Now MY DAD is telling me I can’t take Sadie to my uncle’s house. I try to explain how we’re a fucking package she and I and now I’m a ball of anxiety and tears and he’s just. not. getting. it.
Fuck it. Until they understand what the hell a Service Dog actually is I’m not coming home for the holidaze anymore.
So yeah, I have a Service Dog for PTSD. Part of that is an entire childhood of emotional and physical abuse FROM MY MOTHER. Last night she wanted to go to Lincoln Park Zoo. I didn’t want to go. It’s crowded, it’s loud, and well, I don’t like going to that zoo b/c you never get to see anything anyway (because it’s always crowded and anything worth seeing is closed at night esp. during the “zoo lights” time).
Crowds I don’t like. They are anxiety inducing. Needless to say they wanted me to leave my Service Dog at home because “I’d be with them” so therefore, of course, I wouldn’t need her. (Hardy har har.) I was like “OK” (because I’m 5 all of the sudden) and that lasted a whole 10 minutes before I freaked out and ended up saying “we need to take her.”
So we get there and it’s a fucking mess. Sadie hates it, I hate it, and my parents all telling me every 5 seconds how it’s “too crowded for her.” Well gee thanks, I know she hates it, but without her I’d be freaking out so yeah, guess what we’ll soldier on. At some point I’m told that I have to register her and we end up waiting at guest services to do so. My mother afterwards starts in on me about how I should have left her at home and that she really would have been fine and how dare I do this to her? I start explaining how I need her and I was anxious at the thought of going somewhere without her and she thought I meant anxious at the thought of leaving her home alone so she starts on the fact that she’s been alone at my parent’s house before (when we go to my Sicilian family xmas - i’m usually on xanax for a long list of reasons and it’s a “we’ve got about a zillion relatives and a thousand of them a kids thing - trying to keep the kids from petting Sadie is about as successful as trying to keep a politician from lying). I, of course, launched into how it was about *me* and not her. This induced a stream of “yeah I knows,” which didn’t stop her from talking about how Sadie would have been better off at home.
Obviously she wasn’t getting it and I couldn’t have been clearer with my explanation. *sigh* When your family doesn’t get the whole SD thing (my dad paid for my neurofeedback for the flashbacks and night terrors which WORKED LIKE A BLOODY CHARM so they understand the horrors of PTSD) it really hurts. It’s so frustrating and just made me want to cry and scream. I know that if she was for something physical or visual they might understand better, but this is in my head and so they’ll never get it. *sigh*
[TW: PTSD] I have questions if you're comfortable answering. I would really benefit from having a service dog, but I'm wondering how you found the energy to self-train your dog. Did you have dog training experience prior to training your own? How did you manage both your symptoms AND training a dog at the same time? Was she already predisposed to be a service dog? No worries if you don't want to answer, but I'm trying to consider my options and self-training sounds overwhelming, but maybe not?
I’m not gonna lie - it was hard, very hard. I’ve been suffering from PTSD my whole life, and training your own SD takes A LOT of spoons/energy, but what got me through it was knowing the benefits that she would give me at the end of it. Not gonna lie, next dog I get to be a SD is a 4-6 month old puppy rescue (which is what they recommend if you’re self training) instead of a 2 yo rescue, because it was so much MORE work socializing her back from her personal abuse. But that bonded us more. We helped each other and healed each other along the way. I guess that for me that’s what kept me going - we needed each other, and whenever I would start to have an anxiety attack of flashback BOOM there she was. She even woke me up from my night terrors. So every once in awhile she’d remind me of what she WAS doing and that helped make the inevitable “I don’t want to get out of bed and take my meds but the alarm is going off and I have to teach you to remind me to take my meds” conundrum push through-able.
With that - she’s my first dog ever. For basic training (sit, stay, etc) I took her to the PetSmart training classes. They worked REALLY WELL. Even got her a Canine Good Citizen certificate.
I don’t know what else to say, but if you have any more questions feel free to ask.
My service dog got a new winter sweater.
The last pic is her grumpy “why are you taking pictures of this?” face.
Let’s go down the list shall we:
EVERY SINGLE TAXI at the airport denied us until the ground transport manager finally saw us and MADE the first cab driver take us by threatening to suspend his hack license for violating airport law.
The fucking pizza place gave me shit even after I told them she was a SD and then gave me shit when I came back inside from the patio for another cider b/c you’re not supposed to drink on the patio until I said “well your boss probably just wanted my SD out of the restaurant.” and the server said “yeah he did” and stopped giving me shit.
Currently in a coffee shop WHERE THERE’S ALREADY A DOG and I was told I couldn’t have my dog in here and I said she’s a SD and they said still…..and then I said she’s legally allowed everywhere. They started to say something and I said ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act. Look it up. She’s legal.
She freaked out a bit on the landing, but other then that - YAY!
I’m scared she’s gonna be terrified the entire time. :/
At least we’ll jump to the front of the line at TSA screening:
If you have a service animal, you are encouraged to inform the TSO that the animal accompanying you is a service animal and not a pet. This will provide you with an opportunity to move to the front of the screening line since the TSO may need to spend more time with you.
Quote from article:
In the course of 48 hours at Dulles Airport, he said his service dog, Sarge, was kicked twice by United Airlines works — once at the ticket counter and then on a shuttle.
“(He) kicked her so hard on the rib cage, that she flew into my lap… He said he was afraid of dogs,” Staneck said.
Staneck was dealing with a canceled flight and delays. He served three combat tours in Iraq and has PTSD and a brain injury. He said the stress was overwhelming, and asked a customer service representative for help because he had trouble reading a reservation email.
“He said, ‘Just read it’ and I said, ‘Sir I can’t read it,’ and he said, ‘What are you retarded?’” Staneck recalls. “Prior to this I told him I have a brain injury and PTSD, I’m a disabled vet, this is my second night here; I need help.”
And I’m about to take Sadie on her first flights ever. FUCK.
No internet until the 2nd, but will be at a Conference in Philly from the 28th - the 1st so…..
At the Red Raven Espresso Cafe - meeting like minded folks who want to carry Don’t Dis My Ability. KICK ASS. Feeling like this will be loads better then SC already. Got an appointment with social services tomorrow afternoon, and already called the airlines about Sadie Dog - her first flights ever *fingers crossed*. Now to stop my blabbing and go home and unpack!
So….my pdoc was supposed to write me a letter to get me accommodations for my apartment AND my schooling (because my apartment is NO DOGS and only allows me to move in with my Sadie with a letter (“prescription”) from my pdoc. They only wrote me one for my school. I am arriving with my uhaul full of crap and my dad to help me unpack on Saturday (and he leaves on Sunday via airplane) and they have not returned my phone calls or anything and I am FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. I CANNOT MOVE IN UNTIL THEY GET THIS LETTER. I don’t know what to do. I need a letter from a pdoc NOW.