Emotional Support Dogs

The narcissism in this country is off the charts. We’ve collapsed into ourselves. We’ve become black holes, where the interests — the existence, really — of other human entities can not penetrate. My children think they’re the only people in the universe. Literally. They don’t understand the concept of separateness and therefore view all other beings as an extension of themselves. My children were born four weeks ago. It’s OK for them to suffer from this delusion. It’s not OK, however, for adults who were born four decades ago to struggle with this concept.

That brings us to some local news today. The “Human Rights Commission” here in Kentucky — a government agency that is in charge of arbitrarily infringing on business and private property rights — reached a discrimination settlement with an apartment complex. You see, Burlington Woods Apartments found itself charged with discriminatory practices because it has a policy against pets in its rental properties. Apparently, the big fat jerks even stuck to their rules and told some poor woman she couldn’t have a service animal! And by “service animal” I mean “emotional support dog.” According to Wikipedia, an “emotional support animal” is an animal who “provides the therapeutic benefit of companionship and affection.” So, in other words, it’s a “pet.” That’s what all pets do. That’s why people own pets. But, evidently, if you say you are depressed or you have anxiety you then get to bypass any rules or regulations against animals, for the same reason a blind person gets a similar exception. You know, because those two things are, like, exactly the same. On one hand, you’ve got someone who feels stressed out so they like to cuddle with their puppy, and on the other you’ve got someone who can’t see so they use a dog to keep them from walking into traffic. Like I said, exactly the same. Right?

Right.

Seriously. I’m getting sick of this bull crap. I’m sick of the fact that we aren’t allowed to look at bull crap and just call it bull crap anymore. That’s bull crap, too. Emotional support animal — bull crap. Plain and simple. Ridiculous, embarrassing, asinine. And I only say that because the designation allows the owner to claim a fabricated “disability” and then walk around and impose their animal on everyone else, and sue anyone who puts up a fuss. For God’s sake, people. We used to build bridges and storm beaches and smoke cigars in bowling alleys and make John Wayne movies in this country. Now we spend our time crying about human rights violations if someone doesn’t allow our emotional support poodle into their business. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US?

Do you know why many apartment complexes forbid dogs? Well, because, for one thing, THEY OWN THE PROPERTY SO SCREW OFF. For another, dogs can cause a lot of damage. For another, some people deliberately look for complexes that don’t allow dogs so they can be free from hearing the barking and stepping on the dog poop. So if you really need your emotional support animal you can find a facility that allows pets. But that might cost a little more and maybe the location is less ideal and, not to mention, you’ve got all those other people with their yapping dogs. In a world that isn’t overrun by egotistical brats, someone who owns a dog would, logically, put up with those sacrifices because that’s the lifestyle they’ve chosen, and they’ve chosen it because their dog is a priority to them. And that’s fine. That’s awesome, actually. Good for them. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where that person says “Hey, I’m the most important creature in the universe. Therefore, this business will bend its rules for me, all the other residents will put up with my dog, everyone will tolerate and embrace me, and I’ll do exactly what I want because I have anxiety and I like my doggy so everyone else can go to hell.”

And you know what else? That person wins. That narcissistic wuss wins. Every time. This apartment complex not only has to pay a fine, but it must submit to “monitoring” from the Human Rights Commission for the next few years. All because they enforced an entirely reasonable, understandable and logical rule on their own premises. All because they had the audacity to treat some lady’s “emotional support dog” like any other dog. Damn it. Just, damn it.

The ONLY role government is supposed to have in these situations is to enforce private contracts. Instead, they do the opposite. This person broke the contract she signed with the property owners, yet won the dispute because, although dogs aren’t allowed, her dog is special because her dog makes her super happy. HOW THE HELL DOES THAT VOID A FREAKING CONTRACT? How far does this go? I have anxiety, too. I’m sad sometimes. Mostly because I live in a country where “emotional support dog” is a phrase that actually exists. You know what helps me? If I dress up in a clown costume and ride an electric scooter through the halls of my apartment building at 2AM blowing a kazoo into a megaphone. It’s my Emotional Support Clown Kazoo Scooter Rampage. Sure, it breaks about a dozen apartment rules. Sure, I’m annoying everyone around me. Sure, it’s kind of bizarre. But it makes ME feel good, and that’s all that matters. I’m all that matters. I’m me, after all.

Forget it. If I can’t beat the lunatics, I might as well act as crazy as they do

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10 Responses to Emotional Support Dogs

  1. Joe says:

    A – freaking- men!

  2. This is pure greatness. Well written commentary on the ever increasing insanity of our culture. I truly believe that this has become such a problem since we started raising children in a “participation trophy” era. I grew up in that era, and I still don’t understand it. While I do think that we should support efforts from every child, and encourage them to keep doing better, having everyone get equal recognition with a trophy makes all accomplishments meaningless, and creates a mindset of “I did something menial, where’s my trophy?!” It has created a mindset that no one should be losers, and I definitely deserve to be a winner, because my mommy and daddy told me I was. You win sometimes, you lose sometimes, but to be a winner consistently, you must put forth the effort, and (here’s the kicker) the sacrifice. Breathing won’t get you a prize (unless it’s an underwater contest for who can hold their breath the longest {still a useless endeavor btw})

  3. AJ Houb says:

    RE: Emotional Support Dogs

    Wow, this blogger has a lot of anger and hate towards others.
    And for the other replies whom quickly rally around this blog stating it is “pure greatness” and “well written”, it couldn’t be further removed from objective opinion. This is simply a hateful diatribe with zero attempt to research the issue, while these secondary commenters are just glad to also have their bigoted, uninformed opinions verified.

    The poor woman this blogger is hating on is likely already severely depressed – and yes, it is clear that due to the article she is much more depressed, clinically so, than all of us that get the Monday blues but are still able to shake them off. Most “normal” people, as this blogger claims he is not a “lunatic”, have a difficult time understanding clinical depression, and thanks to comments like this blogger’s, the woman of topic is now likely further alienated by those around her; adding to the stress.Yes, it is hard for the uninitiated to conceptualize what an “emotional support dog” is, but there are studies confirming the emotional benefits, but the blogger does not cite any.

    No details on what a prescription/diagnosis for an emotional support dog requires is included. No details are provided on what the training of a support dog requires – are they the same as the training for a seeing-eye dog? I have no idea, but if they are then I would argue that I have never seen one single support dog lunge or bark at anyone.

    The blogger gives no details into the woman’s housing situation – it reads as though she needed the support dog after she was already living in the apartment. Is it already the cheapest in her neighbourhood? Is she financially struggling and cannot afford to move? Would moving, as the blogger suggests, require her to get a car that comes with a whole host of other expenses?

    What other solutions exist? I’m already guessing that this blogger would not appreciate a new type of government subsidy for people in such a situation. So what else? Perhaps an exceptional allowance at the apartment could be made in these types of cases. Would it really be that big of an issue for an apartment to state that legally prescribed support dogs are allowed? How many support dogs exist; and would there really be many/any more that the apartment owner would need to accept? Perhaps it’s fully in the owner’s rights to not allow new, future renters with support dogs to move in; so the situation would be back to this one tenant that now clinically requires an emotional support dog. Wow, what a slam on private property owners to tolerate one sad ladies medically prescribed necessity. Yes, this might not be in the apartment owner’s preference. But again back to the type and training of the dog – will a support dog actually annoy other people? Will it destroy the carpets and scratch the wood floors? Or are the dogs adult age and well-trained to not do such damaging activities? I hear there are even dogs that do not shed nor smell.

    None of these questions or suggestions are even close to considered by our wise blogger above. The answer could be that no training exists and that she simply picks up any dog she likes from the pound that she must then train, which could result in a yappy ugly chihuahua. We do not know this, BUT, the blogger does not even attempt to test these questions with us. Instead the blogger goes straight to intolerant hate mode.

    I’m not saying I agree with any of the results from this case, but that’s why there was a court case to examine the details. The blogger could have reviewed them himself before going on this hate rant, but he didn’t. He could have made a rallying cry to reform the bloated legal system, but he didn’t. He let his bigoted angry ego take over the writing before ever considering this woman’s potential plight and legal rights within the prescribed system.

    This is not journalistic writing, it is simply hate speech (which I’m sure he feels entitled to under the constitution or some other similar lame argument, regardless of how lazy and hateful it is), and the internet has given way too many people the confidence to feel like a journalist.

    I could have done this for any one of the blogger’s sad “essays”, they are all uninformed, uncreative, uninspiring, unoriginal, and usually hate-filled. It took me very little time at all to rhyme off these rational questions, that the blogger left us wanting… and no further to the truth than the news article he cites.
    In short, this blog was a complete waist of time.
    Keep up the good work!

    • ConcernedByHumanity says:

      Here, let me simplify for you. An apartment complex is a business. Business owners have the right to refuse service. And just the same that a restaurant can ban smoking or ban dogs on their premises, so can a landlord. If she didn’t agree with that, she shouldn’t have signed the lease. Nobody forced her to live there, she chose it knowing full well they didn’t allow animals. I have 2 dogs. So you know what? When I go searching for a new place to live, I look specifically at places that allow animals. I don’t try to be conniving and manipulate myself around the system.

    • (Please excuse any spelling or punctuation errors as i am writting from a broken phone)
      In general, I agree with most of Matt’s blogs and opinions as he usually does his research and asks his reafers and the public to do the same. However, in this case, i agree with AJ.

      I have a service dog and not only volunteer for a service dog traing organization but i also train them myself. The are federal ADA laws and there are state laws governing the traing and skills of a service dog of any kind. This phone will not let me copy the link but all it takes is goung to google and puting in ” ada service dog guidlines”.

      In short, the dog must be:
      Well trained
      Able to help its person by either guiding, with hearing, or mobility, abd most rresently with ptsd and other mental ailments. But u must be DISABLED in some capacuty to have one.
      Well behaved in public
      Controlled by leash or voice
      Allowed anywhe% the public is allowed and allowed to live where a diabled person lives rven if pets are nott.

      So if this woman is diabled Matt is wrong. If she is not then the woman is abusing something something disabled people depen# on for independànce and survival in some cases and she deserves his wrath.

  4. just me says:

    I have to say that I am about 50/50 on your blog, some things I agree wholeheartedly, some things I really wonder about. Today is one of those I really wonder moments. I have a feeling that you actually know nothing whatsoever about depression or anxiety.

    I am at least a little qualified to speak on the subject, as I have both. I can tell you right now that one of these mental illnesses alone is quite bad, having both is pretty crippling. I can very much see how an “emotional support dog” or animal could really help someone in a severely depressed or high anxiety state. I have cats myself, and honestly sometimes they really do help you feel better.

    There is no reason that a physical handicap is somehow more valid than a mental one. Just because you do not understand it, does not make it weird, strange, or somehow horrible. There are a lot of people who would probably benefit from this. I can tell you that in a lot of cases landlords are extreme assholes who only care about their bottom lines (I currently rent, and have for almost a decade). How does having a pet hurt anyone? As long as the animal is well trained, no one has any right to complain.

    I personally think that writing about a topic you obviously don’t have much actual practical knowledge about is a bit silly. I hope in the future you can perhaps open your mind to be a bit more compassionate to people that are different than yourself. I think I have begun to see a theme of general intolerance in this blog, that is somewhat off putting.

    I also have to say that as someone who knows several atheists, I am a bit confused by your calling it a religion. Atheists do not believe in religion, period. I personally ascribe a different way. This seems like another topic on which you might wish to educate yourself.

    I hope someday to return to this blog to see you growing as a person.

    Sincerely,
    B.

  5. fred says:

    Regarding your response to the women’s disagreement to your position on abortion:

    Sorry. She’s but right; you’re wrong. A fetus is a clump of tissue, unable to support itself. Essentially it’s a parasite. (Look up the definition, since you are dictionary-enthused.) A human life is self supporting, unless of course you want to consider the comatose on life support… (What a life that is.) Also, production is not the same as destruction, which essentially, abortion is, correct? It’s the destruction of tissue, not the production of anything for business, as indicated in your definition. Have a nice day.

    • Lisa Reynoso says:

      Hey, be careful! My dad was a quadriplegic for two years. He was on life support or he would have died long before he did. And he had a quality of life until he decided that not being able to move was not for him and basically quit eating. But before that, he was learning to type, write with a pen in his mouth (I still have a birthday card he wrote for me). He could tell us stories and we would tell him about our day. So your definition of life is a bit skewed, too.

      Oh, and you commented on the wrong blog post, btw.

  6. Lisa Reynoso says:

    Matt, this is the first post I have to disagree with you rather strongly. I can understand why you would think this way, but do you know someone personally who has a service animal for emotional reasons? No? I thought so.

    Well, I do. And I have to agree with AJ and ontheflipside88. The law says that service animals can be anywhere their owner would be allowed to go. My friend who has a service animal often leaves her dog in the car when it’s not too hot so that she doesn’t offend people, but she will take her wherever she can. And if a doctor prescribes the animal (as her doctor did), and the sign says “Service Animals Welcome,” as opposed to “Seeing eye dogs and allergen sniffer dogs welcome”, then how can someone say that just because she got a dog for emotional needs it doesn’t count? Either change the laws or comply with them. I mean, a service animal for emotional needs isn’t prescribed for everybody who has depression. My friend who has one needs something to live for. Her kids (only one biological) are grown. Her son won’t let her see her only biological grandchild, which she finds very depressing. She was sexually abused multiple times as a child, physically abused by her dad, unwanted by her mom. She has a lot of emotional baggage, and on top of that, she has a ton of health issues. Four of those issues are so bad that most people would be miserable with just one of them. Her little dog makes the difference between her choosing life and choosing suicide. Don’t add insult to injury by telling her that she doesn’t need her dog.

    Fortunately, my friend is comfortably situated in the middle class. Sure, they have a lot of medical expenses, between her health issues and her husband’s cancer that keeps coming back, but at least they live in their own home out in the country where no one is bothered by the noises her little dog might make.

    So Matt, I would suggest making sure you know what you are talking about before you get on your soap box about things like this.

    That said, if I were in her situation, I would try to find another place to live. But I don’t know her situation, do I? I don’t know what it’s like trying to find a decent apartment in her area. I don’t know about her transportation situations. I don’t know exactly why the doctor prescribed the dog. And you don’t either, do you?

    Okay, off my soapbox.

  7. a person... says:

    Emotional Support Dogs have to be well behaved. If the owner does not clean up after the dog, keep the dog under control in public areas. keep the dog reasonably quiet, or if the dog is destroying the apartment the tenant can be evicted.

    Basically, owners of businesses are required to make accommodations for disabilities if they do not cause significant hardship. A well behaved dog does not cause significant hardship… it costs the landlord nothing. The landlord can hold the tenant financially responsible for any damage that the dog causes, just like any tenant would be responsible for damage they cause.

    Since people with emotional disabilities go to untold lengths to hide their disability from others, even as far as never leaving their home/apartment, it is really impossible for you to judge just how disabled a person is.

    Recently, there has been an increased visibility of emotional support and psychological service dogs (which ARE different from each other) because of the increased number of combat veterans returning with PTSD. The benefits these dogs provide is well documented.

    Do your research!

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