A Reminder To NOT Touch Maine Service Dogs
A Facebook post was recently published online and it caught my eye.This is very important for all of us to know and/or get a little refresher one.
This was written by Nancy Freedman-Smith of Gooddogz Training.
I am going to let you read it right away and then we'll chat.
Haven't had a good rant in a while.
While at the Maine Mall with a Service Dog Team today, a woman came up to the dog , and talked to her in baby talk, and stared at both members of the team.
The young handler asked her to please not distract the dog because she was working.
The woman then basically said " I'll do what I want, blah blah blah wah wah blah blah...."
This sent the young handler into a panic attack. Previous panic attacks have required ambulances and ER visits.
I like to think that my bad jokes kept it from escalating, while the dog tasked with deep pressure right there on the floor of the Maine Mall. There was a lot staring, as people walked by, which by the way, is a trigger for the handler.
Here are a few reminders on how to help a Service Dog Team.
Don't distract the dog.
Don't talk to the dog.
Don't ask to pet.
Don't reach for the dog.
Don't bark. Can you believe I have to even write that?
Don't ask the dog's name- that is distracting. You have no need to know or say the dog's name.
Don't allow your dog near a Service Dog.
Some handlers may want to engage in conversation, but most just want to go about their business.
Please respect that.
Having Service Dogs in public is hard.
Nancy Freedman-Smith CDBC
According to Guide Dog, you are to not touch, talk, feed or distract services dogs in any manner. They normally are wearing a vest and harness with a sign, clearing stating that they are a "Service Dog."
The best action to take when you see a service dog, working for there handler is to not treat the dog like a pet. As the article says, it is encouraged to treat the animal with respect while they are performing their extremely vital jobs.