various points you have muddled them all together.

The telephone number for technical assistance with the ADA, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice (the agency which administers the ADA as it pertains to public access) is:

800 - 514 - 0301

Honestly it is frustrating to have someone use a doctoral title for an unrelated field (ie not a doctor of law) to make themselves out to be some sort of expert on a topic on which clearly they are not qualified.  At least cite some real authorities instead of claiming no one else knows what they are talking about.

Note on breeding retirees:  dogs sent out as service dogs are routinely spayed or neutered to reduce distractability, increase working life, and decrease the risks of various cancers.  Additionally, a retired service dog would be too old to safely be bred, typically being over the age of eight when they retire.  Therefore, they are not used for breeding after retirement.  Some programs do use them as demo dogs or rehome them as pets.  But once the dog is removed from his disabled owner, he is no longer legally a service dog.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and animals - not quite a new thing? - JR - Dec 9th 2008

Hello, Allan,

Thanks for your summary of where this topic came from.  I have had difficulty in following this exchange.  The possibility of a new module being added to the Harvard Law School advocacy program, entitled something like "How to Quibble - Not!" occurs - but never mind.

The business of using trained dogs to assist traumatised war veterans puts me in mind of the fact that recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder is not exactly new.  It was certainly recognised as far back as the First World War, although it did not have the same label then, and doctors had less idea as to how to address it then than perhaps they do now. 

I recently came across the testimony of a doctor appearing before a Commission set up by the United Kingdom government, after the war, to enquire into the problem.  The doctor cited an awful case of a young British officer who was advancing across No Man's Land in Flanders when he was knocked unconscious and felled to the ground by a shell explosion.  Not a scratch on him, fortunately.  However, he had the dreadful misfortune to land, face first, on (or perhaps in) the corpse of a German soldier who had been killed some time before and which was, in consequence, in a somewhat liquefied state.  When the officer came round, it was to find his eyes, mouth and nose full of cadaver material.  According to the doctor, the officer stood up, cleaned himself off, and carried on as normal for some days - and then had a complete breakdown, resulting in his hospitalisation.

At the time at which the doctor gave testimony, the young officer was still displaying extreme signs of trauma.  The only thing that seemed able to relieve it was spending time in the remote countryside, where he busied himself helping to look after horses.  Peace and quiet, and the company of horses, seemed to be the only things that gave this man some rest from the awful memory, and release from the resulting demons.

I suppose that this story may not appear particularly relevant to this thread, but it does suggest that the use of dogs (and perhaps other animals of choice) to help traumatised war veterans in addressing their trauma has some precedent, and may perhaps prove useful.  One thing I would say - I am not exactly a supporter of the "Coalition's" wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which, I believe, are really making things very much worse for all of us.  That having been said, the individual soldiers who have done their duty by their countries in these wars, and who in many cases have suffered terrible physical and/or mental trauma through doing so, are deserving not just of their countries' gratutitude, but also of their help and support.  I hope that they receive it in full measure.

Best regards,


Training - Allan N Schwartz - Dec 8th 2008


OK, I will try yet again:

1. Mingo was NOT trained by me but by a Service Dog oranization that trains and places service dogs for the psysically disabled. It is called East Coast Assistance Dogs and can be found on the Internet.

2. Leaving Mingo aside as she is gone now, people with psychiatric disabilities are disabled if they cannot function in the outside world without assistance. Our returning veterans with arms and legs blown off are disabled. But, manyof our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are also disbled with intense Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In fact, it is so intense, that they barricade themselves in the house and cannot go out. Now, for specially selected veterans, there is training and assignment to a full Service Dog done by Puppies Behind Bars. Once they learn how to use their service dog, the dog becomes their own and they return home with the dog. Their progress is followed up regularly, including with visits. The lives of these veterans have improved dramatically as a result of having the dog: the dogs have allowed them to go out, shop, go to the ball park, go out with their children, the dogs waken them if they are having nightmares and the dogs remind them of reality when they experience flahsbacks. The same dogs can pull open the refrigerator and get certain items, pull of shoes or sneakers, turn the lights on and off, etc.

I hope and pray that this clarifies the situation.

Final comment from me on this.

Dr. Schwartz

The laws of service dogs - bj2circeleb - Dec 8th 2008

Penny, according to the ADA you actually have to be disabled to use a service dog. Are you trying to say that this is not the case. If you are then you are the one who needs to read the laws. Dr Swartz is not and never has been disabled and he has said so himself. Hence please explain to me how he is legally allowed to use a service dog??

THis is what the argument that I and Kirsten have been having is about. According to the ADA you must be disabled to use a Service Dog. There is nothing about this that is not clear and all the laws that you are referring to say the same things. I suggest you refer your comments to Dr Swarch and attempt to educate him as some of us have been as to what the laws actually say.

In terms of dogs in training, they do not have public access rights under the ADA. If you do not believe this then you also need to call the ADA hotline and find out what the laws actually are. About 50% of states do offer some kinds of rights to SDIT, but they are usually limited to approved trainers from certain programs and only for some types of disablities. Some states require the dogs to be on a certain type of lead, and others only allow them in state owned buildings and not all businesses.

Emotional Support animals are pets for DISABLED People and they do not have public access rigths. They do on the advice of a doctor have a right to live in no pets housing and at present (this is under review) have the right to travel in the passenger cabin of aircraft again on the production of a letter from a doctor.

Dogs which work with therapists in the course of their work, and who visit hospitals and the like are THERAPY DOGS. These dogs do not and never have had any form of public access rights.

If a dog is a Service Dog for one person, it is not a service dog when it is in the hands of a non disabled person. Sure many SD do not retire overnight, but they do not have public access rights when they are in the hands of a non disabled person. If you do not believe this then you are the one who needs to read the laws. ADI requries all their dogs to be desexed prior to placement and so no dog would go on to breed once it has retired. If a program did do this the program would lose their membership of Assistance Dogs International.

Please explain to me in what legislation it says that non disabled people are allowed to have public access rights with a dog which was once considered a service dog.

No legislation says that non disabled people can use a service dog!!!! A service dog is a dog that is trained to perfrom tasks for a person with a DISABILITY What is it that is so hard about this to understand. If your dog is in the hands of a non disabled person, it does not have public access rigths as it is not a service dog for them, no matter what the dogs training.

Penny you have a lot more reseach to do, if you honestly think and believe that non disabled people are legally allowed to have a service dog.

Service Dogs Laws!! - Penny - Dec 7th 2008

This is for bj2circeleb You do not know the laws at all about Service Dogs! You need to read the ADA laws and the ADI law and the Fair Housing Act and also read then the Air Carry Act for flying in a airplane.Go online to read these.

 Doctor Allan Schwartz is not lying about his service dog it still a service dog Lots of people that self-training their own breed,  breed up their service dog so they can have a good service dog that has the parents jeans in it, So it will be another great service dog .

Places that training the SD for you can take the dog back when the dog is to old to be a service dog and use it to breed up also. So the breed can be carried on and make the next great service dog.


Also when you self-training your own dog people can take their Service Puppy in training out with the fully trainied service dog , and the Puppy in training learns from the trained service dog as well.

Even if you retired your Service Dog and was taking the SD to work with you all the time before, you can still take the dog to work if the place you work for lets pet dog go to work with their owner. There are lots of place people work at that will let the pet dog come to work once or twice a week. So when a person retired their service dog then its a pet not a service dog. And can't go out in public like a fully trained service dog.

But a semi-retired Service Dog can still go out in public just like it use to. Why people do this is you don't want to stop cold turcky, That will make it harder on the SD and the dog will give up on life.

If people do keep the retired SD you still got to take it for walks and play with it. Most people try to find a new home for the SD because it better in the long one for all. 

Make sure you know what you are talking about before you write somthing on somebody website.

Do you have a service dog or emotional support animal if you do I hope you are not breaking the law by saying thing that are not true about service dogs.

If you don't you should get one it sound like you have a handicap also. Make sure you train the dog right. take a clicker training class. Get a Female Black Lab!

I hope you understand what I'm Saying!!!!!!!!

End of Discussion - Allan N Schwartz - Dec 6th 2008


This is the end of this discussion. It is quite hopeless and I will not respond again. There is just no point or purpose. I believe you mean well but I cannot seem to get you to understand. No more endless circles. Best of luck to both of you.

Dr. Schwartz

Opinions and Facts - bj2circeleb - Dec 6th 2008

If I am to believe what you say CBS, a puppy prision program and even shakespere know more about the American's with Disabilities Act and the place of Service Dogs in that Act than the Uniited States Department of Justice which administers it. I and Kirsten have both provided you with direct line phone numbers to the Department of Justices American's with Disabilites Act hotline number, which is toll free!! We have also provided you with direct links to the actual documents from the ADA which is where our information is coming from. According to you this is simply our opinion and hence I can assume that when you and/or your poor clients end up in court for faking a service dog you are going to try  to argue that the laws written by congress do not apply to you. The information we have provided to you is word to word from the law books!! What type of facts are you looking for????????? How can something taken word for word from the statutes be considered opinion and what is presented on some CBS television show be seen as fact. One really has to wonder how you ever managed to get a degree at all, because you would not have passed any work at college by presenting eveidence from a television show as more important than that which is written in the legal Acts passed by congress?

The really sad part of this is that you have so much power over people and this website could do alot of people a lot of good. But instead you are setting people up to face criminal charges by taking out dogs into public places which by law are not considered service dogs. To be perfectly honest I do not care if a dog is trained to any task or even is with a person who is disabled before it enters a public place, provided the dog is healthy and behaves in a public place. But, I don't write the laws and this is not what the laws allow. If you want to face the risk of criminal charges by taking a non service dog into a public place that is your right, but as someone who is supposed to be helping those who are emotionally vulnerable you have a responsiblity to provide them with accuarte information and/or to not provide them with any information at all. To present such people with information which is encouraging them to break the law is immoral at an absolute minimum.

Please explain to us how you know more about the American's with Disabilities Act than the Department of Justice which administers the Act???

Yes, Mistaken - Allan N Schwartz - Dec 4th 2008


You are most definitely mistaken because Mingo, who has since died, was trained to do Exactly what you say. The fact that she ended up not being used for that purpose did not make her any less a service dog. Instead, she was used for breeding purposes and for demonstration purposes. The fact that I used her in my office after her retirement did not make her any less a service dog. Shakespeare: "a rose by any other name is still a rose."

In addition, the dogs that are used since Mingo are trained and used for specific disabilities. In this case, the disabilities are psychiatric in nature: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you have any doubts about this, go to Puppies Behind Bars. They are on the internet. They were also on several news programs, including CBS evening news. Those are our dogs and they are trained for two years, under close supervision, by prisoners in maximum security and are then placed with Iraq and Afghan veterans who are in need due to their injuries.

I regret saying this but you do not know what you are talking about in this regard and, as a result, are attempting to present mistaken information. Get your facts straight. Facts are different from opinions or points of view.

Dr. Schwartz

Please correct errors! - Kirsten Richards - Dec 4th 2008

You continue to state that a dog trained as a service dog is still considered a service dog, even when it is partnered with a person who is not disabled.

That is incredibly not true!!!  Contact the U.S. Department of Justice at 800 - 514 - 0301 to verify this before spreading such dangerous misinformation.  A dog used by a therapist in his work is a THERAPY dog, not a service dog, regardless of his past breeding or who owns him.  So far as I know, only professional therapists in KS have any access rights with their therapy dogs.  Otherwise, they are no different from any pet in the eyes of the law. 

In my state, someone doing what you claim to be doing, ie claiming a dog as a service dog when not disabled, is a criminal offense which can result in fines and or jail time.

We must also return to the difference between an emotional support dog and a psychiatric service dog.  Again, you can verify what I am saying by calling the U.S.D.O.J. which I hope to God you do.  A dog whose sole function is emotional support is NOT a service dog.  A person has no public access rights with such a dog (though oddly they can take them on planes).  "Certifying" a dog as an SDIT so that the owner can take an ESD in public where they are not permitted is at best dishonest and at worst illegal.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice

"Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals."

There has been so much misinformation on this point, largely from the PSDS, that the DOJ is actually formally changing the definition in 28 CFR 36.104 to clear up the misunderstandings.  Here's a comparison of the current definition with what it will be when the changes go into effect next year:

Are there psychiatric service dogs?  Sure.  The DOJ has also ruled on this.  But like all other service dogs, they are trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate their handler's disability.  You may find it hard to believe, but there are actually things dogs can do other than emotional support to help a person disabled by severe mental illness.  Here are some examples: and (please read the small print on which tasks would justify a dog as a service dog legally as opposed to those which are helpful in addition to real tasks).

No, I am not mistaken - bj2circeleb - Dec 4th 2008

You say that I am mistaken and that I do not understand what I am talking about. If you are in any doubt about what I am saying then call the DOJ ADA hotline. They have specifically stated that in order to have a service dog a person MUST BE DISABLED. They say it, and they write the laws. Why do you continue to say that Mingo was a service dog. I have a PSD, I do know what they are, and I also know that the laws as written by the DOJ requrie that the dogs be TASK TRAINED to perform tasks which assist with activiities of daily living. The DOJ has specifically stated that emotional support which appears to be all that Julies dog does for her is not a task and so such dogs are not service dogs. Again it is not me saying this it is the DOJ and they write the laws. Why can you simply not contact them to verify what you are saying?

Emotional Support Animals are pets which are allowed to live in no pets housing and to travel in the passanger cabin of aircraft with people who are disabled. They are not therapy dogs and cannot be an emotional support animal unless they are with a person who is disabled. The Brazelton Law Centre can give you plenty of information about the laws of Emotional Support Animals.

 The dogs you use in your practice and that visit nursing homes and hospitals are Therapy dogs. They have no legal rights and can only enter these places when they have permission to do so.

I am not making any of my own claims, I am simply stating word for word what the DOJ says. Perhaps if you called them you would begin to have some idea of why I am saying what I am saying. How hard is it to simply make a phone call. Call the DOJ ADA Hotline on 800 514 0301 and let them tell you the laws, since they are the ones who write them!!

Service dog self-training - Richard - Dec 4th 2008

I seen so many people not train their service dog right and I think its time that people can't do any more self-training they would have to get the SD from a training place. To many people let the SD be in the way of people walking buy or let the dog smell people and also seen to many service dog going potty in the mall and barking when its not a tasks or picking up toys and playing with them. And people in wheelchairs let their SD pull the wheelchair when the dog don't need to do this inside the mall. And many other things they do wrong.

I hope they pass a law that says NO! more self-training your own Service dog every!

I would like to know what other people think of this.

ADA Business Brief: Service Animals - Fred - Dec 1st 2008

People need to read this and know the laws for Service Dogs and Service Animals.

Businesses may ask if and animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animals or ask the about the person's disability.

People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be charge extra fees, isolated from other patrons, or treated less favorably then other partrons. However, if a business such as a hotel normally charge guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may be charge fopr damage caused by his or her service animal.

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animals from the premises uless 1. the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it (For example, a dog that barks repeatedly during a movie or 2. the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safty of other. Example: Person with seizure ect if their dogs is barking over and over, they must see if its a tasks before having the dog be removed. The person could be having a absent seizure and people can't tell.

In these cases, the business should give the person with the disability the option to obtatin goods and service without having the animal on the premises.

Businesses that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public area even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises. They are NOT a pet!

A business is not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

Lots of people only think they need the service animal to do only one task to call them a service dog or service animal. They can't be called one because the ADA says TASKS NOT TASK, what does the (S) mean more then one. if dog or animal can't do more then one tasks they can't be out in public. And You are Breaking THe laws!

Please train your service dog or service animal right under the laws!

In Need Of Service Dog - June - Dec 1st 2008

I forgot to give you the email address so you could help her out!

IN NEED OF A SERVICE DOG! - June - Nov 29th 2008

Hi, I'm the one that wrote about the lady that in need of a service dog. I ask her if I could tell her story, so people will know it completely legitimate.

She never knew you could have a service dog for her type of disablities, she always thought there was only guide dogs and hearing dogs, that could go out in public. Tell one day on TV she saw a story about these type of service dogs. She has Seizure, Anxiety, Wears two hearing aids and has asthma, and use a epi-pen. What she got the dog for first was for seizure then a couple years later she found out you can use a service dog for these other problems. She always thought you had to be deaf to have a Hearing Dog. When She was looking for a place that trains seizure alert dog in her state there wasn't any at that time. Her Doctor told her to self-train her own. There was one training place back east that did train seizure alert dog but you had to find your own way their and stay for two week and also pay for the SD and a place to stay, and food. Being on SSI and Welfair she could not do it. After all the training she did her dog got ill and had to be put to sleep, So know she looking for a new dog that is at less 1 or two years old so she can start training the dog.

Lots of people don't understand that having a service dog for these type of disablities is a life saver. Before she had a service dog she was always afriad to go out in public because she thought she would have a seizure. Also she has absent seizure and one day she had one a got lost and didn't know were she was. If it was not for the policeman that came up and saw she had a bracelet on that said she had seizure he would have though she was drunk and take her to jail. He told her later she should have a service dog. That when she started looking in to it.

I hope everybody that reads this understand that people that have these type of disablities just want to have a good life, just like anybody else.

Please email me! And help her out just think for a minute what if this was you, would you like people to help you out.

Thank You to all people that are willing to help her have a better life!


Service Dog - June - Nov 26th 2008

Please help a person that needs a new service dog. Her last service dog died and she needs to get a new one. Email me ( and I will let you know what she needs.  It cost a lot for a service dog and the training. She will be self-training her own dog with the help of a Training.

She is so sad with out her service dog, and don't go out very much because of her disablity, she can't wait to get a new dog.

Also she said if you email me she will let you know what type of disablity she has!

Also she said if she get more money then she needs she will make sure the money goes to help somebody else get a service dog also.

God bless every one that gives!!

Editor's Note: Though this may be a completely legitimate cause, it is also possible that this is a scam. It's very difficult to tell given the lack of information provided.  Please be careful as you give so that you actually end up giving to who you think you are giving to.  


All people that have service dogs or service animals must know this by heart  or you can't take animal with you out in public.

Applies To: Guide Dog, Hearing Dog, Service Dog, And Assistance Dog

Policy statement "carriers shall accept as evidence that an animal is a service animal identification card, other written documentation, presence of harness or marking, on harness, collare, tags or Service animal ID Badge and credible patches, uniform or service dog scarf or verbal assurances of the qualfied individuel with disabilities using the animal."

CONDITION: "Carrier shall permit a service animal to accompany a qualifed individual with disabilities in any seat in which the person sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remaim unobstructed in order to facilitate an emergency evacuation."

Dog must not bark unless it a task, must lay and tuck tail if not enough room dog must know how to curl up. Can not go up to other people also must know how to urinat ect on comman. Must have all shots up to date. also a bath the day before you travel and must have ears clean out and toe nail clipped. Don't forget to brush dog teeth also.  Must have a doggy suit case with dogs water and food dish, small bag of dog food. Brush and comb small bottle of shampoo, a blanket dog can lay on, A nylon bone, ball and pull toy also vegs bones. Toe Nail Clippers and Dogs vitamins.

If you don't have dog suite case set up this way then you can go. Other wise dog will not have a good time with out having toys with them to make them feel better and have something to keep them busy, You need to find a place were you can take dog to run and play with its ball, when you go on trip, you should spend one hour each morining doing this so dog will have most of it  engery out for the day and the dog will work better, also do it at night. If you can't do all this for your service dog each day on your trip, then you should find someone else to watch your dog tell you come back from your trip.

Have fun taking your service dog with you!

Think before getting a service dog - Faith - Nov 21st 2008

People that have service dog do not train them right for when there out in any type of resturant. The SD is to be under the table and curl up can't keep getting up to much.  Or the dog is to be by your side with tail curled up and head down, and not getting up and smell the food on the table.

People that want a service dog need to get 3 different kinds of clicker books and train the dog to everthing in it. when it say trick it not a trick for a service dog its a task. But if it shows a dog jumping threw a hoop it a trick. But it would not hurt to try it. The more the dog learns it will be a better service dog, in the long run.

Also need to take a clicker training class after the dog has all basic down by heart. If you can't do this then you real didn't want a service dog. You just wanted a pet to go with you.

Thinkin before getting a service dog and read up on how much training it take first, then maybe a service dog is not for you.

Service Dog Public Access Test - ED - Nov 20th 2008

I'm so tied of seeing people self-training their own service dog a doing a poor job at it. We need to add more to the public access test. So not everybody can self-train their own SD.

Going just to the mall on one day is not enough to show that this dog should pass the public access test. Theyshould have togo to a pet store also for training, because they will see more dogs there then they see at a mall. The test would be that the dog can't bark at any dog or go up to any dog or person. Also they must sit in front of the bird cageand look at the bird with out get up, they must stay 1minute, then handle say let's go and the dog must go backinto a heel and walk around the store once more.

Also the public access test does not do a crosswalk light test to see if the dog can help you get across the crosswalk safe. and larger dog show have to show that they can push the crosswalk button as well, little dog would have lead the person to the crosswalk button so the person would remember to push button.

Alsothey don't have the dog pick up anything and hand it to the handle to show that the dog can do this task out in oublic if you drop something.

They  don't even do the test for wheelchair people that the dog must be able to hand the casher money. And be able to pick up a hanger if handler drops it.

These are all thing they need to know how to do when out in public around people, I say if they can't do this around other people then they will not make it as a SD

They need to change one thing on the public access test that they do now. when sitting at the table now they put a plate or bowl on the floor with food in it, this test is to be the same why you would see it if you were in a resturant eating, You never see a plate or bowl under the table with food in it. Most the time you only see a spoon, napkin or a small piece of food someone drop. When people are training their service dog, they don't train this way they only train the do to what they real see when the are in a resturant. This test need to be stop doing it this way.

Let write, call e-mail your local sentor, Congress person, and Governer. And let them know we need up date the public access tests for SD all these thing should be add to the test. whey because one day the do might be having a bad day when they take the test or having a good day the way it is now it only shows one day. the dog is not a robot we need to give them better test. Also this test would be spilt up you would not be able to take all this test in one day. each part of this test would be given on different days. to show the dog can be out in public.

Please take the time to understand what I'm say! I bet you see people that self-train their own dog and you thing that person should not be training a service dog that can't do it right.


Their are people out their that are trying to to pass a law were people will not be able to self-train their own SD because they have seen to may self-trained SD that don't act right out in public!! Do we what this law to pass where we will not be able to self-train anymore, then help us out by pass this new public access test. So the dog will be better trained.

ESD - Allan N Schwartz - Nov 18th 2008

Hi Pami,

No, your efforts to be helpful are not bad, in fact, they are good. Try to understand that there is a lot of confusion among the public about these terms, "support dog" versus "service dog." The differences are real and can have an impact on what one can expect from other people. Service dogs go through much more rigorous training. But, certainly, both kinds of dogs are helpful.

Dr. Schwartz

Emotional Support Dog Test - Pami - Nov 17th 2008

Then why do they have a Enotional Support Dog Test You can look online at neurotalk. After your do passes the test then you know its a true ESD. 

I have a service dog for Sizure, Asthma I use a nebulizer and have Hearing Loss I wear to Hearing Aids and also have Anxiety problem. So my SD does a lot of work for me. now I feel happy going out in public.

 I was just trying to help a friend out that has a ESD so she could have a better life. Is that so bad!!

Emotional Support Dogs vs. Service Dogs - Allan N Schwartz - Nov 15th 2008

Pami and bj2circeleb,

Pami, I am sorry to tell you that you do not understand the difference between "emotional support dogs" and "service dogs." The type of dog you are talking about, an emotional support dog, is simply a pet. However, this pet has passed a test to show that it is sage to bring to nursing homes, hospitals, etc, to visit patients and bring some comfort. A full service dog is one that has been trained to provide all types of services to it's owner: it can open the refrigerator, turn on lights, etc. These service dogs are allowed on trains, buses and etc.

bj2circeleb, you continue to misunderstand, misinterpret and make incorrect assumptions. For example, neither my wife nor I are disabled. My wife trains service dogs. I use an emotional support dog in my psychotherapy office. I owned Mingo because of a private deal I made with the service dog company that trained and certified her, ECAD. Mingo was a full service dog but she was used for breading purposes because of her remarkable personality. In addition, you do not seem to understand that there are psychiatric patients who, due to their psychiatric condition, are fully disabled. One of those was Julie, about whom the article was written. I do not understand why you do not understand, but, there are no inaccuracies in the article, absolutely none, only in your faulty reading and/or thinking.

Dr. Schwartz

Emotional Support Dogs - Pami - Nov 14th 2008

I hear so many people now days that say they need a Emotional Support Dog. And can't take them out in public, If you real have one and would like to see them be able to go out in public, then do something about it in your state. Write your governer, congress person also write the ever person in the White House and keep doing this tell the law pass. Also write the TV show 20/20. Write Oprah and see if she will do a show on this and let her know First their was guide dog only that could be out in public, then came Hear Dog that could go out in public then moblity service dog start be out in public, also seizure alert dogs and many more type of service dog. ESD are just another type of service dogs.

Also make sure you have a service dog vest on with the Emotional Support Dog patch and also a tab patch that say Do Not Pet in lime-green Print with edge brown and background white. Don't see the tab patch on the website yet email the website ask her to make you one it best to order two tab patches at one time. Also ask her to put it up on her website. Go online to Pup'parel to buy.

If you do get to be on Oprah this vest and patches would help you get your point across better.

Also write your local newspaper! And call up the TV new reporter, Email  hot talk 570 am in Seattle Wa, and email all talk radio.

Get out there in your city and talk to as many people as you can ask them to email the same people I just talked about. And the TV people and Newspaper ect.

Go to your town meeting and talk about this!

Let everybody know that  Therapy Dogs can ride public bus and cabs, Light rail and subway to work and back home. Then Emotional Support dog should have rights, to ride also it not right, they are not a service dog. ESD are one type of Service dog. The Law lets Thearpy Dog!

Some people don't drive that have a ESD so how are they to take their ESD to the vet or to take them to get their hair cut.

How do you know that people are not taking there Therapy Dogs with them to other places when they ride Bus ect. The bus driver ect don't know if they are not just going to work, anybody could say they are going to work and lie. Its time we stop them as long as ESD can't do this!.

Stop talking about this if you are not going to do something about this!

If you go to church talk to the people there and asks them to help as well.

ESD have rights in places you rent and the manger can't make you pay like they do with a pet, Also service dogs they can't make you pay. See they are another type of service dog or they would make you pay just like a pet. Thearpy dog have to pay for their dog, so they are a pet.

ESD ride in a airplane just like a service dog does, But thearpy dogs can't the law must think they are some type of service dog or they would not let them fly. 

Thank You to all the people that have true ESD and are willing to do all the things I talked about. Otherwise You just want to take your PET out in public.


Mingo - Allan N Schwartz - Nov 13th 2008

I am sorry to report that Mingo died several months ago. Her death occurred before her time. Yes, Mingo was a certified service dog. However, her breeders,who own and operate ECAD: East Coast Assistance Dogs, and raise and train and provide service dogs to the physically handicapped, decided to keep Mingo and use her for breeding. My wife worked for them for a while and fell in love with Mingo. I'm a psychotherapist and use dogs in my treatment with certain patients. I met Mingo and fell in love with her. We made a deal with ECAD and were able to buy her while they kept the breeding rights. Finally, we got full ownership when her breeding days were over.

Subsequent to her death, I was graciously granted ownership of one of Mingo's many grandchildren: Maggie. Maggie is "fixed" and is not a breeder. She also failed out of training. We have her and love her. She is NOT a certified service dog.

I will be pleased to answer any and all questions.


Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

Improvements have been made to the article, but many inaccuratcies exist - bj2circeleb - Nov 13th 2008

I want to thak you for taking the time to review the article and to change many of the errors which were in the article previously.

 However, like Kirsten I agree that many errors stil remain. In particular you talk about the whole task of Lilly being for getting Julie out of the house. The Department of Justice has already made very clear that this is not a task. In order for someone to qualify for a Service Dog the person must be so disabled as to be unable to perfrom activities of daily living. The dog must be trained in TASKS that mitigate these activiites of daily living. Unless a person is disabled to a severe degree and the dog is task trained, then the dog is not a service dog. Also a dog is only a service dog when in the hands of the disabled person.

 In your article, you refer to Mingo, who appears from subsequent comments from you to be your pet, as a fully certified Pyschiatric Service dog. THe dog cannot be a service dog unless you are tyring to claim that you yourself are so disabled as to be unable to perfrom actitvicities of daily living. What I think Mingo really is is a therapy dog, and this is what she should be referred to as. You have no legal rights to have the dog with you, no matter what her level of training, unless you yourself are so severely disabled as to need the assistance of a service dog yourself. THat does not mean that you cannot take her places with you, just that you would always need to ask permission first.

This article, while an improvement on what was previously written still has many inaccuracies and these really need to be corrected.

Thank you for correcting errors - Kirsten Richards - Nov 12th 2008

Thank you for editing your article to correct most of the errors in it.  However, it is still important to point out that emotional support alone does not make a dog a service dog.  In order to qualify as a service dog, the dog must be individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate the disability of the disabled owner.

It still sounds from your article like Lily's purpose is to give Juli a reason for getting out in the world.  That's a nice bonus to having a pet dog, but is not the purpose of a service dog.  This is the crux of the problem with the patch people.  Nearly everyone feels better with a furry companion.  Twenty-six percent of Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness.  Combine those two factors with lack of knowledge or misinformation (which abounds on this topic) and you have literally thousands of people slaping patches or vests on their dogs, purchasing fake certification and declaring their pet a service dog.

If you choose to edit your article again, please make it clear that Juli's dog is trained to perform tasks in addition to the emotional support any pet owner receives from any pet dog.

"Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or promote emotional wellbeing are not service animals.’’  -- U.S. Department of Justice, the regulatory agency responsible for enforcing the ADA.  Toll-free 1-800-514-0301.  (Note:  this exact language is being added to 28 CFR 36.104, the legal definition of "service animal" under the ADA.)

Psychiatric Service Dog - Debbie - Nov 7th 2008

I have a psychiatric Service Dog I was looking online for a different style patch for my service dog And I came across this website that has a nice looking patch. for these type of working dog. I thought I would let people know about this so they can look at the patch and maybe order it like I did I had good luck with this patch on a blue vest people now don't ask to pet my service dog they know she on duty.

Go online to Pup'parel to look at the patch!

Service dogs - Faith - Nov 3rd 2008

Most people don't think people with hearing aid need a dog to help them out, but it not true even with a hearing aid people like us can't hear some sounds even when we wear them. At night you are not going to wear your hearing aid and the dog alerts you to the smoke alarm and the alarm clock going off you thought you could never have a hearing dog Yes you can!

They are called Hearing Aid Dog when you go online tyoe Hearing Aid Dog and you will find these patches to buy for your type of service dog.

Lots of people self-training their own, There are books out their that will help you training a hearing dog. also take a clicker dog training class.

Service Dog Patches - Sam - Oct 28th 2008

When you say don't buy patches of the internet, then where do people buy them. Did you know that 60%of people self-train their own service dog. Why they do this because it cost loss of money that people on SSI don't have for the dog or don't have the money to fly to get the dog and stay for two to three week, and pay also for place to stay and buy food ect. You have to do this if you want the service dog so they can train you also.

And there is not a lot of service dog training places around the United State and there need to be.

That why ADA law was made that said you don't have to wear anything on a service animal it up to the handler. Lot of People with disabilites don't have debt card ect to pay for it on the internet and thats the only place you can buy service dog vest, dog backpacks, Service Dog Scarf.

Please don't tell people not to buy from the internet if they want to at less the service dog has patches on out in public, when it a true self-train service dog under ADA and a doctor know you need a service dog.

Also people get privet trainers to help them out in training there service dog and it cost less for the training. That what people do that self-train their own service dog!

service Animals - Edith - Oct 27th 2008


In order to assure the comfort and safety of all people with disabilities  and the general public, high behavioral and training standard must apply equally to all service animals. ADI believes that all servic3e animals intended for use in public, regardless of species, should be required to meet the same standards required of dogs speciifically trained to assist people with disabilities. Any animal that can meet the existing standers for behavior, training , cleaniness and public appropriateness should be allowed to work in public when accompanied by the person for who's disability it was specifically trained.

These Standards include:

PUBLIC APPROPRIATENESS: Animal is clean and does not have a foul odor. Animal does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate location.

BEHAVIOR: Animal does not annoy any member of the general public. Animal's conduct does not disrupt the normal course of business. Animal works without unneccessary voclization. Animal shows no aggression toward people or other animals. Animal does not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.

TRAINING: Animal is specifically trained to perform more then one task to mitigate lessen the effect of its partner's disability; said disabilty being any condition as decribed by and covered under the ADA that substantially impairs one or more major life functions. Animal obeys the commands of its handler. Animal works calmly and quietly on a harness, leash, gentle lead headcollar or other tether. Animal has been specifically trained to perform its duties in public and is accustomed to being out in public. Animal must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways ect. Animal is trained to urinate or defecate on command. Animal stays within 84" of its handler at all times unless the nature of a task required it to be working at a greater distance.

Also all service dogs must be trained to tuck tail, curl up and not to shake body in a public building only shake body outside.

I hope this helps people understand the kind of training needed to be able to go out in public with a service dog or service animal. If animal can't do all these thing service animal must not be out in public tell it learns this.

But there are numberous mistakes in your article - Kirsten Richards - Oct 27th 2008

And that is our concern.  It does not appear to several of us that you, the author, actually understand the difference between therapy dogs, service dogs, and emotional support dogs.

For example, you stated ""Psychiatric Service Dogs" are certified by Delta Society and have full rights to go anywhere, including restaurants, airlines, etc." , yet Delta does not certify service dogs, and they never have.  They certify pet therapy dogs, the sort that visit hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up residents.  The insurance they provide is for their therapy dogs, not service dogs, and applies only while the dog is performing therapy functions in a volunteer capacity, and not in a public accommodation as a service dog.  Their liability insurance doesn't even apply when the human partner is a mental health professional using their therapy dog in their practice.  Delta even requires those certifying pet therapy dogs to sign a document attesting the fact that they understand this certification does NOT make their dog a service dog.

In your article you state, "A Service Dog is a highly trained dog, and the dog has been repeatedly tested and granted certification from a number of organizations. That is why a Service dog is protected by Insurance and has the same rights as a human being to enter public places and ride in an air plane. A Psychiatric Service Dog is the same thing: A Service Dog."" which is also not completely true.  While they are highly trained, not all service dogs are certified, and not all are insured.  And again, the dog itself has no rights at all, and certainly not the rights of a human being.  They are property.  We may not like that, but that is how the law sees them.  And yes, the distinction is important because a service dog in the hands of someone who is not disabled is no longer a service dog.

It is unclear from your article whether your wife is disabled.  If she is not, then she has no rights under either the ADA or the ACAA.  Airlines are completely within their rights to refuse cabin access for service dogs in training, and most do.  

You go on to say that people don't have a right to have an emotional support animal in "no pets" housing or on aircraft.  In fact they do--IF they are legally disabled by mental illness and have a prescription from their mental health professional.

When people post articles like yours, without full understanding of of the system or the ramifications, they encourage people to do exactly what you are now concerned about:  slapping patches on a pet and taking it grocery shopping.

We in the service dog community are being overwhelmed by such dogs who are destroying the reputation of service dogs.  Just google "emotional support animal" and "New York Times" to see the extent of the problem.  This problem has grown so large the Department of Justice has responded by moving to add the following to the legal definition of "service animal" under 28 CFR 36.104 "Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or promote emotional wellbeing are not service animals."  Additionally, the Department of Transportation is now singling out real PSDs and requiring their owners to carry documentation from their doctors, while it is not required of any other person with any other type of disability.  It's encouraging discrimination of the very people you serve.

It appears you also do not understand how state laws interact with the ADA.

Your article is disapointing because it had such potential to reach people in real need, and help them, but the inaccuracies and misinformation overcome the benefit. 

"Splitting Hairs" - Allan N Schwartz - Oct 27th 2008

This is the final comment from me on this issue. It has been clarified and reclarified. So, let's try again, for the last time:

The discussion has centered around the differences between Service Dogs and emotional support dogs. Emotional support dogs are Pets and nothing more. Psychiatric Serviced Dogs are First and Foremost Service Dogs and thus entitled to Public Access to restaurants, airplanes, etc. all the same places the handicapped person goes. That handicapped person must be trained with the dog. One cannot just buy a patch from the Internet and expect to have their dog treated as a service dog. Perhaps someone can "get away" with that for a while. But, if challenged that person can be denied access and, in the event of an unfortunate incident in which the dog is injured or, the dog is accused of causing injury, the person will Not be covered by insurance.

Further clarification of this issue serves only to create a false sense that there is disagreement here whereas there is none.


Dr. Schwartz

ADA and what it really says - bj2circeleb - Oct 27th 2008

Service dogs do not have public access rights. It is the disabled person who has these rights. If a service dog is in the care of someone else it does not have any rights, as the rigths are with the disabled person and not the dog. Airlines do indeed have a right to ask for proof of disability at any time a person wishes to take a SD onboard an aircraft. This has been approved by the DOJ and airline regulations. If in any doubt ring the ADA hotline for more information.

The DOJ who is responsible for enforcing the ADA and writing the regulations in regards to SD have specifically stated that SD must be trained in tasks which assist with activities of daily living. If a dog is not trained to assist a legally disabled person in activities of daily living which the person is unable to do for themselves then it is not a service dog. Most states have laws in place which make it illegal to pretend a dog is SD when it is not. In many cases this involves at least 6 months in jail and a fine of $20,000.

 Emotional support animals have a right to live in no pets housing and to travel in the passenger cabin of aircraft. They do not have a right to be in any other place as according to the DOJ they are not SD. It is task training in tasks which assist with activities of daily living and being in the hands of a disabled person which makes a dog a service dog. Service dogs in training are not covered under the ADA and in most cases are not covered under state laws either.  States that do allow access to SDIT usually do so on a very limited basis, in that only dogs from approved programs and only dogs for certain types of disabilities and only in state owned buildings, etc. If you wish to take any dog which is not a fully trained service dog and in the company of a disabled person with you you should always ask permission first.

Emotional support dogs vs psychiatric service dogs - Kirsten Richards - Oct 26th 2008

Firstly, the dogs themselves have no rights under the ADA.  It is the disabled person who has the right to be accompanied by a trained service dog.  The distinction is important because regardless of any certification or training, a dog not accompanied by the person with a disability they were trained for is not a service dog under the ADA.

Professional therapy dogs are not service dogs under the ADA, though some (but not all) states do give the professionals that use them public access rights.  Kansas is one such state.

Emotional support animals, those that provide companionship and comfort rather than trained tasks, are indeed covered under Federal Fair Housing laws and the Air Carrier Access Act.  In other words, people with disabilities may be prescribed an emotional support animal which can live in "no pets" housing or ride with them in the cabin of air craft.  They do not, however, have the right to be accompanied by the animal in public accommodations unless given that right by their state's laws. 

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law maintains a web page that explains the legal aspects of Emotional Support Animals in "No Pets" Housing in their Infosheet #6.  Information on ESAs on aircraft can be found on the U.S. Department of Transportations airconsumer site.  Service Dog Central also has information on ESAs, including sample letters for those wanting an accommodation to keep one in "no pets" housing or to take one on aircraft.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which enforces the ADA, has had a long standing policy on ESAs.  They are in the process of changing the wording of the Codes of Federal Regulation to clarify this position by adding the following to the definition of "service dog" in 28 CFR 36.104:  "Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or promote emotional wellbeing are not service animals.’’   The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a toll-free ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301.  All service dogs, including those for people with severe mental illness, must be individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate their handler's disability.  Things like hugging or kissing on command are not real tasks.  Examples of real tasks can be found on Service Dog Central or the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is also updating their regulations related to air travel and will now require those with either ESAs or PSDs to carry documentation in order to fly with their animals in cabin.

Service Dog Proof? - Allan N Schwartz - Oct 23rd 2008

Whether or not proof is required for a service dog varies from state to state and it is important that the laws of the state in which you live be checked.

There is another consideration that you must keep in mind and this is why I urge all of you to not get a patch from the Internet: Service dogs are covered by insurance against the occurence of any unexpected injury either to the dog or to an adult or child who may come in contact with your service dog. If someone makes a claim that your service dog caused them some type of injury you and the dog need to be protected. Mostly, this insurance comes under your home insurance and, if a case moves forward, you may need to produce a note from your Medical Doctor supporting the fact that you need this service dog.

In this litiginous world it is unsafe to take anything for granted. Service dogs are wonderful and I want to thank everyone who consulted the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your are correct: your Service dog has the same rights as a person. Check the laws in your state, clarify that your homeowners insurance will cover your dog and double check whether or not you need to produce documentation.

For example, my wife and I have had almost complete cooperation from the airlines. Our service dog flies with us. We always alert the airlines when we book our flights. However, we did have one situation in which my wife was asked to produce a doctor's note. The situation was finally resolved because she had all the ID and documentation necessary but, if she did not, it could have turned ugly.

Just double check the laws where you live.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD.

Law for service animal - Patty - Oct 22nd 2008

Here the American's with Disablities Act law about certification.

The federal civil rights laws,the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA), title 111,28 CFR Sec36.104, defines a service animal as any animal that is individuall trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability (The disability might not be visible). By law, a service animal is not considered a pet.

Most service animals are dogs; they can be any breed or size, and are not legally required to wear specail equipment or tags. The ADA does not REQUIRE PROOF OR "CERTIFICATION" OF THE DOG'S TRAINING. Service animals are trained to do specific task for the benefit of people with physical or mental impairments.

Federal (e.g.,28CFR sec 36.302) and state laws protect the right of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their trained servic animal in taxis, buses,trains, doctor's offices, public schools, parks, hotels, restaurants, stores, malls state and local fairs, and other public places.

*Note: if federal and state or local law conflict, the law that provides greater protection for the individual with the disability will prevail.

For example. if state law grants access only by service dogs that do guide work, and the service dog, in question performs work other then guide work, federal law will apply.

The person with the disability must be permitted access with the service dog or service animal. The person who is accompanied by the service animal is responsible for its behavior, care and well-being , must obey aimal welfare laws ( such as leash, cruelty or other similar regulations), and is liable for any damage done by the service animal.

For more info about ADA, contact the U.S. Department of Justic ADA info line 1-800-514-0301 (V) 1800-514-0383 (TDD)

For more info aboutstate and local laws, contact state attorney General's office.


To buy Canine Assistants patches go online to Pup'parel also order the service dog law cards.

American with Disablities Act - Lisa Ann - Oct 21st 2008

How many people real read the American with Disablities Act it says there is No Certification on any service dogs and you don't have to show paper work on the dog training. Lots of people self-train their own service dog because it cost to much to get a dog thats fully trained, and the waiting list is so long. They need more training places in each state.

IF you self-train your own service dog I would like to hear what you think about this! Please post your opion on this please.

Enotional Support Dogs - Pami - Oct 18th 2008

I emailed the governer office in Washington State and they called me back They told me Yes! Emotional Support Dog / Emotional Support Animals have rights in are state to be out in public. As long as they can do a task for the person! A Judge in Seattle Wa in 2005 aloud a gal to take her ESD out in public when min mark said no ESD in my shop and she won the rights to have her dog with her. The Judge said any dog that can do a task no matter what it does. can be out in public.

You need to just check your state out first to find out if they do have rights be for going out in public and must have clicker training class first and all basic down good!

Clarifying Terms - Allan N Schwartz - Oct 16th 2008

There is a lot of confusion in people's minds about service and support dogs. I will write another posting about it but for now, read carefully:

An Emotional Support Dog or Therapy Dog is a pet and the owner is NOT protected under the American's with Disabilities Law. That is why the Co op board will not approve the dog even though there is a letter from a doctor. Also, you can waste all the money you want buying patches for your "support or therapy dog" but it will do no good.

A Service Dog is a highly trained dog, and the dog has been repeatedly tested and granted certification from a number of organizations. That is why a Service dog is protected by Insurance and has the same rights as a human being to enter public places and ride in an air plane. A Psychiatric Service Dog is the same thing: A Service Dog.

You can purchase a trained psychiatric service dog(very expensive) or, if it qualifies, you can have your own dog trained. Either way, you have to be trained to use the Psychiatric SERVICE dog. Then, no one can deny your dog anything.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Schwartz

Autism Service Dogs - Daisy - Oct 15th 2008

I was looking online for a Autism Service Dog patch and I came across a really nice patch. Go online to pup'parel. I bought one for my son and now people real do know the dog is a true working dog for is disablities.  I hope this patch will help you out also!

Emotional Support Dogs - James - Oct 4th 2008

If you think Emotional Support Dogs should have same rights as a serive dogs then start writing letters to your governer and congress man or women and try to get a law pass. Let them know why you want this law passed.

Let them know anybody can have a service dog and just say its one because so many people self-train their own. But people that have Emotional Support Dogs can't lie and say they have a disablity we need a doctors note.

Its time even people with service dog should have a doctor note also so people will real know for sure they need a service Dog.  Also let them know you should be able to put the Emotional Support Dog Patch on your ESD when out in public. If you go online and put down Emotional Support Dog patches, websites will show up. also I found you can have your ESD wear these patches when they are flying with you as long as they have a vest one so the patches can be sew on.

Please let me know if you think this is a great Idea for a law to get pass like this.

Emotional Support Dog - Pami - Sep 30th 2008

This is for the person that want a emotional support dog and your landlord said what pills are you taking. By Fair Housing Act All you need is a doctor note, they are breaking the law. Let Her/ him know this. But this might work for you go online to Pup'parel And order a blue vest and the Epi-pen Response Dog Patches two one for each side of vest also for top of vest put the Access required by law patch on have Lisa sew all them on vest. This might help you with your landlord. If you have any other disablity have lisa make you a oval shape patch in all black, but the background white with the disablity on it one for each side of vest. You can take this dog out in public. when you get the uniform. also buy A Service dog ID Badge that will help. If you don't see any picture of this on her website email the website and ask her for a picture to be sent to your email. Tell her you want the service dog ID badge that she made for the service dog Taffy. The dog needs to wear the ID badge when out in public. Good LUck!!

No PeT LAw - Joan - Sep 25th 2008

I was told to get a emotional support dog by my doctor and she wrote me a letter stating i was depressed and had anxiety. My coop refused my  request from my doctor stating I need more information like the medicine i was taking and what bodily functions was wrong with me that i needed a dog.  Are they allowed to ask for these thing for me to harbor an emotional support dog in a no pet coop when i have a letter from the doctor.

Epipen Responds Dog - Tom - Sep 17th 2008

I just found out I can self-train my own dog if I use a epipen under ADA law if a dog can do a tasks for you they are a service dog. They need to be tought to bring you the epipen and also call 911 and you can teach them many more task. I bought my Hunter green ves tand medical Responds dog patches online at Pup'parel I just heard from a friend of mind this website will becoming out with Epipen Responds Dog patches soon. email the website and find out when. Also they have service dog ID badge come out soon put your order in.

Hope all people that use a epipen can start training a dog for them! These dogs are not a pet they are a working animal under ADA.

All public schools have to let a trained epipen responds dog in school by law or they can get sued most children us Labs, Border Collies.You can use any breed you like under ADA.

Epipen Responds Dog - James - Sep 12th 2008

Thank You for talking about Epipen Responds Dog my lab is one of these type of working dogs. I never thought of putting down Epipen Responds Dog patches on his vest I put a oval shape patch on both sides of vest it says Medical Alert Dog I bought the patches and blue vest online at Pup'parel if you don't want people to know you use a epipen then this is the patch for you! Remember to do the training with a clicker and a clicker training book. Good Luck to all people that have one of these type of service dogs.

Let me hear from other people that have a epipen Responds Dog and how is it going for you!!

Epipen Responds Dog - Sally - Sep 3rd 2008

Did you know if you use a epipen you can have a service dog for this they all called epipen responds dog. and can go out in public as long as they do a task for you. They need to be able to bring you your epipen also call 911 and also alert to the smoke alarm, and you can train them to more task if you like, the more the better. Also you can buy the patches ERD online go to Pup'parel if you don't see them up on the website email her and tell her you are looking for a round Epipen Responds dog patch that also has a hand in the middle of patch and also said ON Duty you can ask her for any color print make sure it bold print.

They have vest and dog backpack also in lots of different colors.

Please pass this on!!!!

Emotional Support Dog Patches - Penny - Jul 25th 2008

I would liket o thank the person that told us about the Emotional Support Dog patches I Bought one from Pup'parel website I have had good luck taking my dog out in public,People know by looking at her blue vest and the ESD patch on top of the vest, that she is a working animal.

People don't understand this type of working dog, if you read the ADA Law any dog that can do a tasks for you is a working dog and can go out in public, as long as they know all basic and a tasks for your disability.

If you have a ESD you need a doctor note to be able to take out in public. Also check with your city and state to see if they have access rights in public.

I hope you have good luck taking your ESD out in public if you wear this patch.

I would like to hear from people that buy this patch and see how it goes for you out in public.


Emotional Support Animals - Sue Lee - Apr 3rd 2008

I writing to the person that has deaf Dashhound Sheila, You can't take your emotional Support dog that is deaf on airplanes. NO type of service animal can be deaf and be working for you it time you retired your ESD, and get a new one ESD to do the job or just get a service animal you can take out in public. But must have all basic training down first before you can take ESD on airplanes and ESD can't bark at all on the plane.

I hope this will help you out!

Psychiatric Service Dogs - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Mar 23rd 2008
The term, "emotional support dog" has no meaning. "Psychiatric Service Dogs" are certified by Delta Society and have full rights to go anywhere, including restaurants, airlines, etc. You can go to to learn more about this.

Emotional Support Dogs - Cathy - Mar 22nd 2008

If you think Emotional Support Dogs should be able to go out in public why not go to MY Starbuck Idea and vote! online so these type of working dogs can start getting some rights.

emotional Support Dog on airplains - Pami - Mar 10th 2008

All Emotional Support Dog can fly free on any airlines all you need is a doctors note saying this is her/ his medication with the phone number of your doctor down.

All you need on your ESD is a collar, leash, harness make sure you bring all vet records and they are up to date. And Emotional Support Dog has had all basic training. This is the Law they can't say NO or you can sue them for Not obeying the Laws!

There is a website that came out in 2008 with Emotional Support Dog Patches. She made them for people that what to take their ESD on airplanes. Please don't use them just to take your ESD out in public like a service dog can. Please use the patch for what it was made for! Go online to Pup'parel.

Also she came out in 2008 with a new color vest moss frost.

If you are going to buy the ESD patch it best to buy two and put them on the pockets of the vest.

Check all the different types of please don't pet patches for top of vest.

You can go online to the Air Carry Act it will tell you ESD can Fly Free!

Please let Pup'parel know Pami sent you!

Emotional Support Dog - Pam - Mar 6th 2008

Peopl are so upset about the new emotional Support Dog patch that is on a service dog website to buy patches.

Pup'parel is the first to make them, Why she did this was for people to have better access to places they rent along with a doctor note. Also they can wear these patches on their Emotional Support Dog vest when they fly in a airplane and they have a doctor note.

What so bad about this patch if it help a person feel better when they rent a place or fly in airplane with this patch, it just a patches.

Please let stop make a big deal over it!

It not hurting nobody if they use the patch for what it was made for only!

Please only use the patch for these to reason!

Thank you for doing so!












My deaf dash hound - Sheila - Jan 28th 2007
the story of lily was just wonderful. I've had two mental breakdowns/hoslpitalized plus had to go live with my sister & brother in law for 4 years because of depression and panic attacks. Since I purchased my dash hound, tori sue, I feel needed and much calmer. When I'm away from her she howls and cries like a little lost wolf, I hire puppy setters for her. When I come in from a Dr's appointment etc she licks my face off like I'd been gone for hours. Now, when I fly to my sister's in MO and back I've been having to pay for her to fly with me because I would be extremely ill it I didn't take her with me. While talking with an Southwest Airline agent they informed me that Tori might be considered and emotional support dog to discuss it with my psychologist and psychiatrist and if they wrote me a lettter Tori would be allowed to fly free with them. I guess my doctors already knew of this God sent allocation. I'm Bi-polar with servere depresstion/social anxiety. Now if I could just find out where I get the tag for Tori to define her as my emotional support dog and I like to know what airlines would allow her to fly free besides Southwest. If anyone knows please email me at Thank you,

Thank you - Tammy - Oct 14th 2006
Thank you for sharing this story. I could swear you were writing about me. While I have gotten better with the aide of medications, I'm still fully recovered from being homebound. We lost our dog a few months ago due to illness and though she wasn't a trained support dog she lent me so much support when I took her with me on errands. We're currently at a place in our lives right now that we can't adopt another dog, but I know that when I do, I have validation that she will be a help to my panic and anxiety. Thank you for giving me even more hope.

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