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Emotional Support Animals

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by SamJI, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. They should be available to everyone

    42.9%
  2. They're good in the right hands

    50.0%
  3. They're troublesome to society

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. All ESAs should receive official training

    50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. SamJI

    SamJI New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I joined because I'd like to learn more about the benefit of emotional support animals (also known as ESAs) to individuals on the spectrum. I intend to purchase one for myself because I am struggling with the demands of everyday life as a university student.

    Do any of you have an ESA? If so, please tell me what it's like and about the positives and negatives of owning one!

    Do you support the idea of anyone owning an ESA? Why/why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Having a pet can be very rewarding emotionally. Just remember that the pet, to a greater or lesser degree (depending on the kind of animal) is kind of like a little person themselves, with physical and emotional needs. So its best to only go that route if you are willing and able to provide those to the pet and for the entire life of the pet. Its a two way street you should look at from both perspectives. Some pets need more time and energy (and funds) then others.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
  3. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    I have an emotional support animal. Without Samantha I wouldn’t have been able to leave my abusive husband. Without her I wouldn’t be able to leave the house, sometimes not even to get the mail.
    She has had some training but mostly she just has to keep me company. I can focus on her when I’m anxious. She senses my anxiety and jumps into my lap and gives me kisses if I ask her to.
    Without her near me I just don’t function as well, I feel lost in a huge world and don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. When she is with me, I focus on her and her needs for example, is her vest on and comfortable for her, is she belted into her car seat, is the music in the van too loud for her, does she have to pee, is she thirsty....
    The cons are people are jerks and make comments. Since I don’t look like I’m struggling with paralyzing anxiety, people think I just want to take my dog with me for fun. If I had a choice I would rather be normal and go out without her. It’s embarrassing and inconvenient. I’ve come home crying a few times because of the negative comments from people but at least I was out and about because of Samantha.
    I found Samantha at the pound. She was free because she is a senior and had been there for over three months and nobody wanted her. Her training was $200 because I bought the extra training option. Her service vest and Emotional support dog registry was about $150. Vet bills, don’t ask!
    So it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it does take time and patience to work with your companion animal so that you can build a bond of mutual trust.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    They are wonderful companions but you do need to consider all the commitment that goes into them. Puppies (and some big dogs who are stressed and nervous) can do a lot of damage - you ready to have your cell phone charger chewed up? They are not cheap - feeding, vet bills, shots, flea control, toys. Are you willing to make adjustments - like giving up 2/3rds of your bed? :) And, as Tom pointed out - are you ready to make a lifetime commitment?
    I'm a dog person and always have been (sorry again cats. :) ) I love my dogs.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    Hi SamJI :)

    welcome to af.png
     
  6. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    couldn't vote it's too complex
     
  7. AHuman

    AHuman New Member

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    My cats are not ESAs but they really do help. I really benefit from having them around and making them happy makes me happy.

    Even an animal that's just a pet is beneficial. Dogs help you get out and about, they're cuddly and loveable and they're something outside yourself to care for.

    I struggle with self-imposing routines, if I'm not given one by an external force like work, all the days and nights run together and I forget to eat, sleep most of the time and generally just stare into space. I fall into depression and anxiety ridiculously easily. The cats are a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to go to the shops, a reason to still be alive.

    They're not official emotional support, but that's what they are and I adore them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

    Messages:
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    I think the training for ESAs can be important depending on the animal and the person.

    But a lot of dogs and cats can sense things without training. My sister is diabetic and both our dog and 1 of our cats who never had any training would sense and wake her up when her blood sugar was low when she was asleep. And all of our animals (except for 1) seemed to sense when something was emotionally wrong/needed.

    But my brother and sister now have a dog (I am moves out) who has her own issues and isn't a good ESA (and also isn't trained as one since that wasn't the intent) but is a perfectly fine pet.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    As some have mentioned most pets (cats and dogs for instance) fit the emotional support role by nature. Having a official trained one seems to depend on whether you will need to take it with you more then usual, like out to the store or on transportation, etc. I have dogs mainly, and they require quite a bit of time and effort (4 Chihuahuas... which each need to daily feel they are the best and most important beings in the universe) but as AHuman mentioned they help me keep moving and to have a routine. These are benefits (and possible) in my case as I am not busy with a job anymore.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
  11. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    My cats aren’t official support animals, but they give me a great amount of comfort, company and joy.