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Service Animals and Handlers need respect and space.

It's always a curious thing when people see my service dog. Not all #ServiceDogs are the same. there's no one dog must fit all. some dogs are for #medicalalerts , others help with #VisionLoss or #impairments , some help with mobility, some help with #PTSD triggered, And some are just an amazing lifeline to everything. I know the only two questions that I am legally allowed to asked. I know that registration companies are a huge waste of money. And I know social etiquette is #DoNotPetAServiceAnimal , do not take #Photos of the service dog, not make kissy noises at the service dog, or distract the dog from working in any other manner.

I constantly get bombarded with questions, mainly all stemming because Jethro is a huge dog. He is a nearly full grown and you can see him from a mile away. And I love his size because he helps so much with my #stability when I am #ambulatory . I do enjoy that he takes most of the attention off of me and my huge #Braces and wheelchair.

No one asks me questions when Jethro is with me like "what is wrong with you?" I'm not bombarded with horrible questions by strangers that think that they have the right to my #medicalhistory .

I wish that there was more representation of proper service dog #Etiquette in TV shows, movies, and on social media. I see so many amazing memes and lines that would be amazing on a shirt. For example, "would you ask to pet my wheelchair? Thought not."

There needs to be more sharing that not all dogs perform the same #tasks , behave the same way, look the same, are of the same breed, or come from the same #trainer . each dog has their own personality, own habits, and own little quirks. Lastly, the general public need to understand that dogs can be self trained to do the minimal #TwoTasks necessary to become a #ServiceDog.

So what are some good practices for the general public to deal with service animals? That's a great question.
🐕‍🦺First off never touch one unless you have #permission.
🦮Also, you do not need to show service animals attention. They are working and sometimes it can be #deadly if they're distracted.
🐕‍🦺Look at the handlers' eyes, not the animal. engage with the handler.
🦮If a service animal comes to you without their handler, follow it. Don't touch it, don't pick it up, don't catch it and put it somewhere confined. Follow it because you might be saving that handler's life.
🐕‍🦺Service animals are allowed everywhere and protected by many laws; However, #EmotionalSupportAnimals and are not.
🦮Service animals in a grocery store or a restaurant is NOT a violation of any health code.
🐕‍🦺 Service animals provide for a better quality of life, assist handlers in tasks that might otherwise be #painful, dangerous for the handler due to #medical issues, or exhausting for that patient.
🦮Because service animals are considered a piece of #medicalequipment , handlers cannot be charged pet fees in places like hotels or on #Airlines .


Where do you go when you feel like you need to talk to someone about your sexuality?

what's you're platform if choice? is there a section on this site that acknowledges those struggles? is tumblr more appropriate for this conversation? #Etiquette

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What I learned on our outing in the chair.

What I learned on B and I’s outing tonight.

* Pushing him in a wheelchair is a complete body workout.

* Sidewalks in bad condition need repaired/replaced. Sidewalks with areas of broken concrete, or areas where tree roots have pushed up a section at a seam are very difficult to navigate.

* Handicap doors - the ones you push the pad to open automatically - need to remain open 15 seconds longer.

* The ‘ramps’ to cross the street need to be at less of an incline. The footboards scrape, making it impossible to go down them forward. The anti-tip bars make it hard to go down them backwards.

* You have to walk like a penguin when pushing a chair with anti-tip bars.

* Or, anti-tip bars need to have a cover on them so you don’t crack open your ankles hitting the interior and exterior screws. I busted open both ankles. One while walking, one while turning him around to go backwards down a ramp. Lovely.

* People are (in our experience tonight ) generally not respectful of one’s needs in a wheelchair. For instance, rushing ahead of us to go through a door - not to hold it for us, but because they didn’t want to wait for us to maneuver to get through it.

Hold doors, smile, say hi, and teach your children to do the same. Please.

There is healing in kindness. #Wheelchair #Etiquette #Respect #paraplegic #Sci #SpinalCordInjury #Suicide #SuicideSurvivor #ChooseKind #Kindness #MentalHealth