|Barked: Tue Nov 29, '05 5:36pm PST |
|That is an interesting question!
It is obvious that Diesel helps you feel more confident around men, that is not at issue.
Here is what a service dog is:
"Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including, but not limited to guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.
Reference: 28 CFR 36.104; (CFR = Code of Federal Regulations);
The key part of the definition that I am not sure if you fall under is the disability part. Do you have a medical disabilitly? For instance, if you feel uncomfortable around men but you can function rather normally, aren't taking medication for this, etc, then you probably don't have a disability. However, if this fear of men makes it so that you take medication to be able to function in society, and if you're life is affected by this fear (like you can't go to sporting goods stores even if you need to because you're afraid there will be too many men) then that qualifies as a disability (at least in my mind).
Are you seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist about this problem? If so, discuss this with them. You will need one anyway to get a letter saying you need a SD which you will need if you every fly. Also, visit www.psychdog.org which is the Psychiatric Service Dog society and read their FAQs about who needs and who doesn't need a service dog.
It does seem to me that your dogs might qualify as emotional support animals. This does not mean your dogs can go with you everywhere. However it does mean that you would be allowed to have them in housing that doesn't allow pets. Emotional support animals help their dogs with emotional/psychological issues that are just issues, not disabilities. Like they help relieve lonliness and depression or they make a person able to sleep better at night etc. Emotional support animals are super new, though, so it might be much easier to just live in places that allow pets so you don't have to deal with a lawsuit etc!
Hope that helps!
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