Emotional Support Dog

I rarely write about our dog rescue on this blog because it is a separate part of my life, but this week I learned something because of our rescue when a wonderful dog called Lula was adopted out after living with us for ten months. It was so hard to let her go but I knew it was the right thing to do because my disabilities limit what I can do and she was so deserving of someone with a healthy body who could teach and train her the way would love.

This is Lulabelle. We believe she may be a Patterdale terrier because she is small and energetic. I can’t walk dogs but I love them and help care for them and my daughter Kim does the rest. It has changed our lives for the better and it is like living in a house full of small children, full of energy and happiness.

The reason I am writing about Lula is that a young woman fell in love with her through our rescue advert and she read everything about her before she contacted us. The young woman had gone through a traumatic experience and her councilor suggested she find a dog as an emotional support dog to help her through it. I had not thought about that before but I realized that writing about this could help many badly injured women who really need someone there for them when everyone else is gone from the house. So I looked up the process and this is what I found.

Emotional support dogs are dogs that provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are. They are meant solely for emotional stability and unconditional love. They can assist with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder/mood disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, and other psychological and emotional conditions.

When you are disabled and stay home a great deal while everyone around you is living life as normal, it can be really hard emotionally. I have had a dog through my entire ordeal and Beaux was like a breath of fresh air that always made me laugh. Last year when he died, we were so upset and decided to rescue another dog and that is how we became a full time dog rescue. I can tell you at times it has been crazy around here with sick dogs we brought in from shelters and had to isolate and then get well and it is a huge learning curve that has been fun and sometimes sad. During the past year we have adopted out eight happy and healthy small dogs and we have loved it regardless of the work. We chose small dogs only because I cannot handle anything larger.

During my surgeries, Beaux was always there beside me as I recuperated. I have watched many women share photos of their dogs through Facebook and how they helped them through their recovery and still do and I have also watched when a woman worries about losing her home. The one thing they worry about is losing their precious pet who is more of a friend than anyone in the family because they seem to understand and give love when most needed. When I read up on emotional support dogs, this part caught my eye.

Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), an individual who meets the proper criteria is entitled to an emotional support dog to assist them with their life. The FHAA protects individuals by allowing their emotional support dog to live with them (even when there are no pet policies in place). The ACAA protects individuals by allowing the emotional support dog to fly with them in the cabin of an airplane (without having to pay any additional fees). Any dog can be an emotional support dog, and emotional support dogs do not have to be professionally-trained.

You do need a doctor to state your health issues, but here are some of the things that are part of this.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Fear/phobias
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Suicidal Thoughts/Tendencies
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Separation anxiety
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Factitious Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Impulse-Control Disorders
  • Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition
  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Stress
  • Substance Related Disorders

    The good news is, if you do lose your home and have to move to a rental place you don’t have to give up your dog nor come up with a huge down payment to move into a rental place. I know that many women would find giving up their dog would be devastating and that is why I decided to write about this today.

    I am in touch with the young woman who adopted Lula and as hard as it was to give her up, I know she has a safe environment and she will do her share to help this young woman through her ordeal. I just thank God she was here with me for ten months and I made her life special. You can read all about Lulabelle here

This program is through the U.S and Canada. To register your dog, this is the link to read

I did look it up in Great Britain and they do it too.

This is the U.K link

1 Comment

  1. Debby Nyberg

    Lulabelle, you are a precious little sweetheart. Only happy/yappy days ahead for you in your new home.


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