I have wondered about this for some time now. I have heard so much…incorrect information about Therapy Dogs and their certification. It is even more confusing as there are so many supposed therapy dog training organizations out there and the laws governing them are different in each state. I decided to get the skinny and be done with it. I suspected money was involved somewhere particularly since there does not seem to be a medical billing code for therapy dogs.
This next part will make me some enemies or rather it would if anyone actually read my blog. I think I’m safe. There really is no such thing as a therapy dog. This whole thing with dogs has legitimacy only because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This federal law says that if you have a “service dog” you and your dog may not be denied access. So what is a service dog? Well that does not seem to be as important as how to get one and the only legal way to get one is with a prescription. If your problem is all in your head then you can get a prescription for that too from your shrink and you can call him an “emotional comfort dog”, not a therapy dog.
There is even a law about what happens if you claim to have a service dog and she is not. I imagine this is more about whether you have a legal script rather than the qualifications of the dog.
So then what does it mean when you see these “therapy dogs” walking around with their vest and patches attesting to their kind intentions? It simply means that someone has spent time working with the dog and allows others to enjoy their company, probably for tips and treats. If they are lucky they have found a nursing home or maybe even a hospital that will allow them to visit. But I have to ask myself why? I can’t imagine tips coming close to paying for the insurance.
As the internet started to become this incredible tool it also became just another device which only purpose is to make money for those in control. To be sure the transformation is not yet complete and there is still a battle but it is waged mostly by pirates at this point. Once they are subdued there will be no one left to fight and the internet will be fully just another medium used to sell products and services to whoever pays for the opportunity to be marketed to.
I remember when having your own webpage was potentially a powerful thing. Now a webpage is invisible unless you pay money so that it will show up in a search. Of course if you know the exact name of the website you are searching for you can just type it in but we know that is not generally how it is done. We do searches for things not webpages specifically and let the “search engine” choose for us what we will see.
I am very disappointed that after all the study and time involved to build our webpage that it mostly goes unseen because I refuse to pay the gatekeeper extortion money. Even if you do a search that calls for one of our products and give the city and even though no one else has any products matching the description within the city, we will not show up in the search results. To make matters worse, what does come back in the search results is hundreds of sites that have nothing or little to do with what you were looking for but these sites did pay.
This is not just a problem for me and people like me but everyone else that uses the internet, it is a great disservice. I am not advocating regulating the internet; that would only make it much worse. But I don’t believe that the average user truly understands that they are being herded toward an area that serves the “owners” of the internet rather than showing them what they are looking for.
For now we must make do with trying to get our information onto other websites that serve as a listing of companies that do certain things like provide raw dog food or specialty eggs.