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Old 26.03.2018, 10:00
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

I think it is bad enough having a disability, whichever one it is, without it's being prescribed, by others, what does and doesn't help. I don't mean, of course, the initial psychoeducation to teach the person with disabilities a range of possible coping strategies. That's useful. But beyond that, each person should surely be allowed to figure out what he or she needs to cope best, and then do that - as long as it doesn't endanger others.
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Old 26.03.2018, 10:02
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Just because there is a lack of awareness about something it does not render that something wrong or ridiculous...
Nor does lack of awareness indicate antipathy. They'll be saying next that anyone who doesn't recognise the utility of ESAs as soon as they learn about them is a disablophobe. I'm not against ESAs or people with mental of physical difficulties at all, just with people who when they don't get the response they'd like start yelling...

(It is a little wizard, btw).
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Old 26.03.2018, 10:04
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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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.



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.
I'm not sure who the rant is directed towards, but you may be assuming a bit much here. Personally I've been suffering from mild PTSD for the past 16 months myself. Although thinking about the traumatic event causes anxiety, as does even thinking and reading about PTSD, writing this post, etc.- it all helps to process the event and diminish the anxiety over time.

Considering there is no evidence or even mention of PTSD trained dogs being able to predict an anxiety attack on any of the sites related to PTSD treatment, guide/service dogs, etc. - yes, some education would be helpful for the unwashed masses.
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Old 26.03.2018, 10:07
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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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.
I agree with you but I have issues taking people serious if they claim that a peacock, turkey or kangaroo is needed on an airplane for emotional support. that's more like attention seeking or a lack of common sense.
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Old 26.03.2018, 10:10
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Just because there is a lack of awareness about something it does not render that something wrong or ridiculous.
Nah, wanting to bring a peacock or a duck onto an aeroplane is both wrong and ridiculous. Same goes for dangerous breeds of dog.
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Old 26.03.2018, 10:28
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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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.
.
And, of course, your opinion is just that - another opinion.

But nobody talked about witch-hunt here, I guess only if you really want to interpret things in a certain way you can see this process breakdown. Nobody has a monopoly on good intentions or noble ideas, but you must already know that. We're different and differ a lot in the way we approach things and express our ideas, that's what we also should have known by now.

Back to my initial post, I doubt that we know that much about PTSD (or other conditions) as to be able to train dogs in order to have them predict and impede those episodes and am sure if I dig deeper there will be tons of specialised materials on this subject. Maybe we just have to agree to disagree on this one.

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I'm not sure who the rant is directed towards, but you may be assuming a bit much here. Personally I've been suffering from mild PTSD for the past 16 months myself. Although thinking about the traumatic event causes anxiety, as does even thinking and reading about PTSD, writing this post, etc.- it all helps to process the event and diminish the anxiety over time.

Considering there is no evidence or even mention of PTSD trained dogs being able to predict an anxiety attack on any of the sites related to PTSD treatment, guide/service dogs, etc. - yes, some education would be helpful for the unwashed masses.
This. It takes a lot of courage to write this on a public forum, my feeling is that you're way better now than you think. Take care.
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Old 26.03.2018, 12:55
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

For those interested in learning more about how service dogs are trained, the Blindenhundeschule in Allschwil BL conducts tours. Reservations needed, English guides available by appointment.

http://www.blindenhundeschule.ch/en/...ded-tours.html

The school trains guide dogs for the blind, assistance dogs, autism support dogs, and social (PAT) dogs. Perhaps they might be able to answer questions as to what is developing with other therapeutic dog programs as well.

And it should be kept in mind: There was a time when the idea of guide dogs for the blind was scoffed at. I prefer to keep an open mind, learn all I can as new ideas emerge.
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Old 26.03.2018, 13:41
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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(It is a little wizard, btw).
I like a wizard.

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I'm not sure who the rant is directed towards, but you may be assuming a bit much here. Personally I've been suffering from mild PTSD for the past 16 months myself. Although thinking about the traumatic event causes anxiety, as does even thinking and reading about PTSD, writing this post, etc.- it all helps to process the event and diminish the anxiety over time.

Considering there is no evidence or even mention of PTSD trained dogs being able to predict an anxiety attack on any of the sites related to PTSD treatment, guide/service dogs, etc. - yes, some education would be helpful for the unwashed masses.
It wasn't a rant. It was a disagreement. I mentioned seizure dogs.

https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/seizu...e/seizure-dogs


My sympathies for your PTSD. I can empathise with the anxiety.


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I agree with you but I have issues taking people serious if they claim that a peacock, turkey or kangaroo is needed on an airplane for emotional support. that's more like attention seeking or a lack of common sense.
Fair enough. Duck knows how you get a peacock to go anywhere it doesn't want to go.
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Old 26.03.2018, 13:54
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Science. Although this talks about service, not support animals
http://www.apadivisions.org/division...vice-dogs.aspx
Thanks for this link, edot.

The article makes an important observation that, though veterans report an improvement of quality of life, this evidence remains anecdotal. Because the research is not there to prove what the veterans are already experiencing, the funding is not given for more dogs to be trained. The training is now being done by non-profit charities which, too, would get more funding if there were proof beyond the veterans' say-so. As it is, these non-profit organisations now have long waiting-lists of veterans with PTSD who wish to have a trained service dog to help them cope with everyday life, given their symptoms.

In the light of that, it seems possible that, in the absence of enough dogs to address the need, some suffers of PTSD who would prefer to have a "service dog" trained to assist with PTSD, instead make do with an "ESA"-dog.

That article (2015) points to research then just starting, to determine the efficacy of service dogs to those with PTSD.

If my googling is right, here's the abstract of that research, published February 2018.
http://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2018-02789-002
Conclusion: The addition of trained service dogs to usual care may confer clinically meaningful improvements in PTSD symptomology for military members and veterans with PTSD, though it does not appear to be associated with a loss of diagnosis.
The dogs help those with PTSD (and those around them) experience their symptoms are less burdensome, but the dogs do not "heal" the person of the symptoms.

Some people who have lived through traumatic events do manage to process the trauma, and put it behind them, and move on. This is good news, and does happen. There is, however, a disheartening amount of material out there showing that many persons with PTSD, whether war-veterans or non-military, do not, in fact, heal, not even with therapy.

Those who have suffered trauma can - especially with a supportive personal and/or therapeutic context, of which a dog may or may not be part - learn coping skills, find ways to re-shape their environments, re-build relationships, manage how they move around in the world, and even become effective at work and in society.

They may well develop means to cope on the outside, (so their symptoms seem less dramatic or bothersome to other people) while still hurting on the inside (while they experience the symptoms still, just less visibly so).
Having done so is, however, not an indicator of full recovery. That latter is, at least to a large part, subjective, and that subjectivity is valid.

The OP said that she suffers from PTSD. Out of whatever range of ways she has tried to get help, her ETA dog works for her. The research and the funding would make properly trained service Dogs available to more people, but for the moment, if this person's ETA dog gives her warning signals early enough for her to manage to prevent a downward spiral, then this seems very good news for her.
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Old 26.03.2018, 13:54
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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And it should be kept in mind: There was a time when the idea of guide dogs for the blind was scoffed at. I prefer to keep an open mind, learn all I can as new ideas emerge.
@Penelopepitstop,
please come back and tell us about the responses you get from the Zurich or Swiss authorities and organisations. Perhaps, in doing so, you could help to open a window for others in need. Thank you.
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Old 26.03.2018, 14:24
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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@Penelopepitstop,
please come back and tell us about the responses you get from the Zurich or Swiss authorities and organisations. Perhaps, in doing so, you could help to open a window for others in need. Thank you.
What window of others in need? There is no problem to have a dog in CH. You just cannot have a pitbull in the Canton of ZH.


And there are reasons for the ban, which was both popular as well as democratically legit. There are a lot of laws in the world that don't meet scientific data, but it's a pretty straight forward and simple law.


There is no reason why an emotional support dog needs to be one of the banned breeds, so this "problem" is really an exception. And I surely don't hope the authorities will make an exception for everyone who needs his pitbull for emotional reasons... because I'd say that the majority of the owners who caused problems in the past all had psychological issues to start with. Getting them a pitbull to address those issues is not exactly what this ban was about.


The solution was posted by melloncollie pages back: Just move to SZ or ZG. End of story.
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Old 26.03.2018, 14:35
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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And I surely don't hope the authorities will make an exception for everyone who needs his pitbull for emotional reasons... because I'd say that the majority of the owners who caused problems in the past all had psychological issues to start with. Getting them a pitbull to address those issues is not exactly what this ban was about.
.
Yes. Btw, if OP needs it at work and their previous employer agreed with this, without being into that category that really needs a service dog, wonder how would her coworkers (some of them could have their own issues*) cope with having a dog like this around, during working hours and how accommodating they should be in a reasonable manner. This being Switzerland, probably the chances are slim to none, however, taking into consideration others people's needs is still a valid point.
I think it's good that OP can see different opinions here and decide how important this thing is for her and whether this move is what she needs, considering all pros and contras.
*one of my friends has a real fear of dogs, not for unreasonable motives - let's put it this way. For someone like her this kind of environment would be really stressful, especially when one expects a safe place for everybody.
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Old 26.03.2018, 14:42
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Yes. Btw, if OP needs it at work and their previous employer agreed with this, without being into that category that really needs a service dog, wonder how would her coworkers (some of them could have their own issues) would cope with having a dog like this around, during working hours. This being Switzerland, probably the chances are slim to nome, however, taking into consideration others people's needs is still a valid point.
Really? I made the opposite experience. At least in two offices I worked at was it completely normal that certain employees brought their dogs with them. Not once or twice, but had a full corner of their office with dog bed and everything.

I try to be tolerant about it, but once lost it when the HR manager who carried her little terrier to work every day asked me if I could please stop having pizza with chilis on them as the dog could not take the smell...
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Old 26.03.2018, 14:42
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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What window of others in need? There is no problem to have a dog in CH. You just cannot have a pitbull in the Canton of ZH.
Yes, Treverus, I agree with you that the legal position is probably clear.
I would like to know whether the authorities would make an exception, in this case. Personally, like you, I would hope not... for this kind of dog.

However, I think that those in the government departments, and in the voluntary organisations, who actually deal with such topics, may well know of ways that do enable others to gain access to help. I meant information, for example, such as knowing of some new regulations which might be contemplated with regard to ESA, or service dogs. Perhaps they have a list of definitions, or of types of animals which are deemed acceptable. Perhaps they could provide rules about training or certification.

If OP made the enquiries, and were able to return with the info such as:
  • "I can't bring my pitbull, but I would be allowed to own any ETA on this list..."
  • "Although pitbulls are not generally allowed, if I were to provide documentary proof of x, y, and z, an exception would be made..."
  • "There is a Swiss national rule, namely ... which specifies that only service dogs are allowed, and the category known as ETA, in the USA, is excluded..."
  • "A new group has started in ... which is campaigning for ETA to be acknowledged..."
  • "The official Swiss term for ETA is...., in German, and ..., in French. Having this status entitles one to..... To qualify, the animal and its owner must prove...

Knowing that kind of thing could help others, too.

Last edited by doropfiz; 26.03.2018 at 19:50.
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Old 26.03.2018, 14:46
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Really? I made the opposite experience. At least in two offices I worked at was it completely normal that certain employees brought their dogs with them. Not once or twice, but had a full corner of their office with dog bed and everything.

I try to be tolerant about it, but once lost it when the HR manager who carried her little terrier to work every day asked me if I could please stop having pizza with chilis on them as the dog could not take the smell...


At my previous place there was someone who brought his dog a few times, but it wasn't like a regular thing. I thought it wasn't really encouraged...
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  #76  
Old 26.03.2018, 15:14
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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...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?
Just to get the breed media stereotype out of the way first....and bearing in mind that the jury is still out on whether pitbulls are an identifiable and recognised breed in their own right...pitbulls are the AR15 of the dog world. They are a just a dog, but in the wrong hands, they have certain characteristics that make them more lethal than a regular dog. For this reason, they became the dog of choice in criminal circles, where they were interbred, 'trained' and abused to be an unrelenting attack dog.

Basic characteristics of a pitbull are their extremely high intelligence and ability to learn commands, Many with experience of these dogs will say that their intelligence is only surpassed by Border Collies, Poodles, and Labradors. They're incredibly loyal and very defensive of their human family. But what makes them dangerous in the wrong hands is that Pitbulls have an exceptionally high pain threshhold, plus when they 'lock on' to an object, the only way to break their grip is by covering the nose so that they have to open their mouth to breathe.

Part of the defence launched by the British Veterinary Association during the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK was that, in the years immediately preceding the Act, the single breed responsible for the most bites and attacks in the UK was the humble Cocker Spaniel, which was the result of a strain of bad breeding. Go figure...but those were the facts at the time, and I was very shocked by that.


Awww... The first dog on this link reminds me so much of my Pitbull x Lab. Such beautiful dogs in the right hands, and so vilified. There's a brilliant portrayal of a seizure dog in the film 'My Sister's Keeper' where Alec Baldwin's lawyer character has a seizure dog. Apparently, they can smell the change in hormones or pheromones released just before an attack and alert the subject.


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Some people who have lived through traumatic events do manage to process the trauma, and put it behind them, and move on. This is good news, and does happen. There is, however, a disheartening amount of material out there showing that many persons with PTSD, whether war-veterans or non-military, do not, in fact, heal, not even with therapy.
There's shock. There's trauma. And then there's PTSD.


Back in 2001, when my ex was (finally) diagnosed and treatment of PTSD was still in it's infancy, there were 15 recognisable symptoms and he was positive on 12 of them. There was also a sliding scale on the recovery rate that went from Year 1 diagnosis and beginning of treatment achieving an 85% full recovery rate, but fell dramatically with a Year 5 disgnosis achieving a full 5% recovery rate. My ex was diagnosed in year 4 from the events that sparked his PTSD.


PTSD an insidious ailment in that it's coupled with a increasingly strong sense of denial as time passes. It took 9/11 and the Iraq War for PTSD to have serious time and money invested into research of the condition, and treatment programmes. Early diagnosis and treatment is absolutely key, but even now, I know of a young guy who's been diagnosed, but it took 10mths for his employer to release him from duty to begin the treatment programme. I've got a cast iron stomach, but nearly threw up when I heard what happened to him, so forgive me if I spare you all the details.
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Old 26.03.2018, 15:35
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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Just to get the breed media stereotype out of the way first....and bearing in mind that the jury is still out on whether pitbulls are an identifiable and recognised breed in their own right...pitbulls are the AR15 of the dog world. They are a just a dog, but in the wrong hands, they have certain characteristics that make them more lethal than a regular dog. For this reason, they became the dog of choice in criminal circles, where they were interbred, 'trained' and abused to be an unrelenting attack dog.

Basic characteristics of a pitbull are their extremely high intelligence and ability to learn commands, Many with experience of these dogs will say that their intelligence is only surpassed by Border Collies, Poodles, and Labradors. They're incredibly loyal and very defensive of their human family. But what makes them dangerous in the wrong hands is that Pitbulls have an exceptionally high pain threshhold, plus when they 'lock on' to an object, the only way to break their grip is by covering the nose so that they have to open their mouth to breathe.

Part of the defence launched by the British Veterinary Association during the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK was that, in the years immediately preceding the Act, the single breed responsible for the most bites and attacks in the UK was the humble Cocker Spaniel, which was the result of a strain of bad breeding. Go figure...but those were the facts at the time, and I was very shocked by that.


Awww... The first dog on this link reminds me so much of my Pitbull x Lab. Such beautiful dogs in the right hands, and so vilified. There's a brilliant portrayal of a seizure dog in the film 'My Sister's Keeper' where Alec Baldwin's lawyer character has a seizure dog. Apparently, they can smell the change in hormones or pheromones released just before an attack and alert the subject.


There's shock. There's trauma. And then there's PTSD.


Back in 2001, when my ex was (finally) diagnosed and treatment of PTSD was still in it's infancy, there were 15 recognisable symptoms and he was positive on 12 of them. There was also a sliding scale on the recovery rate that went from Year 1 diagnosis and beginning of treatment achieving an 85% full recovery rate, but fell dramatically with a Year 5 disgnosis achieving a full 5% recovery rate. My ex was diagnosed in year 4 from the events that sparked his PTSD.


PTSD an insidious ailment in that it's coupled with a increasingly strong sense of denial as time passes. It took 9/11 and the Iraq War for PTSD to have serious time and money invested into research of the condition, and treatment programmes. Early diagnosis and treatment is absolutely key, but even now, I know of a young guy who's been diagnosed, but it took 10mths for his employer to release him from duty to begin the treatment programme. I've got a cast iron stomach, but nearly threw up when I heard what happened to him, so forgive me if I spare you all the details.
PTSD is the new-fangled word for Shellshock, dating back to WW1 where it was first recognised as a condition needing (rudimentary) treatment. How did those survivors cope with Shellshock post war without emotional support animals medicines or understanding? They had to barrel through it step by step I suppose. Interesting to know that during WW2 Shellshock was unknown, not that it didn´t happen, it was just on the censored list.
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Old 26.03.2018, 15:55
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PTSD is the new-fangled word for Shellshock, dating back to WW1 where it was first recognised as a condition needing (rudimentary) treatment. How did those survivors cope with Shellshock post war without emotional support animals medicines or understanding?
To be fair, you could ask how the survivors of amputations coped without anaesthetic, antiseptic or effective painkillers before they were all invented.

Just because people in the past somehow "got by" without modern techniques, doesn't meant people nowadays should also have to.

Regarding this thread, though, I suspect the OP will be dealing with a social issue as much as a legal one. Even if she manages to get extraordinary approval of the breed in ZH, or is able to secure accommodation in another canton without breaching the terms of her permit, and is able to find a landlord willing to accommodate a dog, which isn't just any dog but a dog with a reputation (whether deserved or not), there will still be her employer, her colleagues, her neighbours, the people on the tram, bus and train, and everybody in Migros to contend with.

I can't offer any advice, but you have my sympathy, OP. You are not in an easy situation whichever way you approach it.
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Old 26.03.2018, 16:03
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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PTSD is the new-fangled word for Shellshock, dating back to WW1 where it was first recognised as a condition needing (rudimentary) treatment. How did those survivors cope with Shellshock post war without emotional support animals medicines or understanding? They had to barrel through it step by step I suppose. Interesting to know that during WW2 Shellshock was unknown, not that it didn´t happen, it was just on the censored list.
Indeed. Well, I think fewer people survived afterward. Stiff upper lip and all. One of the big problems now is that war creates far more injuries than ever before. Before people just died. That and we simply did not recognize the destructive aspects of anxiety. So people self medicated or beat each other up.

And it‘s not merely the consequence of war.....PTSD impacts people who survive accidents, trauma happening to others and those who‘ve gone through repeated
treatment for chronic disease such as cancer, as an example.
And of course, some of you will doubt that it‘s real in some of these cases.

I don‘t have PTSD, but I have had fairly significant anxiety, and i‘ve been treated for it with reasonable success. No ESA for me, but I also like to keep an open mind to the possibility that a well trained companion animal might help. I can tell you that the stiff upper lip, barreling through approach is often useless.
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Old 26.03.2018, 16:08
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Re: Emotional Support Animals

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PTSD is the new-fangled word for Shellshock, dating back to WW1 where it was first recognised as a condition needing (rudimentary) treatment. How did those survivors cope with Shellshock post war without emotional support animals medicines or understanding? They had to barrel through it step by step I suppose. Interesting to know that during WW2 Shellshock was unknown, not that it didn´t happen, it was just on the censored list.
Oh I know the history of it Back when the ex was diagnosed, I'd never heard of it and the only internet access I had was a WAP enabled phone. So everything I learned came from our family GP and pouring over medical books in the library. A lot of the research material I read related to what was known as 'Falklands Syndrome' at the time. I also know that many men suffering from PTSD were shot for cowardice in WWI


As for WWII, I suspect many people just blocked it out and suffered in silence. One of my great uncles was 'absolutely fine' and never talked about the war, until he had a complete mental breakdown one Sunday afternoon in 1954. He began rambling about things he'd seen during the war, and pulling red hot coals out of the fire "to build a pyramid of fire". My dad had to restrain him. He was taken away in an ambulance and died before midnight the same day. The hospital told my great aunt that "his brain had snapped". Thankfully, we've come a long way since then.
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