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Church Group Excludes Guide Dog From Retreat Facility

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Ensminger concludes:

Stevens has a picture of herself with her dog on her website. Stevens may not have helped herself on the service dog issue by agreeing at one point to use a cane instead of bringing her guide dog. It may have been more important for her to go to OHI than win on the service dog issue, and it is not clear at the moment that the case will continue. Since some important issues are involved, it is to be hoped that the court will be able to consider them. Others with guide dogs may encounter problems with OHI and similar facilities in the future, and it would be unfortunate if they have to fight the same battle over again.

OHI is arguing that the very presence of a guide dog on the grounds of its healing facilities is a problem. By stating such, it is in effect saying that its facilities and the services therein provided are not available for some people and specifically those with disabilities who rely on guide dogs. But might not other entities — flowers and air fresheners, as Ensminger says — trigger similar concerns about contaminating the “detoxification process”?

Is it rather the very presence of a dog on the Lemon Grove grounds that was at issue?

 

Therapy Dogs and Autistic Children

I’ve written before about the therapeutic importance of therapy and service dogs to autistic children. We don’t have a therapy dog for our 14-year-old son Charlie. When he was younger, he was terrified of dogs. Over the years, he has gotten less fearful of dogs. He stays on his bike when he and my husband encounter dogs on the bike trails and the sidewalk and he simply walks (rather than running at top speed) when we meet someone with a dog on our walks. These walks often serve the dual purpose of exercise and relaxation technique and our canine encounters have become more and more welcome to me. Dogs respond to Charlie’s body language and noises (growls, moans — Charlie can talk a little but much of his verbal repertoire does not involve words) by responding in kind, being able to sense his emotional state from his body language in ways that most humans overlook. When Charlie is upset and “on edge,” seeing and hearing a dog can distract him from whatever is troubling him in a beneficial way.

In other words, by not allowing dogs on its grounds, it’s possible that OHI might be excluding not only individuals, but animals who themselves serve a key therapeutic role.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

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255 comments

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1:30PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Christians ...all the same hiding behind the cross to cover the people some really are .False,false, wicked, born liarsThe more these people shout the more they are all hiding.No faith is Christian ,just a cover .I have ALWAYS said the sweeter the tongue the more to hide.And I have always been proved correct.The more gentile andsweet and innocent these people make out their are the more devious , sneaky, back stabbing , and sly their are.NOT all but a very high number of then .And these people play on the goodness of the genuine Christians.

11:50AM PDT on May 17, 2013

So why would any animal lover want to go to a place like that anyway? There are many other options for joining healing groups without such prejudice.

12:57PM PDT on May 13, 2013

I would say that the dog, and other creatures are more pure than humans.

9:53AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Another reason to distrust organised religion.

9:52AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Another reason to distrust organised religion.

9:25PM PST on Dec 25, 2011

They can make the rules for who gets in but it's not much of a sacred or healing place if they don't allow critters. I wouldn't want to go there.

11:34AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

So do they have a fence around the retreat? what about wildlife? sadly if they are a private organization, they can deny who ever and what ever they wish, for what ever reason they wish (this is why I don't like (but don't hate) certain branches of religion). But they cannot stop animals from coming and going, animals are and will always be there. Heck, humans are technically animals, so they should get off that ground too

9:02AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

This is disgusting and sick! I find religious groups to be the greatest offenders when it comes to animals because of the "eminent domain" and "unclean animals" beliefs. What this group has done is just plain cruel. Nobody with any sanity and common sense let alone compassion for others would agree with what this self righteous bunch of ass holes are doing. They deserve to be sued and I hope they have to pay BIG time!

7:41AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Insane hypocrisy! These powerful "religious" groups would have us all back in the dark ages with their irrational, illogical and DANGEROUS interpretations of a "book"(bible/-book of stories) that has been "revised" and reinterpreted countless times in DOZENS of languages by zealot, female-hating MEN, literally!!! That's really credible reference material, isn't it?!!

If you read this book, it is FULL of horrific anti-female dogma, violence toward women, pedophilia and disgusting acts of torture on other, fellow beings as well as utter hysteria. The patriarchal construct is such that ONLY males hold a high position of status and EVERY other creature, including human females, are held in contempt as flawed, corrupt inferiors.

There is NO LOGIC to this assertion about a wonderful service dog or our other fellow beings, in general, being ANY kind of negative influence in a healing environment. Quite the opposite is ACTUALLY true! How much REAL and CURRENT documentation is there PROVING that dogs and other fellow beings are a great healing presence in our lives? TONS!!

A HUGE part of the problem with ALL humans is that we tend to hold ourselves in much higher regard than we deserve to.

3:53AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

WHAT AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE ! ANIMALS ARE GOD' CREATURES TOO !!! I TAKE MINE TO CHURCH WITH ME ALWAYS SHE IS SMALL & PERFECTLY BEHAVED, BETTER THAN MOST OF THE CHILDREN... IF I AM TOLD TO LEAVE BECAUSE OF HER THEY HAVE SEEN THE LAST OF ME.. THIS LADY NEEDED HER GUIDE DOG.. WICKED TO BE TREATED LIKE THAT.. I HOPE SHE FINDS SOMEWHERE ELSE WHERE BOTH ARE ALWAYS WELCOME !

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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