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There are alot of us that have pups that act as a 'service' dog, but not many are certified. I have terrible arthritis, 'new' hips and knees and bad back. My three babies keep me going.
 

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I just want to point out that service animals do not require certification in the US. My ferret is trained as a service animal and I am planning on getting Douglas a vest in the next month or two so that my ferret can retire, as people are more accepting of dogs than weasels.

However, as a person who relies on the companionship of an animal to be able to even leave home safely, I need to say that just because there is no certification does not mean it is okay to take an untrained maniac dog out with you. You MUST be confident that your service dog will behave politely in normal situations and not make the rest of us look bad. I rely on my service animals to keep me in a safe state in public and without them can become extremely stressed, anxious, and even aggressive because I get so scared. I would be unable to leave home without their help. That is why Douglas was not given the title right away, and though I believe he is almost ready for in-hand service work (not on a lead yet, I fear for his safety at his size), I still have not done it quite yet, though he does accompany me everywhere. Bode, my ferret, on the other hand, is extremely reliable in every possible situation. People have done everything from yank his tail to pinch his head when I wasn't looking and he just takes it all in stride. He is a true ambassador and I think Douglas can be as good of a helper as he is soon. A man touched him today for the very first time and he did great.

As for being little healers as the last person mentioned, and helping keep those in pain, like me, going, they do that too. But they are not a service animal unless they provide assistance that you can not get elsewhere and help you to gain independence. My dog and ferret both provide that kind of help to me, and without them I would be housebound all the time, too afraid to leave and when forced, I would injure myself repeatedly (I rake myself with my nails and such without even noticing when separated from my helper animals) and have panic attacks.

I do not have lupus but know what it is like to depend on our little ones for help. I quite like it actually because with them I can act much more confident, though I still struggle with things like eye contact, and I can actually leave home!
 

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I want to clarify, I am not dependent on my animals to get me to do anything. I have 3 beautiful kids that keep me thriving, my oldest two play softball I coach their team and my youngest is almost 3 and he will tell you that he is Batman, he keeps me on my ties lol. I have a husband that also takes great care of me on my down days.. My down days is why im wanting a small furbaby, when my husband is busy caring for our kids and my bigger furbaby lotus is doing her big dog thing outside I get lonely.. I have a difficult time gripping lotus' leash when she tugs at all it slips right out of my grip and I'll be honest it's started taking it's till on my confidence and my illness has lately been getting the best of me. So im looking for the companionship of a small friend that will be satisfied laying around with me on my bad days keeping me company and on good days going for short walks and such. I do know that there are people that do however rely on their furbabies to get them out and those furbabies are Heros in my book ;)

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I do not have lupus but I do have an autoimmune disease. I have 2 dogs and a cat. Each of them provides their own therapy for me in their own way. I will say Barney is quite the little companion though. Because of his size he can curl up on my lap or next to me. Green is too big for my lap and our cat is too aloof for that.


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