The Different Types of Support Dogs
Benji’s Job: An Edition of the Benji Files
Hi! My name is Benji and I’m loving life!
Every morning I wake up and smell the coffee, drink some water, and go on the first walk of the day. The smells and sights of the new day are exciting and as I stroll down the sidewalk, I eventually find something I like. Sometimes it’s a tree or slightly tilted telephone pole, perhaps a grey fire hydrant. When I find just the right spot, I lift my leg and the golden stream is only matched by the sun’s golden rays. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a pup. But not just any pup, I’m a workin’ dog with the best job ever. I’m a therapy pup that loves listening to SQUIRREL!… Sorry, I got distracted, #SQUIRREL, where was I? Oh yea, I love listening to people. My Mom, Annalisa, and I listen to people all day. I sit loyally to provide support and be there through the tough times when opening up can be hard to do. Nobody likes to tell where their bones are buried.
Not all support animals assist in the office. Some work with only a single human in the field. Service animals help people with disabilities who need assistance in their daily lives. Some can be “seeing eye dogs” that help people who are visually impaired, other service dogs keep their humans safe by detecting oncoming seizures, and there are many more. These workin’ pups are so important that there is a law protecting them in public places. It’s called the American Disability Act (ADA) and it allows people that require service animals to take them where animals are typically not allowed to go such as grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other public settings.
Some workin’ pups get jobs as emotional support animals (ESA). These hard-working dogs do exactly what their title says, they give support to those that are dealing with difficult situations or are struggling with mental afflictions. These pups are not protected by the ADA but are protected in houses with a “no pets” policy and while traveling. Some people on the internet will try to convince you that you need to buy special certificates to have an ESA but all it really takes is a letter from a therapist, like my Mom. Someone like her will assess how beneficial an animal would be for your clinical diagnosis and will assess your ability to care for an animal. If you would benefit from an animal and are able to take good care of him or her then you most likely would be able to get a letter. Well, I gotta go. There’s lots of people that need a floppy listening ear and this tail isn’t going to chase itself.
Til next time,
Benji, the Therapy Doggo