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Confused about PTSD service dog and work


So, I've had a PTSD service dog for many years, but he's not officially got that status because where I live, training and certification costs $10,000.

I used to work freelance from home, so it was easy to combine that with having a service dog.

The last 8 years, I've been working part-time jobs away from home but had someone to dog-sit my service dog while I was at work.

Now, I don't have anyone to dog-sit my service dog anymore and am totally confused about how to combine work outside of the home with a non-certified service dog. It's really doing my head in.

I guess I may have to start working freelance from home again. I'm also looking into part-time jobs like a newspaper route, where I could take the dog along.

It's so hard to find any kind of other work where I can bring a non-certified service dog.

Anyone else in a similar situation or have ideas about this?
i dropped out of this great debate around the time dog certifications grew beyond seeing eye dogs, but prior to that confusion, i kept the dialog about where i could and couldn't take my faithful companions on a strictly personal level. i had several clients who loved my dog in their offices, others who didn't. i often imagined i could tell a dog person from a cat person by their reactions to the question.
PTSD service dog for many years, but he's not officially got that status
In my state there are only a few people allowed to ask for certification. (Landlords, airlines, and I don’t remember what else.). Everyone just ignores those no dogs allowed signs in stores (except for in restaurants) because service dogs don’t have to wear vests anymore and owners don’t have to provide certificates! I often hear dogs barking in stores now, it’s kind of weird, but as a dog lover also kind of cool. I used to be jealous of France because they let people bring their dogs everywhere but now we do too because the ESA’s made it so the store owners had to start accepting it and they don’t want to police their customers.

If it’s a private business you’re working for you might be able to just tell them he’s a service dog and they’ll accept it. Private businesses in my state make their own rules about what an employee is allowed to bring, wear, etc.
i kept the dialog about where i could and couldn't take my faithful companions on a strictly personal level
This makes sense, to just talk about it. Just say he’s a service dog and don’t bring up the certification, it may not be a big deal to them. And if it is a big deal, it sounds like you have options to work elsewhere.
training and certification costs $10,000.
Sounds like you live in a country with strict regulations.

The handful of countries I’m familiar with who do? (Having traveled internationally with horses/dogs/cats) The fines, and court appearances, and potential destruction of animals not in compliance… are far worse than the cost of meeting those regulations.

My o.o2

1. MEET those regulations.

2. If you cannot meet those regulations, do NOT attempt to squeak by, but stay within any OTHER regulations you can & do meet. ((And it’s very very quirky WHICH regulations countries often have. “Valuable Animal”, for example, gave me far more freedom of movement than often far more difficult to achieve/acquire regulations.)) Highly regulated countries want paperwork, and process. Meeting any of those processes shows either intent to do right, or intent to defraud, depending on both your end goal and the lengths you’ve gone to, to meet those requirements. Go above and beyond, always. And always/always/always carry those papers with you, along with a respectful/serious attitude. Cops will only agree with you that it is an emergency if someone is bleeding to death. Anything less than that is a failure to plan, and inexcusable.

It's so hard to find any kind of other work where I can bring a non-certified service dog.
I brought my dog with me, virtually everywhere… BUT …I left him in the Jeep 9/10. Imagine crate training, where you get to “go home” 5 times a day to let them out & love on them (Lunch, 2 breaks, arrive/leave) without actually having to go home… but just step outside to the car park. Yep. It means arriving early (to have time before you go in) and leaving late (ditto). But it also means almost never being more than 2 hours seperate.
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Just say he’s a service dog
i would leave out the official designator, "service." that conjures up images of inspectors arriving to enforce THEIR dog handling requirements. old world dog lovers like me would rather have child protective services loving their babies than service inspectors qualifying their faithful companions for yellow vests. i opine that the certification process minimizes the bonding aspects of therapy support. personally, i salute those yellow vests from a safe social distance.
Thank you for your thoughts.

I'm so conflicted about this. I feel like his having no official creditation "invalidates" him being a service dog.

However, before I got him, I basically didn't leave the house for over a decade. I had suuuuch bad agoraphobia as part of my PTSD and no amount of trauma therapy shifted it.

I decided to trial having a service dog and looked after someone elses dog for 3 days a week while they were at work and it really helped. Leaving the house was still a challenge but I did it, which hadn't been the case for over a decade.

So I got my own dog as a PTSD service dog and because I was working from home or had a dog-sitter, the whole "not certified" thing wasn't an issue.

But suddenly it is and I feel so confused about how to deal with it.

I checked out the certification options, which I wouldn't be able to afford anyway... But there's another problem which is that where I live, you're only allowed to register a service dog until they're 10 years old. You can apply for a special exception an that allows you to register them until they're 12. After that they're officially in retirement and can't be registered anymore.

My loyal pooch is now 13 so even if I found a way to finance the certification, it's not going to happen unless I lie massively about his age.

So, I don't think certification is going to happen for this dog. When he eventually passes away from old age, I may try getting a new dog officially accredited, but it's not going to happen with this pooch and so I have to deal with the situation as it is.

Ugh... I've found so many work-arounds over the years... but I feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall atm...

I guess I'm just going to have to keep finding more creative work-arounds than I've been able to so far.

Seeing as I don't talk to 98% of the people in my life about having PTSD, I also don't tell 98% of the people in my life that he's a PTSD service dog. Most people just think I'm a "dog person" who takes her pooch everywhere.

So I feel like I'm really in a bind about justifying that it's an issue. I means I have to explain he's a service dog, explain why he's not certified, explain that he's still a service dog if he's not certified, explain that I have PTSD, explain that it's bad enough so that I don't function without a service dog... Ugh... These are discussions I would prefer not to be having...
If it were me, I’d refer to him as an Emotional Support Animal, because it sounds like that’s what he is.

Can you brainstorm the reasons why it isn’t working with your employer? What their concerns are, and what you can do to address those concerns (sometimes, acknowledging and responding to even illegitimate concerns - not always, but sometimes it works), and having a chat with your manager about how your dog’s presence is going to benefit your work.
It works in a whole bunch of situations, but this work issue is a space where it's not working, hence my confusion about how to proceed.
PTSD makes creativity …f*cking hard… sometimes.

Like not even being able to remember WHAT one did in the past (much less executing that in the present)… until there’s some kind of reminder.

You will probably HATE this…

…my dog died, very unexpectedly at age 7/8, since nearly none of my animals have died less than 10 years later than expected, so I expected him to be around until he was 12+10…

And I lost my fawking mind. Months of attempting to save him, followed by 2 years of being a wreck.

If your beloved is already 13?

You need a puppy.

For the both of you. So that he knows you’re taken care of, and so that you have a reason to live.

Which ONLY makes the work situation harder.


It’s also planning for life. And building a life …where you AND your dogs… are thriving.

f*ck the psychobabble-governmental label.

If you need a dog to be your best self?

Build a life that includes your dog coming to work with you.