If You Don't Know, Now You Know.

Dear Landlords,

Just so you know, you’re not allowed to deny me as a tenant because I own a service animal. It’s kind of a thing. You know, a federal law kind of thing. Also, for future reference, while discussing your property with a disabled potential tenant it might behoove you to leave certain comments out of the conversation. For example, you probably shouldn’t say things like, “So… there will be wheelchair wheels on the hardwood floor… ? Uh.” That’s probably not something you should say. Aside from breaking about fifteen federal ADA and fair housing laws, that’s just rude of you. In fact, sir, I believe it warrants a finger wag.

My service dog is not a pet. I’m going to repeat that one more time for you. MY SERVICE DOG IS NOT A PET. She is a highly trained working dog and a crucial part of my mobility, strength, balance and independence. She has the SAME RIGHTS as human beings when it comes to public access. Therefore, your “no pet” policy does not apply to me. Why? Say it with me, now… Because she is not a pet.
Read about it. Inform yourself.

My dog, like all service animals, does not bark. She does not go to the bathroom inside of the house. She does not chew on things, she does not bite people, she does not make messes or noise. The only time a service dog will make noise is when something is wrong with their owner. For example, if their owner has slipped and fallen and needs an ambulance. Or if they have a seizure or diabetic episode or fall down the stairs or out of their wheelchair and can’t move. These are all times when many service dogs have been trained to alert. This is a good thing for you because if the dog didn’t do his or her job, his or her owner might die and then you would have a dead tenant on your hands and you would be out that month’s rent. I know you wouldn’t like that. One other thing about my service dog: She is immaculately groomed and frankly, is probably cleaner than some of your human tenants.

“I wasn’t aware of the rules” is no longer an acceptable excuse. The internet is a magical thing, full of exciting information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing laws relating to disabled people and service animals. Please, read up. Let’s make this experience more pleasant for the both of us.

If you don’t know, now you know, landlords.

Lauren Henderson and Phoebe the Freaking Service Dog

Domo Arigato, Mrs. Henderson.

Just a little something to start your day off right.

Just Another Year in the Life of a Saint Bernard Service Dog (D-D-Dog, D-D-Dog...)

Phoebe the dog has had quite a year exploring Los Angeles. She made friends with Spider-Man and Marilyn Monroe on Hollywood Boulevard, took a ride on a double decker tour bus and played in the dog park underneath the Hollywood sign. She even went to a Cirque Du Soleil show in Las Vegas and was called up on stage and swung from a trapeze and landed in a pool of cake and fire! That last part wasn't "true" in the sense that I was "lying." She really went to the show, though. She has met so many people and given me so many stories to tell that I hardly know where to start. So, I'll open with pictures. Everyone loves pictures. Horray, pictures!

This boss has a pretty great life. Then again, so do I.


P.S. The rest is still unwritten.