Saturday, March 24, 2012

STAY AWAY! The Service Dog in Private Settings

“Hey mom, may I use the debit card?”  “Goodee the Service Dog, why do you need the debit card?” “I want to buy another patch for my vest.”  “I don’t know about that Goodee, we have lots of patches already.”
“What exactly did you want the new patch to say?” --- “Well I was thinking… PRIVACY PLEASE!”
“Well Goodee we already have “ “WORKING DO NOT TOUCH.”  That seems to cover a lot.”
“OK Mom but we should ask our friends to be mindful of privacy so I think it should go in our Blog.”  “Right Goodee, I will start on the Blog. –Let’s put the debit card away."
Goodee the Service Dog is right. We could use privacy when we are out and about.  I often have to stop my business transaction, phone conversation, or meal in order to address a stranger’s question about “the dog.” --- There is so much more to me but I’ve never had a stranger engage me in conversation about anything but --- “the dog.” Goodee the Service Dog rolls her eyes as if to say “not again.” We often run late for our appointments due to having to address one, two, or twenty questions.
“Yes mom and sometimes the questions come in the most private of places.” “Oh yes, Goodee the Service Dog I was just getting around to that point.”—We had a shocking encounter in the Ladies Room of our local supermarket.
It was a busy Saturday afternoon. Upon entering the store a young boy approached. “May I pet your dog.”?  “Sorry not now. She is working, I replied.”  We went about our shopping and visited the Ladies Room.
While I was at the sink a lady reached around me. The door flung open. . She yelled to her son… “Hey here’s that dog you thought was so neat. Come on in!”  To the shock of several female patrons the young man came in the Ladies Restroom of this large busy grocery store.
The young man begins  telling me he is 10-years old loves dogs etc. etc.   Goodee the Service Dog had never encountered anything quiet like this.  The young man began to ask me:” NOW can I pet?”---“Not now she is working,” I replied.
 --- HHHHUMMM, the lady who had started the whole circus just a few minutes before cleared her throat loudly and glared at me. --- “OH REALLY, the dog is WORKING?” the lady questioned me.
I gave a long explanation about Goodee the Service Dog and her assistance to me on hard surfaces. The lady continued to scowl at me 
My long explanation fell upon  deaf ears as the lady asked a third time if her son could pet the dog.
I felt sorry for the other restroom patrons who were doing things you normally do in a restroom (without an audience). I felt sorry for Goodee because she had to work in strained cramped conditions. Hard slick surfaces are a challenge for me. Goodee had to keep me balanced and her protective instinct was working overtime to keep strangers away in the small space that was getting smaller by the minute. —(all because of one person who decided her son should see my dog). --- I wondered if the lady would have generated such excitement over a cane, walker, or wheelchair.  
The patch clearly announces: “WORKING DOG DO NOT TOUCH.”  I have learned to overlook individuals who still ask “May I pet the dog?” ---some people can’t read, some people can’t comprehend what they read, some people are just dog lovers who hope they are exceptions to the rule--- However, there are a few people who display bold behavior, stalking with a sense of entitlement. --- To them I say: “I’m sorry you don’t understand but---NOT NOW WE ARE WORKING!”

GoodeeWorks Productions
DD & GOODEE the Service Dog wish to remind everyone our friend Teddy (age 9) suffers from life-threatening tree nut allergies. Lucy the ladradoodle is currently in training to keep Teddy away from harm and carry his needed medical supplies.
Service Dog training is expensive. Your support is appreciated:
Donations can be made directly to Angel Service Dogs:
Mark your payment “Training for Lucy”__________________________
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For the love of Lucy/ Teddy’s Service Dog


  1. Great blog DD. I´d like to share the link on my website when I´m ready to publish if you don´t mind. People really need to see this! Thanks for taking time to education. Sue Kindred, Service Dog 411

  2. Thanks Sue, You are welcome to post a link anytime. We strive to be educational.

    DD & Goodee
    GoodeeWorks Productions

  3. I've never been approached in a ladies room, but it is a little annoying when I'm waiting to use the handicapped stall and there are other stalls open, but the person ahead of me ran into the handicapped stall, then took their time. Flecks and I could *almost* fit in a regular stall, but Endless is quite a bit bigger, so we HAVE to use the handicapped stall. I'm not trying to be rude, but please realize that a large dog and a person just don't fit in a regular stall sometimes.

    1. Thank you for your honest feedback about the handicap stall. People need to understand there is only one safe stall for you and your Service Dog. I understand you can "almost fit" in another stall but it is unsafe for you and the dog to do so.-- Goodee & myself have the same problem. I find it interesting that the same person who races into the handicap stall in the restroom would never dream of taking a handicap parking space for their car.

      Best wishes to you and Flecks.

      --DD & Goodee
      GoodeeWorks Productions