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Indifferent Church Kicks Blind Man Out Of Service For Having Guide Dog With Him
In South Carolina, a disabled blind man and his service dog were kicked out of a church service, simply because he had a guide dog with him.
29-year-old Taylor Burch is legally blind and uses a 5-year-old service dog named Independence to help him function day-to-day. The dog, nicknamed Indy, was trained and certified at the Southeastern Guide Dog School in Palmetto, Florida.
But neither of those facts stopped the church from sending Taylor on his way.
Unfortunately, when he arrived at the service with his official guide dog, things didn’t go like he thought they would.
Taylor spoke about the incident via a Facebook post on his sister Tiffany Michelle’s account:
“I moved to a new town and today wanted to attend church with just me & my guide dog “Indy”. Upon entering the church I was approached by a strong looking man with a church badge that told me to come in another room alone with him he needed to speak to me! I was reluctant and nervous but felt I was in a safe and loving place so I went. He shut the door and told me dogs were not allowed in their church – this is a huge contemporary church – I stated I am legally blind and he is a licensed guide dog – he asked was I dependent on him – of course I am I’m blind sir!! He continued to tell me that churches have the right to refuse service dogs in their church – I said he is not a just a service dog sir he is a licensed guide dog. I felt so uncomfortable, humiliated, scared, and targeted I told him I would just leave!! He was glad to see me leave. I am devastated by such treatment from a church.”
After being kicked out of the church, Taylor and Indy waited outside in the summer heat for a ride home from Taylor’s mother.
In Tiffany’s Facebook post, she admitted that churches do not need to adhere to ADA laws regarding service animals, but couldn’t believe a place that “teaches love and acceptance would not allow a person like my brother and his very well behaved and intensely trained dog to attend a church service.”
There are many “fake” services dogs and emotional support animals in society today, but it doesn’t excuse the church from treating a blind man and his seeing eye dog so callously.
Two days after turning the boy away, the church’s pastor apologized to Taylor in an email. The pastor even claimed that he decided to change the church’s policy on service animals, according to a statement from the church.
Although Taylor has no plans to return to the church, in a Facebook post he stated that he hoped his experience would help “bring about equality for all disabled persons and their service dogs and anyone else needing to feel included in a church, any church.”
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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession. Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?! Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.” Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly. Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose. It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses. It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens. Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs. When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
Gently massaging your dog’s throat
Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case. You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse. If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects. Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.