by Catherine Mann
In my April Harlequin Desire, THE LOVE CHILD, the heroine has a service dog, a subject matter I wanted to include because of my time helping at PAALS, an ADI accredited service dog training 501c3. I also take therapy dogs to my local hospital to visit patients.
And yes, service dogs and therapy dogs are different!
People often mistakenly interchange the phrases “service” dog, “therapy” dog, and “emotional support” animal. The chart at the end of this blog provides a great overview of the important differences. Simply put:
A service dog is highly trained and assists its handler with a medical condition. The service dog is allowed public access and should not be petted by others while working.
A therapy dog provides comfort in group settings or therapeutic situations. These dogs should have at least basic obedience training. They are only allowed public access at the invitation of the facility.
An emotional support animal (ESA) provides comfort to its owner; however, it can only be labeled as an ESA with a doctor’s letter. These dogs are not allowed public access.
I had a blast including a service dog in THE LOVE CHILD and, no doubt, will be including working dogs in future books. It’s incredible to see what a difference these animals – whether service, therapy, or ESA – make in people’s lives.
Have you had an experience with a service dog, a therapy animal, or an ESA? Or have a question? I’d love to hear from you!
Check out USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann’s website FMI on THE LOVE CHILD, the third installation in her eight-book Alaskan Oil Barons series!
THE LOVE CHILD
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