So you head the deadline and now you’re ready to write an incredibly angry comment or worse report me to PETA
Here me out folks, I love service dogs. What I don’t like? People who pet them.
According to The National Service Dog registry “Service animals are dogs (and in some cases, miniature horses) trained to perform major life tasks to assist people with physical or severe psychiatric impairments/disabilities.”
This means a service dog might be on duty for a variety of reasons, anything from someone with diabetes to the drink of a heart attack and everything inbetween.
So, what’s my pet peeve?
Now lets imagine you’re in the grocery store and you see an adorable black lab, just growing into her large paws and floppy ears bouncing down the aisle as she accompanies her owner, drawing a service dog vest.
The most natural instinct for dog lovers is to run over and smother this adorable little pup with snuggles and treats.
The site http://www.anythings pawsable.com, a resource for service dog owners say, “You can’t pet Service Dogs because it’s distracting, and if a working dog is distracted because of something you do and their handler gets sick or injured, it’s your fault.”
There are so many different types of service dogs that it’s hard to know exactly why the dog you see is on duty for- but one thing’s for sure. If they have the vest on don’t get your pet on!
These hard working dogs go through so much training and classes to be skilled enough to wear those vents and hopefully save the life of their owner
Anything Pawsable goes on to say that, “Regardless of the dog’s specific task or the handler’s disability one thing is certain: Service Dogs need to be focused on their partner in order to do their job, thus keeping their person safe and preventing injury. Distracting a working Service Dog in any way risks the health and safety of the disabled person they are assisting.”
Remember service dogs are still just dogs and life can be distracting for a little pup, with so many smells and treats they already have a very serious task at hand to be distracted by you too.
Worried about what to do when you see a service dog in the future? Pawsable has the answer…
So what should you do when you encounter a Service Dog team? You should simply ignore the dog completely. Pretend that he or she simply isn’t there. Interact with the human partner as you would any other person.