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Nov. 15, 2022

Service Animals & Opportunity in Limitations

Today we are going to be talking about something many parents consider for their child who has a disability: service animals! We are going to go over the general ADA rules as well as the steps to take and things to consider when deciding if a service animal is the right addition for your family. Our guests are Terry and Nancy Cadel who own River’s Edge Dog Academy—a business who has been training service animals for over 35 years, and we will end with a short discussion on the first half of chapter 1 of our current focus book “Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything by Katherine and Jay Wolf. Thank you for joining us.

Today we are going to be talking about something many parents consider for their child who has a disability: service animals! We are going to go over the general ADA rules as well as the steps to take and things to consider when deciding if a service animal is the right addition for your family. Our guests are Terry and Nancy Cadel who own River’s Edge Dog Academy—a business who has been training service animals for over 35 years, and we will end with a short discussion on the first half of chapter 1 of our current focus book “Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything by Katherine and Jay Wolf. Thank you for joining us. 
Guest's Website: https://www.riversedgeda.com

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Raylene Lewis: [00:00:00] Hi there, and thank you for joining us on AVM Alliance, a pediatric stroke podcast for families and friends whose lives have been affected by traumatic brain injury, brain vessel disease, or stroke. The purpose of this podcast is to focus on the kid's side of brain injury with honest talk, news, information and discussion for our community. Being a parent of a medically complex child is an extremely difficult path to suddenly find yourself on. I'm Raylene Lewis and my son Kyler suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at age 15. Thank you for joining us today. We're going to be talking about something many parents consider for their child who has a dis.

Service animals. We are going to go over the general ADA rules as well as the steps to take and things to consider when deciding if a service animal is the right addition for your family. Our guests on the show are Terry and Nancy Cale, who [00:01:00] own River's Edge Dog Academy, and we will end with a short discussion on chapter one of our current focus book, suffer Strong, how to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything by Katherine and Jay.

According to federal law, only dogs, regardless of breed or type, are recognized as a service animal. Now, just for clarification, the ADA does have a special provision for miniature horses, but they are considered separate from service animals, and yes, while on a family vacation at Universal Studios and Orlando, Florida, I actually did see a woman with her miniature service.

Generally, service animals are permitted by law to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. Now, just a fun side note there. Service animals are allowed at water parks, but they are not allowed in the water with their handlers. There are many different types of service dogs now, as we've all heard.

[00:02:00] Many times service animals are working animals, not pets, and so you should never pet one before Kyler needed his service animal, Sammy, I understood that you shouldn't pet a service animal. , but I didn't really understand why, and it's because that animal needs to be focused 100% of the time on the person that needs them.

And distracting the dog can be harmful to the handler. My son's service dog, Sam, is a beautiful and fluffy Labradoodle, and even though his vest says, do not pet, people are constantly asking to pet. This is super frustrating because Kyler does not have the strength to tell people who ask no, and people who ask truly do not understand that they are doing something wrong because, well, they asked first.

I finally went out and bought Sam a giant red bandana that says, do not ask to pet me. printed in big, bold letters that reminds people that a service dog is not a pet, and they are there for [00:03:00] their person and their person only. With a service animal, the task the dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability.

Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA businesses and organizations that serve the public generally must allow the service animal to accompany the person with disabilities in all areas where the public is allowed to. Now I wanna talk to you for just a minute about the law, because our family has run into this problem several times.

The American With Disabilities Act of 1990 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The ADA provides explicit coverage for service animals. When it's not obvious what Taska service animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Businesses are allowed to ask two question.

One, is the dog a service [00:04:00] animal required because of a disability? And two, what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? But they cannot ask what the person's disabilities are, require medical documentation require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that dog to demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Now a person with a service animal cannot be removed from the premises unless either of three things happen. One, the animal is out of control and its owner cannot get it under control. Two, the animal is a direct threat to people and their health and safety. Or three, the animal is not housebroken.

Allergies and fear of dogs would not be considered a threat to people's health and safety, so it would not be a valid reason to deny access to people with service animals. Businesses that prepare or serve food must allow service animals. And their owners on the premises. Even if state or [00:05:00] local health laws say otherwise about animals, people that require service dogs cannot be charged an extra fee for their service dog or isolated from other people.

People with disabilities cannot be treated as less than their other customers when traveling, my family was denied entry at two restaurants because the manager did not know the law regarding service animals and said they had a strict no dog. Regardless of the reasons it was here, our families stood their ground.

A service animal should not even be noticed at a restaurant because they tuck under the table and are not seen by anyone. Now, Kyler carries little cards in Sammy's pack that clearly explained the ADA rules after also having a problem at a hotel. We had a local attorney graciously draw up a general letter for Kyler and Sammy explaining the rules.

It really is. , but in my opinion, the problem is because service animals act very differently than pets. But there are far too many [00:06:00] people who say their pet is a service animal, and this causes problems for people with real disabilities. When my cars AC suddenly went out, I took it to the dealership only to be refused one of their loaner cars because they had a strict no dog policy in their rentals, even for service animals.

The man said. My attorney's letter carefully placed in the hands of the manager, quickly resulted in the keys to a loaner car being made to my possession, which is exactly what should have happened to begin with. If a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service.

Animals with me today are Terry and Nancy Cale with River's Edge Dog Academy from College Station. Now River's Edge specializes in training dogs for Diabetic Alert, P T S D, epilepsy Mobility Assistance, and the hearing impaired. Thank you guys so much for joining me. How are you today? Yeah, good. Thank you.

Happy to be [00:07:00] here. Yeah, we're 

Terry Cadle: great. We're excited about talking to y'all. 

Raylene Lewis: Now, just start off, can you tell me a little bit about your business? You've been training service animals for over 30 years. Is that. 

Terry Cadle: Actually we've been professionally training dogs for about 35 years plus. We've been, we've been just service dogs in about the last 13 years.

Raylene Lewis: What all can you train a service animal to do? Basically 

Terry Cadle: what these dogs do is they, they pick up a chemical change or change in your body chemistry. Then when there's a change is when the dogs start to understand that there's an event about to happen, and, and so we teach them that when there is a change to.

whether it's diabetic alert, whether it's seizure alert, whatever it may be, but it's prior to that event. It's typically when the dogs say, oh, there's a change. I need to tell somebody that I have found it. Now we can teach dogs to do that. We can teach dogs to do a lot of, oh, actions such as pick things up, or we can teach dogs to open doors and we can teach dogs to do a lot of things.

The hardest part is the scent [00:08:00] detection part, where we really teach those dogs and when there's a chemical change that no matter what else in this world happens that is. Time to alert. And then there's also what happens after the event and is the dog going to get help? Is the dog going to do something else?

We typically now are, are training all our dogs to, to set off an alarm 

Raylene Lewis: take action. Yeah, I know Kyler has a service dog. His name is Sammy, and he was actually trained by Rivers Edge Dog Academy, you know, with Sam. When we met you guys, you guys kind of told. Hey, I think this is the, the dog for you, but I really don't know about that process.

How, how does it work if a client comes to you? Do they pick the dog or do you pick the dog? 

Terry Cadle: So what we've done over the years is, is just what we did with y'all is, is that we have some dogs that are, that are available and, and we try to give people choices. Most people don't have a choice. I, I try not to pick them for the people.

We try to guide them into a dog that would be [00:09:00] best for their suited, best for their lifestyle. We don't really look at what the dog looks like. We're looking for performance. We want those dogs that are very driven, very food motivated and very driven. So we like to use the. Pig , for lack of a better term.

We, we want a dog that's always looking for that gratification, always looking for that self gratification, always looking for, you know, when can I get that next treat? When can I get that next treat? Because that's really the biggest part of this. It's, it's, it's knowing where it comes from and knowing who to get it from and, and push those drives into that alert.

Raylene Lewis: I know service animals are super expensive. What's the going rate and how long does it take to. 

Terry Cadle: So our dogs run somewhere between 18 to 25,000. They take us a year plus. To train. We train every single day. We train six to seven days a week. They, they're in our home. They have to be in our home. They have to understand what the real world is.

We can't put 'em into somebody else's house if they haven't lived with us. We take our dogs [00:10:00] everywhere we go, and the more that we do with them, the better off that they are. It's gotta be all encompassing for the. And we do those things to see how stable the dog is. Cause the dog has to be stable in, in all those environments.

This takes a lot of time. That's why these dogs are, are so expensive. Right? We start them at eight weeks. I mean, we start at eight weeks old and it's an everyday situation. 

Raylene Lewis: Yeah. There's no question. Sam knows exactly what his job is. He acts like a professional. 

Terry Cadle: If we take these dogs, we say, look, we're not gonna do anything with 'em until they're six months old.

We're gonna try to fix all the stuff they're doing that they're not supposed to be doing. So if they're brought up from day one, it's. , 

Raylene Lewis: are there criteria? Are there things that you look for? Is there a specific age range that's important? 

Terry Cadle: We really try to do the high school going into college. We like that range.

The kids are very easy to work with. They're already in that learning mode. Those are group good ranges. Our, our, our range is probably 13 up. It's a peace of mind, and it just depends on the maturity of the client. We have to make sure that the person that is going to [00:11:00] receive a dog. Educated enough and mature enough to do those things.

Raylene Lewis: Some people say, well, I'm gonna get this dog and then I'm gonna train it myself and then I'll take it to formal training. And you guys talked about the importance for really starting training off right away at eight weeks. Have you dealt with that other scenario? Is it, is it reasonable for people to be able to train their own service dog?

Terry Cadle: Sure. Everything can happen. Again, that's hard for people to get a true working attitude. from a dog that is also their buddy as a puppy. 

Raylene Lewis: That makes sense.

Terry Cadle: Well, and also, as you were talking about earlier, some dogs really aren't fit to become a professional service dog. Right. Dogs that are very fearful and so on.

It is typically not dogs that we're looking to work with. We don't have a lot of that problem because here's the thing, when somebody gets a puppy and they start with all that stuff, and a puppy learns to run away because it's nervous or scared of something, you've just allowed it to take. to flight route and that [00:12:00] becomes deep-seated.

Oh, and that's probably go, probably gonna be there forever because that solved the dog's problems from day one. We don't ever allow that to happen. So fight and flight do not solve their problems. Work always solves their problems. And by, by them understanding that work solves their problems, they, they know exactly what to do when there's a situation that they are nervous about.

What happens when that, when that starts to happen with a dog? Cause you can't put everything in front of a dog before they leave. , but the dog has to understand that, you know, being by your side is where safety is achieved. So running away is not an option. Becoming aggressive, of course, is not an option.

So what can the dog do? They have to understand that that leader, that person is the one that's gonna solve their 

Raylene Lewis: problem. I could not imagine the, the last year, all the times in the hospital, the chemo. I couldn't imagine what life would've been like if Sam was not right there with him the entire time.

And I always joke around it, it, the relationship is so strong that we feel like Kyler [00:13:00] is Sam's emotional person. . As much as 

Terry Cadle: Sam has gotten or dogs,

Raylene Lewis: I think you're absolutely. When I was doing research for this podcast, you know, I typed in to try to find out what the rules are with regards to service animals.

I probably had like 50 or more just insane ads pop up that say, let us give you the opportunity to register your service animal and things online, . And I know that they are not legit. 

Terry Cadle: What's happened is, is there's, you're right, there's a number of entities out there that wanna register your dog as a service dog.

there is no governing buddy. So there is no certification, there is no card. You can buy those cards and you can do that if it makes you feel better, but it doesn't mean anything. I can certify anything I want to, but it's only me certifying it. And, and that's really what this comes down to. There are certain questions that 

an employer or somebody else can ask of you. And when they do and you answer yes, [00:14:00] such as is that is a service dog, and you say, yes, it is. At that moment you've just certified that dog. You're gonna take responsibility that, that this dog is trained as a service dog and it is trained to a certain standard.

There is no national service, dog registry all of that. That's just the name that they gave their company.

Raylene Lewis: Right, exactly. Ab, absolutely right. One thing that Kyler and I were surprised about when we first met with you, the dog does not have to wear a vest to be considered a service animal, correct?

Terry Cadle: That's right. They don't have to have a vest, they don't have to have anything on, says that it's a service.

Raylene Lewis: Okay. And we talked about the cost earlier. Are there organizations or how do you recommend people cover the cost? 

Terry Cadle: You know, folks do it all kinds of way. They do the GoFundMe. We have people that have done they've reached out to their local, whether it's Kiwanis Group, lions Club rotary Clubs certain businesses in their town.

We, we got a check from the police department. The other. Oh wow. For a client, we have found over the years that [00:15:00] once people actually understand that there's a need, a real need, it's amazing how people start to step up.

Raylene Lewis: Now, if somebody wanted to contact you, what would be the best way for them to do this?

Terry Cadle: We have a website. Go ahead. You can, you can 

Nancy Cadle: represent da.com. They can also call us and they can talk. Talk to Terry personally if they have any questions. At 9 7 9 5 9 5 7 9 5 9. 

Terry Cadle: With most folks, they're looking for information when they call. And I, and I get it, we're gonna give 'em the time cause we do dogs all over the.

People call us for all kinds of things and we're willing to answer just about any question that they might have. Even if it's they're gonna go with another company, that's fine, but sometimes they just need that sounding board because they don't know if it sounds right. 

Raylene Lewis: I think it's wonderful that you, you actually deliver all your dogs all over the United States in person.

Terry Cadle: First off, we have an obligation to the. , we have an obligation to the dog where it's going and make sure it's in a good situation and what's happening and [00:16:00] can educate all the people that are going to be around the dog. Yeah. Because what we do is different than what most people do with their dogs, the way we train 'em and the way we put 'em together.

And so we. We really wanna have a meeting of the minds of everybody that's gonna be involved with the dog to, you know, to some, some degree. We may, we may get there and they might say, will you talk to our school? Yeah, we'll talk to your school. 

Nancy Cadle: We either meet with just the school faculty or we can do an assembly with the entire school.

Cause it's the first time that they kids have had a service dog in their school. So they might need a, a little, you know, refresher on what, how to act around a service dog that's gonna be walking around your school. 

Terry Cadle: I mean, there's a lot of different things that, that people need to help with and, We need to be there and make sure that it's all done.

Right. So, so that it's successful, not it's a partnership. Yeah, exactly. And if they know what we did and why we didn't, how we're d doing it, then everybody's on the same page and it makes it a whole lot easier. Right.

Raylene Lewis: Well thank you guys so, so much for your time today. You have afternoon. 

Terry Cadle: Thanks [00:17:00] raylene.

Nancy Cadle: Thanks Raylene.

Raylene Lewis: I'm so excited that we get to start Chapter one of the book, suffer Strong by Katherine and Jay Wolf. In chapter one, Catherine says that the awareness triggered by seeing another person's physical disability can be a gift in terms of dismissing the automatic assumptions we see when we look at each other.

On quite a few occasions, I have been frustrated with people who were talking to Kyler, not realizing that he had a traumatic brain injury. I think all people need to try to remember that not all wounds are. Catherine points out that high functioning CEOs and business professionals have learned how to place limits on one area of their life so that they can so fully attend to other areas.

We have to do this every day too. We're only given 24 hours in a day. We all have our own limitations. Limitations. Force us to look at what remains with more clarity. [00:18:00] And when you think of it that way, as Catherine says, we are all disabled. None of us have unlimited access to whatever we. or whatever we plan for our lives to look like.

This is a hundred percent true. Knowing that you can't do everything is a super harsh reality, but it's also a sweet gift because it helps with perspective and prioritization. Katherine points out that sometimes constraining something. That already works well, helps something else to work. Again, I'll never forget when Kyler was in therapy and realized that his left side had been compensating so, so much for his right.

He had to stop using his left to make his right strong again. So what Katherine speaks about in this chapter is, is just so very true. Limiting something. Can help an overall greater flourishing. It's really hard to understand this, and I think that's especially [00:19:00] in the moment. I personally love to garden.

After my okra makes little veggies, I have to cut off the deadheads right so that they'll bloom again. In the same way with plants, when we cut back on the excess that we have in our lives, it allows new parts to see the light and grow. This week's quote is by Sam Butler. The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself.

I can say for sure when Kyler takes off, Sammy's vest, whatever Kyler does, Sammy is right beside him trying to do it too. I always like to end our time together with a motivational song recommendation. I don't play the song because of copyright laws, but there have been many times on this journey where a song really spoke out to me and helped me with my.

Today I'm recommending I'll be there for you by the Rembrandt. It's a 1995 hit from their album [00:20:00] LP and a song many people will recognize from the hit TV Show. Friends, I think it is most fitting for our topic today. And as always, if you have questions, have a topic you would like to hear about, or a great song or motivational quote, don't be shy.

Share it in the comments and let us. We would also really appreciate you reviewing our podcast today. Remember, you're never walking this journey alone. Take care.

Terry and Nancy CadleProfile Photo

Terry and Nancy Cadle

Owners/ Professional Trainers

We have been training all forms of working dogs professionally for over three decades. We specialize in training dogs for diabetic alert dogs, PTSD dogs, epilepsy, mobility assistance dogs.
Training service dogs continues to be such a warm and uplifting experience for us. Watching a dog transform into a dedicated lifesaver is something that will truly never get old.
For the past 15 years of our career, a large part of what we have done is behavior modification and the teaching of the importance of a strong dog/client relationship.
We have trained not only dogs from all over the country, but we have also trained hundreds of trainers on how to mold their own dogs to be obedient and dependable. Our goal is to produce partners for people who need them most- all at a fair price.
At River’s Edge Dog Academy in College Station Texas, we strive to mold a good, solid working attitude where your dog knows he or she is not self-employed. They understand you are the employer, which creates a lifelong bond of dedication, loyalty, and affection.