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Invisible Disabilities - Ever Feel like a Fraud?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
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Member Since
07/09/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 9, '13 12:27pm PST 
Hello fellow SDiT/SD folks,

Here's a question for you: if you have an "invisible disability", do you ever feel like a fraud having an SD? I have plenty of documentation from legitimate medical professionals, and logically I know that this SD is very necessary for me to improve my quality of life, but since I don't "look" disabled or have a physical disability, I still feel like one of those fraudulent folks trying to pass off their pet as a SD.

Am I the only one who feels like this? How do you deal with it?
Thanks
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Jethro

Everybody's- Friend
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 9, '13 1:54pm PST 
Read "Unlocking Justice" by Dr. Karen Huffer it will give you all the answers you need especially if you ever have to deal with deal with the thugs in the Civilian Criminal Justice System. At this point I have no idea how they can call it a "Justice System" it's just a bunch of thugs pushing people around.
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Cooper

microscopic mutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 9, '13 7:57pm PST 
Say what? The book you recommended doesn't have anything to do with the OP's question. You sure have posted some goofy stuff today, Jethro.
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Beth

Hey! I hear- people landing- on the Moon!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 12:27pm PST 
I don't feel like a fraud at all, as I know that I am disabled, even though it is one of the "invisible" ones out there.

Just because you can't readily see it just looking at me, if you know me (in real life) for long enough, you'll see the changes I undergo when things begin to flare up.
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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 2:13pm PST 
I don't feel like a fraud because my invisible disabilities don't let me. My dog works hard for me.

Because my disabilities are invisible, I often am mistaken for a trainer. Most recently, I was interrupted while having a private conversation with my pharmacist by someone who had to praise my for my dedication. I just nodded and waved and they went away.

You can't help what other people think. If you feel like a fraud, try focusing on how your dog mitigates your disabilities. Does his or her work or tasks give you independence? The ability to do things you couldn't without him or her?
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Roman

The Snuggler
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 10:15pm PST 
Once Roman's basic training is complete, I plan on training him with specific tasks to help counter my invisible disability. I can not go out into public without having an attack, having a dog with me helps out and Roman stays close.

I'm currently having trouble with going to the Stampede. My kid wants to go, but I need Roman with me so I can deal better with the large crowds. Unfortunately, even though my doctor prescribed me a dog to help me with my disability, I can not bring him because he is not a certified SD. Wish me insane amount of luck tomorrow, cause that's the only day we can go...

Also... I have a hearing disability that I can compensate well with... when it's completely quiet. So I hope I can train him in stuff like that too. lol

Edited by author Wed Jul 10, '13 10:31pm PST

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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 11, '13 12:38pm PST 
Sadie is one of those dogs people mistake for a pit bull. In the beginning people asked me about Sadie, and I really had a hard time since then I think I have had a couple mini strokes. Now I find it hard to exsplain why I have her. All these things are a problem to me for having a SD with me.
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Member Since
02/16/2013
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 5:07pm PST 
I actually don't feel like a fraud, but I do feel self-conscious because I feel like some people are judging me and thinking that I am a fraud. I have read so many articles that chastise those "darn fakers" and part of me wonders how many of those alleged fakers are actually falsely accused people with invisible disabilities. I think it is those stories that make me feel judged and make me worry every time I go out of the house... which counter-productive in my case.

In all honesty, I have found that most people don't say anything. I do have a small tag that says "service dog," not that I'm required to have one, but I have noticed that it seems to stop some people in their tracks who would probably normally confront someone like me. I know some SD owners frown upon this but thanks to my issues, I don't have the energy or the courage to have to explain my situation every time I walk into a public building.

Stay confident and if you know/believe that what you are doing is right, then all the more power to you. Good luck!
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Zippo

Brilliant,- Beautiful Boxer
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 6:24pm PST 
I do not yet have a service dog, but I think all of us with invisible disabilities struggle to help others understand what we deal with. I get tired of explaining my fibro and chronic fatigue to people who tell me "you don't look sick." As others have shared, you know you are sick and it is REAL. What others think shouldn't matter, but often we let it. God made us each unique and special just as we are; no reason to be subconscious, but we often are. Keep trusting and loving your dog and he will keep caring for you.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 5:45am PST 
Yes I am back cause I feel like I was too vage with my explanation. Sadie is somewhat still a unusual breed for this kinda of work. And as I said often mistook for other breeds. Sadie is very good at her job too. She is a whole nother dog when in her gear and loves attention when out all the time. I tell people I don't mind most of the time people petting her but when we are in a new place I like to not have people pet her. Most don't like it at all (and I tell people that too). I don't want people to get wrong idea's about service dogs and petting. As far as feeling like a fraud at first yes cause I was a fraud of going in to stores and explaining to people why I have her. It takes longer and longer to do that now. It's catching up to me (the strokes) I am more comfortable with Sadie and what we do. I have a new worker that works with both of us now and going out more is better.
So I don't feel like that anymore.
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