Monday, January 14, 2008

Service Dogs

There are many types of service dogs.  Guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs, and seizure alert dogs are somewhat known to general population.  The newer types of service dogs, psychiatric service dogs, diabetic alert dogs, autism service dogs, and migraine alert dogs (to name a few) are not as well known.  There seems to be alot of debate with some of these newer types of service dogs.  The problem for those opposed to these types of service dogs seems to be that they do not consider the individuals truly disabled.  

I have a somewhat different view on the matter.  It doesn't matter whether you are home bound or limited in your life from blindness, paralysis, panic attacks, or a medical problem, you are still considered disabled.  The arguments over what disabilities are more deserving or worse seems somewhat petty to me.  Service dogs are for those who need them.

Which brings me to my next point.  Psychiatric service dogs and owner trained service dogs are not the ones who are creating access issues for the general service dog population, it is people who are not disabled and still feel the need to take their dogs places that they are not allowed.  

When I am out with Sterling, people will often ask where I got his vest, so that they can get one for their dog.  Or they will tell me that they have one for their own dog so that they can take them everywhere, even though they will admit they are not disabled.  These are the dogs that have no public access work, these are the ones that give the true service dogs a bad name.  

I hope that people will see the harm that they are doing by impersonating service dogs, and that people will also see that impersonators are the problem, not those with different types of disabilities.


Brittany said...

I totally agree with you! I think many puppy raisers of the service dogs for the big schools assume that any "self trained" dog or a dog from a smaller organization is a fake service dog.

Honestly I get more upset with all the purse dogs that get away with going into malls and everywhere else. I once had a security person at the mall come and ask me for proof that Hobbs was a service dog, while two girls had their little "Fu Fu" dogs in their arms in the same store and were ignored!

PC Dogs said...

Yes! I was in Walmart the other day and a women had her Chinese crested in a coat sitting in her cart. The greeter told me I could not have Sterling (properly vested and under control) in Walmart, but he let that women walk right on by!

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