Saturday, October 14, 2017

From "Oh Dog!" to "No Dog!" Life at the end of a Service Dog Leash

This blog is lovingly dedicated to veterans everywhere. Many of you find independence from war wounds with a service dog. It’s heartbreaking to know, the same tool that gives you freedom, can produce a barrier. Receiving a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone is only the beginning of a battle. You come home fighting a new war to get a simple cup of coffee, because someone doesn’t want to follow the ADA and allow your Service Dog in the restaurant. I read of people getting fists and trash can lids to the side of the head while other restaurant patrons cheer. RESPECT is lacking in the 21st century.

Thank you for your service everyone!

I  offer this blog as an educational tool. My opinions are strong, they are my own. —If you don’t like them write your own blog. The events and impressions come from my many years of experience with a Service Dog. I don’t share names of people or organizations because that would serve no purpose. However, if you find something of educational value please feel free to apply it to your life and share it with others.


“What a cute doggie”
“Oh, poor baby having to work.”
“Such a good dog.”
“see the dog, see the dog, woof, woof, see the dog.” (People apparently want their child to see a dog it must be a large event)

These remarks are wonderful under NORMAL circumstances for a PET dog. What happens when they are applied to the SERVICE DOG, who functions as a MEDICAL DEVICE?
Well, the Service Dog and human hear these remarks again, again, and again, everywhere they go 30, 60, 90 times per day times 365 days a year.
I’m often told this is “harmless,” “no big deal,” “just deal with it.” I can’t always reply when I’m out in public so I would like to do so now:

To everyone who tries to “help”
It is nice to have someone offer help but please do not be offended if I don’t accept. For my own preservation and independence, it’s important to use the Service Dog for the work she is trained to do. You won’t always be around, and what you think is “help” may cause me to fall, or disrupt the working dog. It’s interesting to me that I needed help for years, often unable to reach things, or manage stairs.—upon asking for help people would look at me like I was from outer space..—Now I need far less help because I have a Service Dog,--Yet, there is this rush of “help” from well-meaning people who are actually just in the way.

PS. Don’t place my hand on things and shout “someone help the blind lady.” I have friends who are blind and friends who are deaf.—There is no shame in being either or both.—BUT, I don't appreciate you  making assumptions based upon the Service Dog, an outward symbol of my disability, something I have to wear like a scarlet letter. Don't presume, assume, or think you know anything about me 

To Miss “I’m such a dog person I can’t help it” and
 Mr. & Mrs.  “2-year old needs a teachable moment.”

The dog you think is “so cute” is a MEDICAL DEVICE it was not brought to this public forum for your amusement or education. Could I interest you in petting a cane or wheelchair? Oh, why not? You are so captivated by my device that allows me to get where I’m going and be “normal.”  You only want “pets” and “teach time” with things that have fur? There are lots of dogs at the local shelter who need stokes, love, attention, eyes, petting, and gawking, please go there, and leave the Service Dog ALONE! I am not a public spectacle, a thing, for your child to see, touch, feel, or experience. I am a PERSON trying to live life without being stared at, picked apart, watched, or stalked.
Don’t expect me to reply to questions about my dog. My super happy auto-pilot is not always working.  
Your curious questions are a painful, private part of my life, coping with a disability. Oh, but since you mentioned it, do you use latex or non-latex condoms and what do  they do for you? Well, don’t be upset I know I’m a total stranger but, I just thought I would ask , I noticed the condoms in your basket, I could search for the information on my own but I figured I would ask you because that condom package is so adorable.
  PS. There is a HUMAN attached to the end of the Service Dog’s leash, most of you pass by and don’t even notice. A day, week, month… years of these experiences produces a feeling of isolation and invisibility for the human, it also shows how RUDE people are!

To everyone who just has ONE question:
No one ever has just one question about the service dog. If I reply to your questions I have to reply to questions from the 25 people behind you, a line forms, it takes me 3 hours to do a “quick trip” to the store. –and you block the aisle for 25+ people who actually don’t give a darn about dogs they are just trying to transact business. Please spare us all by using a search engine.

To the many people out there with dog stories:
The Service Dog handler hears MANY dog stories every day. A single trip to a large store means up 15 dog stories per hour and hearing “dog” up to 100 times per hour.—(my own actual stats kept from years of trying to go out and live my life). Can we stand another dog story? Yes, but try to make it a happy one instead of telling us about the dog that just got run over, or looked exactly like ours and had to be put down. It’s interesting to us that your cousin’s best friend has a service dog but we don’t necessarily need comparisons such as: “I know most people who have service dogs are blind and you are not blind—are you?—so that means you probably don’t need your dog as much as well, if you were actually blind.. Finally, PLEASE avoid the one thing we hear many times per week: “I just can’t stand to be away from my dog I love him so much. I went out and bought a Service Dog vest so he could go on vacation with me.”: UGH! Thanks for letting me know you are making my life more difficult by bringing your untrained dog into public places. You love your dog so much that you FAKE a disability?

To the many people who think I am lucky to take my dog everywhere:
I have a disability that requires me to be connected to the Service Dog 24/7. I am certainly grateful for the freedom that the Service dog provides but, please don’t tell me how “lucky” I am be to be disabled. As much as you would love to have your pet with you everywhere, I would LOVE to not need my Service Dog with me. No one wants to be told how lucky they are to need a medical device. Finally, I ask you to read the rest of this blog carefully and then tell me how “lucky” I am to take my dog everywhere!


“NO DOG!" is the other side of the Service Dog coin. Many places do not train their employees in Service Dog access law and basic manners. Some organizations continually apologize but do nothing to change employee behavior, and sadly there are a few people out there that just don’t want to follow Federal Law.

     “Yes “NO DOG” is the worst for me!”

     "Hello Goodee, the Service Dog welcome to the blog. Why were you not active during the “Oh Dog!” part?"

     “Well mom, when people gush and make silly faces, I take it in stride and ignore them because I’m a trained service dog but when people say, “NO DOG” everything comes to a halt.”
     “That’s true I can’t get anything done without you Goodee.”

     “Not even this blog!”

     “Very funny Goodee, since you are so good with words why not tell our friends about some “NO DOG!” experiences?”

     “Let’s see there’s some discrete events like:

1.       Not being invited to lunch because co-workers are afraid of dogs.
2.       Not being invited to parties because people have pets that might not get along with your service dog.
3.       Being excluded from volunteer work you use to do before “the dog” because well, “the dog might be a problem for some people.”
4.       “I would invite you over but our landlord doesn’t like dogs. I know, I know it’s a Service Dog but our landlord is just mean and I don’t want to “make problems” for other tenants.”
     “These are certainly in our “NO DOG!” experiences Goodee but they aren’t against the law. Some people are afraid of dogs, or they have pets that might not get along with the dog. What can we do about it?”

     “#4 is illegal mom… A landlord can’t keep a visitor out because they have a Service Dog. Service Dogs must be allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of public access.”
  “Oh, I stand corrected Goodee the Service Dog, #4 is a matter of Service Dog access protected by law but, what do we do about 1, 2, and 3?”

     “There’s not anything we can do mom but, we need to educate people and let them know how it feels for someone with a Service Dog. The person with the Service Dog has a disability. They can’t control the fact that they need the dog. The Service Dog is meant to allow the disabled person to do things. I’m just saying mom… A person should not have to apologize for needing a Service Dog, and they certainly should not be confronted with a barrier and treated like a totally different “odd” person just because they need the dog!”

     “Okay Goodee, remember this is not a rant. Just finish up with one of the worst “NO DOG!” experiences you can think of. Something that’s not against the law but, is still rude and makes us feel badly.”

     “Well there was this ride share driver, U-know who U-are.”
     “Careful Goodee, no names."

     “yes, well this made  me mad mom so I would like to say what’s on my mind”
     “Okay continue Goodee”

     “This guy drives up and I’m in a vest that says SERVICE DOG ACCESS REQUIRED and you are holding my leash. He rolls his eyes, exhaling in a huff and says:
     “Does the dog HAVE to go with us.?”
     “Well no shit Sherlock, yes the dog does HAVE to go!”

     “So, he was lacking brains give the driver a break Goodee. I did advise him that you are a Service Dog and even told him you are trained in balance/counter balance. —He gave us a ride so what’s the big deal?”

     “The big deal mom is how he went out of his way to be continually rude. You showed him our blanket, he gets a blanket from his trunk and then a SECOND time says: “Does the dog HAVE to go? It’s just that it’s a NEW car with LEATHER interior.”

     “He was over the top Goodee but, it was a NEW CAR with LEATHER interior you know.”

     “Oh mom, do I have to explain it to you? The driver knows that he is required by law to transport Service Dogs. All the ride share companies suggest that drivers carry a blanket because they are required to transport Service Dogs. It was the driver’s choice to be a driver for U-know who, using his NEW car with LEATHER interior.”

     “Wow, I had never thought of that Goodee! You mean the driver has a choice whether he wants to hire his car out but, I don’t have a choice about not being able to stand up without a Service dog?”

     “Exactly mom! This guy was so irritating the way he went on about his new car, he even told us a THIRD time that he had a NEW car with LEATHER interior. Just put us in the car and be done with it.!”


So,  that’s life at the end of the Service Dog leash. I am either the invisible person you don’t even notice because the dog is so gosh darn cute, the mean person who won’t let you pet the dog, or the person who ranks in importance somewhere well below the NEW car LEATHER interior.

While I am most grateful and thankful, I ask you:

Am I "lucky" to take my dog everywhere?

Team Goodee appreciates our family and friends when we are out and about we must say:

Not Now We Are Working!

and when we are lucky

Not Now We Are On Vacation!

Check out GoodeeWorks Productions on Facebook.


It’s Your Dime Travel has put together an accessible affordable cruise for us.


Cruise along with TEAM GOODEE as we explore 3 Service Dog friendly ports.

We receive no compensation for reservations. We just love cruising and want to have a few friends along.

We'll be sailing on the new MSC ship, Seaside, from the Port of Miami, through the Eastern Caribbean to St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau Bahamas.
MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before. Circling the entire ship as low as Deck 8 is a unique seafront promenade lined with places to eat, drink, shop, swim and sunbathe. And you can enjoy more superb views from the two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic elevators.

Come on in the water is fine!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CHILL OUT! Interaction with the Service Dog Team

PREFACE:  Summer can be a difficult time for the Service Dog team, heat, and crowds bring on additional stress.
I constantly hear people say, “I just didn’t know.” That’s why this blog exists, so that people may know, understand, and educate themselves.
This post is lovingly dedicated to U.S. veterans.  Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Team Goodee is blessed to have Service Dog friends in every branch of the U.S. military, and some in the U.K., and Canada.  Social media makes the world our neighborhood.
To our military friends, thanks for teaching us to “walk in our shoes,” stand up, and speak out.

It’s hard to find ways to educate others. Giving out information when we are out and about is difficult at best.
“We should probably let people walk in our shoes mom.”
“Oh, hello Goodee the Service Dog nice of you to join the blog.”
“Let people walk in our shoes? Goodee, don’t you mean empathize?”
“No mom, you said empathize, I didn’t.  I don’t use the big words I just supply the humor.”
“You mean you literally want people to walk in our shoes? It could get crowded. I hate to point out the obvious but you don’t wear shoes.”
“No mom, I mean figuratively speaking, I want people assimilate what it is like for us as Service Animal and human.”
ASSEMILATE? Goodee, now who is using BIG words?”

     “Ok mom, people just need to take in our culture and fully understand what we go through.”
     “Oh, I see, Goodee, why don’t we try to explain.”
     “Right mom, that’s code for I’m going to say things that might upset people and pretend that the Service Dog said it.”

BUSTED by my Service Dog again. I am known for keeping people at a distance. I’ve had people say, “I remember you; you don’t want people around you or your dog.”

To which I reply: “yes that would be me.”

     “Well it’s not like I am an ordinary dog mom. I’m the medical device.”
     "Correct Goodee, you function like both a cane and a walker for me. You help with balance/counter balance and estimate distances for me.”

     “I do all that mom and more. I also tell you when to change your head position to avoid migraine headaches, I help you find a safe place and your migraine medicine... There’s a few other things too. Frankly, I deserve a raise.”
     “Well, I could do a few extra pig ears per week.”


     “Since I gave you a raise, could you help the blog along?”

     “Goodee to the rescue again. Why don’t we just explain to people what it’s like for us?”
     “You mean so they can empathize?”

     “Right mom, empathize and ASSEMILATE.”


I wish people could “walk in our shoes.” It would involve much more than putting a vest on a dog and having you go out in public. Even a highly trained dog  would not simulate what it’s like for the Service Dog, and handler.
 I joined several  groups on social media before being paired with Goodee “the great” Service Dog.

I thought: “Gosh these Service Dog people need to get a grip. Why not just let people pet the dog? Surely a little eye contact, or talk couldn’t hurt.? Why not tell people about your Service Dog or disability?  They are just making conversation. —and what’s the big deal if someone talks to the dog and not to you?

In just one week with Goodee, I learned the real consequences of letting others treat the Service Dog like a pet. It took much longer for me to understand how the Service Dog changed my life.

     “Gosh mom that’s sounds epic. Are you going to be able to talk about all that in one blog?” “I hope so Goodee”


The Service Dog functions as a medical device. This is a hard concept to grasp. Medical devices don’t usually have fur. Let me use an illustration from my own life. ---Cerebral Palsy effects my entire left side. Everything on the left side of my body is slower and weaker. My hips freeze up on hard surfaces. Uneven surfaces are a nightmare.   My peripheral vision is so poor I cannot drive a car, ride a bike, go down steps, or walk a half block. When I look down, things seem further away than they are. I need help with stability.

 The Service Dog is AMAZING for stability. A cane is useless to me it’s just another object over which I might fall. However, the Service Dog provides constant motion to keep my muscles and hips moving.  My body stays aligned, the dog goes ahead of me, finding handicap access ramps and smooth surfaces. When I must take stairs, they are now no problem. I feel the Service Dog going downward, and my I body adjusts accordingly. On the BEST days, I can accomplish twice the number of things I did before having the service dog, and at the end of the day I am pain free, instead of being unable to move.

 The “best” days are not easily accomplished. Balance is a delicate thing. I feel the slightest shift as I walk with the Service Dog. My reaction time is slowed on the left. I may know I need to make an adjustment but my body won’t allow me to do so.  The Service dog can assist me in trying to make adjustments. -- Notice I said TRYING to make adjustments.  What could possibly prevent adjustments?

Usually it’s a person who has come upon us either in front or behind the dog. On a bad day, it might be six people who stop dead in their tracks to STARE at us. It could be the person who does a “fly-by pet,” brushing, or poking at the dog. Irritating? Yes.

NOW imagine, yourself, doing everything you do in a day but, being TOTALLY dependent upon the Service Dog for balance. No cheating, you must be with the dog 24/7. Hundreds of people per day at the bank, grocery store, place of employment, doctor’s office, hair dresser, and restaurant. —365 days per year. Now you may have some idea how exhausting these interactions can be.

Let me add detail to the imaginary exercise. The Service Dog can prevent many falls but, sometimes there is no getting around it. -- Literally people insist upon enclosing us in a circle or being at “zero line” so there is just no room to move.  We can’t move, and other people won’t move (even when we ask them nicely). Suddenly, someone directly behind, or in front of me insists upon moving by pushing past me or the dog and I end up falling. Sometimes “the fall” jars my entire spine. —This necessitates several visits to pain management.

And Now the Rest of the Story…   “I JUST WANT TO… “TALK, ASK, BE A FRIEND”

I wish I could put a shield of invisibility around myself and the Service Dog. Part of me understands why people want to chat. Before having a Service Dog, I was somewhat introverted but still friendly. Having the Service Dog has changed my public personality. The freedom to go and do things I could never do before is fantastic but it comes with a price.

Let me illustrate with a hypothetical:

You are out on a normal day. You have an accessory, “cool shades,” the accessory everyone wants to look at and talk about “Cool Shades” are so cool everyone wants to tell you about their experience, or their friend’s experience, and their uncle’s best friend and his girlfriend, and their experience with the same but “sort of different “cool shades."

 In fact, your “cool shades” remind people of the “cool shades” they lost so they break down crying while telling you about their “cool shades.” You stop and listen to story #1, 2, 3,... 10. because you understand“the shades” are so cool. While you are listening to stories and trying to be friendly people pass by “barking” and saying, “oh cool shades.”

  Can you image how much sensory overload this causes?

Neither could I, until it happened to me!

At first, I saw no harm in chatting. By the end of the first week with my Service Dog I allowed no one to pet, or talk to the dog. I learned, even if I brace myself to prevent a fall, I am physically unable to stand while 25 people (literally I had a family member keep a count for me). came to say “hello.”

There are other practicalities:

Can you imagine every errand you run taking you three times as long because you have a stranger stop you and ask questions?

Can you imagine being asked to share the most private details of your life every day with total strangers? --Medical information, so private that it’s protected by Federal Law. -- A stranger asks you about it as you stand between the toilet tissue and soap at a supermarket?


This REALLY happens to me several times a week!

 Can you imagine being sick in a doctor’s office and having a total stranger "talk at you," insisting        upon being inches from you, while having their kid run straight at you YELLING, "DOG!"

Neither could I until it happened to me!

Continuing the example:

 Imagine, in addition to all the events above,  you have a physical injury,   not just on one day,  but two or more days per month.

NOW, you have imagined “walking in our shoes.”
Do you see how this could bet taxing?

 Do you see how a person might come across to people as “short,” and unfriendly, when in reality they are simply emotionally drained?

I hope so!

Service Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, to manage all types of impairments. Each team works differently.   Life gets scary after many “near miss” and emergency situations. The priority of a Service Dog handler is SAFETY for the Service Dog, themselves, and others out in public. The second priority is managing our own limitations, completing things in the same amount of time as a “normal” person, under very different conditions. Where do you fit in? please understand we may not be delighted when you “zero line,” pop out a camera, and/or start asking questions.

Why do we do what we do?

Together, dog and human make a great team and we do what was once IMPOSSIBLE. That is INCREDIBLE and that is why we do what we do.

The ability to do that which you could NEVER do without the Service Dog is worth ANYTHING life throws at you.

We love to hear from fans. Check out our Facebook page, or drop us an email.
Please know when we are out and about we must say…
“Not Now, We Are Working!”


It’s Your Dime Travel has put together an accessible affordable cruise for us.


Cruise along with TEAM GOODEE as we explore 3 Service Dog friendly ports.

We receive no compensation for reservations. We just love cruising and want to have a few friends along.

We'll be sailing on the new MSC ship, Seaside, from the Port of Miami, through the Eastern Caribbean to St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau Bahamas.
MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before. Circling the entire ship as low as Deck 8 is a unique seafront promenade lined with places to eat, drink, shop, swim and sunbathe. And you can enjoy more superb views from the two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic elevators.

Come on in the water is fine!

Sunday, June 11, 2017



Team Goodee lovingly dedicates this blog to everyone who makes us possible. It takes a medical team, family, and friends to keep us going. We are grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be out and about functioning as a team.

We now continue our vacation series: Not Now We Are On Vacation! Previously we highlighted interactions with strangers. These are intense times on any outing. The human is trying to get from A to B, or do “X”, when suddenly a well-meaning total stranger inserts themselves into your life.

 After reading that blog, you might wonder why anyone with a Service Dog goes on vacation at all. We presented the ugly examples to show how difficult things can get. Besides, irritating, but, funny people who push their limits are fun to write about.
In this blog, we highlight the cruise experience for the Service Dog Team. If you are a Service Dog handler and you have thought about a cruise, here is our advice…
YES, DO IT! Once upon a time we were looking for a few days away. The cruise is economical and accessible. Food and entertainment in an inclusive package. So, we said: Bahamas here we come! About six months later when we were on the ship with all our documents in order we screamed and did a happy dance.
        “Hey mom time, to answer the most asked question.”
     “Oh, hello Goodee the Service Dog. Nice of you to check-in on the blog. Well the most asked question is your name and I think they already know you Goodee.”
     “Mom not that question: THE QUESTION for people who never thought about Service Dogs on cruises.”
     “Oh yes: THE QUESTION”


     “It’s a good question mom I was wondering that myself. It’s like a big hotel on a swimming pool. There’s no grass!”
     “Correct Goodee Several people made that observation before we entered the sea terminal.”

So, to the guy who mumbled for 45-minutes about how they don’t let dogs on ships, and the lady who asked everyone on the bus if they knew anything about how a dog gets to “go” on a ship. ---

THE ANSWER IS: The cruise line provides a 4x4 wooden box with sod or mulch material. The relief area is on an open deck with lots of cross-wind. Service Dog. handlers should bring supplies to keep the area clean.


The Department of Transportation describes cruise ships as a cross between transportation and public accommodations. Service Dogs must be allowed to accompany a passenger in all areas of public access on the ship, including lifeboats.
A Few points to help the Service Dog Team have a good time:


Only you know how many days your Service Dog can handle. Decide how often you need to see land. I have a list of destinations. I am doing them in multiple trips instead of a long cruise, so the Service Dog can visit land more often.


Each port of entry has their own dog import requirements. Consult the USDA for the latest requirements. Example: Some ports require yearly rabies vaccination, nearly all ports require a certificate of health from your vet.


Don’t try to “google it.” There’s lots of bad/out dated information about Service Dog travel out there. Don't listen to your mom's boyfriend's best friend who tried to go on a cruise several years ago. There’s also no shortage of companies that will try to sell you a pet passport that is used in Europe but not the U.S. 
I spent $60 in long distance calls to the Bahamas Dept. of Agriculture. The phone help was polite but, they were not addressing my exact question. A  wonderful person at the USDA suggested that I call back and ask to speak to a veterinarian.
 When I did it took me 10-minute to convince the person that I needed to speak directly to a vet, and 15-minutes on hold for the vet to take my call. However, I am so glad that I did that. The vet needed less than two minutes to tell me which vaccinations are actually required (out of the list of 20 on the permit). Only the Rabies vaccine is required, the others listed are simply recommendations. –My vet advised all items listed are done as puppy vaccines.


Some travel agents are more helpful than others. Service Dog accommodations are too important to be left to someone else. When you make a deposit on your cruise, notify the cruise line via e-mail that you are bringing a Service Animal. When you make your final payment, send another email confirming a relief area is planned for you.

Before flying, notify TSA cares by email or phone
Also, consult the airline about bulkhead space for the Service Dog. Remember, the Air Carrier Access Act allows impaired persons to be accompanied by a Service Animal at no additional cost.


Cruise ships are a mass of humanity.

THE BAD: More people = More questions/ interaction attempts with you and the dog. The first day it was like being in a big shopping center. “what’s your dog’s name,” how cute,” etc.
     “Don’t forget the guy who got right in my face and barked mom.”
     “Yes, he was unforgettable and alcoholic impaired Goodee.”
THE GOOD: The ship is BIG and you soon find little areas of escape away, away, away from people if you need to.
THE EXCELLENT: The sea and beach are right outside. —They are the only thing outside for a day or more.  Entertainment is included.  Your stateroom is a home away from home.
     “Better than home mom. I mean bed turned down twice a day, meals by a chef, who has all that at home?”
     “Correct Goodee, a cruise is better than home!”


There are a number of well-meaning able-bodied "normal" people who will say:
"You shouldn't go," "We wouldn't go," and my favorite: "Are you sure you should go alone?" You are the only person who knows what you can do with your Service Dog. Cruising is accessible. If you need assistance just ask. Above-all DO NOT TRY to go without your Service Dog.  Don't try to substitute something for your Service Dog just because someone who has never had a disability or a Service Dog, suddenly wants to give you advice. You need your dog and you have a legal right to mitigate your disability and enjoy your vacation. 

Up-coming Service Dog Friendly Cruises:

PAWS WITH A CAUSE 2018 CRUISE January 21-18, 2018
PAWS provides Service Dogs to people who need them at no cost to the client. During this bi-annual fundraising event Royal Caribbean will make a generous cash donation to PAWS for every state-room purchased. 7-days in the Caribbean on the Allure of the Seas. For information contact:

October 27-November 3, 2018
Hosted by Your Travel Dime Dream Vacations & GoodeeWorks Productions
Join select group of travelers to celebrate Halloween at Sea 2018! We'll be sailing on the new MSC ship, Seaside, from the Port of Miami, through the Eastern Caribbean to St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau Bahamas.

MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before. Circling the entire ship as low as Deck 8 is a unique seafront promenade lined with places to eat, drink, shop, swim and sunbathe. And you can enjoy more superb views from the two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic elevators.

To celebrate Halloween, we're planning a private party with costume contest and entertainment.

Some cabins include unlimited drinks, onboard credit, spa services and priority boarding. Cabins start at $349 pp, double occupancy plus taxes and fees.

Our friends at Your Travel Dime put this together for us. Team Goodee is not receiving any compensation for promotion. We just want to check out the MSC SEASIDE and thought we would invite a few friends along.

For information contact:
Visit on Facebook:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PEOPLE! Standing On Our Last Nerve (The LONG blog that will be a book)

THE FOLLOWING BLOG IS RATED NC-17 for the use of the words bra, and sex.

The content is for education of the public and support of the Service Dog community. – and we hope a few laughs because no one likes boring rants. The use of “We” in this blog applies exclusively to Team Goodee, and is not meant to apply to any other Service Dog Team or group, real or imagined. Our strong opinions are our own.


The feature character "Dr-X" and office staff is a composite character of past medical providers and does not resemble any of Team Goodee's current medical team.
The feature character Miss "Evil Spirit" Airways is a real person but, we wouldn't reveal her name even if we had it.

     “Clearly mom, it’s time for a blog.”
     “Hello Goodee the Service Dog,  What makes you think so?"
     “Well mom, you get a look. You are about to explode on your Facebook status.”
     “Oh yes, Goodee, it happens.”
     “Well why not just do a blog so people will      know what’s on your mind?”
     “Wonderful idea Goodee.

Here we go…”


     “Our survey says…”

* People who pet the Service Dog, or ask to pet after reading the words “DO NOT PET.”

There are several reasons petting is not allowed. First, the working dog might become distracted causing them to miss a vital que to their job—For example, Seizure alert dogs are able to signal their handler that a seizure is about to happen, allowing time for the person to reach their medication or a “safe” zone. However, when a stranger insists upon attention from the dog, even the best working dog is delayed in  signaling the handler This may lead to an unnecessary medical emergency.
(Yes, it’s a real deal. No, we may  not know how the dog does it. Yes, we know you THINK you are the exception to the rule. NO, there is NOT any exception to the “DO NOT PET” rule.).

Second, if you are close enough to pet the dog then you are too ___ close to the human handler and dog. —both of whom need PERSONAL SPACE (sometimes for private medical reasons).  As an example, Goodee the Service Dog is trained to keep people away from me because I am at risk of falling.

What happens when people get too close?

     “The chiropractor has an unexpected payday.”

     “correct Goodee but let’s break it down so people understand. Here’s our example:”

I am paused browsing a shelf at a secret location, our local mega-store (who didn’t pay me for advertising so I’m not going to tell you their name). —Suddenly, I hear six small kids yell “DOG!” I feel a rush of wind. Caught off-guard, spastic cerebral palsy causes my legs to stiffen as all the children run towards Goodee the Service Dog. I fall to the floor. Holding Goodee's leash helped,  however, Goodee is correct both my chiropractor and massage therapist got unexpected paydays during the next week. The fall shifted my whole spine.

An adult did “collect” her children. She smiled saying: “Oh I’m so proud of you no one touched the dog.”

I was speechless so I will reply now:

Dear adult who left children unsupervised,

There’s a lot more to being around a Service Dog then just not touching. The running child wind tunnel was cute. Your children almost  ran into my cart. I moved quickly to prevent their head injury.  My highly-trained dog did her best but it wasn't  enough to prevent my own fall. Thank you for the opportunity to entertain the kids. It cost me three chiropractor visits and two massage therapy sessions—some items not covered by insurance, you are welcome.

*People who insist upon “helping.”

Example: Dear stranger who thinks I am blind,

I know you are TRYING to help. However, I need to use the chair to balance myself. When you abruptly pull the chair announcing, “I have your chair for you,” the dog and I must adjust. In fact, if the dog wasn’t helping me  your yanking would cause me to fall.
(I sincerely appreciate any offers of help. However, please don’t take it personally if I say, “No thanks.” The Service Dog and I have a system. It’s important that we stick with it. We value our independence and you are not always here to help. It is a source of amusement to me that I previously struggled,  needing help, wanting help, sometimes getting the odd look from strangers clueless to my situation. Now, I have the Service Dog and I can do things for myself. —people run to “help.”—Some are sincere, others look around to make sure everyone knows they are “helping the disabled lady,” like a child selected to collect milk money, or clean erasers.).

* People who act like the human is invisible. / can’t see/ hear.

Example: At the top-secret pharmacy (Who also didn’t pay advertising consideration), I asked the pharmacy tech about a medication. The tech brought two boxes out looking “through” me to the man standing behind me and said:
“Which does she want?”
The stranger shrugged “I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you ask me?” I advised, after all “I asked the question.”
I conclude this is a “disability” thing. When I had no Service Dog I would stumble, sometimes people would look at me like I must be drunk, I was crushed by crowds and shopping carts because I wasn’t moving fast enough but people would never avoid eye contact with me. I didn’t have an outward symbol of disability, so I was treated like a “normal” person.

     I have been disabled my whole life but, post Service Dog I am painfully aware of stereotyping. Suddenly the world thinks  I can’t see, hear, or think for myself . Instead of talking TO me strangers talk ABOUT me in third person. 


Small town USA drug store (won’t give you their name because I no longer do business with them. —If they don’t recognize ME as a PERSON why do business there?).

Counter help looks through me to the dog and asks my mom: “Can she see?” 

My reply: “Yes the dog and I can see and hear. My mom doesn't have her hearing aids in so she she  has  difficulty hearing you. I have a question about MY account, so you should probably speak with ME."

(The person using a Service Dog may in fact be blind and deaf. There’s no shame in being either or both. It is rude to talk about someone in third person like they are invisible. Yes, a Service Dog is a sign that we are mitigating a disability but, we are proud of being able to take care of our own business and certainly have the right to do so. We know you probably do the same thing to people with walkers, canes, and wheelchairs so please stop! We are people,  Just people, real people).

     “Boy mom you certainly are on a “soap box.”
     “Goodee the Service Dog there’s plenty more. Continuing on down our list…”

* Professionals who think they are the exception to the “DO NOT TOUCH” rule/ want to make us “show-n-tell.”

There’s a “top secret” list of people who are the exception to our “Do Not Touch” rule.

     “I ate the list it was tasty.”
     “Thanks, Goodee."

The Goodee “safe circle” is a small group of people(they  know who they are and under what circumstances they may touch the Service Dog). 

The Service Dog knows boundaries so don’t try to enter the circle uninvited.   Do not assume because you work for “Dr X” that you may touch the Service Dog. —especially in front of others. The dog is not a prop to show how “cool” you are, or  “brighten your day.”


Human and Service Dog in ER for human to get x-ray---

 Nurse, “oh what a cute dog,” inviting other patients to come in and view “the doggie.”- -  Please! We are not the “lookie loo” tour.

* Total strangers who invade our lives because we have “the dog.”

People want to tell you their story and know your story all in sixty seconds–  Example: “My uncle’s best friend’s girlfriend has a Service Dog, but, she’s blind and you don’t look blind so I think you don’t need a Service Dog like she does. You look too young to need a Service Dog. Why do you have your dog?”

(SLOW DOWN, we don’t know you. We are not here to be an interactive information board. We wanted to get our hair done, shop, or go to the doctor just like you. BTW, we really would like to be on our way now but, we will stop briefly to speak. However, DON’T expect us to detail why we have a Service Dog. —This topic may cause us anxiety or PTSD flashbacks.  Also, it’s a bit personal. We notice you are not wearing a bra, is there a medical reason for that, or do you just want to look sexy? —Well gosh, we may not want to disclose details to a total stranger either, especially in the supermarket checkout lane).

*Adults who want to make the Service Dog a “teachable moment.” 


“See the doggie. AH OH See the doggie, you see, see the doggie.”

(Really? Do you think the toddler with you is blind and doesn’t see the dog? What’s your point? You want the child to see “different” people?  Great, point out a few people with different color skin than yours, where everyone can hear you and see what happens.   Oh, you just want the kid to have a distraction? Try the juice box or toy you brought with you. —They are not busy and WE would like to shop in peace. The dog may or may not be distracted by your babble but the human who must hear 40+ adults babble “doggie” all day every day every time we go out in public is REALLY distracted, annoyed, and tired. If  you simply must use the dog as a "teach time" please do so in a whisper and without pointing. The human needs no more reminders about how "different" they are. Would you point to a person using a walker and say "Oh do you see the cute walker?" --The Service Dog is a MEDICAL DEVICE, nothing more nothing less.

Teachable Moment Example #2: 

"See the blind dog. It’s helping the lady."
(WOW!  “Blind dog.” While the child may not be able to understand everything If you are going to “teach” at least try being close to correct. The dog should not be blind and the person may not be. How about.-- “see the helper dog it is working for the lady.”—Service Dogs: They are not just for blind people!).


We do understanding “teaching time.” It is wonderful when an adult says: “See the dog it’s working and we don’t pet it.” I always stop and say, “Thank you so much!”

We ask for  SPACE,  PRIVACY, and RESPECT.  We are not public figures, information booths, or interactive displays. There are places to get information about Service Dogs, please don’t expect every Service Dog handler you meet to provide the 4-11. If you would like to exchange information ask the person for their email address. —Don’t ask the Service Dog they never check email.

     “Watch it”
     “Oh, Goodee the Service Dog, you are still  here.”

We understand that you want, want, want, to pet the Service Dog.  Sorry for some strange reason we need our medical device; try the medical supply store next door, maybe there’s an insulin pack you could pet. Oh, you NEED to pet the DOG? —We would sincerely ask that you go to your local shelter where dogs ACTUALLY DO NEED you to pet them. —Tell them Team Goodee sent you.


We are sorry to disappoint you but we are not a magical unicorn act. We don’t fart rainbows and keep a smile on our face for your benefit. We can’t stop our life for you. We have business meetings/ family time, and our life does NOT revolve around your need to “see,” and “chat” with the Service Dog.

We  don't  go out of our way to be rude but, we will make our point strongly. —Why? because your “need” to see, feel, and, get excited about “the doggie” is a danger to the human and the dog. Also, we have the Service Dog so that we may be out in public  doing things.  We cannot let people disrupt our routine to a ridiculous point.

Example 1:

Human goes out of doctor office waiting area to make a PRIVATE business call. Human is FOLLOWED by a patient. Human is on her cell phone, the “stalker” is “yapping” at the dog so loudly that  business comes to a sudden halt.

“Am I on speaker phone?” the CONFIDENTIAL client asks.

“No sorry, I had to step outside, must be road noise.”
(Placing the call on mute, I inquire of “stalker:”--

"Would you mind giving us a little space? I’m trying to have a private business conversation.”)

STALKER REPLY: “Well MY GOD I was JUST talking to the dog!”

ME: “Sorry visiting hours are over.”
(I walked away, thankful “stalker” didn’t follow).

Example 2:

In hotel lobby, tired from being on cruise ship and bus human and Service Dog trying to “chill.”

Flight attendant from "Evil Spirit” Airways comes through the door (She was wearing a uniform and honestly earned the title "Evil Spirit") ...

“OH, GOSH WHAT A CUTE DOG!” (running towards us with her noisy roller bag).

ME: “Sorry we are suffering through  a little “jet lag.” Could you give us some space?"


ME: “Sorry we are not set up to be a tourist display.”

HER REPLY: (as if  totally ignoring my request) “OH SHE LOOKS SO TIRED.”

ME: (Getting up from my seat) (announcing in a loud voice) “Be sure and look us up in the American Express Travel Guide, one Service Dog, seen it… MOVE ON!"

“Stalker” “Evil Spirit " Airways flight attendant turns to other flight attendants in the lobby:

“Well I was just being friendly.”

I couldn’t reply then but I will respond here:

Dear flight attendant,

We realized you were “off duty,” that’s why we didn’t ask you for any fluffy pillows, or snacks. Sorry our "off duty" sign is broken. We are only able to vend out unnecessary idle stranger chat a few hours at a time. 
You are totally clueless. Your conduct is scary. You lack listening skills, reading comprehension, and basic manners.

We are sorry you thought the words “Working Service Dog” meant “This way to the happy dog display.” We tried to let you know (several times) that our “airhead tolerance” was at an all-time low.

We are sorry you were not impressed by any of our education efforts. You left a lasting impression upon us, and we will never fly Spirit Airways.

PS. Does your employer know you act like that when your wearing your uniform in public?  Your conduct at the very least was rude and under some conditions could have caused injury to myself or the dog. Nice branding Spirit Airways. Please allow me to design a tagline for you:

 "Spirit Airways home of clueless airheads."


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