Tuesday, December 8, 2015

He Knows Better

A couple weeks ago I was at the Medicaid office, standing at the window waiting for my gas voucher.  A family with a mom, a dad and a little boy about three or four came in and the little boy made a beeline for my service dog.  He ran right up to Isaac and was nose-to-nose with him, hugging his head, before I realized what was going on.

I was talking to the employee at the window about my gas voucher but I stopped whatever it was that I was saying, bent down to look the little boy in the eye, and began giving him my standard lecture for kids that pet or hug or otherwise touch Isaac without asking.  It's a lecture I've given maybe a dozen times since I've had him.  I've given my adult version of the lecture many more times.

The little kid version of the lecture goes something like this.  "It is not OK to pet a doggie you don't know without asking first.  It is never OK to touch a doggie you don't know without asking because you don't know if he is a nice doggie or not."  I don't get into the issue of distracting a service dog because the most important thing for little kids is not to touch any dog without asking.

So I give the little boy the lecture and his father, who is standing right there, says, "He knows that.  He knows better than to do that."

I was thinking, umm, yeah, apparently he doesn't.


  1. Hello Kelly, Issac and Wiskers,
    Thank you for sharing your story regarding today's events while trying to conduct personal business.I like you would have probably done the same as you described regarding: response to a child vs. response to an adult. However I have to admit (as I am still awaiting my service dog) that I am very naive to the world and do not have the experience and expertise you have. However from at least my research: We as service dog partners are suppose to be the ambassadors for others who have service dogs. ?? I understand its not a perfect world. I guess I am not sure how I would react to your above mentioned blog post ? Your thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. I try really hard to be nice, or at least not to be rude, to people. I definitely don't respond to children in a rude way because I understand they don't know better. This kid was three or four. He clearly likes dogs and didn't know he shouldn't run up to one. I do let kids pet Isaac when they ask, but I also make sure to tell kids that pet without asking that it is not safe to do that. He was right in Isaac's face. He could be bitten in the face by a dog doing that. Isaac won't bite, but he had no way of knowing that. Another dog could very well bite him in the face.

  2. I agree with you, yes another dog could potentially bite Issac in the face and that's something neither one of you want to happen. I guess, I will have to wait and see once I do acquire my service dog. It will be a time when another learning experience will take place. I have had dogs in the past. (currently have 3 cats & I know they get along with dogs). However having a specially trained service dog will come with new learning opportunities and experiences. Thank you again for your thoughts and feedback

  3. Most of the time I try to do the same thing. Almost anything can happen from adults interrogating me because I "don't look like I need a service dog", those who get mad because I won't let their kids play with my dog, those who think it would be cool to have their dog fight my dog, and people in general who think it's ok to just come up to me and distract me with questions when I am just trying to get my errands done as quickly as I can because I am not feeling well and want to get home ASAP. Sometimes I get tired of having to play goodwill ambassador ALL THE TIME. Sometimes I just want to tell people to "bugger off!"