It’s complete and utter conflict time again. Meet Debby Rose and her service animal, Richard. She is being barred from lots of eating establishments and stores because of him. What is he? a monkey!
What I really don’t like about this story is at no point is the monkey’s behaviour mentioned. Then there’s the matter of the measures taken to make sure that the diseases that monkeys are more likely to carry are being controled. The fact that monkeys could carry stuff is mentioned, but there’s no time given to whether or not this potential for risk is being addressed. Dogs can carry fleas and tics, and that’s why we make sure they shouldn’t be able to get them. To me, these are the most important parts. It’s not, necessarily, that he doesn’t perform a physical task for her. Lots of folks have psychiatric service dogs that may not perform tasks that you can see, or from time to time, they perform physical tasks, but it’s only as needed, so they may not need to do something at the moment they’re in the store. But because the dog is a dog and others before us have already fought that battle, they are more likely to be accepted. There are people who are going to ask questions, but there’s not going to be the reaction of “get that animal out of here!” that you would get if you had a service monkey.
But then there’s the service animal slippery slope I’ve talked about before. People can make all kinds of service animal claims to bring their beloved creatures along. I guess this is the reason I’m pissed at the shitty reporting. They feel they don’t have to go any further than “It’s a monkey!” That’s all they have to say. But back in the beginning of the century, they could have said “It’s a dog!” Now that doesn’t mean anything. I can’t make a fair judgment of this story because I don’t have enough information. She’s suing. Is the lawsuit justified? I don’t know! Should I be pissed that she’s bringing a monkey into Wal-Mart and potentially putting my ability to bring a dog in to one of their stores in jeopardy? I don’t know! Is it causing trouble and she’s trying to say it’s ok because he’s a service animal? I don’t know! In the words of that robot from Short Circuit, I need more input!