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Family has issues with me having ESA

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Member Since
11/29/2010
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 6:12pm PST 
I haven't made a topic in a while I guess its cause I thought for a moment that well.... it was in my head till my hubby and his aunt followed by his sister who got involved.

you see normally hubby and I buy Christmas presents for all the nieces and nephews but this year because of finances and the need for medical stuff over presents we had to explain that we couldn't do it this year as we are barely making ends meet. My hubby is a Army vet so for the moment we are living off of his retired pay and what little he makes from school. Not to mention we are also expecting. So things are pretty tight and we are having to make hard choices. I have a ESA to help with the depressive and manic episodes that come with bipolar. Even when not expecting I can't take antidepressants due to the fact that something in them makes my condition worse and can cause things that are undesirable.

But anyway here is my issue. The families answer to out problem is to get rid of my dog. They kept saying ( the aunt and sister) that there is meds for my stuff and that they don't understand why I can't take them. They don't seem to understand that without the pup I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning or anything. Hubby is really frustrated too. How can I handle this?
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Lola- Penelope

If you have- food, I looovvee- youuuuu!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 21, '12 6:33am PST 
Tell them that meds, even with insurance can cost just as much as the dog if not more, and on top of that meds do not work well as a dog that you love! I am bipolar and my dog Lola is my ESA. I have been on meds longer than I have had a dog. Lola has helped me more consistently than my meds have. My meds never made me get out of bed to go potty, or made me go play ball, or take them on walks or snuggle with me. My doctor suggested I get a dog for this purpose, and I am so grateful that I listened. On top of that, to me anyway, it is sad that people think presents are more important than your happiness regardless if a pet is just a pet or an ESA dog.
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Juno

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 21, '12 7:52am PST 
I have the same issues both about the medication and of people who do not understand why my dog is important to my mental and physical health. Pills will not replace that. Even with medication levels fluctuate. It is not a warm loyal being with a heartbeat and desire to make sure that they please the one they love. Medicine cannot put all their goofy self on you to get a laugh and lick away tears of sadness. And it is unfair for your husbands family to believe that he can be there 100% and bear the full emotional turmoil we both know our mental illness incurs.
Both you and your husband are correct in standing firm about this..
I too found that I have profound side effects to SSRI's and other anti-depressants. I have though found anti-epileptics to work better for my bipolar. This could be helpful to you too.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 21, '12 8:33am PST 
You have been given GREAT advice already. While my dog is not an official ESA, over the years, he might as well have been. He came to me at a point in my life when... Well, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. It was my drive to keep him having a happy, healthy, furever home that drove me to make myself better. And while I still have a vast number of mental health issues, and physical ones, he's always there. I've gone the med-route. If one didn't give me such severe headaches that I couldn't get out of bed, another would give me such severe mood swings, that it was worse to be on them, etc. Not to mention, of course, the cost. My dog is a consistent factor, that does the same things over and over when I need him to. If I need a nap because things aren't going good, I go curl up in bed and he comes and snuggles right up to me so I have something warm to hold onto until my fiance can be home to help. If I'm too moody, a walk with him does the trick. If I'm depressed and refuse to get out of bed, he'll come wiggling and shake the entire bed and lick me til I finally get up and out to spend time with him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here, and if it wasn't for all the things he does, every single day, without fail, I'm not sure that I would be moving forward as well as I am.

Nobody else can tell you what's best for you, nor what's best for your family. Nobody.

My fiance's mom has hit me with the 'get rid of the dog' crap too, or the 'you wouldn't be in this financial situation if you weren't on medical leave and had a job', or 'you guys should do this, this and that with your money'.. I seriously hate it when the family seems to think we have yet to grow up and are incapable of living our lives responsibly and to its fullest. And it irks me even more when they think they know better. Experience doesn't always mean they know better for ANOTHER person.

I wish you all the best in this situation, honey. I know how it feels. There should be some more awesome people to respond to this and give good advice too, or share experiences with you too, whether they have ESA's or SD's.

I would simply say something as simple and polite as, "With all do respect, I don't think you can tell us what is best for us, or me, and I'd like it if you respected that."
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Member Since
11/29/2010
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 21, '12 9:48pm PST 
Its just hard. I've had my pup since last march. We have done everything that we could think of to take good care of him ( having to look for a new vet but thats beside the point). He is still a Pup and yes I know its against the norm to have a actually puppy as a ESA ( he is round 10 months now will be a year in January)Honestly my hubby gave him to me as a present after the doctor suggested I get a dog to help since before while on the meds I was emotionally drained. I would on days when I wasn't taking care of my dying step mom in law ( She died from cancer on our wedding ani of this year) lay in bed all day. Not be around anyone and at one point was nearly hospitalized from my body refusing food for a long time. ( more than a few days) just from the stress of what was going on in my head from other stuff. It just hurts as I wish I could just for one minute trade places and what is going to be the answer when I have my baby? >_< I'm just angry.

Edited by author Wed Nov 21, '12 9:50pm PST

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Juno

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 5:08am PST 
Well if you think about it a dog has to start off being a puppy in order to be a dog. There are more ESA dogs because the time frame of puppyhood is from one to three years depending on breed. At some point though a dog would have to be a puppy. BTW I have a prescription for my 6 month old ESA kitten who will sit on on my head during a migraine and keeps my hands from cramping during fibromyalgia flares.
You have every right to be angry that your family members won't support you, your husband's and your healthteam's decision of an ESA. It is hard to deal with and I assure you that even with service dogs, many of us go through the same attitudes with our families and friends.
Maybe a little consoling, I hope this helps: “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.” -- Dr. Seuss
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Juno

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 5:10am PST 
Well if you think about it a dog has to start off being a puppy in order to be a dog. There are more ESA dogs because the time frame of puppyhood is from one to three years depending on breed. At some point though a dog would have to be a puppy. BTW I have a prescription for my 6 month old ESA kitten who will sit on on my head during a migraine and keeps my hands from cramping during fibromyalgia flares.
You have every right to be angry that your family members won't support you, your husband's and your healthteam's decision of an ESA. It is hard to deal with and I assure you that even with service dogs, many of us go through the same attitudes with our families and friends.
Maybe a little consoling, I hope this helps: “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.” -- Dr. Seuss
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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 5:20am PST 
Remember that the fact that they are your "family" does not mean they have your best interests in mind. It has been a hard, hard lesson for me to learn that my mom and my sister are mainly concerned with what makes them feel Virtuous and Sensible.

You, your husband, and your health team have decided that an ESA is the best choice for you. These are the only opinions that matter. If you can, when your "family" criticizes or complains, look them in the eye, smile, thank them for their opinions, and then change the subject.

That is, if you even think it's worthwhile to continue to spend much time with them.
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Member Since
11/29/2010
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 8:07pm PST 
Hubby has just told me to sod them as its the last straw. They didn't help when his step mom was dying and he is fed up with the holier than thou attitude. I'm trying not to let it bug me too much. Pup eats three times a day ( a cup three times a day ) so I do remember to eat and will snuggle with me when I'm really depressed. He goes under the covers where my tummy is ( I lay and sleep on my side) and will lick my face and nuzzle me, nibble on my ear and make me laugh when I'm litterly sobbing my eyes out for no reason. So the depressive sessions are shorter as he distracts me from the bad feelings and reminds me I have two small loving beings who count on me now ( baby included) He litterly has a few times come and dropped bags of goldfish in my lap while I'm in bed just to get me up or to get me to eat.( haven't trained him to do it he just does it) He is a life savor and I love him as much as I do my unborn child and my hubby he is part of my family and if they can't get round the fact that I'm 100 times better with him than without him its on them and there isn't anything that can be done to change it.

Edited by author Thu Nov 22, '12 8:09pm PST

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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 6:38am PST 
I suffer from severe depression and for me the meds help alot but there are times when they don't seem to help as much,for that we have Kai. He was never intended to be an ESA,he picked up on my needs himself and for me has been a miracle. Mika is my hubby's girl,she was intended to make me feel better after the loss of my Akita/GSD mix,he however had just had a coronary by-pass,she made his mandatory walks fun,was there to watch over him when I was just exhausted and thinks the sun rises and sets because of him. Kai on the other hand is my boy,he will lay quietly near me when I am sad or sick,so that I can feel his warmth and comfort,something my Dear One can not always do,he can also be demanding when I need it and makes sure I get my butt out of bed when I need that little kick-start,will leave me alone when need be but insists on checking on me frequently just to let me know he is there. We would not trade either of them for the world. Your hubby's family's opinion is just that. You need to do what is best for you and they should stay out of it. My sister is bi-polar and times are a bit tight financially for their family,instead of telling her to get rid of her dogs,she has 2,we when we can buy her dogfood or buy the pups toys or treats,and have even offered to help with vet care if need be,and we are by no means well off,we simply know that she and her family need those dogs,she has her son and 2 grandchildren with her as well as her husband having had a breakdown and no longer being able to work,the dogs give them alot emotionally,have helped the kids to feel more loved,use up some of the energy that they are unable to have an outlet for and are a huge comfort to the whole family. The littlest person most of all,the childrens mother just decided one day,she no longer wanted to be a mother and walked out,leaving them,that little girl because of those dogs has been able to open-up again,to love and to trust. They are a blessing,just as your dog is for you. Those who don't understand are the ones with the issue,not you. Hugs and best wishes to you and your family,including the four-legged furry member. Congratulations and best wishes to you as well on the coming baby.hughughug I wish you all the best.
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