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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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I am a Viet Nam Vet. The V. A. has me described me as having

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I am a Viet Nam Vet. The V. A. has me described me as having PTSD. I have a yellow lab that has kept me in ck. for the last 8 yrs. She calms me down when I'm around alot of people and makes me feel safe. Can I use her as an Emotional support animal and what do I need to do to make that happen?
Welcome and thank you for your question!

Please clarify: what problems are you experiencing with your yellow lab?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, for one reason or another over the past 5 yrs something trigered an event that happened 40 yrs ago. I have been seeing a number of people from the VA and they have put me down with having PTSD. I haven;t been able be around alot of people. I go the store to by food later to avoid being around alot of people. The good thing is my dog has some piced up on my problem and has helped me cope. I take her with me almost every where I can. She makes me get out of bed to take out to do her thing. When I get the shakes, she calms down. I have not trained her. She has trained me to live again and for that I'm truly greatful. I don't know what I need to do to see if she qualifies as an emotional support dog. Or for that matter, do I.?

Do you keep her on a leash when she's with you? Does she wear a vest or something that marks her as a support dog?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, she on a leash when she is out with me. and yes I got her a vest that says Service Dog. But I don't know if its legal or not.

Will your doctor issue you a short letter which lists your medical condition and the fact that [name of your dog] is your support animal? Can you ask your doctor to write such a letter so that you can keep it in your wallet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I could, however I chose to work with a VA Licensed Clinical social worker "male" that I met and continue to work with because of the nature of the event. I'm old school and the psys were both female's. Now I love female's but I don't feel comfortable talking about this with them right now.

That is entirely your choice. You can wait to do it whenever your comfortable. The benefit of having such a letter with you is that it will make it a lot easier for you to resolve any public problems if someone wants to bar your companion dog from being with you (e.g., into a store, an apartment, etc.).

Take it at your pace. Thank you for your service and best wishes!

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help. And it does help. Will a letter from the Soc worker do or not?

The social worker is not a medical doctor. It's better than nothing but you would be better off going with the doctor. The doctor makes the medical diagnosis and treatment plan.

~~ J.B.
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