Service Dog,  Therapy Dog,  Home Help Mate,
Emotional Support Dog...
 
What's  the Difference?

According to Texas law (Texas Human Resources Code 121.003-121.006)
It is against the law to impersonate a Service Dog
(taking a dog into public that has not completed training for Service Work).  This offense is a Misdemeanor offense,
punishable by a fine of $300 and 30 hours of community service.

An Emotional Support dog, or ESD is a dog that provides a calming presence and soothes it's owner just with it's presence.  This dog doesn't require any specialty training, does not perform tasks and does not have any public access rights, by law.

A therapy dog is a dog that provides a soothing presence to people other than it's handler.  This dog does not perform any tasks, but it does undergo special training to ensure that is has good manners.  Therapy Dogs do not have public access rights by law, but it may visit certain public locations after certification and with permission from the facility. An example of a therapy dog is a dog that visits nursing homes or the hospital to provide comfort to sick or elderly people.

A Home Help Mate is a dog that performs tasks for his/ her handler, but exclusively in the home.  Task examples include: compression therapy, retrieval of items, behavior interruption, etc. This dog is not public access trained because the person that the dog serves does not require the dog to work in public.  Home help mates do not have public access rights.

A service dog is a dog that provides assistance to one handler, not multiple people.  It performs specific tasks, like compression therapy, retrieval of items, bracing for mobility, interruption of behavior, etc.  This dog has undergone special training to consistently perform these tasks, and special training to help it filter the world around it.  This dog has public access rights by law and accompanies it's owner in public locations.