I was on a recent teletherapy call with an anxious young college student. Let's call him Robbie. Half-way in he told me he thought he needed an ESA. ESA, I thought…is that one of those texting anagrams I should know, like FOMO or YOLO? Before I had a chance to ask, Robbie said that having his long-time companion, his adored tabby, in his dorm room would make his anxiety manageable.
It came to me in a flash: Emotional Support Animal. I'd read about these. A quick Google search after the call revealed that people are contacting teletherapy services, like the one I took Robbie's call on, to obtain virtually (pun intended) immediate certification to have their ERAs in dorms, pet-unfriendly apartments and on airplanes.