Archive for » September, 2012 «

Service Dog Month

September is National Service Dog Month.  Please forgive me for not posting about this at the beginning of the month.

Last night, I went to a restaurant with two friends.  Before we were seated, the (assumption) manager approached and asked if Sheriff is a Seeing-Eye Dog.  (Technically Seeing-Eye Dogs are guide dogs who come from the guide dog school called Seeing Eye)  I stated that Sheriff is a service dog.  The man asked for clarification and I told him that Sheriff assists me with my medical condition.  This was enough to satisfy the man.  Once we were settled and Sheriff was under the booth, the man approached with a large bucket filled with water.  He wanted to know if Sheriff was thirsty.  I declined and thanked him very much for being so considerate.  On principle I don’t allow Sheriff to drink  from bowls that aren’t his.  Also, Sheriff has a “beard” that soaks up water and then drips every where.  Dripping water all over a restaurant floor is something I really don’t want Sheriff to do.  As we continued eating, the man returned and stated that he was very impressed with Sheriff and that he must be a very well trained dog (well duh!).  Other employees complimented him also.  This was probably the most positive experience I’ve ever had at a restaurant before.  Not only were they welcoming when it was established that he was a service dog, but the man only asked what he was legally allowed to ask.

Most businesses won’t do this because they are afraid of being accused of not allowing a service dog into the business.  Most businesses see the vest and assume the dog is legitimate.  Some restaurants I’ve been to try actually do attempt to refuse access because they think that health codes mean no animals at all for any reason.  However, when I explain that Sheriff is a service dog and give them a card that explains where service dog teams must be allowed (per ADA), they allow Sheriff into the restaurant.After eating dinner, we went to the fair.  No one confronted me about having a service dog at the fair.  However, one man did approach and asked, “is that really a service dog?”  I’ve never been asked that before.  I quickly told the man that I would never bring a dog into public unless it was my service dog.  The man simply replied, “well of course.”  more…