Friday, December 9, 2011

Prejudice You May Face with your Service Dog

No matter where you go, there will be people who do not believe your dog is a service dog, or resent you having your dog with you.  This is especially true with smaller dogs who do not look like the traditional police seeing eye dog.  But be steadfast, your dog and you have as many rights as they do.  Interestingly, with a smaller service dog, my mom and she have suffered the most mean-spirited comments from the traditional looking service dog owners.  Who’d have thought! 
Other people may have a genuine issue with dogs.  One lady I met was deathly afraid of dogs (even a 12 pound shih tzu).  People do have allergies, too, so being sensitive to possible reasons why people may react negatively to your service dog is important.
Best approach in my view, do not respond to their negative comments, but affirm that your dog is a qualified service dog under the ADA.  Then, walk away.  You are not going to change their minds, and you certainly do not want to allow their negativity to affect you on your holiday, or have your dog pick up on the negative vibrations.  As my grandmother used to say, “Pick yourself up, flick off the dust from your cloak, and walk away.”

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