"No Petting, PLEASE!"

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

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Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
Barked: Mon Mar 20, '06 10:46pm PST 
Today we went into an across-town grocery store (not the one everybody knows us at) and Tux did very well until the end. He even followed the "focus" command when there was a toddler nearby screetching "doggie!". I was so very proud of him.

So we meet a couple employees through the store and they don't bother us at all, just continue on their way. Then, we pay for our purchases using an automated kiosk/checkout stand, and attempt to go through the door to leave.

In this grocery store, there is a podium at the end of the collection of kiosks, it's where employees are in case you need assistance running the kiosk. Behind it is about a 48" walkway for customers to exit the store, in my opinion very small because if one employee steps back you're kind of squished. Anyway, so we are approaching this tight area, Tux is doing fine. Then this female employee steps back (when we are about two or three feet from that section of walkway) and blocks my path. Even if I didn't have Tux it would have qualified as rude if I didn't use "excuse me." I take one or two more steps and because this is the only way out of the store my exit is blocked, and I'm looking at the side of this employee. (Those one or two steps were for my balance, and my assuming that she would get out of the way). "Is he friendly?" She asks. Oh no, here it comes, I think. He's been doing so well, he hasn't messed up at all, he's been paying attention to me....she's going to pet him and he'll lose his focus. "Yes," I said. "But he's working." At this point I made a subtle attempt to solicit Tux's attention and shove past her out the door, rude as it would have been. I know what's coming. She's gonna pet him. He's gonna lose his focus. Tux attempts to gather his hindquarters beneath him (he dropped into a sit when she blocked our path) when she sticks out her hand. He daintily sniffs then tries to follow my command (to exit) but at that moment, she reaches under his chin and gives him a "home behavior!" (Scratching under the chin.) Of course with this doubled (my command and the home command) he thinks he is at home. He does listen to me when I pull him away but he lost all his focus when she did that. (We then took him to another store and that wasn't right of us to subject him to, especially when he thought he was at home.)

It just irraitated me so much. I guess I didn't say "He's working" loud enough. I can't say he's not friendly because that'll hurt him as a service dog, I chose to not scream "DO NOT PET HIM, HE'S DOING WELL FOR ONCE!" because that would have been rude. (And accustory before the fact.) But the whole fact of her reaching out, soliciting him when I had given him a different command...arrrrrgggg! She stepped into my path to purposefully stop me. He was wearing his vest. He was doing fine. She didn't even ask about his service dog status or anything! All she wanted to do was pet him!

I suppose, though, the ability to read isn't a qualification needed for that grocery store.

Tux and Big Sis
Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
Barked: Mon Mar 20, '06 11:44pm PST 
Oh, that's so annoying!

I have so been there and I just get so upset at people! I don't reach out and pat you on the head when you are working, do I?


My new name: - SUPER GLUE
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 7:39am PST 
Hello--Sara Here:

My Daddy is one of those people who just have to pat every dog
he sees. He can't help it--He just loves them.

I use to get real jealous when he do that, but he let me know that's the way it is. If I don't like it, that's just tough.

That being said, when my Daddy see a Service Dog he asks the owner if it's OK to pat the pooch. If the person says "No," then Daddy
don't pat.

Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 10:04am PST 
I got my head scratched at the grocery store and being that I'm kinda short the person had to actually go out of his way to pet me by bending down a little. Normally I'll avoid them and back off but I was caught off guard. Mom made me continue when someone was trying to get me to go to them. For me someone screaming puppy doesn't do anything. Funny thing was a child told her sibling in a very loud voice behind us as mommy was reading the price on a salad, "That lady is blind." And she didn't say it just once. Kids are so funny. She mustn't have been paying attention to the fact mommy was looking at the label on the salad.

Puppy Power!
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 10:38am PST 
I know I am not a service dog by any means but I thought I would throw in, that perhaps they don't know what you mean by "working". I know when I started working at PetCo and service dogs would come in. Now I had common courtesy ask ALL customers if it was OK to give their dog a treat. Few of them replied "oh he can't have any, he is in training". It confused me at first, but I did not give them a treat or pet them.

If they would have said "he's working", it would have just confused me even more.

Thats just a viewpoint from an "outsider" persay, that maybe they just don't know what it means (especially someone in the environment that is not used to be around dogs, period, much less service dogs).
Paris- (1991-2007)

I Get By With A- Little Help...
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 11:36am PST 
I totally agree with Jamie's response.
then I go to Sir's page and see a big ole' picture of the vest that says clearly, DOG WORKING - NO PETTING...

I think you have to treat most humans like they're not that bright. People want to pet me all the time. Because I'm fuzzy and white. Maybe i won't nip, maybe I will.
Mum has to say no all the time. She says it pretty loudly, especially when there are kids involved.
Cheers and I hope things go more smoothly the next time.
and, btw? good job being a service dog!
big grin
Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 11:58am PST 
BOL, you are so right, humans are not bright!

Sabrina's vest has a big patch that says "do not pet" and it even has a picture of a hand with a red circle around it and a line through it for those who can't read.

Does that stop people? No!

Jamie, what are we to say, then? I mean, I don't want to get in a 5 minute conversation with everyone who wants to pet Sabrina, so what can I say quickly (so I can get it in before they actually pet Sabrina) that will get the point accross? I've tried "she's working" "she's a service dog" "no" "she's in training" and none of them work! I think the one that works the least is "she's a service dog" because it takes too long to say and no one knows what a service dog is anyway.
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 6:25pm PST 
My next response is going to be, "Please don't pet him!" the next time someone asks if he is friendly. That doesn't get me in any trouble or give any bad marks to him (if I say he is not friendly, and he is marked as a service dog, then that gets him thrown out of somewhere thinking "vicious") and conveys my point first and foremost. Then if warranted I could speak more about Tux or whatever.

Tux & Big Sis

Love me, adore- me!
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 6:53pm PST 
Well, I guess if you're in a hurry, tell them that Sabrina bites as part of her service training, so that you'll be safe from attackers! :^P I'm kiddin', of course, but, tellin' people that she bites will most likely deter pettin'! I guess another answer to the "Is he/she friendly" question could be, "Only when he/she is off duty."
Russell- woo-woo- *Hearing- dog*

My Mommy is a- certified dog- trainer
Barked: Tue Mar 21, '06 9:17pm PST 
Every time I see a service dog, I used to want to pet them(when I was younger), but now I don't because it takes so much training to get them to work. And they are only dogs, their brain isnt as big as our human brains are ( not that I'm calling dogs dumb) but dogs can't tell when they need to be focused, its not like they can say.. excuse me, I'm working and I'd apreciate if you let me be. Am I right?
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