Epileptic woman with service dog suffers from medical emergency after ex-friend refuses to let dog stay in her home

Gillian Sisley

One woman with a service dog, who lives with a medical condition, recently encountered a friend who did not accommodate the woman’s medical needs, as she details in her Reddit post.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

At 24 years old, one woman has been living with epilepsy since childhood. Being a responsible and dedicated individual, the author has a service dog, as she explains further:

“I have a service dog (fully certified) who is trained to help me with my seizures. I have been diagnosed since a child, and I have had my current dog Bailey for 4 years now and she is the bestest girl around. With her being a service dog she is obviously always with me.”

Service dogs are extremely important for people with medical conditions, such as epilepsy, as they provide physical, practical, and emotional assistance. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, service dogs can be trained to detect and respond to medical events such as seizures, alerting and protecting their handler during an emergency. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that service dogs can provide comfort and companionship to veterans suffering from psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unfortunately, the author's core friend group, including one friend, Anna, have not been particularly understanding of the author's medical needs. She clarifies in her post:

“Anna always makes really weird and almost passive aggressive comments about me and Bailey? Ex; dogs shouldn’t come to restaurants, I’m inconveniencing people, etc. she doesn’t get that I legitimately need her for my own safety. It’s not just for show.”

The author's seizures are quite regular, with both petit mal (looking like zoning out) and focal seizures (where the author loses consciousness) occurring multiple times a day. Recently, Anna hosted a game night and became angry when the author arrived with Bailey. The situation became very tense very quickly:

“She told me it was incredibly disrespectful that I showed up with Bailey without asking for permission first. That I can’t just assume people will be happy with a dog always being around. That I should have just stayed home if I couldn’t handle being out for a few hours without Bailey. I tried apologizing and pointing out that I assumed she knew I was bringing her since I’ve never gone anywhere without her.”

Despite the author's attempts to explain that she needs Bailey for her safety, Anna forced Bailey to stay outside. During the evening, The author had a seizure, blacking out and hitting her head on the floor, and had to be taken to the hospital. The fallout was rather dramatic:

“I guess my friend group absolutely handed Ana her ass calling her hateful, toxic, and a jealous witch. I guess she was trying to say that I passed out for the attention and I got my way like always. Long story short no one wants her around anymore. Since this happened her, her sister and mom have been blowing up my phone, calling me [a terrible person] and demanding I fix this situation.”

What do you think?

Is the author indeed in the wrong for bringing her service dog with her wherever she goes, despite needing the dog due to a legitimate medical need?

Or was Anna the one in the wrong for being ignorant and ableist, and she should absolutely be shamed for her behavior, especially as it resulted in the author landing in the hospital?

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