Service Dog on the Playa?

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Service Dog on the Playa?

Postby dirge » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:48 pm

I have a service dog that I can bring to all public places. University, Supermarkets, she even went to the hospital once. She is a Seizure Alert dog who also serves me as a PSD. She is trained in over 40 behaviors some of which are necessary for my well being. SHe is a 120 pound short haired dog. She is used to living in Florida heat and is not upset by loud noises or strange events providing no one is threatening me she is always calm. My question is will it be possible to bring her to the playa? Since I will have other people around me most of the time unless I seizure at night or have a severe anxiety attack I should be fine. Still, we have been inseperable and she can not be boarded. When she was a puppy she was abandoned in a foreclosed condo. When she was found she was near death and was rehabilitated by a wonderful woman who trains service dogs. After she had 18 months of training she was adopted by me. I had to have Doctors letters which must be renewed yearly, home checks, vet reference letters, friends reference, and 10 days of training. I am afraid of encountering people who are going to be nasty about it or worse yet have trouble getting her in through the gate... I wish people were more educated.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:55 pm

The survival guide does provide a contact email:

DOGS: Burning Man is a no dog event.
Do not show up with your dog at the gate of burning Man and expect to be admitted to the event. This restriction is for the well-being and safety of participants and their four-legged friends. For questions please contact dogs (at) burningman (dot) com. For questions during the event, contact Playa Info in Center Camp.
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Postby jkisha » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:48 pm

I'll be curious to hear the answer you get if you send them an email.

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Postby sputnik » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:50 pm

I can say that I saw a certified service dog in a camp I visited in 2007
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:13 am

You should take this up with the llc, not the members of this board. 911 at Burningman dot com is the email for the medical team. I'm not sure who else besides them you want to contact. My guess is that they may discourage you, but that they cannot deny you access without denying you your rights under the ADA. But I'd research that, too. Start now, in case you have to do a lot of digging.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:21 am

Be sure to make the doggy wear some nice little boots so the poor little thing doesn't get Playa paw.
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Re: Service Dog on the Playa?

Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:05 pm

dirge wrote:She is used to living in Florida heat and is not upset by loud noises or strange events providing no one is threatening me she is always calm. My question is will it be possible to bring her to the playa?


You've gotta really consider this. I'm sure she's used to being out and about in the Florida heat at times, but I'm guessing you probably live in an air-conditioned home, and spend at least half your time there too. Another thing is, Florida heat is pretty humid... the Black Rock desert is very dry and can quickly dehydrate anyone without any of the usual signs like sweating. (I know dogs don't sweat but I'm just saying it can and does creep up on a lot of people.) And it's cool that she's not startled by loud noises or strange events, but what about seven (or at least several) days and nights of continuous loud noises and strange events? Yes, there are some quieter areas you can hang out in but the sounds of the city and the melange of every known form of electronic dance music is always chugging along in the background. As for recognizing threatening behavior... what about robots, gigantic bursts of flame, and incoherent yahoos with bullhorns who think they're the life of the party?

Good luck weighing all the factors and coming to a decision. The dog sounds like a real wonderful being, so I think you should err on the side of caution with this.
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Postby Token » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

I'll echo Crypto on this. BM medical staff, and your doctor should be the ones providing advice on a medical issue.

The peanut gallery should know better than to interfere in medical matters.
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Postby gyre » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:48 am

A service dog can not be prohibited.

The cautions are warranted though.
It would be better to make other arrangements if possible.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:29 am

whats worse then having to deal with a dog a burningman? having to deal with a kid...cuz then when it dies....yer FUCKED
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Thank you

Postby dirge » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:39 pm

I was going to write to the people who organize burning man directly. In addition to the rules I wanted to know what people thought. I still believe she could stand the climate and noise but.... The fire/flamethrowers, high people with bullhorns, and things like that might be hard on her nerves. She is not afraid of fireworks and once saw a cannon being fired in a reinactment (part of her training) however these events did not continue for days on end. She has been around people with severe autism, but to my knowledge has never been around a high person... I am trying to find a family that she can stay with for the week. If I can't find a suitable petsitter I might still bring her and just be mindful of where I take her. I am not going to see the man burn or temple burn if I bring her.

Not sure how to interpret Fire_Mooses comment. Is it concern for my dog, because I don't think her life would be in any danger? Is he implying he would harm my dog? That would be foolish. Anyone who tried to hurt her would probably end up physically and surely end up legally fucked.
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Postby wedeliver » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:55 pm

I wrote the following then added this question, How will you control the dogs need to relieve herself? Even pee spots are discouraged, naturally! (now we gotta work on the human girls on burn nite)

Hi Dirge, I am sure you and your dog would be welcome at Black Rock City, since you could not come with out her and you have all the medical paperwork showing your need. but.. big but.. it might not be good for the dog.

In my opinion it would depend on your camping arrangement, you might have mentioned already, and sorry for missing it, but it you are sleeping in a tent your dog will get no rest. On the other hand, big RV, the white noise of the ac running and your dog will be just fine. (it works for me)

So, if you are coming in an RV, check with the org first and do whatever paperwork will be required for you and your dog to attend otherwise you won't get past the gate.

I look forward to seeing you both.

ps, no one would threaten your dog.. there's 100 of us who would break the tos to get the mofo
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Very good point.

Postby dirge » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:02 pm

I had planned to bag the poo like normal and put it in the portapotties and then it occured to me the baggies are problematic. You can't put anything but bodily waste in the potties, its not sanitary to keep dirty baggies, paper bags won't do the job (they would if I didn't have to hold on to it for long but with the spacing of the bathrooms I might have to). Although, she does go to the bathroom on command so I could get her to do it near ( but not too near) the potties and then clean it up. The pee we really can't do anything about and she will be peeing a lot because she will have to drink a lot. :( As I said the more I think about it the more seriously I am looking for a good surogate family/person to stay with her. It will be difficult for her and myself, but perhaps not as difficult as all of this.
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Postby Oldguy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:23 pm

Just so it does not piss in my soup or shit in my tent, it is ok with me. Your dog will be wearing a monkey diaper, won't it?

The heat/humidity can kill a dog very quickly out there, small mass means they heat up quickly. If you really love your animal, don't bring it. Bring a stuffed toy to pet, ala Radar O'Reilly's teddy bear. No one will mind if you talk to your bear...

As to the siezure disorder thing, be careful. It's very easy to get dehydrated and disoriented, especially if you have a preexisting problem. I am concerned about the never-ending oompft-oompft sound triggering a spell. Don't go into deep playa without companions, one to run for help and at least one to cool/calm/protect you.
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Postby Token » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:32 pm

OSHA Rules: One person working, two watching.
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Body mass

Postby dirge » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:30 pm

Small body mass? She weighs 20 pounds more than I do. I don't think a stuffed animal can body brace me so I don't hit my head hard when I fall. I don't think a stuffed animal can get help. At home we have a special telephone where she can press 911 when I am out she is trained to get help when I have a seizure. First she body braces and then she goes for help (telephone or people). If I have a panic attack she lays on top of me to calm me down. She predicts seizures and can predict them with in 2 hours before they happen. She starts whimpering and jumps on me and licks my face. She also does this if I am getting agitated forcing me to leave the situation. SHe also acts as a barrier between me and other people when I have social anxiety from being touched just by going in front of me and body blocking. This is what I mean by uneducated people. I have on average 8-10 seizures a month. I am on many medications and she reminds me when to take them. She begins pawing me at 8am, 1pm and 8pm. At these times I feed her and thus remember to take my pills. She is never more than 20 minutes early and is never late. She carries my things and my medical information, copies of my id, and extra money in her pouches of her harness. There are also extra copies and money sewn into harness. I have memory problems and tend to lose things. I have a great memory for facts and the like, but I am not good at keeping track of keys and other necessities. I have tried many things, but only she has eliminated the problem.

This is what I mean about people having a lack of education on this subject. She is NOT an emotional support dog. That theoretically could be supplanted by a stuffed animal, but she is a working dog. She even goes to the emergency with me. She allows me to live alone and do the things I want and need to do.
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Postby Da Mule » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:59 pm

She sounds like an amazing animal.
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Re: Body mass

Postby Mekishiko » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:18 pm

That is a super long list of things that specifically will conflict with your experience at Burning Man, with, or without the dog.

People will be all around you, touching, jumping, explosions... and you have social Anxiety?

and even if you brought that dog, you're 3 hours from medical help, your dog can run that far?

Maybe consider bringing a helicopter instead.

I am just saying, you want to die out here? talk to your doctor, tons of normal playa conditions prove difficult for healthy people, it can drive people crazy, and dehydration might have a negative effect on your seizures or any of those other issues you listed.

In your effort to defend how awesome your dog is, you in essence, created a convincing argument as to why you shouldn't be going to BM.

but to each his own, Just remember this is a radical experiment in self reliance....you just listed (at no fault of your own) that even in normal conditions you are not self reliant.

dirge wrote:Small body mass? She weighs 20 pounds more than I do. I don't think a stuffed animal can body brace me so I don't hit my head hard when I fall. I don't think a stuffed animal can get help. At home we have a special telephone where she can press 911 when I am out she is trained to get help when I have a seizure. First she body braces and then she goes for help (telephone or people). If I have a panic attack she lays on top of me to calm me down. She predicts seizures and can predict them with in 2 hours before they happen. She starts whimpering and jumps on me and licks my face. She also does this if I am getting agitated forcing me to leave the situation. SHe also acts as a barrier between me and other people when I have social anxiety from being touched just by going in front of me and body blocking. This is what I mean by uneducated people. I have on average 8-10 seizures a month. I am on many medications and she reminds me when to take them. She begins pawing me at 8am, 1pm and 8pm. At these times I feed her and thus remember to take my pills. She is never more than 20 minutes early and is never late. She carries my things and my medical information, copies of my id, and extra money in her pouches of her harness. There are also extra copies and money sewn into harness. I have memory problems and tend to lose things. I have a great memory for facts and the like, but I am not good at keeping track of keys and other necessities. I have tried many things, but only she has eliminated the problem.

This is what I mean about people having a lack of education on this subject. She is NOT an emotional support dog. That theoretically could be supplanted by a stuffed animal, but she is a working dog. She even goes to the emergency with me. She allows me to live alone and do the things I want and need to do.
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Re: Body mass

Postby wedeliver » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:27 pm

dirge wrote:Small body mass? She weighs 20 pounds more than I do. I don't think a stuffed animal can body brace me so I don't hit my head hard when I fall. I don't think a stuffed animal can get help. At home we have a special telephone where she can press 911 when I am out she is trained to get help when I have a seizure. First she body braces and then she goes for help (telephone or people). If I have a panic attack she lays on top of me to calm me down. She predicts seizures and can predict them with in 2 hours before they happen. She starts whimpering and jumps on me and licks my face. She also does this if I am getting agitated forcing me to leave the situation. SHe also acts as a barrier between me and other people when I have social anxiety from being touched just by going in front of me and body blocking. This is what I mean by uneducated people. I have on average 8-10 seizures a month. I am on many medications and she reminds me when to take them. She begins pawing me at 8am, 1pm and 8pm. At these times I feed her and thus remember to take my pills. She is never more than 20 minutes early and is never late. She carries my things and my medical information, copies of my id, and extra money in her pouches of her harness. There are also extra copies and money sewn into harness. I have memory problems and tend to lose things. I have a great memory for facts and the like, but I am not good at keeping track of keys and other necessities. I have tried many things, but only she has eliminated the problem.

This is what I mean about people having a lack of education on this subject. She is NOT an emotional support dog. That theoretically could be supplanted by a stuffed animal, but she is a working dog. She even goes to the emergency with me. She allows me to live alone and do the things I want and need to do.


I think you both sound incredible interesting and I would love to meet you both. I am just not sure if Black Rock City is the place. Naturally it is your choice and I hope you make a well educated and thought out decision.

good luck!
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Postby DoriumLux » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:39 pm

First let me say that I feel for you and your situation. I don't mean to be harsh but BM is huge and I have a hard time finding my camp sometimes even after attending for many years. How do you plan to find your camp if you have aforementioned memory problems? You can get lost for hours and miles within the event even while sober without any memory problems. It happens all the time and that in itself can cause a lot of anxiety for anyone especially when you are hot, thirsty,malnourished, tired or/and cold.

Also, How will you use a porta potty with a service dog? What if something happens to you while in the bathroom? Who will hold the dog while you are inside? I'm sure you can possibly fit the dog in the handicapped sized porta potties but considering the conditions of the potties I don't imagine that would be the most sanitary idea? How would he help you if you were both locked in a potty? I'm just trying to think of all the possible problems that could arise and you should too...
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Postby Oldguy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:31 pm

Wow. I pushed some buttons.

I still don't give a shit if you come or not. I stand by my words.

Think about your animal. It's not all about you.
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Postby Oldguy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:56 pm

I would never bring my 8 year old Belgian Malinois bitch to the desert. I love her too much. She is similar to a German Shepherd, just smaller. She too has a splendid nose, and is a natural herding animal. She is trained as a protection dog. She is always at my feet, like a shadow. In fact, that is her name, Shadow. Her dame passed at 14 years. I've got 6 or 7 more years of her company. If I am lucky...

The desert is a cruel place for dogs, even big ones. Listen closely to what others are saying here. We are being really rather kind to you. Please don't confuse our snarkiness for unkindness. Sometimes it IS kinder to be cruel.

If you do decide to participate, I will welcome you. Welcome to e-playa.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:46 am

First...
dirge wrote:Not sure how to interpret Fire_Mooses comment. Is it concern for my dog, because I don't think her life would be in any danger? Is he implying he would harm my dog?


why would i be implying that I'm going to hurt yer dog...by the sound of it yer dog would kick my ASS. i was saying how wether you bring a dog or a baby, you gotta watch it the whole time, so that sucks, then if(said when before, shoulda been if) the dog dies a it sucks...but if the baby dies...ya nvm

Secondly...
dirge wrote:There are also extra copies and money sewn into harness.

Check ;)

and lastly,
I'm just thinking about the poor dog's nose during the event :(
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:29 am

DoriumLux wrote:Also, How will you use a porta potty with a service dog? What if something happens to you while in the bathroom? Who will hold the dog while you are inside?
You have got to be kidding. A Service Dog is well-trained enough to wait outside the blue room while bladder and bowels are releived. They don't take some random Jack Russel and give a couple of weeks training and say "you're a service dog now!" It may not be wise to take the dog, but let's not take it for solid reasons, not goofy ones.
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Postby DoriumLux » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:51 pm

I understand that, but i didn't mean something would happen to the dog.

I meant what happens if she has something happen while locked inside the port-o-lette. (IE: 8-10 seizures per month)

how is the dog going to know, or be able to do anything while the owner is locked inside. The dog might be able to alert someone near by of the danger inside, but still, 3 hours from medical services, and who knows how long the owner will be cooking inside.

I understand the dogs are well trained, I know a dog is perfectly capable of "sitting" but a week of dehydration, explosions, overheating, and 50,000 unpredictable people running around....I dunno, Superman had a well trained animal as well, and so did Sigfried, and we know how those stories go. I hardly am able to tell how a person is going to act let alone an animal who can't speak out on the playa. People should consider worse case scenarios. At the very least she should bring a human companion who is trained to help her and can communicate for her in english.

but what do I know, there may be a dog whisperer near by that can talk to he lil' guy if she needs help.



theCryptofishist wrote:
DoriumLux wrote:Also, How will you use a porta potty with a service dog? What if something happens to you while in the bathroom? Who will hold the dog while you are inside?
You have got to be kidding. A Service Dog is well-trained enough to wait outside the blue room while bladder and bowels are releived. They don't take some random Jack Russel and give a couple of weeks training and say "you're a service dog now!" It may not be wise to take the dog, but let's not take it for solid reasons, not goofy ones.
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Re: Service Dog on the Playa?

Postby POWERCHAIR » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:45 am

.....
Last edited by POWERCHAIR on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Service Dog on the Playa?

Postby wedeliver » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:58 am

POWERCHAIR wrote:I will be posting all info in regard's to all services of mobility to fellow Burners who might have difficulty traveling to the far reaches of Black Rock City.
In this LINK viewtopic.php?t=29238

Sincerely, Wayne Merchant, your coordinator and host of Mobility
Services at Black Rock City.


Wayne, you rock! thanks!
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Postby Token » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:45 pm

Dirge,

Saying the words Dog and Playa in the same sentence is like screaming abortion in any number of southern states. It just pushes folks out of their comfort zone and causes a severe identity crisis in some folks here on the boards.

Do your thing, contact the org, contact ESD, get the documentation and have a fucking awesome time out there.
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Postby Igneouss » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:27 pm

Given the value of a well trained service dog and the hassle factor of cleaning poop and urine off the Playa, I would hazzard that bringing a service dog into this very NOT dog-friendly environment would be a mistake.

There are some very smart and experienced folks here that know tons about disabilities on the playa. I have no doubt that they can provide advice and ideas about ways to attend BM without needing a service dog.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:42 pm

DoriumLux wrote:I understand that, but i didn't mean something would happen to the dog.

I meant what happens if she has something happen while locked inside the port-o-lette. (IE: 8-10 seizures per month)

how is the dog going to know, or be able to do anything while the owner is locked inside. The dog might be able to alert someone near by of the danger inside, but still, 3 hours from medical services, and who knows how long the owner will be cooking inside.

I understand the dogs are well trained, I know a dog is perfectly capable of "sitting" but a week of dehydration, explosions, overheating, and 50,000 unpredictable people running around....I dunno, Superman had a well trained animal as well, and so did Sigfried, and we know how those stories go. I hardly am able to tell how a person is going to act let alone an animal who can't speak out on the playa. People should consider worse case scenarios. At the very least she should bring a human companion who is trained to help her and can communicate for her in english.

but what do I know, there may be a dog whisperer near by that can talk to he lil' guy if she needs help.



theCryptofishist wrote:
DoriumLux wrote:Also, How will you use a porta potty with a service dog? What if something happens to you while in the bathroom? Who will hold the dog while you are inside?
You have got to be kidding. A Service Dog is well-trained enough to wait outside the blue room while bladder and bowels are releived. They don't take some random Jack Russel and give a couple of weeks training and say "you're a service dog now!" It may not be wise to take the dog, but let's not take it for solid reasons, not goofy ones.


Didn't I read that the dog can sense an attack up to two hours before it happens? I know I get a little blocked up on the playa, but two hours in the blue rooms. Not if robbidobbs herself wiped the seat, and when I was done, my ass.
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