So let’s just get this out in the open. I am a huge fan of having your intuitive healing animal support you.
As many of you know, #CoralineClover has been very helpful in the office, providing a healing loving environment. I kind of did the opposite of what people do for training a service dog. Because Coraline does so much work in the office, I wanted people to not bother her on her time off. She is just so damn cute that it makes it hard for people to not want to touch her. But that service dog vest is magical and lets people know to back off.
Funny, I had no idea that I NEEDED her on our time off. I tripped, nearly eating it face first, while taking her for a morning, burn the puppy energy off, walk. I yelped and got scared. She instantly jumped on my leg and made me sit down and “be” with her to settle my heart. Holy WOW!
She graduated in less than a week at service dog school because she did so well. She passed her test with flying colors and now just needs me to work with her enough to manage her puppydom and get her to “work” for me. It’s a process. It’s 24-7, I swear. But I can already see how much better she feels when we are not at the office and how much better I do outside of the office, too.
My original plan was to just train her to be an emotional support anima/dog (ESA), but I found ESA’s aren’t given the same rights as a service animal. Well, it’s because they are not required to have training, pass a test and be nationally registered. That was the deal sealer for me. I WANT Coraline to be well trained. I want her to be on her best behavior so my life is easier with her. In doing this research between the two’s rights I now know that an ESA is sort of optionally protected (housing is really the only required allowance – and they can question the hell out of you). A service dog is protected with national and Texas Laws. A service dog CANNOT be rejected or told to leave unless it is acting out or not “working” with their handler. That kind of dog needs to leave anyway. It’s having a bad day. It needs to go home and regroup and rest or something. I wish this rule applied to children at times. Sometimes I look at kids and think, they need to go home and regroup. I understand that it’s not always an option for people (especially while shopping). But for restaurants, I’m like your kid wants out of here man. Service animals however gotta go. Not “working” as trained, booted.
I took Coraline to K9 Kommand where Terry was a dream and helpful as hell. He was not judgmental in the fact that I apparently let Coraline boss me around (which I found difficult to hear since I read about 20 books on training before I got her – in hindsight, I just needed the potty training book and then get her with Terry at 15 weeks).
So if you are reading this and wondering, should I get my dog trained better? The answer is always yes. If you want an ESA or Service animal, I recommend doing some training. It has made a huge difference in mine and Coraline’s relationship and I know without a doubt we will be traveling for trainings in November without fear of being rowdy or seen as a bad handler. (I’m exhausted TBH, so I look forward to those days;).