"he's a service dog"...

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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Mali Woo
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 1:34pm PST 
Like everyone else I have been asked all of the same questions when I am out with Mali. Most of the time I try to take my time and educate people about service dogs. However, there are many days I don’t have time, or I am not feeling well and I don’t want to be bothered. I know having a hidden disability, or being “Differently abled” as I like to call myself makes it hard for people to understand why I have a dog with me. It tends to make them ask foolish questions.

On those days when I would rather be left alone and they ask me personal question about why I would have a SD, I tell them; If they will tell me what they did in bed last night with their lover, I will be happy to share why I am differently abled. For the most part they look at me with a second look and say, OH..

I go on to say, you see it is just as personal to ask me that question as the one I asked you; and then I leave them where they stand. Most people understand right away.

One day I took my daughter shopping. There was a man in the store who would not keep his hands to himself. I blocked his advance toward Mali repeatedly explaining to him she was working and that she was a SD. It did not make a bit of difference; he seemed to come around every isle and corner and try to sneak a pat in when my back was turned. Mali did a great job of ignoring him, turning her back to him, but he followed us around the store. I did not see a clerk anywhere or I would have reported him, so I gave up and went to wait at the front of the store while she checked out.

Just as we were leaving he came out right after her…as he came towards Mali with his hand extended I reached out with my hand too. I was sitting down at the time, so my hand was a bit on the lower side, something I did not realize until later. He stopped before reaching Mali and said, “What are you doing?” I told him if he was going to pet my dog I was going to pet him. He looked at me like I was crazy. I told him to come on come pet her and waved my hand a little… his hand was still raised but he took a step back. “Oh come on let me”, I said.” He said” NO!” and left the store, and that was that!
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 2:35pm PST 
Yes, just like everyone else, people have assumed that I am training Iris for a worthy, unknown disabled person. I become embarrassed when people thank me for my sacrifice, so I usually disclose that the SD is for my disability.

Most people don't realize that disabilities can be invisible. Once they think about it, it makes sense, because nearly all of them knows someone who has a seizure, diabetic, or psychiatric disorder.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Sun Nov 4, '12 6:28am PST 
I have an adoped daughter who dose not believe believe that a dog should be allowed in any place
that food is let a lone in places people shop. I have learn to respect her feels but I wont stop using sadie cause it she feels awkward about it, or goes against her integratie.


Lolly girl
Barked: Sun Nov 4, '12 12:05pm PST 
Mali that is so funny!! laugh out loud I think I will try that. Yesterday when I was at the grocery store, I was up by the front, this lady and her husband come in with two small dogs riding in the basket of the cart.a mommy and her pup. The store clerk told her that she could not bring in her dogs.
This lady just goes BALLISTIC, yelling why not and then she see's me and starts yelling at me and hopping and pointing to me. I am not kidding! She yells at me why do you get to have a dog. I told her this is a SD. She yells so is mine she has a badge.
meanwhile her husband has picked up the puppy and walked out of the store.

So since this lady pulled me into this I turned to the clerk and said there is no such thing as a badge for a SD it is a fraud/scam that people can buy on the internet. they is not Cert or Register for a SD. some people have an ID card from the program/training they worked with. and that faking a SD is a 6 month jail term and a $1000 fine. I also explained the law and gave the justice department phone number to the clerk.

And guess what the faker stopped yelling and picked up her dog and left the store not saying another word.
Oh and I also told the clerk the breed of dog doesn't matter etc...
But this lady was a big faker. WOW dog

Member Since
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:48pm PST 
Me I have the Opposite problem, once friends and family found out I had a ESA they kept calling him a SD. and would refuse to help us take him to things like dog park and puppy classes as at the time we didn't have a car and had to use public Transit. It was horrid, Till the Trainer for my puppy class explained to my hubby the difference as she has a Therapy dog and a ESA. I swear to gods sometimes though people drive me nuts by insisting that I can take my pup into places I can't.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 8:00pm PST 
@Mario, you keep your dog on duty at your own house? You said "friends were over" so I'm guessing you mean to your home? Dunno what he does for you, but odd never heard someone say they took their dog "off duty" in their own home. Weird you said lucky for the "ditz" he didn't bite her or pee on her sin ce he's a small dog. Why would he bite or pee, isn't he well trained? Don't give small breeds a bad rep, a well trained well socialized small breed wouldn't be peeing or biting.

Barked: Fri Jan 4, '13 12:01pm PST 
I get people thanking me for what I'm doing for someone else almost every time I take Mikal for public access training. My favorite response, however, is from when I was in Walmart one time. I was looking at something in one of the isles and the to girls walk by. The first says, "Aw! A dog!" Followed by the other saying, "Shh! It's a service dog! " as if it were some kind of secret. Haha.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 4, '13 4:54pm PST 
Why the hostility? gee whiz. So your dog isn't a therapy dog, big deal. You said he was off duty. Therapy dogs do fabulous work, you should take it as a compliment not get snotty.

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Fri Jan 4, '13 8:26pm PST 
Because therapy dogs and service dogs have completely different jobs and responsibilities. People in the disabled community fight and uphill battle of education and it is important that the general public Do know the difference.

If nothing else because the general public can and is supposed to pet a therapy dog, where as they should leave a service dog alone to do their job.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 9, '13 5:47pm PST 
The general public shouldn't pet ANY dog, pet, TD, SD or otherwise. TD should be petted only when the handler grants permission (in situations where the dog is acting as a TD, namely). It's not wise for anyone to approach any dog, doesn't matter if it's a pet, pet that's a TD, or SD.

Fact is there's far too much snobbery in the SD world lately. A little nice goes a long way.
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