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Author Topic: Service Dogs  (Read 2649 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2012, 10:07:05 PM »

This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.  Another point seemingly lost on many here.

I have not made any decision here, as I am not in a position to make any decision concerning service animals.  I have merely voiced an opinion.

If you don't like it, that's just too bad for you.

I suggest, yet again, that this person speak to the priest or their bishop.

However, you also missed the major point that this individual is contemplating leaving the Orthodox Church all-together because of this incident.

You should be more upset about this point, then the dog.

How is that someone can so easily walk away from the True Church?  That is the most important point in this discussion.



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« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2012, 10:16:48 PM »

One could just as easily ask why a priest of the True Church would treat a daughter of that same Church so callously. I think that's at least an equally important question as the one you've rightly raised, Liza.
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« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2012, 10:25:48 PM »

This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.  Another point seemingly lost on many here.

I have not made any decision here, as I am not in a position to make any decision concerning service animals.  I have merely voiced an opinion.

If you don't like it, that's just too bad for you.

I suggest, yet again, that this person speak to the priest or their bishop.

However, you also missed the major point that this individual is contemplating leaving the Orthodox Church all-together because of this incident.

You should be more upset about this point, then the dog.

How is that someone can so easily walk away from the True Church?  That is the most important point in this discussion.

No the major point is the insensitivity of a priest that is causing a person to contemplate leaving.  I've seen to many of these incidents in both Orthodox and Catholic parishes.
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« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2012, 10:51:33 PM »


You are making a decision here about the insensitivity of the priest.  You don't know the whole story.  Perhaps he gave numerous other options that the individual simply didn't want to accept.

...and even if the priest were insensitive, that's still no reason to leave Orthodoxy.

I've met many insensitive individuals, but, one must learn to differentiate between the Church and her not so perfect followers.
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« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2012, 11:24:41 PM »


You are making a decision here about the insensitivity of the priest.  You don't know the whole story.  Perhaps he gave numerous other options that the individual simply didn't want to accept.

...and even if the priest were insensitive, that's still no reason to leave Orthodoxy.

I've met many insensitive individuals, but, one must learn to differentiate between the Church and her not so perfect followers.

I don't need to know the whole story.  She should have been allowed to bring the dog, period.  If arcane canons are more important than parishioners we deserves to lose them. The Church is judged by the actions of her followers.
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« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2012, 07:36:51 AM »

I'm still waiting for the OP to give a few more details. I want to know why the woman with the dog attended church regularly (OP said it was her church) and suddenly without warning was made unwelcome.

We still don't know what disability required the use of a service dog - too many people are bickering about the unknowns.

If TinyDancer wants any responsible discussion (and to maintain his/her credibility), he/she is going to have to supply a few more details.
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« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2012, 11:16:20 AM »

Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

Service dogs are not just used for sight - they are also used as alerts (for epilepsy, severe asthma, etc)  balance, hearing, to alert others that an 'event' is about to take place.  They can sense things that we humans can't.  It depends on the disability and what the person needs.  The PERSON who has a service dog often associates the dog as an extension of themselves - and the dog is often defined as that by the legal system.  I can lead someone who is blind.  I don't think I can, as a Christian, without the help of the Holy Spirit, warn of an impending epileptic attack.  But maybe, that's where I need to be. . .available to the Holy Spirit.  :-/ 
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« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2012, 07:53:53 PM »


I have nothing against service dogs.  They are certainly a blessing to their owners.

However, perhaps the individual with the dog should contact the priest before simply showing up with one.  Perhaps if he wasn't so surprised he may have simply asked they stand in the back, etc.

Who knows what the true story is here?  It truly is interesting that they showed up with the dog and the dog was refused entrance....where was this person attending church before?

Too many unanswered questions.

However, before everyone jumps on this priest and the Church, they really should get more information on this particular situation.  Calling a lawyer to litigate against a church is never a good thing.

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« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2012, 04:45:16 PM »

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been back to check this thread, I don't have time to check this forum every day.

From what I know, this is the church that my friend was baptized in and attended all her life.  She developed a degenerative disease and has had extreme difficulty attending church in recent years.  The service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues. 

She actually contacted the priest before attending to give him a heads up, and the priest forbade her to attend with the dog.  She feels no longer welcome there, as her issues prevent her from attending without her dog.

Legally, places of worship are the ONLY places that can ban service dogs- any other place of business is required to admit certified service dogs.  Phobias and allergies are not legitimate excuses for public buildings under the law. 

As I said in the beginning, I don't know the whole story here, and I don't recommend suing a priest or a church- I was just shocked that it happened and was wondering what the norm was.   I know at my own church a few of the strapping young men carry wheelchair bound folks up the stairs as our church is not accessible, which makes me very proud of our teenagers. 
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« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2012, 05:09:28 PM »


If this is more than a "seeing eye" dog, than perhaps instead of leaving the Church, this person needs to notify the bishop and explain her situation and get a special dispensation for Fido.

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« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2012, 05:30:18 PM »

As a PK, I hate to say this but I think that the problem here is the priest. Of course, we only know one side of the story, but, based on has been related so far, we see the following:

- Long time parishioner
- Degenerative disease
- Extreme difficulty attending church in recent years
- Service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues
- The priest forbade her to attend with the dog

Even if the priest's reaction is not accurately portrayed, the fact is that the parishioner perceived it to be a flat, insensitive no. If the priest had any  tact, he could have made the "medicine go down with some sugar."   
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« Reply #56 on: September 04, 2012, 06:37:56 PM »

I recall a thread on this topic many years ago on either GENie or .religion.eo.  So I've read of this sort of situation before.

One question for those who have said that the person with the disabilities should leave her service dog and other people will help her 1) do they know the correct way to offer help to a person who is blind?  Do they know how to direct/warn them them about things that a sighted person most likely doesn't think much about like a step and is it up or down?  For a person with a degenerative disease there are more complications such as the limit of their ability to move that another person might not think of.

As a side note: Why would the mere presence of a dog in a consecrated space de-consecrate it?  The blessing of the Creator of All Things can't stand up to the presence of one of His creatures?   Huh
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« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2012, 06:44:01 PM »

I still think if a house of worship is going to forbid service animals, they should announce this publically so those who use them will know not to bring them.
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« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2012, 06:47:43 PM »

Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.
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« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2012, 06:53:59 PM »

Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.

I second that. Almost every week, at least one phone goes off during the Great Entrance.
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« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2012, 07:06:11 PM »

One issue is that some parishioners may be allergic to dogs.

And on a personal note, my kid developed a phobia of big dogs, he keeps saying the dog will eat him (I do not know where it came from).  But given this issue, I agree with the people who posted that other parishioners should step up.  I would personally step up given I am the one with an issue.
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« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2012, 07:09:50 PM »

Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.

I second that. Almost every week, at least one phone goes off during the Great Entrance.

My church does have such a ban.
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« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2012, 07:24:35 PM »

This is why we should use service monkeys.
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« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2012, 07:57:34 PM »

This is why we should use service monkeys.
there is a such thing.
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« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2012, 08:18:39 PM »

This is why we should use service monkeys.
there is a such thing.

Yes they are real! http://www.monkeyhelpers.org/
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« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2012, 08:22:09 PM »



^ Helper monkeys need to go to church, too.
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« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2012, 09:21:10 PM »

As a PK, I hate to say this but I think that the problem here is the priest. Of course, we only know one side of the story, but, based on has been related so far, we see the following:

- Long time parishioner
- Degenerative disease
- Extreme difficulty attending church in recent years
- Service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues
- The priest forbade her to attend with the dog

Even if the priest's reaction is not accurately portrayed, the fact is that the parishioner perceived it to be a flat, insensitive no. If the priest had any  tact, he could have made the "medicine go down with some sugar."   


Also as a PK, I agree with Carl.
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