Service Dog 101: How To Behave in the Presence of a Working Canine
If you read nothing beyond this, please know this one thing:
DO NOT Pet The Service Dog
A dog in a vest that reads, “SERVICE DOG” is working.
It is not there for your amusement and entertainment. Yes, we know the dog is cute. Yes, we know you love the dog. But that dog has an important job serving a person with a disability.
Don’t pet it. Don’t ask to pet it; the owner will have to tell you ‘No.’ Just let it be.
Teach Your Children This
Adults are mostly OK at not petting the service dog.
As an adult, it is your job to teach this to your children. Your children should never reach out to any animal — period. This is a basic thing to teach them for their safety.
Again, no disabled person is obligated to entertain your children or teach them what a service dog — or disability — is. This is your job as a parent.
Do Not Make Assumptions
Many breeds can serve as service dogs. They can be taught commands in several languages. Their skills vary and always leave me in awe.
My friend’s service dog can hold her up if she loses balance and suddenly can’t walk. It is also able to alert us to anyone have a cardiac event. It even saved another friend’s life!
Sometimes, my friend has a walker or a scooter to help her get around. She still needs the dog for help, too.
How did she get this way? By jumping out of helicopters for the U.S. Army.
Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog