Wednesday, December 30, 2009

News: Service Animals: Unraveling the Differences and Best Practices Conference Call

The rights of people with disabilities who use service animals vary, depending on which law applies. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Air Carrier Access Act, and the Fair Housing Act each have different standards for service animals and their owners. Complicating the topic even further is the issue of the definition of service animals, especially in relation to emotional support or therapy animals. This session will provide information about the definition of service animals and the rights of service animal owners under the ADA, the ACAA, and the FHA. We will also discuss the differences in how the various laws treat service animals versus emotional support or therapy animals, as well as model service animal policies for educational institutions and healthcare facilities.
January 19, 2010 1:00-2:30 p.m. (90 minute sessions) Central Time Zone(CT).
11:00-12:30 p.m. PT
2:00-3:30 p.m. EST
Jacquie Brennan, Attorney, DBTAC-Southwest ADA Center
Guest Moderator:
The program is available in three formats:
  • Teleconference
  • Streaming Audio via the Internet
  • Real-time Captioning via the Internet
All sessions will have a written transcript as well as a digital recording of the session archived on this site.For assistance with any of our conferences contact us at (877) ADA - 1990 or (877) 232 - 1990 (V/TTY)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dating while Partnered with a Service Dog

I know we haven't been posting as regularly as usual; I suppose that's what I get for working three part time jobs and deciding that my social life could use some livening up at the same time. At the recommendation of a good friend I recently signed up for an online dating site and am pleased to say I have gotten a few responses. A few weeks ago Shiloh and I went on our first date and I thought the process I go through when dating with my service dog along might make and interesting discussion for readers of Service Dogs: A Way of Life.

First, in my online profile I make it very clear that I am a person with a disability who is partnered with a service dog and uses a wheelchair ( I do stop short of saying exactly what my disability is in my profile, since I prefer to be able to name it and explain to those who are genuinely interested in me myself. Also, by leaving it out I hope to avoid nasty stereotypes or people with some sort of fetish.)

Second, I also make it clear that I am a dog enthusiast to say the least bording on efficianado and those who do not also love dogs need not bother. Love me, love my service dog.

Third, I make no bones (pun intended) about the fact  that if we meet and my dog does not like you, I am out of there. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 style. I consider my service dogs to be great judges of character, since they generally like most everyone. The few times I have run across people they did not like, I was always glad to have put my trust in their judgement.

Fourth, I always take my service dog on a first date. I figure it's just as well that they get the whole picture up front and if they decide they can't or don't wan't want to deal with it then we are only out the time and expense of a drink.

Fifth, I always explain that my service dog is working while we are out and cannot be pet without my permission and can't be fed while working or accept treats from anyone but me. They may, however, ask me whatever they like about what my service dog does for me. This also prime time for them to ask about and see the level of my disability for themselves.
I must smile because my dates usually say something along the lines of "I wish my dog were so well behaved." or "Your dog is better behaved than those kids over there."

Sixth, I freely admit to primping my dog as much as I do myself before a date! After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Note: We are still here!

We are still here. I have some interesting posts I am working on... Life just got really busy, so bear with me and stay tuned,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Gift ideas for Service Dogs and their Handlers

Need gift ideas to share with family and friends? Looking for something to thank your hard working service dog? Looking for something to accessorise the handler? Check out

Gifts Service Dog Partners and their Service Dog will love

Don't forget to add your faviriats and suggesting in the form of comments!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: Demand Grows for Phsychiatric Service Dogs

It's common knowledge that dogs can be trained to give people who are blind a greater degree of independence. But it may come as a surprise to learn that dogs are increasingly being used in the field of psychiatry -- in essence, seeing eye dogs for the mind. ideastream®'s Eric Wellman reports.
Baron, a brown labrador retriever dons a vest and leads Tracy Corso into an Oberlin supermarket. Eight years ago, Corso wasn’t able to leave her house let alone go shopping. She suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder, having survived physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her adoptive parents. Read More

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Adventure

Shiloh and I chose to spend Thanksgiving (for my International readers who may or may not be familiar with this American Holiday) with my parents and some friends. I decided to take the train instead of driving, because the last time I drove up for Thanksgiving I got stuck halfway back because they closed the freeway due to incredibly heavy snows! Due the busy holiday Amtrak added buses to get people to Portland, so Shiloh and I took a bus partway and were supposed to be on an actual train (See Tails of Trains for details on taking a train for the first time with a service dog or service dog in training) for the rest of the journey.  Due to the chaos created by the increase in traffic for the holiday, what should have been a two hour bus ride with an hour layover in Portland turned into a four hour ride.  Amtrak had made plans for another long distance bus company to take the passengers on the late buses north; sadly, the did not include Shiloh and I in their plans (despite the fact I have called them 48 hours in advance to let them know about my reasonable accommodation requirements). So then, beleiving I would have to stay in Portland overnight (since that's what the Amtrak operator told me) I called my parents. They then got on the phone with Amtrak and started to raise hell. By the time I actually pulled into the station I had five staff looking for me!
I told them I need to take, myself and my dog to the restroom and find something to eat --as I had planned to eat on the train--. They told me they would have an accessible taxi drive me the rest of the way to Tacoma! By the time all was said and done Shiloh and I arrived in Tacoma two and a half hours later than we should have. We travelled by foot, city, bus and taxi. Moral of the story be prepared for anything when you travel and always carry at least two days worth of food for your service dog as you never know what will happen!