ARGGGHHHH I am so upset...not about diabetes but need support please!!

By Turtle Latest Reply 2013-07-05 23:52:35 -0500
Started 2013-01-29 18:09:33 -0600

Today I was at my primary docs office having a lump removed and in the middle of the procedure, the nurse told me I can no longer bring my service dog, Sunny back to the exam areas that he will have to wait with my caregiver in the hall. I need them both with me all the time.

The nurse someone had an anophalatic shock episode after he was there last. He gets groomed every month. His legal rights supercede those with fear and/or allergies. If I know someone is allergic, I keep him away.

I feel angry to put it mildly!!

I need support here because I am going to change health care companies if I have to. I will not comply with not being able to have my service dog and caregiver with me when at medical appts. Please dont answer with stuff that is not supportive. Thanks for reading.

36 replies

Fefe12 2013-05-13 16:40:26 -0500 Report

Sometimes anger is the mother of inventions. I understand your need for your dog but there must be someway to have you keep your dog and keep others alive. Why not a cover for the dog. Like pajamas. Isnt it the hair that bothers others. That way everyone can breath a sigh of relief.

liquorish 2013-02-26 20:21:31 -0600 Report

Hi Turtle. It's been a long time since I got on the net. I agree that some kind of arrangement could be made for your service animals. I know my brother-in-law is so allergic to cats (we have 13) he can't come to our house, and my sister brings a change of clothes so she can change before going back to the hotel. But the doctors office could put a sign on the door of the room that you just were in to let people know a service animal had been in that room, and put them in another one. You need your "helpers", and a nurse, of all people,should understand that. Sorry you have to deal with this kind of thing on top of everything else. Liquorish

liquorish 2013-02-26 20:21:31 -0600 Report

Hi Turtle. It's been a long time since I got on the net. I agree that some kind of arrangement could be made for your service animals. I know my brother-in-law is so allergic to cats (we have 13) he can't come to our house, and my sister brings a change of clothes so she can change before going back to the hotel. But the doctors office could put a sign on the door of the room that you just were in to let people know a service animal had been in that room, and put them in another one. You need your "helpers", and a nurse, of all people,should understand that. Sorry you have to deal with this kind of thing on top of everything else. Liquorish

red flower lady
red flower lady 2013-02-04 15:11:34 -0600 Report

Glad you got the issue solved. It would help if people knew the laws for service dogs. If you don't have your documentation with you for the service dog that officially states it is a service dog, you can be asked to leave. There are alot of people who have animals that they use to help them, but that doesn't make it a legal service animal. I know someone who was angry over being asked to leave because they didn't have documentation only a vest saying service dog that was aquired from a friend in order to have the dog at all times. I love dogs, but not everyone does or wants to be subjected to them in certain situations, but if truely needed then carry the papers and it will go smoother:)

Turtle 2013-01-31 21:14:48 -0600 Report

I want to thank everyone for the kind support. I did talk with my doc in fact, she called me before she left work to tell me she could not believe what she heard coming out of her assistants mouth. She reassured me that my dog and caregiver can be with me. The Patient Advocate called me and we talked at length. She said I can have my dog and caregiver with me at all times if I need/want also. She also told me she would have a talk with the assistant and tell her she comes across very abrasively.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-31 15:40:20 -0600 Report

Hi Turtle,

I haven't been in touch with you in awhile! Hope you are doing well.

I have also been in situations with clients in which the role of the service dog was misunderstood. I had to get educated myself so that I could help clients understand their rights. I am wondering if there is any kind of a document, in simple terms, that you could carry with you, to show to people who don't understand your rights, and the rights of your service dog. Just a suggestion.

I am sure I can't begin to imagine what this must have been like for you. I am sorry this happened.

Sometimes doing some "patient" education -- though I know it isn't always easy to be patient in these situations -- can go a long way.

Take care!


jayabee52 2013-01-31 16:11:44 -0600 Report

Gary, take a look further down the replies and there are some resources I shared with Turtle which may you may find helpful as well on that issue.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-31 12:20:42 -0600 Report

Turtle there are laws that vary by state as to the rights of the dog. Secondly the nurse works for the doctor therefore instead of getting upset you should have spoken about the incident with your doctor.

I had an assistant who told me I couldn't see the doctor unless I could pay. When I got finished with her she was lucky she had a job. Turns out those of us in a special program didn't know the program had expired. The doctor started losing patients simply because they did what you did. Failed to say anything about it to the doctor who was her boss.

When someone who is not the owner, boss or president of the business says you can't have your dog or guardian with you, ask to speak to the person in charge. If that person is not available, find out when he or she will be and call back. Never walk away from those kinds of situations stand up for your rights otherwise you will end up changing doctors, or utilizing business you don't care for simply because you did not stand up for yourself.

nanaellen 2013-01-30 23:16:15 -0600 Report

I see that you got it all straightened out…HAPPY to hear THAT!!! I surely hope your Doc gave her assistant a good long lecture!!! THAT was totally inappropriate to say the least!! I would have felt the same way as you!! your friend, Ellen :)

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-01-30 12:09:59 -0600 Report

A friend of mine has an anti-seizure dog. The dog alerts him before he has a seizure and he can take steps to prevent or lessen the effects. He has had numerous problems taking his service dog into places He finally got business cards made up that have the DOJ phone number on them and says if no one is available they can call the local police. It states on there that Federal Law does not require a special leash, jacket, or collar announcing "This is a service dog". Believe it or not, the dog does not have to be certified. Like James said below, if the dog growls at people or even other dogs inside an establishment, you can be asked to leave with your dog and you can be banned from that establishment with that dog. Now, I understand that airlines have stricker rules. They can ban "companion dogs" or other emotional support dogs. They cannot ban seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs, or anti-seizure dogs. They may require documentation in order for you to be allowed to have your dog with you. Apparently people were claiming "service dog" when in actuality, the person just wanted their dog with them. Now I have a collie-boarder collie mix. If I took her on a plane, by the time we de-planed she will have a longer list of friends (well, minus the guy we had to throw out becaused he whined that he was allergic to dogs). She runs around here at camp during the summer with 300 kids between 8-12. She has not eaten a single camper, yet.

CJ55 2013-01-31 22:51:00 -0600 Report

Hello Jim.. I understand and agree that ppl should be allowed to take their service animals with them everywhere. I have seen it being abused on an airplane. A women claimed her toy teacup poodle was her service dog. The entire dog didn't weigh more than 2 pounds and was smaller than a bird. The lady ranted and carried on but was told to either cage the dog and he would be boarded with the rest of the animals or she could just leave the plane. She chose to leave. I don't think anyone believed that teeny tiny dog was a service animal. She just wanted her poochy with her.

Ebony Faith
Ebony Faith 2013-07-05 23:52:35 -0500 Report

i work for an organization that has been training five types of assistance dogs for 25 years. Hearing assist dogs can range from 2 pound Yorkshire terriers to 55 pound black labs. About 1/3 of our dogs are shelter/rescues and can be any mix of size and breed.

I have a black lab diabetes assist dog and am constantly challenged on access because "I'm not blind" or "I don't look disabled" having an invisible disability is hard enough. Having to constantly defend yourself when being called a faker is even harder.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-31 12:46:56 -0600 Report

Jim there is one in every crowd. I was in a store and a person with a service dog was coming in and the owner asked the person not to come in with the dog because of his allergy to dogs. He asked the person what they wanted and would have someone bring it to them and collect the money. The man told the employee what he wanted and he was able to make his purchase. There is a sign posted on the door of the establishment that states in bold letters, "No Dogs Allowed Under Any Circumstances Due to Allergy".

In my travels, I have seen a woman with a "companion dog" not allowed to board an airplane. The airline found a flight for her that would allow the dog. She was told the dog had to be a seeing eye dog, hearing dogs or anti seizure dogs. Her dog was used for falls. She was very upset because she was under the impression that her dog could go where ever she went. This is not true when it comes to airlines. Collie-Boarder Collie mixes are beautiful dogs. I bet yours is a cutie.

jayabee52 2013-01-30 18:25:09 -0600 Report

yes where there is a good thing, people seem to just want to "game" the system and use the rules to get what they want

jayabee52 2013-01-29 19:08:58 -0600 Report


Here is a summary of the laws in various countries, states and provinces, provided by Assistance Dogs international ~

To read the Washington State law it on page 100 and 101 of the booklet, which may be found on page 58 of the PDF (see the pages icon on the left side and open it by clicking on it. Then you can scroll down to page 58 to read)

Here us a FAQ sheet from Angel service dogs ~

Please note that at the bottom of the FAQ sheet there is a number you can call from the U.S. Department of Justice’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301.

However you may have a tussle with the Dr's office because as I read through some of the FAQs this came up:

>> "What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

"You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually."<<

So if this person who claimed anaphalyxis is really having a life threatening reaction to dog hair, that may get Sunny excluded. I am sure Sunny is well behaved and does not bark or otherwise cause a commotion, but just the fact that that person has a LIFE THREATENING reaction may be enough.

Perhaps you may need to call that DOJ number and speak with someone more well versed on the ADA. An ADA lawyer might be another avenue after you call that hotline number in the ADA.


Turtle 2013-01-30 00:07:34 -0600 Report

James, I truely love you cuz you care so much. Thank you. My doc called me tonight before she left the office to tell me that Sunny is not banned as her assistant had stated and she can work in the clinic where the other person is not near. The doc said she was mortified that her assistant brought this up during a time when she, the doc, couldnt stop what she was doing because she was removing a lump out of my body and I couldnt move. It was clearly inupprorpiate and uncalled for my dr. said. According to the ADA laws, Sunny is perfect. He and I just passed our yearly public access test, with flying colors the other day.

Thank you again for caring so much. hugs

GabbyPA 2013-02-03 14:44:28 -0600 Report

I am so glad to hear that. Sometimes the doctors don't know what is going on their offices. If that assistant is so allergic that she suffers anti-falactic episodes, then she should have recused herself from working in your room. That is just as important to her as it was to you. I'm glad your doctor took care of things for you.

jayabee52 2013-02-03 16:54:43 -0600 Report

If I remember Turtle's original post it was not the assistant who had the anaphylaxis reaction it was another patient.

GabbyPA 2013-02-04 14:43:44 -0600 Report

Oh, I'm sorry, I miss read that part. I have never heard of people having that reaction to a dog.

dubyadd 2013-02-04 22:57:33 -0600 Report

My uncle was severely allergic to cats but not dogs,odd isn't, I thought at first it was just a story, until I saw a cat walk across his lawn and a few minutes later out from the bedroom came my uncle, eyes mostly swollen shut, sneezing like crazy asking his wife to find his meds. They came very close to going to the ER. My point is if someone can be that allergic to cats, dogs are right behind. Who has priority is a tough call. I could make a good argument for either side. And even after the animal leaves the room or area,his dander and fleas can linger, so should the allergic person stuff himself full of antihistamines before he leaves the house, just in case???

jayabee52 2013-02-07 18:25:28 -0600 Report

it is always a tricky situation when one's rights/needs are pitted against another's. However the call was NOT the assistant's call to make. It was the Dr's. One could make a case either way since the anaphylaxis IS life threatening, but Sunny is also a dog with a purpose, to give a warning to Turtle should her BG level go low. Without Sunny Turtle could also be threatened by a hypo if he were excluded.

dubyadd 2013-02-07 18:42:57 -0600 Report

I agree, tough call, and The Doctors to make it, it shows a good reason to let the Doctor know what you are allergic to. For example there are more and more children severely allergic to peanuts. So if they are in the waiting room when someone walks in snacking on a bag of peanuts, what happens? Ask them to leave, or stop eating, too late for some, as he is already going into anaphylactic shock! I think anyone with such severe allergies, needs to have a solution (like an epi-pen) with them at all times and make sure all his medical professionals that he goes to, know of it and maybe even wear a medic alert bracelet. I know if I had a severe allergy that could kill me, I would do everything I could to prevent it.