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Thread: "Service Dogs"....

  1. #1
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    "Service Dogs"....

    This morning I was at a nice restaurant in our village having breakfast. Shrimp-and-grits, with an egg atop, and some darned fine coffee.

    In walks a lady walking a ~20 pound scruffy dog. Muddy, wet, wearing a muddy and wet and tattered "service dog" vest.

    She sat at the table next to me, and put her "service dog" up on the bench next to her, and spent the next 45 minutes cooing to it and hand-feeding it, while conversing with a friend who joined her.

    The dog was clearly untrained, it did not respond to any of her commands to do anything, and it managed to get dander, mud, and water over nearby diners.

    Service dog....

    Really?

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Ugh. What could lmanagement do, I wonder?

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Ugh. What could lmanagement do, I wonder?
    I'm curious what they will do when I go back for breakfast tomorrow with my 110 pound Bloodhound (named "Elvis"), with a "service dog" vest on....

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....didn't sound like a "real" service dog. Are those vests available for anyone to get? Or is it something that a vet has to sign for........like the doc has to sign for a handicap car sticker.
    It sounded more like an "emotional support" pet. Didn't seem like a reasonable situation for anyone else there....except her and her dog.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    Hmmm.....didn't sound like a "real" service dog. Are those vests available for anyone to get?
    Amazon Prime, in "rat sized dog" size, $19.99.

    It sounded more like an "emotional support" pet.
    Those seem to be all the rage in the Pacific NW for the past several years.

    It must be hard for business owners to deal with this sort of thing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Oh this is rife for abuse.

    But I recall from back in my working days that there are laws, possibly local? That prohibit business establishments making pointed queries about service dogs. I dont remember the exact discussions that were not allowed, but it was an issue that required careful treatment.

    There used to be someone here on our SL site who, having nothing better to do, seemed to me to take a little joy in testing out business establishments and their tolerence of her service dog. She had the dog for emotional support purposes.

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Ugh, you have pushed one of my pet peeve buttons. They are ubiquitous here, too. Now I do respect a legit service dog relationship. A few weeks ago while on a plane to the southwest, my husband elbowed me and motioned to the passenger across from us. The woman had a service dog between her feet with its head under the seat in front of her. This was more than halfway through the flight and I had not even noticed it was there. It scarcely moved at all until she got up to leave. Obviously trained service dog.

    But then I see many, many more like the ones you described at the restaurant. The owners are reluctant to say anything. Maybe if enough people complained...
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  8. #8
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Oh this is rife for abuse.

    But I recall from back in my working days that there are laws, possibly local? That prohibit business establishments making pointed queries about service dogs. I dont remember the exact discussions that were not allowed, but it was an issue that required careful treatment.

    There used to be someone here on our SL site who, having nothing better to do, seemed to me to take a little joy in testing out business establishments and their tolerence of her service dog. She had the dog for emotional support purposes.
    In this state, a service animal "means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability." Emotional support animals are not considered "trained". This dog was clearly untrained.

    As I understand it, you can't ask about the person's disability. You can ask:

    - is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    - what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

    WA state law, and the ADA, do not appear to provide any consideration for "emotional support animals".

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    In this state, a service animal "means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability." Emotional support animals are not considered "trained". This dog was clearly untrained.

    As I understand it, you can't ask about the person's disability. You can ask:

    - is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    - what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

    WA state law, and the ADA, do not appear to provide any consideration for "emotional support animals".
    I equated, perhaps falsely, “sensory”and “emotional”. But the two are or can be related. If I, in an example, experience sensory overload with smells or noise or imagery I consider extreme, I become emotionally upset. A calming influence is my bulldog withh his calm breathing and even his snoring which I find very relaxing.

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    This is a very volatile subject. There is no clear set of standards. One can have a "service animal" - which is clearly trained for a specific task. However, this grey area is for "support animal" and is different / unregulated / unprotected. The support animal persons are perceived to be passing off pets as service animals, and thats just plain not cool!

    My friend has a service dog, with a certification in emotional support. The dog only "works" when she flies, which is bi-monthly. She had a panic attack so severe once the plane had to land and let her off. Landed her on some kind of FAA list. She is naturally mortified - for something she can not control, and can see the look of the flight personnel when she boards her flights. Since the arrival of the dog, no more episodes.

    The dog is small. More of a pet breed. Does not wear any identifying clothing/collar/harness when in public. She has a card in her wallet and a letter from a physician, as well as the dogs certification and general vet records. However, she's the queen of the icy stare when some nosy person asks "illegal" questions, and will put them in their place! She said about the same thing bae did - one can ask if the dog is trained to provide a specific task for the owner, but you can't ask what.

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