This is Artemis Fowl, a.k.a. Art. He is my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my snuggle buddy. He is a service dog. He is there for me when I am depressed, anxious, manic, angry. He is always there for me. Art is the sweetest little dog ever. I swear, he has worse anxiety than me. He came from my ex boyfriends charity 1boy4change.org. There are some things you should never do when you see a person with a service dog.
1. Ask them what their disability is.
I HATE it when people do that. He is a service dog, he is working for me right now. I am a normal person just like everyone else. I just have a disability, he is helping me. Please don’t, it causes more social anxiety for people than they want.
2. Ask to pet them.
It clearly says on the vest, DO NOT PET! They are working. You don’t want to distract them. People have asked me time and time again “Oh he is so cute can I pet him?” No. Would you like if I pet you when you are working. Probably not. Just don’t do it.
3. What’s that on his mouth, does he bite?
People use gentle leaders on their service dogs sometimes, It makes handling them easier and less painful for them. Some dogs do bite, but most of the time, medical alert dogs DO NOT BITE. Or at least they are not supposed to. My boy does not bite, he is gentle. Don’t get me wrong, if the dog has a muzzle on his mouth, he probably bites. This question is kind of in the grey zone.
4. Stare at handler like they are different from you.
This is particularly annoying. I hate it when people stare at me, it is as if people are pressuring me. I have bad anxiety and I don’t like it when people stare at me. Most people don’t like being the center of attention that way. It caused them to get stressed, and that may cause medical problems for them. Just please don’t. I know you want to stare at the pretty doggie, but it puts pressure on the handler.
5. “Are you blind or something?”
Not everyone with a service dog is blind. I’m definitely not. There are service dogs for all types of disabilities. For example: My little sister is epileptic, she is getting a seizure alert dog at the end of the month. People can have service dogs if they have: Autism, Bipolar disorder, PTSD, Anxiety disorder, Mobility problems, Epilepsy, blindness, emotional support etc. Please don’t assume every person with a service dog is blind.
I hope this has been helpful for you guys. I wish everyone knew these things. It helps not only you from looking like an idiot, but the handler from getting stressed. These things get old VERY fast.
I would appreciate if you could re-blog this. Spread the word. ^-^