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Doggie-Dependence Debate
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This cultural and legal attitude suggests that people who are dependent on their animals for anything other than amusement or entertainment are abnormal or unhealthy. People who love animals as friends and family, and more especially, who depend on them for comfort and emotional support, are seen as quirky at best, and at worst, mentally ill. Perhaps it is time that our culture accepts that we depend on animals in all aspects of our lives, including companionship and emotional support.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 71: Sep/Oct 2012
Kelly Oliver, PhD is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. She is the author of more than 100 articles and 11 books, including Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human.

Photograph: Floyd Anderson

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Submitted by George Schlosser | November 20 2012 |

You will get no argument from me about the theraputic effects of dog and how they can help unstable people. But there absolutely has to be some behavioral standards that all "service dogs" need to meet. At a bare bones minimum, something like the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test is needed. We have boarded "service dogs" at our kennel that we could not get near.
The other big problem is the people who know the law. A store owner may not allow "pets". Anyone can say their dog is a service dog, and that ends the conversation because you are not allowed to ask someone what their "disabiliy" is.

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