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  #41  
Old 25.03.2018, 19:00
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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I think we're juggling emotional and logical responses.

To the OP,
I'd like to see the science behind your dog being able to sense when an episode is coming on. My ex was diagnosed with PTSD in 2001, which wasn't recognised as a mental illness in those days, but is now. My pit bull x Lab would hide at the furthest corner of the back garden for an hour or so beforehand, and refuse to come near the house until a few hours after his episode had passed.

I think you need to follwo the course of action recommended by meloncollie and base your next step upon that response. Also, is your prospective employer aware that you have an ESA, and has given permission for your dog to accompany you to work ?
Science. Although this talks about service, not support animals
http://www.apadivisions.org/division...vice-dogs.aspx

More stuff available via google. Clearly these animals are trained - I love my dog dearly but she‘s neither trained nor equipped to be a service/support animal. Neither was yours. I think the OP has something quite different.
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  #42  
Old 25.03.2018, 19:44
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Dog Attacks Delta Passenger Onboard

From the comments section:

"Hey, gang…..service dog trainer here.

1. Emotional support dogs are not service dogs and have absolutely no public access rights and are not requored to be trained. The designation only allows them to fly and in housing.
2. Again most ESAs are not trained.

It is sad. I have been saying for years now, that people like this are going to ruin it for everyone else.

I have MS, diabeties and hearing loss. I have been training service dogs since the 90s (training dogs since the 70s)."

and

"I was on this flight and witnessed the incident. This was about a 50lb dog who looked more like a pit mix than a lab mix. The owner was a Marine veteran with ptsd but I am not sure if this was a true service dog or emotional support animal. The dog was not provoked but his owner and the man he attacked were both nervous and I think the dog reacted to that nervousness. It was a terrifying experience (and I am not scared of dogs at all) for all of us who witnessed it. The dog was out of control for a good 30 seconds or so and attacked the man twice, not once. He bit him on the face under his eye and again on the face. The man was pouring blood and extremely scared. Again, it was a horrible horrible experience. The veteran was also traumatized as was his animal. Delta should never have let that situation occur. If he was sitting next to a child the outcome would’ve been much worse. He should not have been seated on the mans lap nor between two other passengers in such a confined spot. With no restraints or a muzzle this was just a disaster waiting to happen."

Considering the outcome, maybe a Emotional Support Pig would have been a better choice..


I get it. The pit bull may stave off anxiety for the OP, sure. How about the strangers who have to sit across from it? Or for the dog itself, if it has to be muzzled and kept on a lead all day long? For others, the idea that someone needs to bring a dog with them everywhere they go, which is not a certified service dog, is just ridiculous. More so when that dog is of a notoriously vicious breed. And even more so when Emotional Support Animals are seen by many as just a way of bypassing airline and housing regs.

This is what you are up against, OP. I hope it all works out well for you and your dog.
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  #43  
Old 25.03.2018, 19:47
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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I love my dog dearly but she‘s neither trained nor equipped to be a service/support animal. Neither was yours. I think the OP has something quite different.
This. The Rufus Hound is very adept at knowing when I'm in a bad mood/ could probably benefit from comedy antics... but she's no service dog. Would be utterly hopeless at it.
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  #44  
Old 25.03.2018, 19:53
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

We don‘t know if the OP‘s dog is trained. One of the issues with ESA is that there are no strong requirements as pointed out above. So it really does depend.

At any rate, the bigger hurdle is the onerous BSL in Zurich.
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Old 25.03.2018, 20:07
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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This is an unfortunate reality that is happening in the US. But this is not true for many people who depend on them.

There are ESA that do go through certified training, it is offensive that on this forum people would be so quick to dismiss an invisible disability.

I have suffered for years from PTSD coupled with Anxiety, my ESA has been trained in detection of oncoming PTSD episodes. Having the dog has significantly reduced my chances of an episode occurring. That being said there are often days, or weeks, that I don't physically need my dog with me. But some weeks where I do.

If you don't understand mental health or the difficulties people with mental health issues face, simply because you cannot "see" what is wrong, I wouldn't be quick to make a judgement.
Good that you cleared that up, there ARE too many quacks around and about and too many crackpots. We see and read about people trying to get a peacock or some other stupid animal on a plane or taking it clearly where it doesn´t belong and throwing a thermonuclear hissy fit when others don´t see it that way.
We tend to dismiss these things as an example of stereotypical American crazy in spades and fail to see persons for whom a support animal is a real thing.
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  #46  
Old 25.03.2018, 20:09
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

Great answers, and mainly from Meloncolie, our amazing dog specialist.

My main concern, if someone has to have a trained emotional support animal- is that a move away from family, friends, known services and culture, etc, etc, etc - to Zurich - maybe a massive challenge too many.
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  #47  
Old 25.03.2018, 20:26
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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There are ESA that do go through certified training...
Please post a link to shed light on certified ESA training. I've searched the web but can not find anything other than the opportunity to send off some $ for an official looking document that says the animal is ESA certified - no training required. What kind of training would they require for Emotional Support Goldfish, anyway?
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I have suffered for years from PTSD coupled with Anxiety, my ESA has been trained in detection of oncoming PTSD episodes. Having the dog has significantly reduced my chances of an episode occurring. That being said there are often days, or weeks, that I don't physically need my dog with me. But some weeks where I do.
Trained to detect oncoming PTSD episodes? This site makes no mention that a dog is able to do such a thing:

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treat...s_and_ptsd.asp

They do state, however, :

"Becoming dependent on a dog can get in the way of the recovery process for PTSD. Based on what we know from research, evidence-based treatment provides the best chance of recovery from PTSD."

The Service Dog Society mentions how it is possible to train a dog as a PTSD certified service dog, but again no mention of the fact that PTSD service dogs, or any other, can be trained to detect PTSD 'episodes' (what do you mean - anxiety attacks? There is no mention of such a thing as a PTSD episode on the Wiki PTSD entry, other than "However, the event is commonly relived by the individual through intrusive, recurrent recollections, dissociative episodes of reliving the trauma ("flashbacks"), and nightmares." I just can't imagine that your dog can predict a mental flashback to the traumatic event.


edit: and from the AKC:

"
Service Dogs
Service dogs have full public access rights. Actually, to be technically correct, the rights are given to the person — the service dog user who has a disability. If the dog were being handled by a non-diabled person, public access rights don’t apply. Service dogs are dogs that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service dogs have specialized training. Examples include guiding people who are blind or alerting a person who is deaf to a sound.

PTSD dogs are service dogs. There is a category of service dog that is gaining a lot of attention and that is the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) dogs who are working with people with PTSD. PTSD can result with any major trauma; this is not only military veterans as the caller above thought. PTSD can be the result of war, rape, witnessing a violent crime, being the victim of a violent crime or abuse, etc.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
ESAs do what their title suggests. They give emotional support in the way of comfort, the ability to calm the person, and to provide company. ESA's do not have full public access rights. They have only two legal protections which are

to fly with a person who has an emotional or psychological disability, and
to qualify for no-pet housing.
Airlines and housing authorities may request a letter from a physician or mental health professional that prescribes the ESA for a specific mental disability that limits one or more life activities.

The guidelines for ESAs have become more restrictive because so many people abused the ESA category by alleging their pet dogs were service dogs..."
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Last edited by pilatus1; 25.03.2018 at 21:10.
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  #48  
Old 25.03.2018, 20:31
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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We tend to dismiss these things as an example of stereotypical American crazy in spades and fail to see persons for whom a support animal is a real thing.
“We” meaning you and a few others here. Well, ok, more than a few. Not everyone.

Indeed, not all Americans follow stereotype.
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  #49  
Old 25.03.2018, 20:40
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

From the Dutch page, in English:
https://www.geleidehond.nl/pagina/th...dog-foundation

"Buddy dogs PTSD are trained to support veterans, former policemen and firefighters. The dogs are trained to the user’s specific needs e.g. waking up its master in the early stages of a nightmare, ensuring sufficient personal space by preventing other people to come to close and acting as a reassuring and ever present buddy."

In the ad posted be EdwinNL, the dog woke the man because the dog realised that the man was having a nightmare, and it was the dog who switched on the light.

From the same Dutch site, a list of related organisations in Switzerland:
http://www.igdf.org.uk/closest-dog-g...e/switzerland/
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Old 25.03.2018, 20:49
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Even if I am forced to live outside ZH, I might need to be bringing my dog with me into ZH, and this causes some issues as well I presume.
You should ensure that your employer and work colleagues are willing to accommodate you as well.
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Old 25.03.2018, 21:50
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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“We” meaning you and a few others here. Well, ok, more than a few. Not everyone.

Indeed, not all Americans follow stereotype.
No, I was talking more in the generic sense and not all yankees follow the stereotype, but a lot do
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  #52  
Old 25.03.2018, 22:51
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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The guidelines for ESAs have become more restrictive because so many people abused the ESA category by alleging their pet dogs were service dogs..."
As usual, the road to hell is paved with good intentions... If people weren't...well - people, nobody would have tried to game the system and everything would have worked the way it was supposed to.

But, as the Swiss have trust but prefer to control first, if OP doesn't have serious certificates to prove her dog is a trained service dog and really needed for a real disability or condition, then...bye bye emotional support. I hope it works out well for OP if it's a real need.
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Old 25.03.2018, 23:16
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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The Service Dog Society[/URL] mentions how it is possible to train a dog as a PTSD certified service dog, but again no mention of the fact that PTSD service dogs, or any other, can be trained to detect PTSD 'episodes' (what do you mean - anxiety attacks? There is no mention of such a thing as a PTSD episode on the Wiki PTSD entry, other than "However, the event is commonly relived by the individual through intrusive, recurrent recollections, dissociative episodes of reliving the trauma ("flashbacks"), and nightmares." I just can't imagine that your dog can predict a mental flashback to the traumatic event.
I'd also be very interested to learn about the training that dogs undergo to support people with PTSD.

This is my lay-person's understanding of some of what a blind-guide dog can learn to do. Pay attention to traffic, and keep the owner off the road and on the pavement. Presumably, the dog learns this not only by following, for example, the kerbstone, but also by being aware of the owner. If the blind person stopped still, trying to gain orientation by listening, the dog would need to know whether this was a moment of heightened need or not. Similarly, I imagine a guide-dog would do something to alert the owner if a car drove onto the pavement, or to care for the owner if she stumbled. It would do so by monitoring not only the traffic but especially the owner: how is she breathing, is she sweating, does she smell different from usual, is she making any sounds?

I suppose that, along similar lines, a dog could learn to recognise the person's personal stress symptoms. In the video ad posted by EdwinNL, the man was having a nightmare as a version of a flashback. He may have been thrashing in his bed. His breathing may have been accelerated, or have become shallow. He may have smelt different. He may have whimpered or cried out. Being woken up out of the nightmare, in this case by the dog, can be very, very helpful.

Granted, that is when the event (whether it is called an "episode" or a "moment" or an "experience" or "reliving" is not so important, methinks) is already taking place.

However, just as a blind-dog can anticipate potential dangers, e.g. at junctions, or when it sees and hears a tram or a bouncy group of people approaching, perhaps a PTSD service dog could be taught the particular triggers (= impinging stimuli which remind the traumatised person of the past, so intensely as to cause a flashback) and help the owner to avoid them. Examples could be fire or smoke, so that the dog could learn that it must suggest to the owner to walk the other way, so as not to get into emotional trouble. That would be anticipatory. In that sense, the dog could predict that, if the owner continued to walk down this path, past the fire, things would go wobbly. If the dog could do this in time, I would thing it might well prevent a flashback.
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Old 25.03.2018, 23:36
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Just a word of caution here:

It must be stressed that attitudes towards and acceptance of ESAs is only the second part of the OP's delimma.

The first, and IMO primary, issue is that her ESA is a banned breed/mix in canton ZH. As far as I know there have been no exceptions to the ban. The OP should indeed contact the ZH Veterinäramt to clarify that the ban applies also to (trained, officially certified) service dogs, or clarify the possibility of the 30 day visitor's permit.

As we meander into discussions of Swiss views on ESAs, we must be careful of raising false hope for the OP and remember first and foremost the breed issue: Zürich has banned pit mixes.* The current law forbids any dog of a pit mix from taking up residence in the canton.

I stress this because the OP comes from a country where disability rights often take precedence over other issues, she might not realize that this is (sadly and shamefully IMO) not the case in Switzerland. She needs to approach the problem with this in mind.


ETA:

Penelope, does your potential future employer know about your need for an ESA? If so, did you find the company's response supportive, do you have a guarantee that you will be allowed to bring him into work? (Again remembering the difference in laws between CH and the US.) If your potential future employer is wholly behind you, and if they want you, and only you, and understand that this could be a deal breaker issue - get them involved.




* Y'all know how much I abhore BSL. Bad science makes bad law. That a pitmix is trained and certified as a therapy dog should make those who are blinded by prejudice think again. Or even think for the first time.

(Hopping off soapbox now...)
First I have nothing but admiration for your work with dogs and all the help you so freely give here, but why get a breed in the first place that can do so much damage if things go wrong? Can't a cocker spaniel or an irish setter detect an incoming PTSD episode as well?
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  #55  
Old 26.03.2018, 01:02
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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why get a breed in the first place that can do so much damage if things go wrong? Can't a cocker spaniel or an irish setter detect an incoming PTSD episode as well?
Since none of us know the OP nor her reason for needing an ESA, nor the tasks her dog performs, we cannot speculate as to why or how her dog was chosen to do this work.

---

I don't know much about ESAs, and only a little about therapy dogs. But from what I understand of the selection process for therapy dogs here in Switzerland, in assessing whether or not the dog is selected for training a great deal of weight is placed on temperament . A naturally steady, calm dog is required, one who is not fazed by the environment he will face in his service work.

---

As an aside, this classic New Yorker cartoon perfectly illustrates why none of the Muttley Crew could ever in a million years qualify as service, assistance, therapy or support dogs:

https://galleryrhinebeck.org/welcome...66123-8419447/

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  #56  
Old 26.03.2018, 08:42
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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However, just as a blind-dog can anticipate potential dangers, e.g. at junctions, or when it sees and hears a tram or a bouncy group of people approaching, perhaps a PTSD service dog could be taught the particular triggers (= impinging stimuli which remind the traumatised person of the past, so intensely as to cause a flashback) and help the owner to avoid them. Examples could be fire or smoke, so that the dog could learn that it must suggest to the owner to walk the other way, so as not to get into emotional trouble. That would be anticipatory. In that sense, the dog could predict that, if the owner continued to walk down this path, past the fire, things would go wobbly. If the dog could do this in time, I would thing it might well prevent a flashback.
It almost sounds very logical and do-able, but I think that not even the person affected by PTSD does really know which are the triggers and when would they hit harder, same as in anxiety or panic attacks (apart from the very obvious ones). There's not only one or a few triggers, and the way stimuli and memories interconnect or react with each other is way more complicated than we think, and for finding rather simple patternn which a dog, even a remarkably smart one, would be able to detect so he can prevent those episodes.

Your theory, although nicely wrapped up and eloquently put in English, does not hold water for so many reasons. It sounds like we need to develop artificial intelligence and think of robots for helping people with certain illnesses. Till then (that time will probably come..) it's the person in suffering who needs to learn how to cope with things in specific situation and be thought ways of ameliorating and dealing with the illness under extreme pressure, thought autonomy. We can't know that much about dogs' minds and their abilities to act as 'therapists", so we have to count on us, humans. Neuroscience and other related fields have so many things to catch up with.
In another post somebody felt very strongly about disability "labels", but from a practical, no nonsense point of view, they're probably far more efficient than any "let's be just more inclusive" theory. Lots of accidents wouldn't have happened if there were some discreet ways of letting people know what's going on with other persons. But this is just my opinion, hope the hell won't break loose after daring to write it down here. :-)

OP,
if you really count on a dog to be able to cope with major changes such as moving to another country, and won't be able to justify it in front of those Swiss authorities, maybe it's not a good idea to move here in the first place. Maybe having structure and predictibility in your life is worth a gazillion more times than an international career. Please, do think much more of it. We don't have to be in a certain way, "success" (whatever that means) is not a one way, easy to define thing. If your company is sending you here, screw them. You're more important than any predefined, schematic professional success story.
Take care.

Last edited by greenmount; 26.03.2018 at 09:18.
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Old 26.03.2018, 09:14
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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...But I generally sense there is a a lot of anti-disability sentiment in Switzerland, if this thread is any indication. Which is a general problem in Europe that is well known.
I don't see any anti-disability sentiment here. That would indicate people deliberately setting out to make life more difficult for disabled folk or saying nasty things about them. What you're seeing here is just lack of understanding - as evidenced by the fact that some people had never even heard of ESAs. Or had only heard about them in a Daily Wail negative fashion.
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Old 26.03.2018, 09:30
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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I don't see any anti-disability sentiment here. That would indicate people deliberately setting out to make life more difficult for disabled folk or saying nasty things about them. What you're seeing here is just lack of understanding - as evidenced by the fact that some people had never even heard of ESAs. Or had only heard about them in a Daily Wail negative fashion.
To be honest, I had never about them until I saw that article that someone wanted to take a bird (peacock?) on board as an ESA.
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Old 26.03.2018, 09:49
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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It almost sounds very logical and do-able, but I think that not even the person affected by PTSD does really know which are the triggers and when would they hit harder, same as in anxiety or panic attacks (apart from the very obvious ones). There's not only one or a few triggers, and the way stimuli and memories interconnect or react with each other is way more complicated than we think, and for finding rather simple patternn which a dog, even a remarkably smart one, would be able to detect so he can prevent those episodes.

Your theory, although nicely wrapped up and eloquently put in English, does not hold water for so many reasons. ..

In another post somebody felt very strongly about disability "labels", but from a practical, no nonsense point of view, they're probably far more efficient than any "let's be just more inclusive" theory. Lots of accidents wouldn't have happened if there were some discreet ways of letting people know what's going on with other persons. But this is just my opinion, hope the hell won't break loose after daring to write it down here. :-)
.
I would be that person. And my outrage levels have not really abated.

Of course your opinion is just exactly that: opinion. I don't know how support dogs sense oncoming PTSD or seizures... but it's enough for me that they can and they do. The "theory" (put into practice in many,many places) May be a leaky vessel to you but that does not make it false. Or wrong. Or stupid.

I'm not entirely sure how my smartphone talks to my car but I'm fairly certain there isn't a small wizard in there. No, I don't need a breakdown of the processes.


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I don't see any anti-disability sentiment here. That would indicate people deliberately setting out to make life more difficult for disabled folk or saying nasty things about them. What you're seeing here is just lack of understanding - as evidenced by the fact that some people had never even heard of ESAs. Or had only heard about them in a Daily Wail negative fashion.

Just because there is a lack of awareness about something it does not render that something wrong or ridiculous. More education is needed. And yes, IMO, like so many other things in life, it's the masses who need that education.

Life is made more difficult if you are required to wear an external notifier for an "unseen" issue. It's made even more difficult by a bunch of supercilious narrow minds who cannot conceive of anything outside their own experience. Lack of understanding is damaging. Dangerous. It's why all those nice ladies in Salem were drowned /burned...

I said it before and I'll say it again : yuck.
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Old 26.03.2018, 09:56
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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To be honest, I had never about them until I saw that article that someone wanted to take a bird (peacock?) on board as an ESA.
Me too.
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