Service dog handler lobby


@Sideways I take mine to theaters all the time. Honestly the worst part is finding appropriate seating that doesn’t feel too open (I usually have to go to the accessible seating, which is right by the entrance to the theater room). It’s not too loud.

My dog is de-sensitized to movie sounds, including the sounds of attacking dogs, but if a cat sounds sad or a squirrel barks on the screen, she’ll look up.


Has anyone ever taken their SD to a movie? Is it too loud?
Yes I have. We sit in the middle to the back, because that's what I prefer anyhow, and it's never been an issue. I usually bring a mat for her comfort and it is a nice barrier from the sticky floors. She was a little naughty the last time I went and ate some spilled popcorn off the floor (the person next to us pretty much spilled it on me and her head lol) which lead to a moment of near noxious doggie gas halfway through the movie, but short of that pretty funny moment, it's been really nice to have her with me there sleeping away at my feet. :) If I go with a friend, we stick her between me and the friend to keep folks from stepping on her. I've also used accessible seating so she has space next to me. My fav is the theater with reclining seats because they have wide floor spaces and the comfiest chairs where I don't feel squished right up to the people next to me. Hope you enjoy the movie!


which lead to a moment of near noxious doggie gas halfway through the movie,
Haha! Right, definitely stay away from the popcorn!

Kind of mind-blown moment that people do this with their SDs. Not sure why that hadn’t occurred to me, since a friend of mine takes his dog to live music concerts. Think it’s probably just fed nicely into my general avoidance of movie theatres.

I may be trying to pull off the near impossible here, but this is definitely a movie worth giving it a try for. My dog trainer says making it in the door (of anywhere really) makes you a winner, and anything beyond that is bonus.

So, we’ll aim to get in, and maybe even make it to the end of the trailers...and see what happens.

Kind of excited now. Thanks guys for that, really appreciate it:)


From the article linked, above:
The sheer amount of paperwork is troubling to Mathis, who says it could be a barrier to people getting on a plane with their service animal. "While [the documents] may seem reasonable on their face, I think that, you know, the cumulative effect of making people attest to all these things is likely to scare some people off."
I don't know that I see a problem with this, to be honest. I think there are two levels of people that abuse the access laws...there's those that claim their pet as an ESA, regardless of the practicality of flying their animal in-cabin - "emotional support peacock" lady, I'm looking at you - and then, there are people who claim their dog (or mini-horse) as a "service animal", regardless of whether or not their disability warrants it.

Such is the level of my ire directed at people who insist a service dog is the one and only solution to managing their mental health. The only way they can possibly do it. Forget engaging with other kinds of maintenance's gotta be a living creature because...why? Really, why?

If this is what it takes - adding a hurdle for disabled handlers who choose to travel by plane - maybe it will help strengthen awareness and advocacy for those legitimate service dog handlers.

If I lose the ability to fly my ESA (cat), it will most certainly add a level of complication to how I earn a living. I have to travel to do the work I do, and I know from experience that if I'm going to be away for more than four weeks, I need Joey with me or I'll be worse off, to a degree that it will affect my job performance. And this is on top of applying skype therapy, medication, and as many skills as I have. I've learned it the hard way. And I'm willing to push through all the hoops necessary to fly with my ESA, even though, yeah - it's not fun to share my diagnoses with all and sundry working for the airline.

I feel for those individuals who truly need their service dogs. Who have a combination of symptoms that are legitimately best addressed by a living creature. I want all areas of life to be accessible to them, and for them to be met with understanding and respect, not suspicion and dismissal. But personally - I don't think it's too much to ask for the paperwork. Call it a necessary evil.

And ultimately, if that means I need to plan the extra time to go by train, or car, or bus...then that's just my reality.

(@siniang - thanks for the article, and none of this soapbox is directed at you personally! :) It's just a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately.)


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(@siniang - thanks for the article, and none of this soapbox is directed at you personally! :) It's just a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately.)

Oh, no worries, I'm actually absolutely with you for most parts and generally. And as you may know, it's been on my mind a lot, too.

I'm absolutely all for changing the current system. All this faking has gotten out of hand and has become plain ridiculous.

I'm a BIG proponent of animal assisted therapy. It's a proven concept. While I claim to not be and have never been SI, I'm convinced I wouldn't be here today if not for my cat. I need animal presence in my life. BUT, as you said, someone should at least make some effort to use other tools, as well.

The real-life problems with ESAs is probably limited to ESA dogs (rather than cats) and all the ridiculous species people try to take on 1) planes and 2) additionally fly for free. Cats and other rather normal species fall under the radar in this entire discussion.

As for the other two, there's easy solutions:
1) species restrictions to what's actually reasonable.
2) more stringent requirements for ESA dogs.

In my perfect world ESA (dogs) would be done away with and "comfort" would be considered as a "task". Require obedience training for "ESA" dogs if you want special privileges and all should be good. It's not actually rocket science.

This and additional paperwork would do away with a lot of the fakers who just want to avoid air travel fees. I absolutely agree.

I wouldn't even mind paying extra fees. But I do need my cats with me and I cannot put my future dog into the cargo hold. Will not.

If I lose the ability to fly my ESA (cat)

Fortunately with a cat you at least keep the option to just fly them as pets, which still allows them in-cabin.

And ultimately, if that means I need to plan the extra time to go by train, or car, or bus

I can't :( As in: I literally do not have these options of travel.
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I'll throw my 2 cents in, since we started with regulation, as we generally do here in Aus with things that freak people out, and are kind of in the process of fine-tuning it, so that there's some consistency from one state to the next.

Thing about paperwork for my doggo, is there's only so many questions you can ask: here's his registration card with the number, council rego, his vet details, the last parasite treatment he had, his vaccination certificate.

You end up with those papers and numbers all in one place. It's a process, but then, he's an animal on a plane, and that's hardly safe in an air disaster, so - quid pro quo, ya know?

Sometimes the questions get unreasonable ("how long can your dog be left in a room by itself", and "do you approve a member of staff doing a physical examination of your dog" come to mind). They're Bs questions that usually only warrant a BS response (up to 3 years by himself in a room, and "An certified veterinarian may touch may examine my dog if there is reasonable grounds, otherwise, you can FO").

I think the underlying concept that there's some kind of entitlement to easy access to air travel is just plain weird. Planes aren't safe for anything other than regular sized humans that are sitting strapped into their seat, with their tray table up, capable of fitting their own oxygen mask and jumping down a rubber slide if it all goes to shit (which it periodically does). So no, you can't just cruise through checkin with your horse...'cause it's an aeroplane, not a petting zoo, and the rest of the folk on the plane don't want your gerbil flying around cabin during a nasty hit of turbulence.

Good thing about paperwork? If you can jump all those hoops and show that this animal is trained and necessary, you're trained to handle the animal, and you're both free of parasites, and you sign on the dotted line? There's very little justification to give you or your animal any kind of grief from that point on. There's a standard, a nice clear line - you meet it or you don't, and less reason for unforeseeable or arbitrary issues with staff last minute.


I agree with @joeylittle. I am willing to do as much paperwork is required. What was infuriating is banning a specific breed no matter the level of training or the specific dog's temperment. Even if a dog behaviorialist can speak to the indiviudal dog's temperment. That is unreasonable to me. But lots of paperwork and the need of any notes required is not. To me anyway. You jump through lots of hoops to have a service dog so why not to fly with a service dog?