Hey everyone, this is just a quick reminder that I hope not just service dog peeps reblog, because it’s especially important to those who don’t have service dogs. Please please do not distract service dogs. I know it’s sometimes cool to see, and a lot of us are dog lovers, but making eye contact, asking to pet, petting without permission, whistling, talking to the dog, putting your hand down towards the dog, stopping in front of the handler/dog to stare at the dog, all these things qualify as distracting the service dog. they may seem harmless but they AREN’T. you have no idea what that service dog is there for, they are working, and they need to stay focused on their handler. You can accidentally be the cause of the handler being hurt by distracting the service dog.
Case in point: Today I went to Costco with my friend, we both had our service dogs. Many people were stopping us, talking to us, asking us questions, she has a merle Great Dane, so it’s not common. But a quick trip that would take an average person 10 minutes took us about a half hour because we had to keep stopping or asking people not to distract the dogs, or leave the dogs alone. And then we missed someone. A woman saw my service dog, Scarlett who is still in training and started talking to her. Scarlett crossed over me to see this woman which made Scarlett step on my foot, and trip me, I landed HARD on the Costco floor (which is concrete). And this woman only said “oh, she smells my dogs.” and still stood there hoping for a conversation as two dogs and my friend are trying to help me up, which is NOT easy with leg braces (they finally left after glaring at us when my friend told them they can’t talk to service dogs). Finally using the Great Dane I was able to pull myself up and had to use him as a crutch the rest of the way out. My back is hurt, my knee swollen, and I’ll be recovering for a bit especially considering I was already recovering from a hurt back. ALL OF THIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED had she not talked to my service dog.
SO PLEASE remember, if you see a service dog, IGNORE IT. I know it’s cool, I know they are rare and pretty and it’s really amazing and we love dogs, I totally get that, but distracting the service dog can really potentially injure the handler.
Some SDs have patches that say ask to pet, and then you can ask to pet. But otherwise, ignore them.