Thursday, January 6, 2011

Service animals and hidden dis-abilities

This is an issue that i have been doing a great deal of reading up on recently and to be honest getting more than a bit ticked off with the government. People with hidden dis-abilities frequently get hassled about having their animals with them now. once this change in the law goes into effect I know people who will be totally home bound. I have always used rescued cats as my service animal. I train them myself or maybe they watch and train me or maybe we train each other. With a cat you can never be sure. I don't take my cat every where with me and to be honest the reason I take him when I visit family is because he is very high energy and without me there to keep him occupied he pulls my decor off the walls to play with the nails and pushpins. He also has a bit of separation anxiety being that someone dumped him in my cousin's truck at a work site when he was barely weaned. He is also only 7 months old so is still a kitten. My animal helps with PTSD and dissociative symptoms as well as alerting me to needing to take meds in the evening at a reasonable hour so I sleep at night, prompts me to eat and to drink. When I am around people they can help me with those things but when alone I forget those things more often than not. With dissociation and getting grounded I can honestly say I have found cats easier to train than people.
I have one friend who also has several hidden dis-abilities and she is on her third cat. She has to travel with the cat but does to need to bring him inside unless it is overnight, she is in particularly bad mental shape, or she is at high risk for exposure to an sunlight. Among other things she has an extreme sensitivity to sunlight which, not only causes her to start blistering after only about 30 seconds of exposure,it causes her to lose consciousness after 20 minutes. She has no family of friends in the state she now lives in and has been refused services multiple times due to the DSS decided she was just malingering. She provided them with documentation from all her past drs., documentation from present docs, hospital records from the time prior to her moving there and she is on SSD and has been given the designation of permanently disabled not expected to recover. Social security does not just hand out that designation. But it means nothing in the new state's DSS since they have decided she is just faking. They have even gone so far as to put false information into the electronic records that make her out to be a violent fraud. Her cat alerts her to the sun's movements. Forces her to move if the sun is getting too close, cues her to go get her mail when the sun goes down, and many many other things including his most recent trick which is opening the front door to let himself back in so she does not get even that tiny bit of sun.
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