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    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Anger & Discrimination

    So the first place I go with my dog after I get the service dog prescription, and can officially (ie: legally) say that she is a service dog in training (SDIT), I get rudely attacked.

    You would think that people could have a modicum of politeness. The sad part about it is that it was at a friend's house, and I had taken her over there twice before. If they had had a problem with me bringing her over there, you would think that they would have said something prior to me coming over again at our regularly scheduled time. Instead, they waited for me to arrive, then had their [*redacted] roommate bite my head off about her.

    As I was packing up to leave the stressful situation, (a common and positive technique to avoid conflict), he chased after me in order to continue accosting me, while becoming increasingly aggressive. That didn't help matters at all. It took me less than a minute to get myself out of the house, but by that time, I had already been sent into a PTSD episode/panic attack. The worst part is that the residents of that house KNEW that I am training her as a service dog, AND that I had been in the process of getting a prescription for her. (I don't know if they knew that I had gotten the prescription yet or not, but that doesn't matter when all things are considered.)

    Should I have told them that I had gotten the prescription when I got it? Maybe, but it's not a legal requirement to show anyone the prescription for a service animal unless you are in court, or renting a housing unit of some sort. Should I have asked if I could bring her with me the second and third time I brought her over instead of just the first time, and assuming it would be okay henceforth? I can see how verifying before every visit would have been more mannerly of me, but asking the same question over and over every week is annoying, even to those being asked. (These folks have said as much to me about other topics)

    Maybe I should thank the [*redacted] for triggering an episode and helping me to train her faster. Maybe I should thank him for being so outright caustic the first time he blew up, that I am incapable of thinking it was a one-off event that might not happen again (thus saving me for being forced to endure future events of this type). Maybe I should be happy that I have another day of my schedule free to do other things. But I won't, and I'm not.

    I never liked this person anyway, something about him has always put me on edge and made me very uncomfortable. But I didn't say anything about it, because I try my best to be polite. He may be [*redacted], but it's their house, their lives, and none of my business who they chose to let live with them. So I kept my trap shut, and endured the discomfort I felt when he was in the same room with us during our weekly events. Their house, not my place to get involved in their private matters, period.

    If this had happened in a public place after her training was complete, it would be a prosecutable breach of federal law. Instead, I guess I'll just never go over there again.

    I was in the process of recovering from a suicidal depression when this happened, and now it's worse than it was before, because now I have lost a friend, maybe two, plus one of the regular social events that I come to rely on in order to keep myself relatively stable.

    I never thought that having a service dog would cause me to be more disabled. Especially not disabilities thrust upon me by the housemates of those I once thought I could call friend.

    An alert to all: As I do have a prescription for her, and she will soon be a fully trained service dog, I will not be going anywhere without her. This is part of her training, as she must learn to avoid distraction in any situation. If this is a problem with any future events or gatherings, please let me know so that I can plan to sit at home alone and not attend. Simply write "Service dogs not welcome" somewhere in your event description.

    *Redacted: Edited for publication, or for legal or privacy's sake. (two strings of text were removed in order to be polite, though no cursing or foul language was present, and one string of text was removed in order to protect the privacy of others)

    [Edit] It has come to may attention that the issue had little to nothing to do with my SDIT, nor my bringing her over, but that she and I just happened to be a convenient target for the roomate's frustration over some other event. This in no way makes things better, but it bears mentioning in order to provide a complete and accurate representation of the events discussed here.

    Also, two of my friends from that home have verified that they have no intention to stop being my friend. Happy thoughts, even in tough times,

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