5 Things You Need To Know About Having An Emotional Support Animal
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Health and Wellness

5 Things You Need To Know About Having An Emotional Support Animal

Having an emotional support animal was the most rewarding decision of my life.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Having An Emotional Support Animal
Shiann Farrell

Many of you about to read this article are not aware of what an emotional support animal is. So to begin, an emotional support animal lies in between a service animal and a therapy animal. Emotional support animals do not need to behave any specialized training but with a doctors note, owners acquire housing and airplane rights. Though they are not allowed in public places that do not already allow pets because they are not technically service animals. Anyways, here are a few things about my experience with having an emotional support animal.

1. It was scary thinking about bringing up the idea of having an emotional support animal to my doctor.

I've always been scared of talking to my doctor about things but as I grow up, it became easier. However, discussing this seemed a little bit scary because I did have to explain the reasoning behind it. I also felt there was a stigma around ESA's as there is surrounding everything else dealing with mental illness. But luckily, my doctor had been treating the issue for a while and was really understanding.

2. It makes my day when my dog makes people smile.

Whether it's people on the sidewalk or people in Watterson towers, any kind of acknowledgment makes me happy. I love when people see her and smile, squeal, or talk about how cute she is. Because let's be real, her little smushy face is the cutest. For more smiles, you can follow her on Instagram @dixiedaisythedog.

3. The questions

When I first moved to college I was really worried about the types of questions people would ask because pets are obviously not allowed in dorms. I didn't want the questions that seemed simple to other people but personal to me. Like what you need for an emotional support animal or what one is for. But nowadays I'm used to it and don't mind educating people about emotional support animals.

4. No training required


Back to what I said earlier about emotional support animals not needing to be trained. They are still expected to uphold a certain standard of behavior. Which is a good thing, because I'm poor and can not afford to have a trained dog, but it's nice to have a little buddy when I'm going through something. Even though sometimes she's completely insensitive to my emotions and just wants belly rubs.

5. It's worth it


Having Dixie in my life has been super rewarding. If I hadn't taken her in, she would've been thrown onto the street. And even though my mom kept begging me to take her to a shelter before our landlord found out, I was persistent with finding a way to keep this dog.

Luckily, with my research, I found out I could get a letter from my doctor basically prescribing Dixie to me. And I had to go through an extensive process to get her approved to live on campus with me, but that all turned out to be worth it. Having an emotional support animal is the most consistent, rewarding thing in my life

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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