This question pertains to the UK but I would appreciate any opinions from any area. thank you.
I have been looking into getting a service dog for years, and now seems the right time, but I am worried about the dog being allowed in establishments such as shop and, in particular, my University, where I have been accepted for a Masters degree. I can't find much information about UK law, and the Dogs for depression website which I was referring too is currently down. The PSDS site is very interesting but does not say much about the UK.
I have severe anxiety disorder and conversion disorder. I also suffer from a mood disorder and psychosis. I have seizures relating to my panic attacks and due to the conversion I have a very affected gait and find walking difficult. I sometimes use a wheelchair due to these issues (and chronic fatigue).
My therapist, psychiatrist, CPN and GP have all agreed to write me letters in support of me training a dog to be a psych service dog. He would be self trained as I need a constant companion to lesson anxiety and delusional paranoia more than him bring trained in specific tasks.
I have just been accepted to study for a Masters at university. I need to be able to take my dog in order to complete or even think about undertaking the course. There are so, so many reasons why a service dog will help me, but that is not really related to the question.
I am wondering how I should go about phrasing this question to my University? I know there are no real laws for dogs, but would it fall under discrimination laws?
Do you think i'd be allowed him in shops? I am hoping to find somewhere where I can customize a vest and have 'therapy dog' written on it so he does not get taken as just a pet.
I really want to to the MA but currently I cannot leave the house, cross roads, talk to people, shop..pretty much do anything required for basic living..alone. I am usually with my Mum or my finace but he is leaving with the Army before Sept and obviously my mum cannot take me to and from my University as she works..
I know that one way of making this possible is by getting a dog to help me.
Does anyone have one? Know of any laws/rules? Know how I should inform my university?
Please help, I am so worried.