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#196883 - 12/27/07 09:49 PM Animal Companions
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
So I've been thinking about getting a cat. That means I had to dig out my lease to read the fine print.

I live in a "no pet" building, but all my lease states is that all pets must be approved by the landlord and may be subject to an additional lease fee.

Okay, so my question that I will pose to my therapist tomorrow (and possibly my psychiatrist when I see him next month) is, does severe depression constitute a medical need for an animal companion?

I don't want to move. I love where I live. Heated underground parking is an anemity I have learned to love a great deal living in the frigid north.

Any thoughts?

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#196885 - 12/27/07 09:56 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
The ADA clearly states that a landlord CAN NOT refuse a service animal. All you need is a doctor, social worker, therapist to say you need one for a service animal. They DO NOT have to explain what service the anmial will provide you. If you do a web search for the American with Disability's Act you will find the excit wording. A lot of landlords will "TRY" to tell you it HAS to be a doctor, but I do believe the ADA is worded in such a way that it does not have to be a doctor.. a LCSW can write it out for you.

Best of luck
James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#196889 - 12/27/07 10:11 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: James_dup1]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Cats ARE cool. Dogs ARE cool. But..........I found that the pain of losing a pet that I loved wasn't worth what I got out of it. I myself will have to change before I get another pet. Plus, they tie you down bigtime. And the vet bills, that's another racket.

Bryan. What I'm saying is, as a former owner of a beloved pet, if you're looking for companionship and love, I urge you to look for it in people, not animals. Why? Well, because it's REALLY easy to isolate yourself with an animal. I know that you hardly ever leave your home except to go to work anyway, but, Bryan, I would not do it. You need people dude, not an animal. Animals love unconditionally, yes, but, it's shallow compared to the relationships that people can offer. Yes I'm generalizing so please don't give me flak about the depth of the relationships that pets can offer. But I think you see what I'm saying right?

Go for people Bryan. I fear that if you get a cat, you won't ever leave your house to meet people.

I'm speaking in very simplistic terms here, but I just wanted to get straight to my point. If you were a "normal" person, I wouldn't even comment about this. But you're not normal, and neither are most of us.


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#196892 - 12/27/07 10:38 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: Hauser]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
James,

Thanks for your response. I've found a lot of supporting literature, but I've been unable to find the exact wording in the ADA that would be applicable here.

Alan,

My purpose of getting a cat wouldn't be to spend all of my time with it. I remember when I was younger, dealing with severe depression, how much easier it was to deal with it with something as simple as a cat to show some affection. I still deal with some pretty serious depression, though it ebbs and flows. When I was at dinner tonight with my aunt and her family (it's my aunt's birthday today), and she mentioned the ADA and how it might help me to get a cat, it took a tremendous amount of strain for me to not burst into tears.

Yeah, it can get that bad at times.

No, I'm not seeking a replacement for human interaction here. Yeah, I've dealt with the loss of a pet before. It was nothing compared to what I've been through these past few months.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#196895 - 12/27/07 10:57 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Cat's are cool, right now I have ten pound male cat sleeping on my monitor. Most of the time Rascal won't give me the time of day, except for eating. But when it gets cold all of a sudden I am his best friend. The best of luck with getting a pet.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#196896 - 12/27/07 11:03 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: lostcowboy]
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Bryan,

OK I found some information on HUD's web site for you. What it says there is this:
If you or someone associated with you:

Have a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities
Have a record of such a disability or
Are regarded as having such a disability
your landlord may not:

Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move.)
Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.
Example: A building with a "no pets" policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.

Example: An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near her apartment if necessary to assure that she can have access to her apartment.

However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others or who currently uses illegal drugs.

Here's the link if you want to read more on it.

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/yourrights.cfm

And this is the link to the ADA Home page if you would like to read up on more of this.

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

Hope this helps.
James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#196898 - 12/27/07 11:37 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: James_dup1]
healing_inside Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 2005
Bryan,

I think a cat is a wonderful idea if it is allowed.

I have a part simese cat and boy does she talk and talk.

I look forward to having her greet me when i step in the door. My house is never empty because I know she is there.

I hope it works out for you.

Take Care, Jim

_________________________
I can't come to the phone right now, I am out living my life

*** WoR Retreat Alumni - Alta 2005 ***

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#196901 - 12/28/07 12:02 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: healing_inside]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Bryan,

There have been a number of lawsuits in our area concerning this very issue where the landlord refused to allow a pet his renter requested a waiver for because of depression issues. The landlord lost every time.

Cat's are neat animals. I think you'll enjoy him/her. I wish you the best of luck on this.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#196950 - 12/28/07 10:03 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: WalkingSouth]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
I have a kitty. I love her to death. \:\)

Even if she keeps me up at night sometimes. LOL Although she's been good about that lately. \:\)

Not to sound weird but she's the closest I might come to having kids.

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#196951 - 12/28/07 10:06 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Bryan,

What comes out most clearly in your post is that you really like where you live now, and that relocating would be an unwanted and negative experience for you. So the question becomes this: Is it worth it crossing your landlord by trying to force a pet on him because you can prove a mandated need for one? That is, will it be worth it having a cool pet around if the result is to poison your relations with your landlord?

I would at least seek his approval first - maybe he would give it. If he refuses, then that shows he's pretty adamant about such issues and is likely to take it badly if you confront him with a cat and a medical note.

I love pets (though I am a dog person) and I can imagine how much joy a cat would bring you. I would just suggest looking at the whole picture ahead of time. That's what you will have to live with one way or the other.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#196963 - 12/28/07 12:22 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: roadrunner]
mike5 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 170
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
So the question becomes this: Is it worth it crossing your landlord by trying to force a pet on him because you can prove a mandated need for one?

Good point. I usually expect interactions with people, especially authority figures like landlords, to be conflicts, as in, "I'm going to need the ADA in order to get what I want." Things usually go much easier if I just ask for what I want in a reasonable tone. Took me longer than I'd like to admit to realize that though!

Having a pet may cost a bit more in rent (cats can be messy!), but if you can't afford that, can you afford the food and veterinary care and cute cat toys and scratching posts and so on? When my dog needs a vet, it is almost always late on Saturday so we have to pay extra for after hours time at the clinic. And I think it is well worth it! One nice thing about a dog is that they have to go out - and that means I have to go out with her. Gets me off of the couch, out into the world and a bit less isolated.

Mike


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#197089 - 12/29/07 11:59 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: mike5]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Yes, very good point, Larry. I tend to expect conflict when it comes to authority figures as well, and I suppose as a result, I end up being the one starting the conflict trying to pre-empt it from happening.

At any rate, it appears as if the rules in North Dakota seem to be set up to prevent this type of conflict. I spoke with my T yesterday, and she said I would need to obtain a form from my landlord. Then, since I'm seeing a psychiatrist quarterly anyway, it would be best to have him fill it out (instead of my T).

My T wholeheartedly agreed, though, that an animal companion would help me immensely. I gave her the example of how, over the past six months, I have been extremely prone to fits of crying and how therapeutical the purring, the cat rubs, or nose touching of a cat can be to ease that depression.

She also, however, made caution against starting any kind of a quarrel, and how it might be better to just move than to push this issue at this stage of my recovery if my landlord decides to completely deny the request. My lease expires at the end of February, so it's probably a good time for all of this to happen.

Thanks for all of the responses.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#197091 - 12/29/07 12:32 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Bryan,

Best of luck on things. It's hard to stand up for myself in matter's when dealing with people who either have or has the illustion of authority over me. It's something I am working on right now as part of my recovery. But a kitty would be nice. I have been debateing for some time on getting a small pet myself.

Keep us updated man.

James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#197145 - 12/29/07 07:13 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: James_dup1]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
this thread almost got me to go out and get a pet-----------------------then i thought-naw------------------i dont want the hassel---------------or responsiblity-------------------------thats just me-----------------------allthought-the idea of having a pet to love me sounds appealing-------------------------as i cant find any people -to do that-------------------in my real life where i live---------------------well sorry bryan-didnt mean to hyjack this----------------------i hope you are able to get a prt to love you----------steve


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#197467 - 12/31/07 08:07 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: sabata]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Steve,

The importance of this pet isn't in getting the pet to love me.

The importance is learning to love the pet. For if I can learn to truly love someone or something in a healthy way, there is no doubt that the other person or thing, if it is also healthy, will learn to love me back.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197471 - 12/31/07 08:50 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
sorry if i mis understood-------------steve


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#197493 - 01/01/08 12:44 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: sabata]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Steve,

No apology necessary. In fact, I think that understanding the difference is an essential part of this whole recovery process. I know it has been for me. The point where I understood that it was about loving rather than being loved was the point where I also understood that I was ready to put the life of another living thing in my hands.

Be strong.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197662 - 01/02/08 06:31 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: roadrunner]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I spoke with my landlord today, and she advised me that there is a form that I can have my psychiatrist fill out when I go to see him next month.

I can't believe how stressful this whole thing has been, and how difficult that 30 second conversation was for me to have. Now, I feel kind of silly for being so stressed out.

Thanks to everyone here.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197675 - 01/02/08 08:06 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Great News, Bryan!

Yeah, I know about that stress stuff... Been there countless times. Have also felt silly about it probably an equal amount of times. Ahh.... Well......

Glad she seems sympathetic. Get yourself a cat, Buddy.... or a dog.... or.... \:\)

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#197677 - 01/02/08 08:35 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: WalkingSouth]
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Quote:
I feel kind of silly for being so stressed out.


You shouldnt feel silly at all. Stess over the unknown is a normal human reaction.

I am really glad your landlord was understanding over the importance of this for you. And she must be aware if she has a form already for you to fill out. So you must not be the first one to ask her.

Be sure to let us know what you get and maybe a link to photobucket so we can see your new friend.

James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#197680 - 01/02/08 08:41 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: James_dup1]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
Glad this is going to turn out good for you----Bryan-------------you getting a kitten????or a cat???????????????enjoy--------------steve


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#197693 - 01/02/08 10:30 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
_________________________
Thriving

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#197705 - 01/02/08 11:21 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: mogigo]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Awww...I love tabby cats the best:)

I'll definitely post a link or two when this is all said and done. This is still probably a month away, though.

Steve, I'm not entirely sure if I'll get a cat or a kitten yet. I plan to go to the local Petsmart to get one that was rescued by the human society, and the plan is to let it pick me. I hope it ends up being a tabby...and a nose toucher.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197706 - 01/02/08 11:22 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: mogigo]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I'm kind of a cat guy, just some thought's if you're new to it.

Squinting to a cat is smiling, if you're cat is looking you in the eye, squint at it, it's a smile. Staring at a cat is aggression, imagine someone staring at you. I know I don't like someone staring at me.

Talk to you're cat, it won't have the slightest idea what you're saying but it will know you're communicating with it, it will love that you're talking to him/her.

Cat's understand corporal, I know this goes against what "we" all have been through, but it's not smart enough to understand past corporal. A swift smack in the ass when it's done something wrong sends it a message loud and clear. Won't hurt it as long as it's just the ass.

Use you're strength accordingly, pet it as you would a human who is 15 pounds, they love hard, but hard for a cat not a human.

Hope I don't sound arrogant Bryan, there is a huge difference between a cat who is a family member/companion and a pet. One will love you unconditionally and the other will avoid you.

They are wonderful creatures

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#197711 - 01/02/08 11:45 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: mogigo]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Thanks, Mike.

I had two cats when I was little, and a third when I was a young adult (who was donated to my aunt at a time when I wasn't able to afford it anymore). I'll never forget the cats I had as a child.

I figured I'd take a moment to write about them.

The big, gray, 28-lb tabby was Homer, and he was all muscle. He was a big lug, but was also as smart as they come. His purr could be heard through the whole house, and as lovable as he was, that was quite often. This cat didn't have an ounce of mean in him, and he loved to cuddle. Unfortunately, at 28 pounds, when he kneaded his paws on a guy's chest at 3:00 AM, it was noticed. His only two flaws were that he loved to chase the waves in waterbeds, and he loved to play with drapes. Okay, he also knew how to open doorknobs, cupboards, and even toilet seats. We learned quickly to make sure all the doors were locked, and to tread carefully when going into the kitchen cupboards or bathroom vanity for anything. Did I mention that he loved water? It was quite common for him to join us in the shower, and when we tried to introduce the water bottle for punishment for playing with the drapes, he just sat and purred while we drenched him. I heard him hiss once in his entire life, and that was just him being protective of me. A buddy was pushing me around in my own house, and Homer sounded like a Puma when he snarled at him. With his back fur ruffled and his tail puffed out, he was an extremly scary sight to behold. Let's just say I'm glad he was on my side. His one really annoying habit was how he loved to jump across our entryway foyer from the kitchen to the living room. It was about a ten foot leap over a flight of stairs going down from the ledge to the couch, and he liked to do it while anyone was sitting on the couch. That was NOT a good thing during horror movies.

Tweety was a large female calico, but next to Homer, she looked quite small and frail. Homer and Tweety were actually from the same litter, and Tweety came in at 18 lbs in her own right. She was the perfect cat in every way. She liked to knead her paws often, her purr was soft, and she would curl up around my hand when I slept at night. She didn't like Homer's playful banter much. We would often hear them tumble across the floor late at night. Homer just wanted a little cat and mouse, but Tweety would growl and hiss amidst her evasive maneuvers. I don't ever recall Tweety doing something she wasn't supposed to do except the one time she was gnawing on an aloe vera plant. I gave her a squirt from the spray bottle, and she went into convulsions. She hissed, swatted, jumped, flipped, and I didn't see her again for hours. I felt so bad, I could never do that to her again. I'll never forget her tendency to find the highest point in the room to look down upon her human companions.

The cat I had as an adult never did get a name. It was just as lovable as the other two except it hated being pet. It loved to snuggle, but the second I tried to stroke its fur, it would latch on to my hand for dear life. I think it was extremely ticklish. It got out of the house once in its entire life, and it brought me back a sparrow...a live one. It put it down, looked up at me with a meow, and the chase was on. I'm not sure what did more damage...the bird flying through my house or the cat trying to catch it. It loved to sleep on my face at night, and I'm not really sure why. As fate would have it, I ran into a bad spell with funds due to my own bad habits of the time, and I ended up donating him to my aunt, who took very good care of it. It never did learn to allow people to pet it.

All three of these cats were nose-touchers. Anyone who has had a nose-toucher cat knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197714 - 01/02/08 11:57 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948

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#197715 - 01/03/08 12:15 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: sabata]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
\:\) \:\) \:\) awesome video Steve lol.

Sorry Bryan, just wanted you to have what you're looking for \:\) \:\)

Mine are lifesaver's, definately.

Cat's rule

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#197726 - 01/03/08 07:35 AM Re: Animal Companions [Re: mogigo]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
That was a pretty cool video:)

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#197766 - 01/03/08 01:28 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: BJK]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Bryan,

What a cool de>
_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#197798 - 01/03/08 09:32 PM Re: Animal Companions [Re: roadrunner]
Whicker Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 117
Loc: Pastures of Oregon
Bryan,

Wow, but you've touched on a difficult subject for me right now.
I'm an animal nut. I LOVE 'em, the more the merrier! I don't adhere to any particular type/breed. It's their personality that impresses me the most (even for those felines who 'Own' me, that don't want anything to DO with me! till feeding time!).

However, as another person already mentioned, be very careful for yourself.

I've been depressed all my life (having learned just what the heck that is these last 7 years), and I often found IMMENSE relief/relaxation from the companionship of my critters.

But loosing them,,,, oh man...

I lost my greatest love in this life, Linda, 7 months ago. In mid-December, I had to personally put down my eldest feline Matriarch, and it devastated me.

I just lost my beloved Stallion this morning. He developed colic New Year's Day, and even with the Vet's help, the pain and suffering he endured was too much. He fought hard, and I had to make the decision to end his life, taking away the pain I/we could not cure.

I'm in so much pain now, even though I still have 7 felines, and my two turtles (btw, turtles usually DON'T make for cuddly critters!), depending on me for their care and lives...

The pain of loving something, then loosing it is horrible. Being depressed already, can make for an unbelievably difficult situation.

I applaud your efforts for critter companionship, and I pray that you and your prospective kitty have many, many long years of health and joy.

I swore to myself, after surviving the 'Holidays', that '08 WOULD be a better year than '07, or I wasn't going to play anymore.

Now, this...

***Nabbing a wandering furball for some serious snuggling***

Whicker

_________________________
Esse Quam Videri
(To be, rather than to seem)

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