Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This is Why I Don't Tell People at the Dog Park He is a Service Dog

Isaac got to play with a 9-month-old black lab puppy named Cricket today as well as with a German shepherd-lab mix named King. We went to a new dog park because it is near my doctor's office and I had an appointment and wanted to give Isaac time to run around and get tired before the appointment.

No one was there when we arrived but Isaac was happy to sniff all the new smells and pee on all the new places. Then Cricket arrived and they had fun chasing each other. Then King came and they are regulars are our regular dog park so it was a nice surprise to see them today. King and Isaac wrestled and Isaac made a few attempts to hump him but King refused to cooperate.

I was explaining to King's mom why Isaac and I were at this park instead of our regular park and she said "Oh, he goes to your appointment with you?" And I explained he is a service dog so he goes pretty much everywhere with me.

Then I followed her gaze over to where Isaac was attempting to hump her dog. When King refused to be humped, Isaac sat down and began licking himself. This is why I usually do not tell people at the dog park that Isaac is a service dog.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Place I Can't Take My Service Dog

Tomorrow I am going on a tour of the Gentle Barn. If you're not familiar with the Gentle Barn, it's a rescue for farm animals and it's very awesome. On the tour, you get to cuddle cows and play with various rescued farm animals. I am super excited.

Because of the nature of the place, I called them to ask if it would be OK to bring my service dog or if it would be better not to bring him. Isaac would be fine there, I am sure, but I didn't know about all the farm animals there. The woman I spoke to told me everyone there loves dogs, they love all dogs, and she assured me that she was sure my service dog was very well behaved, but said that some of their rescued farm animals are not comfortable around dogs and so she thought it would be better not to bring him. 

I am fine with that. That's why I called to ask. And I understand how the presence of a SD might alter things at this type of organization and so it might be appropriate and legal for them to deny access. That's why I called to ask.  

I normally do not call places in advance to tell them I am bringing my service dog or to ask if I can bring him.  If it's a place the Department of Justice has already stated (in the Americans with Disabilities Act) that service dogs are allowed, I don't ask if I can bring him.  I don't need to.  But this is one of those exceptions.

Isaac will be spending the day at a nearby doggie daycare instead. I'm sure he will have a good time there and I cannot wait to cuddle some cows!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Documentation

Today I had to go to the ER. I've never had any problems at my local hospital before, not in the ER or the lab or the x-ray department or visiting patients. But today the triage nurse asked me "Is that a certified service dog?"

I said "He is a service dog but there is no certification."

She looked like she didn't believe me and asked "Do you have documentation?"

I said "I do" and pulled out a rather tattered copy of the ADA Business Brief (note to self: put a new one in my purse) and showed here where it says businesses can ask if a dog is a service dog and what the dog is trained to do but that they cannot ask for ID or documentation.

Best service dog documentation I can carry.

I am going to contact whomever is in charge of the ER and make sure they educate their employees.  But I was not feeling well enough to deal with it today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dogs Don't Talk

Lady in the waiting room at the podiatrist's office: I'm not allowed to pet you, am I?

Me: No, you are not allowed to pet me.

Lady: Um, I meant the dog.

Me: He doesn't talk.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Scared to Ask Your Doctor about Getting a Service Dog?

I see a lot of people say that. Or kind of a lot, anyway. They want to know how to bring it up to their doctors and are scared or nervous about doing so.  I don't quite understand why.

Someone told me that she worried her doctor would brush her off.  I asked, "Does your doctor often brush off things you bring up to her? And if so, why do you keep seeing her? And if not, why do you think she will brush this off?" 

I mostly only see doctors that listen to me and don't brush me off. That doesn't mean they always agree with me, but if my doctor thought a service dog would be a bad idea or thought I didn't qualify, he would tell me that, not brush me off. 

I am looking for a new rheumatologist now because mine has twice brushed off something that turned out to be an illness or injury that needed treatment. I won't keep seeing a doctor that does that.

Clearly people have different types of relationships with their doctors. It just seems unhealthy or somehow a bad thing to be afraid to bring up something you think would help you to your doctor.