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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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Levi

PSDiT
 
 
Barked: Sat Aug 31, '13 7:51pm PST 
I definitely feel like that sometimes but I just try to remind myself that just because a blind person doesn't choose to use a guide dog doesn't mean they're any less blind. A service dog is a life choice both for those with invisible disabilities as well as visible ones.
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Polly

Lolly girl
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 10, '13 11:07am PST 
I like Levi's answer. I have RSD in my upper body, not in a wheelchair and hope I never am. I don't look disabled either, sometimes I walk a little funny but I don't think people notice that. I just walk in with confidence. a lot of the time people ask if I am training Polly, I just say no she is mine and explain that not all disabilities require a wheelchair..I give them names/types of different disabilities that don't, such as, some MS, RSD, Dystonia, Fibro, diabetes, hearing dogs, allergy alert, heart conditions, PTSD, Autism and more. I tell them we are not all blind or in a wheelchair and that each dog is trained for each person's disability

At first I did feel a little self-conscious,I don't like drawing attention to my self or being bothered... but telling people this stuff, if I am asked, seems like it will educate them and they will understand SD handlers better. dog walk
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 10, '13 1:01pm PST 
Sometimes it is hard to exsplain to people is why I need Sadie and what she dose.
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Harley, SD,- CGC, TDI

Super Service- Boy!
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 11, '13 12:33pm PST 
When I was new to the SD world and still coming to grips with being disabled, yes. But, at that time, I had little support. Now, oh...absolutely not!
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Lucy Ribeiro

1300329
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 11, '13 3:59pm PST 
I have a invisible disability and I dont feel at all like a fraud. What I do to change peoples view on it because most people are brought up thinking someone has to either be blind deaf or missing limbs to have the right to own a service dog. Thats a ignorant view and since so many disabilties now are invisible it makes it impossible for people to know if you are fake or not. So the best thing I do is try and explain it to them. However I never feel like a fruad or feel bad for me needing a service animal. Without my dog I am in a constant state of fear I forget to take my medications and have panic attacks with my dog I dont forget my meds I dont live in constant fear and I hardly ever have a panic attack and if I ever do my dog knows what to do to help me. So people who look down on us with a disability that is invisible are just ignorant. Try to explain to them if they dont want to listen just say have a nice day and walk away.
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Sam

My Sammi
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 25, '13 4:46pm PST 
I have a life now thanks to my PTSD dog, I don't have time for guilt! I'm proud to be seen with my Sam, and you should be proud of the time and effort you're putting in to getting your life back! If you put as little time in to feeling like a fraud as ignorant people put into the stupid things they say, you'll never feel like a fraud again! dog walk
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Lucy Ribeiro

1300329
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 25, '13 9:43pm PST 
Absolutely beautifully put there Sammy thats great. PTSD is a horrible thing to have and I have it and with my SD I truly have a life without her I really didnt at all.
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Yoshi

1308993
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 1, '13 9:17pm PST 
My mommy doesn't feel like a fraud and neither do I. Though she sometimes worries that because I am a chihuahua and she doesn't look disabled, that she is encouraging the "fake service dog" trend for those people who just want to bring their "purse puppies" into stores. frown She and I both know that's just silly thinking but it gets to her sometimes.
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Queen- Belladonna- PSDiT

I'm a Queen who- works like a- pesant
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 2, '13 2:06pm PST 
When mom goes to classes and I cant go because the doctor hasnt filled out the paperwork she does at times. But when I am able to go with her places then no she doesnt although people want to pet me a lot because like my brother Tank I look like a lab more than I do a GSD. But mom knows that just because I'm not with her doesnt mean that she doesnt have PTSD and her other issues.
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Member Since
10/19/2013
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 19, '13 9:10pm PST 
I am in agreement with several other posters - there should be some type of certification process. Preferably low cost. My 15 y/o daughter's SD does seizure alert and mobility assistance. We live in a very SD unfriendly area, and have had multiple people be confrontational about him not being a "real" service dog. Yes, he is "non traditional" looking and has a very heavy duty mobility harness (also "non traditional" looking). We have had a lot of the rude behavior directed at us because of, shall we say, poorly behaved SD's that barked through movies or repetitively relieved themselves in stores without the handler cleaning up. In our area, there is a very ethical trainer who works with you and your SD to make sure you are truly up to PA work. They will only certify the dog as an SD with an MD "note", CGC and PA testing. I would think those should be minimums for safe dogs in public (CGC and working to pass PA testing, not necessarily certification at this time). People letting dogs bark throughout an entire movie should not be allowes to mess things up for appropriate SD's and handlers. Yes our dog is a rescue. Did we luck out that he is acceptable to work - heck yeah. In the last 6 months, have we trained - cumulatively - for more than 400 documented hours to be as certain as we can be that we don't leave a bad taste in the publics mouths here? Goodness yes! I do wish that imposters could be weeded out, so that they don't make it any harder for my daughter than it already is.
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  (Page 2 of 2: Viewing entries 11 to 20)  
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