I do get some weird looks when I am speaking to people with my strong southern accent then start talking German to my dog. Beagles are so much smarter than Shepard’s but also 10 times harder to train because of their independence and stubbornness.
Whoever came up with the concept of ESAs had good intentions at heart, but really really really didn't think it through.
So, you're having a severe enough mental disability that you official benefit from the "comfort" of a pet as part of your treatment, as attested for by your treatment team. So much so that you're eligible for no-pet housing exemptions as well as being allowed to travel with said pet because you might need it during your travel or at the destination.
But you're not protected at the destination (hotels etc.) nor at work, where you're bound to spend a lot of time in addition to your home.
It doesn't even make sense! I get the whole "public access" part, which tend to be more short-term activities. But lodging is pretty much "home away from home". Work is a major time component outside the home, where the mental disability doesn't just - poof - disappear.
I get that it's in part because ESA isn't species-exclusive and it would be not only weird but probably inappropriate if people started bringing their ESA birds, fish, and pigs to their work place or to hotels.
But it does frustrate me that it's this half-baked.
It really needs a significant overhaul. Because it's at the same time being abused by all those people who merely don't want to pay air travel fees as well as discriminatory against those who have high-functioning disabilities, but do rely on their ESAs for their mental health - yet don't quite qualify for a service animal, either due to severity of their disability or species of their ESA.
No wonder there is so much stigma against ESAs. Because you're obviously able to function without your ESA for extended periods of time - so there's very little rationale for suddenly needing them at home and on a plane. (yes, <I> know this is a stupid argument, but that's what healthy people do say - yes, I've heard it. "Our non-ESA pets provide comfort to us, too".)