|Barked: Sat Sep 28, '13 12:55am PST |
|I really should go to bed - for one thing, even *I* am getting tired of hearing myself talk at this point - but I just can't help making just one more post. Nova, I'll reply to you tomorrow.
This one is for all the owner-trainers out there.
Whenever certification is talked about, an assumption is made that goes unsaid: that certification would either involve the ADI PAT or else something very much like it.
Personally I think that that is a very bad assumption. DOJ would be making the decision as to what form the certification process could take, and to date they haven't seemed too eager to roll over and play dead when it comes to ADI. DOJ goes its own way, and there's no reason to assume that ADI would would play much of a role in developing the certification program (much as they'd like to, of course).
(By the way, I haven't changed my opinion that it'll be a cold day in hell when the DOJ mandates certification, but that's a different argument. Right now I'm playing make-believe.)
So what would a certification test look like if it wasn't like the ADI PAT? Hmmm... the main thing is that there would be some process by which a dog/handler team would be evaluated and at the end there would be a clear answer: YES, the dog is a service dog or NO, it is not a service dog.
As it happens, a process that fits those criteria already exists, and on top of that it's about a hundred million billion times as important as the PAT is. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a LITTLE bit on the relative importance, but you get the idea. I'm talking about the court system, and the process by which judges determine whether a dog is an SD or not.
That's the one and only way to tell if a dog is legally an SD. I've read well over a hundred court decisions involving SDs at this point in time, and I haven't seen one single reference to ADI in any of them. And I haven't seen single reference to a PAT in a court decision either. Legally, those two things don't seem to exist. Of course some judge somewhere sometime might take a PAT into consideration, but I haven't seen it even though I've read all of the SD caselaw I've been able to locate.
So here's what I've been leading up to. (Remember, this is for the owner-trainers out there.)
* If you had to go to court tomorrow and pass the "judge test" in order to get certified, many of you - maybe most - would be told you'd be told "NO, YOUR DOG IS NOT A SD". I'm not saying that that's right or wrong, just that it's the way it is.
* I'm different. If my dog had to pass the "judge test", I wouldn't have the same problem. I'd likely be told "YES, YOUR DOG IS A SD". (That's assuming that he'd completed his training by then, which he hasn't yet.)
Sorry, I know that sounds arrogant as hell, but it's true. And to make matters worse, I'm not going to tell you WHY it's true. If you want to know the answer, start here: --> http://leagle.com The answer is hiding in plain sight: it comes up in case after case. Not in every single one, but frequently enough that it's obvious after reading relatively few cases.
So if you advocate for certification, keep in mind that it very well might be more like the process judges use than it is like the PAT. And don't be so darned sure that you'd pass.
Are you still in favor of certification?
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