What is a Service Dog?

They show up in many places: service dogs of all sizes and breeds. Even in places where no dogs are supposed to be allowed. 

Can they really ALL be service dogs?

Sometimes the people they’re with really do look as if they are injured or impaired in some way–but other times the people look normal. 

And yes, sometimes it’s a scam. But businesses and the general public are legally required to treat them ALL as if they are real, and are really needed. The very good reason for this is that everyone’s burden is different, and everyone’s solutions to problems are different. Sometimes, just asking the question “Is that really a service dog?” can cause unintended harm. 

So whatever you might think you know about how “really necessary” that service dog is, choose the path of compassion. Give your fellow human (and service dog) a break–Also, please don’t pet or distract the service dog! It really can put the dog’s human in danger!

I recently posted about working dogs, in a piece called Working Dogs: Canine Enslavement or a Fulfilling Life? (you can find it on both my Blogger site, and on my Jan S. Gephardt’s Artdog Studio website). I intend to follow up with more posts about dogs and the various kinds of work they do.

IMAGE: Many thanks to The Dog Knowledge, for the photo of a variety of service dogs. 

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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