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Blues

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  1. Is you car a manual or automatic transmission? I ask because I have a manual BMW (1999 M Coupe) and looked it up on the Remco website, and it says "Must be towed using a trailer." BMW had no position I could find about towing behind an RV, but the manual said if it's towed (presumably by a tow truck), not to go over 50 mph and not for more than X minutes or something. But we've been flat towing it for 15 years of fulltiming--just put it in neutral and turn the key to show the digital odometer, and then back just until the odometer disappears. I'd guess it's been towed for 85,000 miles or so, at regular highway speeds for hours at a time. Well, other than being beat to hell by 85,000 miles of being towed in addition to 200,000 miles of being driven. Also, I noticed that the Remco site says this about 2017 and 2018 Subaru WRX STIs: "Towable as is with speed and/or distance restrictions. Please see Owner's Manual for confirmation and procedures." But in 2016, Subaru stopped "allowing" flat towing, and took mention of it out of the manual. The suspicion is that they did it so they wouldn't have to cover warranty claims relating to flat towing, because the car itself didn't change. Especially if you're not concerned about warranty issues, I'd suggest that if you want to flat-tow your Miata, do some internet searching to see if other people are doing it with that exact car. And of course decide whether you trust whoever says they're doing it. And, if you do find people and hit them up for information, PLEASE respond to them if they provide it. I can't count the number of times people have run across our website that says we flat-tow the M Coupe and asked for specifics, and we always reply, and they never even acknowledge the reply.
  2. By saying "still" qualifies, it sounds like you're saying that someone with an emotional support dog realizes it doesn't qualify as a service dog, he can deem it a service dog anyway if he has any physical disability. That's not the case. In order for a dog to be considered a service dog for someone with hearing loss, the dog has to be trained to perform tasks that compensate for the hearing loss. mr. cob said that he has trouble being around loud talking and noisy people, but also that he doesn't hear well. I don't see what training a dog could have that would compensate for his not hearing well. He said his dog is trained to react to PTSD-inducing situations. He doesn't need to rely on a physical disability "loophole" for it to be considered a service dog. The thing is, you did disclose it, without anybody even asking. The question that you found offensive was what tasks the dog had been trained to perform--not what your disability was. One way to look at it is service dogs are trained to recognize and respond in a way a person can't do himself. Like a diabetes dog--it can detect by scent if its handler's blood sugar levels have gone wonky ("recognize") and alert the person to the condition ("respond"). Or a seizure dog for a kid can see the kid's having a seizure ("recognize") and alert family members ("respond"). That's where the training comes in, and training has to be something that a dog doesn't naturally do, like make its owner feel less anxious when in public. That's why asking what tasks an alleged service dog has been trained to perform can be quite useful, and it's clear that "he calms my anxiety" doesn't cut it.
  3. If a person with a service dog doesn't need/want accessibility features in a room, the hotel can't limit him to one of those rooms--he has the same right as anyone else to stay in any room in the hotel, with his dog.
  4. No, I don't think the law works well. But the idea behind the ADA is that disabled people are entitled to the same access as everybody else, and therefore shouldn't have to carry credentials. Added to that is the concern about privacy (why you can't ask what a person's disability is). But on that note, I think that anyone who uses Facebook has voluntarily relinquished any claim to privacy, and should be treated accordingly. But I would imagine that with as bad as it's gotten, disability advocates might agree to some sort of licensing. The problem then becomes the mechanism for the licensing, which presumably would be a governmental function, and given how government is currently being dismantled, I don't see much hope for establishment of a new licensing function. I don't agree that you have to accept whatever answer you get because the law says a person can be asked what tasks the dog performs, and the answer you posited ("My dog provides me support when my condition manifests itself") doesn't answer the question that I am allowed to ask. So if I were in that situation, I would ask: "What tasks has the dog been trained to perform?" In fact, I would probably push it just a little if I thought the person was particularly bogus, and ask, "What tasks has the dog been trained to perform that compensate for your disability?" Note that I still haven't asked what the disability is. And actually, I found out that how I would handle the "None of your business" (mentioned upthread) was pretty much exactly upheld in a Delaware Supreme Court decision, so I think I'm on the right track. And everyone, please note: There is the ADA, on the federal level, as well as state laws, which might be different from the ADA (like they might allow animals other than dogs or miniature horses to be service animals). I haven't researched it thoroughly, but it's my impression that falsely claiming to be disabled or entitled to use a service dog is an offense in only about half the states. And I'd be shocked if it's a high priority item in the prosecutor's office. (Although I think a few well publicized prosecutions, in states that have harsher punishments, would be an excellent use of taxpayers' money.) Also, as for fear of lawsuits, my understanding is that if a person sues a business for an ADA violation relating to service dogs, he isn't entitled to any money damages; his only remedy is injunctive relief (i.e., the business is forced to let the plaintiff bring the dog in). Have you seen a lot of animals in restaurants? Health codes generally prohibit animals in areas where food is prepared (except service animals, of course). That's why some restaurants will allow pets on outdoor patios, but not inside. Again--absent any laws prohibiting it otherwise (like health codes), businesses can allow animals anywhere they want. In the interest of fairness, you should probably find out if the hotel has a policy that allows pets. If that's the case, then by all means blame the barking dogs on the hotel. But if it doesn't, and allows service dogs because it's required to by law, then it's not really the hotel's fault. Unless, of course, it does a terrible job, like many businesses, of applying the law correctly. What's interesting is that hotels can't designate certain rooms for people with service dogs. But if they allow pets, or don't allow pets but choose to allow emotional support animals, there's nothing prohibiting the hotel from designating certain rooms for them, or from charging for the animal (you can't charge extra for service dogs). And if the hotel is choosing to allow animals other than service dogs, if those animals bother other guests, then those guests have every right to complain. (And actually, if a service dog is being unruly, the business can kick it out. But that almost never happens with real service dogs. And in fact one of the "tells" that an animal isn't a real service dog is if it's not perfectly behaved.) But don't be confused--the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act provide protection for emotional support animals in dwellings (not temporary lodging) and airplanes, respectively. That's one reason everything is so muddy--people can legitimately have an animal in no-pets-allowed housing if it's a service animal OR it's an emotional support animal. Same for airlines. But nowhere else is an emotional support animal required to be accommodated. (Like the hotel--if they allow emotional support animals, it's because they want to; there's no law requiring them to do it.) And people don't realize the the housing and airplane accommodation is different from the rules relating to service dogs, and once they find out they can fly with their pet on their lap or have it in no-pets-allowed housing if they just get a letter prescribing it, then they think they can take the pet anywhere. That's why it's so important for people who know better to challenge them when they try it. It could be that they're actually unaware that what they're doing is wrong, especially if they just heard they could get certification to take the pet on a plane, and don't do any further research. Asking the allowed questions could actually educate these people. Then again, there are those who know full well what they're doing, and frankly, you can't do anything about it. If a person is willing to lie about a disability in a way that answers the two questions satisfactorily, then yes, they'll get to take their dog with them. But there's absolutely no reason to make it easy on them. People with a legitimate disability and a trained service dog that performs tasks related to that disability should expect to be asked those questions, and should have a particular answer at the ready if they're reluctant to identify the disability. And these days, with fake service dogs making their lives harder, they'd probably welcome the hassle if it meant less abuse of the system.
  5. I can't tell--are you aware that there's a difference between emotional support animals and service animals? Or, more commonly, a person who wants to bring his dog with him everywhere paying someone to sign the paperwork prescribing an emotional support animal, and then using people's ignorance about the laws relating to service animals to be able to take their pet wherever they want. Under the ADA, monkeys can't be service animals. Only dogs and miniature horses. This was explained upthread. Well, they're wrong, and should be told they're wrong. Not only can they question someone, the ADA actually states the exact questions they can ask! Sheesh. And the thing is, business can generally let in any animal they want--there are no laws that I know of, other than health codes, that say you can't allow animals in your place of business. So if Home Depot wants to allow pets in, that's their call. But just do it because that's what you want your policy to be, and don't get all balled up in service animals vs. emotional support animals vs. pets. Because that makes the people who are passing their pets off as service animals think it's one more place where their ruse is working.
  6. I think it's a lot easier to lie by saying, "None of your business," than to lie by articulating tasks the dog has been trained to do that are related to a disability. And I also think there might be a different level of guilt experienced by someone who just woo-hooed his way through the questioning by saying (and getting away with) "None of your business" compared to someone who actually had to lie about having a disability and that the dog has been trained to do X to compensate for it. Many people don't even consider themselves to be lying if they believe they have a valid reason (like Lance Armstrong). So they can say, with all honesty, "This is a service dog," because they think the dog performs a service for them. But it could be different for them if they are made to utter actual words about a disability and training that they know not to be true. And people might lie about that without compunction. But I highly suspect there is not an insignificant number of people out there who are doing it just because it's easy to get away with, and they'll stop when businesses start pushing back. One thing for sure--as long as "none of your business" is accepted as a response, nobody is going to stop.
  7. The fact that vests were ever even mentioned tells me that they weren't really up on what the standards for service dogs are. If it were me, I'd say, "We allow only service dogs that are trained to perform a task on behalf of a person with a disability, and we have to ask what those tasks are in order to determine whether to allow your dog in as a service dog. If you won't tell us what those tasks are, then your dog is not allowed." Sure, they could give you some sort of b.s. answer, but taking "None of your business" as a response and letting the dog in is not at all what the ADA requires or even anticipates. And it gets the word out that "none of your business" works, which makes everybody start using it. If people were made to straight-out lie about what tasks the dog is trained to perform, their consciences might start to kick in and they'd stop with the charade. But if all they have to do is "kind of" lie by slapping a vest on the dog or saying "none of your business," then frankly, I don't blame them for doing it; it's our fault for making it easy for them to do that.
  8. I was very careful to ask exactly what the ADA says can/should be asked with regard to service dogs. Anyone with a service dog should expect to be asked that very question, whether he wants to educate anybody or not. And to be frank, getting offended by it is something I expect more from someone with a chihuahua wearing a "service dog" vest in a shopping cart.
  9. See, that's the problem. Service dogs aren't required to have a vest, so vests shouldn't even be mentioned when it comes to service dogs, ever. So to have a policy not to ask about a vest is the right and legal way to do it, but to combine that with not asking anything else is wrong, and that ignorance of the law by businesses is what lets people get away with this. If you'll give me the name of the NWR, I'll be happy to contact them and direct them to information on how service dogs are handled under the ADA. Or maybe they just want locals (their friends) to be able to bring their dogs onto the beach?
  10. So this got me wondering--what tasks related to having no toes on someone's foot does a service dog perform?
  11. Not to get too deep into the weeds, but the deal with service dogs is that they can go pretty much any place the owner can go (can go into restaurants where dogs aren't allowed, but can't go into a swimming pool in a gym). The "rights" of service miniature horses aren't quite as broad as the "rights" of service animals. The fact sheet about the final version of the rule says, "The rule permits the use of trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations. To allow flexibility in situations where using a horse would not be appropriate, the final rule does not include miniature horses in the definition of 'service animal.'" https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/factsheets/title3_factsheet.html It's a nuanced situation, and people don't do well with nuance. Just look what they've done with the latitude available for "emotional support animals." Contrary to what most people think, writing rules and laws is amazingly tricky because you have to include words that cover every contingency and loophole you can think of, and preferably, ones that you haven't thought of yet. And people won't read more than a certain number of words, so you can't just refer them to the rule. So you have to distill it for them, and miniature horses won't matter to 99.9% of people reading about the rule, so if you include the horses in your distillation you run the risk of hitting the limit of words people will read, and they'll miss the part that does matter. Basically, it's people who are the problem. As usual.
  12. Yes, the ADA specifically uses "dog" when talking about it. ... If a person has a non-dog that they claim under the ADA, they are lying. Actually, service animals can also be miniature horses. The definition of "service animal" mentions only dogs, but a separate section says that the provisions apply to miniature horses, as well. See 28 C.F.R. ยง35.136(i). So people who claim a miniature horse is a service animal are not necessarily lying. You know how people are invited to comment on proposed laws? The government agencies address those comments in the Federal Register. In this case, you can download the pertinent portion of the Federal Register here. The discussion of miniature horses is interesting. It starts on page 56198, at the bottom of the middle column, with this: I apologize if interjecting actual law, with citations, into the discussion is considered bad form. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  13. Last summer I got a barely used 2100 to replace my 15-year-old Splendide 2000, which I loved, but became unrepairable. Since you don't use the dryer much, it may not matter, but one thing I hate about the 2100 it is that on the "highest" dry cycle (the one that produces the most heat), about 10 minutes or so into the cycle, the machine goes into a high-speed spin cycle. It's the dumbest thing I can imagine on a machine that has a reputation for wrinkling clothes--why interrupt a dry cycle to spin them hard against the sides of the drum instead of letting them fluff as much as they can? The result is that I have to either monitor it and stop it every time I hear it start spinning and reset it to start the dry cycle over, and do the same thing the next time it starts that ridiculous spin cycle, or use the next cycle down, and have it take longer for things to dry. Actually, I'd be interested in knowing if the newer machines do the same thing, or if Splendide realized how much it screwed up on that. This is also the model that wouldn't let you open the door during or even after the dry cycle--the clothes had to sit there wrinkling in the bottom of the drum for some number of minutes. I defeated that, but that means the door can be opened at any time during any cycle, which is NOT a good idea. And there are other things I find annoying about it, but these two changes make me wonder if Splendide just totally dropped the ball on the 2100.
  14. Here's what the website looks like after it was changed, with a new yellow box that wasn't there before.
  15. Here's what the website looked like before it was changed.
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