It finally happened.

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Barked: Thu Aug 22, '13 10:12am PST 
What I hate and think is really rude is when your out eating and trying to enjoy your meal with your family and people keep interrupting you so they can ask what breed your dog is. Is it just me or does that not seem rude to anyone else? The last time it happened I didn't want to be mean but I said," I'm sorry but I'm trying to eat (all while I'm covering my mouth because I had a mouth full of food)." I didn't say it in a mean voice but she looked a little taken aback and my husband ended up answering her questions because she just stood there waiting. Sarge has a patch that says Service Dog No Touch No Talk No eye Contact and I swear there are so many times I want to wear a shirt that says the same thing for me.

Barked: Sat Aug 24, '13 11:49am PST 
Link, that's not what I thought at all. I simply thought there was a more positive way to handle the situation. smile

Braidy, thanks for the kind and informative post. I actually might be getting an SD in a few years, depending on where I'm at in my life. I was supposed to go to Long Island several years ago to get a guide dog, but my mom got sick with cancer the summer I was supposed to go and my family wanted me home, and ever since then life's circumstances have just never allowed me to have an SD. frown
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Aug 26, '13 4:36pm PST 
Yoshi - You have to realize too, however, that dependent on a person's disability, the situation may be too highly stressful or detrimental for them to handle it differently or positively. When your very safety is at risk because of people's ignorance(best way to put it?), it's not necessarily something where you take the time to calmly and nicely educate people. I'm sure if I had an SD for my epilepsy and someone distracted him or someone's child was harassing him, I would be sent into a stressful panic about whether or not my dog is too distracted to mitigate my disability, and as someone prone to panic attacks too, that wouldn't be necessarily safe either. While the education and gentle handling of these situations is great IF it can be safely done, and without harming the SD or handler in question, than that's awesome, but a lot of times, that isn't quite possible.

That said, it truly pisses me off when people don't keep on top of their own children and keep them from harassing other people or people's animals(SD, pet or otherwise). As someone who recently had a baby, this is something that will be HUGELY educated upon my son - respecting the space of others, and learning when it is and is not appropriate to approach others. I love children, but there are days where I am not at my best and when I get small children walking up, touching me, touching my stuff and harassing me(usually happens in a waiting room somewhere), it really stresses me out, and even more so when the parents don't call their children off.

I'm so sorry you had this experience, Link. I hope you have better ones in the future and that parents start stepping up and looking after their children PROPERLY when you're clear about needing space. I also hope that you are feeling better. hug


Hero of Hyrule
Barked: Tue Aug 27, '13 7:12pm PST 
If I had tried to be more "positive" about this situation in particular, I would have compromised Link's safety and therefore my own. This little girl did not speak English, and neither did her mother, the most clear way to communicate to them was to put my hand out like a stop sign and repeatedly say NO, and I only did this when she had charged at us multiple times! As I said before I carry cards and brochures with me and regularly take the time to educate many people about SDs and invisible disabilities. However, sometimes you have to be firm and risk coming off as "mean" to other people, or risk your dog and your own safety. Maybe that's something only a SD handler can understand.

But anyway, I am feeling better, and it was a good opportunity to bring up body blocking with my boyfriend since we are always out together. I think I may talk to him about passing Link off to him if I am well but would like to educate and it is not safe for Link to be there. In that particular situation I was not well though and definitely needed Link.

Barked: Sun Oct 20, '13 7:40pm PST 
Yoshi, we have had multiple instances of people at Walmart being rude, even hateful. For my daughter, her SD becomes distracted. His job is to help her walk and detect seizures. If he is distracted by some misbehaved child, or adult for that matter, she can fall or he could miss an alert. This would lead to a completely uncontrolled fall, which has actually resulted in broken bones in the past. So, I run interference. I have a look, that my children say, will make the devil stop sinning lol. I only reserve that for very persistent offenders. She also has a very low impulse control threshold, so I'd be more worried about her reaction than Diesel's any day. To her, it is an interruption in her finally being able to do things independently. It is an invasion of her space, and potentially harmful to her health. She doesn't like being "mean", but she just cannot handle the disturbance. We are working on that, but the public also needs to understand the potential implications for a team.
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