I met my first disservice dog in person yesterday, you know, somebody’s dog who they’re saying is a service dog, but it’s obvious that the dog sstill needs some serious tweaks in training.
I went to a public meeting about that roundabout they want to build in the middle of town, and in walked a woman and her dog. Trixie was already under the table. The first thing this other dog did was bark, and then lunge at Trixie. I asked the lady I was with if this was in fact a service animal and she said that it was. The person managed to drag the barking thing away while it continued to yap. Throughout the meeting, it would wake up and start barking. Then, as Trixie and I were trying to walk through the City Hall, the dog was walking in a far from orderly fashion, barking, and causing Trixie to spook some. the final straw was at the end. The dog crouched in the corner and growled at Trixie as we went by. I cannot say for sure, but it sounded like it was poised to pounce. I heard not one utterance from the handler while it was in pounce and growl mode. the only time I heard something was one occurrence of the handler saying “Stop barking!” after it had been barking all meeting. Hey lady, ever heard of teaching the dog the command quiet? Ever heard of a little thing called consistency? Yeah, that’s a fine service animal ya have there. How about managing its behaviour? How about if it’s not ready to be in public, don’t bring it to a meeting, and if it is acting like an ass, explain that you’re still training it and work on it, don’t just skitter off?
It’s crap like this that has the potential to cause so much damage to the rest of us who try to keep our dogs behaving well. these people who don’t understand what a service dog should be have to know that part of a service dog’s role is to coexist and be unobtrusive in public. The dog, once it is claimed to be a service dog, is not entitled to act like an ass. Further, behaviour like that could set us all back decades in the privileges legitimate service animals have earned.
I need to read up on the laws and find out if business owners here have the right to hoof any service animal who is threatening other people. I know some places in the states have that provision.
It angers me that noone wants to be brave enough to stand up for the rights of the rest of us. They’re so afraid of lawsuits. Every time I wanted to talk to her, I was hustled away as if I was in the wrong. “keep the peace,” they say. “Keep the peace.” What if that service dog had bitten my dog? What if it was bigger and capable of doing more harm? What if it had succeeded in terrorizing Trixie all meeting and then trixie developed a fear of fellow service dogs and dogs in general? Does this woman want to be responsible for the early ends of careers of legitimate service dogs?
Arg. Every time I think about this, my blood pressure rises. Well at least I’ve written it down now.