The automatic door slid open. I was in a daze nearly unaware of our entrance into a local retail Super Center. Goodee the Service Dog finds the ramp and triggers the door
My mind went through my grocery list. I tried to acknowledge the greeter and wake up. Wait is that---seasonal decorations “Oh my,” is it really that time again?”
Team Goodee is ready for the holidays. As Kevin McAlister said in “Home Alone,” “This is it, don’t get scared.”...
We know holidays can be stressful for everyone. You may see a Service Dog Team. We would like to present a few reminders for your consideration:
WE ARE HERE
I searched the shelves of a local hardware store. When I didn’t find what I needed I went to the front counter. The lady at the Service Desk saw Service Dog Goodee and began to babble, “Oh pretty doggie, aren’t you sweet...”
“HELLO, human with checkbook, HERE” I (thought to myself). The Clerk went on with Goodee for over 10 minutes not even looking at me. Goodee takes care of lots of things but I still sign checks.
Service Dogs assist with many items. Humans have disabilities both visible and invisible. Don’t make assumptions. Throughout our travels I have had people talk about me in third person as if I’m not even there, talk to Goodee and then just keep moving. I’m glad people admire Goodee She is fantastic but, Im still my own person.
I have a Service Dog and I have disabilities, I should not be identified by either. The Service Dog handler has a name and should be addressed just like any other person.
YES WE CAN!
Service Dogs boldly go where PET dogs do not go. You may see a Service Dog in a restaurant, movie, or store it’s important for store employees to know Service Dog access requirements.
When you see a Service Dog Team it is good to admire quietly at a distance. Disturbances may distract the service dog or cause undue disruption.
IT MAY NOT LOOK LIKE MUCH: BUT... IT'S A JOB
WORKING SERVICE DOG
DO NOT TOUCH
Goodee has many tasks and we never know when her skills will be needed.
I’ve had people try to argue with me about the definition of “Working.”
Please recognize that a Service Dog handler knows when their dog is working.
In fact it may look to you like... Sleeping, sitting, walking, running, or talking…
Talking Well, you get the idea. A Service Dog is ALWAYS working unless the handler says they aren’t.
NO BETWEEN MEAL SNACKS
A super-center employee put seafood on the floor and then called to Goodee. “Here Doggie.” “Leave it,” I advised and Goodee past right by. Nearly every week one or two people offer things to Goodee. Some things are healthy others are not. Goodee loves her vet but we don’t want any unexpected visits.
Most Service Dogs have special diets. It’s a good idea to ask the handler before offering any food. Please don’t feel badly if your offer is turned away. Service Dogs go many miles in a day and cannot stop for every good morsel.
IF IT'S NOT YOURS DON'T USE IT
The Need for Handicap access is great during the holiday season. Please take this into consideration in the parking lot, restroom, and other areas.
I did not think about handicap access prior to having a Service Dog. Now team Goodee is wider and heavier. We try to wait our turn and stay in our lane. We often encounter people standing and talking while we are trying to come through.
You may see a Service Dog on an airplane during your holiday travels. It’s important to admire the dog at a quiet distance. The closed in space of the aircraft may present challenges for the Service Dog Team.
OFFERS OF HELP
I know it's difficult for people to realize that Service Dogs have their own system of helping a human. A third person in the mix is often an unnecessary distraction for human and dog.
It is always nice to offer help but. please don't feel badly if your help is not taken. Team Goodee has it's own signals. No amount of telling us the way is clear, or leading us will cause us to move. Kissing, clapping, snapping, and calling are all unwelcome noises. Goodee does not move unless she knows I am ready to move and it is safe to do so. --The dog is not listening to you so please don't try to get their attention.
A WORD OF THANKS
This year we have visited lots of Service Dog Friendly merchants. We would like to thank you for taking time to know the law and apply it correctly.
Happy Holidays everyone. We would love to hunt bargains and chat but,….
"NOT NOW WE ARE WORKING"
--DD & GOODEE