“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Apr 12, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I use a service dog, and I'm constantly barraged with requests to pet him. Other people who use service dogs warned me this would happen. Although the ADA does not require him to wear a vest, I bought one for him that reads, "Do Not Pet," which he wears in public. They ask me anyway!

They also ask what I use the dog for. Sometimes I'm tempted to say, "First, tell me about your medical history and then I'll tell you mine." I don't mind quietly and discreetly discussing with a store owner what my dog does, but for a stranger to walk up and expect me to share personal information is rude.

As excited as I am about how my dog has expanded my life, I do not want to spend my time answering strangers' questions or hearing about every dog they've ever owned.

Obviously, I'm still learning what it means to live with a service dog. Would you kindly share with your readers proper etiquette with service dogs and their owners?-- LIVING LARGER IN WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR LIVING LARGER: I'm happy to. But you must be realistic. If you have a service dog, you must accept that people will be curious. However, what many people fail to understand is that when a service dog is out in public, the animal is WORKING, and should not be distracted from its task -- which is ensuring the well-being of the owner.

The basics for interacting with service dogs are:

1. Always speak to the person first. Do not try to distract the dog.

2. Never touch the service dog -- or ANY dog, for that matter -- without first asking for and receiving permission.

3. Do not offer food to the animal.

4. Do not ask personal questions about the handler's disability or otherwise intrude on his or her privacy.

5. Do not be offended if the handler refuses to chat about the service dog.
9 comments. Join the discussion.
Read more in: Etiquette
Happy News Causes Hurt Feelings When Mother-in-Law Spills the Beans

DEAR ABBY: My son "John" and daughter-in-law "Bree" recently announced their second pregnancy via email, and asked that we keep the news in the immediate family for now.

I was so happy and excited that I notified my sister. She is my best friend and lives in another state. As it turns out, my sister shared the news with her daughter, who is good friends with Bree. My niece then texted congratulations to her.

At the end of the day, I received a nasty, dramatic phone call from Bree. She was furious that I had revealed her secret. My heart sank. It wasn't my intention to hurt her in any way. I apologized profusely, but now I'm afraid that this may have solidified the wedge between us because our relationship was never very close to begin with.

I realize I was wrong and apologized. What more can I do to make this the joyful occasion it should be?-- NOW WHAT? IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR NOW WHAT?: Now you pay the penalty for leaking the news, and gracefully accept that you will be relegated to the second tier when it comes to announcements from your son and daughter-in-law. Perhaps you can eventually get back in their good graces by respecting their wishes in the future.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Apr 12, 2014
1- Really, Gloria?

2- Again, women HATE the woman who birthed their husband. There's no explanation, no one knows why, there's nothing you can do

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Apr 12, 2014
1.Clearly you are not blind or deaf because that would be obvious to the general public.
The notion of service dogs for problems which are not readily apparent is new, not generally accepted and sometimes can appear as a self indulgent way to bring a dog places it would not otherwise be permitted. That is a fact you have to deal with. Not everyone agrees with emotional support dogs as a medical necessity.
Since you have a disability of some sort, there is probably a foundation that supports it. Get your dog a vest that includes the foundation name. Fewer people will bother you or ask if your dog i wearing something that says , for example, Epilepsy Foundation. Disclosing that much of you disability is the price of having the dog with you as much.

2. Resign yourself to finding out family news after everyone else. My mother has done this for years. I share as little a possible with her because she retails it to anyone she talks to. She gets ticked off and complains that nobody ever tlls her anything. That's true

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Apr 12, 2014
1 Where does she live that all these people do this? Rudeville?
I see a service animal, I just get out of its way, It's the gay men who bring their little kewpie dogs everywhere that bothers me.

2 Family drama with a side of girl stuff
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#5 Apr 12, 2014
1: I wouldn't touch a service dog since I've been aware for a long time that they are working. If any dog who's with a person wants to jump on me or sniffs me, I will probably put my hand out to touch (pet) that dog. I figure the dog started it. Trained service dogs don't do this so they're safe from me. ;-) I can see that a person interested in obtaining a service dog either for themselves or a relative might ask about a service dog they like. If they're seeking information such as where the person obtained the dog, I don't see why that should be a problem. Everyone else should leave questions about the dog left unsaid but compliments for the dog don't seem intrusive to me.

2: I agree with Abby on this one. This m-i-l was way out of line. She doesn't get to decide who is an exception to the "do not tell" instructions. It was not her news to tell. She should have been happy that she was informed early. Instead, she was a classic case of given and inch and taking a mile. What really irks me is that she acknowledges that the relationship with her d-i-l was already shaky. I can only guess at the other ways she showed her lack of respect for her d-i-l. If she were my m-i-l, she would definitely be the last on my list of people to inform when the baby is born. She'd have to work hard to get any personal information out of me in the future. And if she continues such lack of respect, she might end up having less and less time with her grandchildren. There are consequences or rewards awaiting her depending on her behavior from here.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Apr 12, 2014
RACE wrote:
1 Where does she live that all these people do this? Rudeville?
I see a service animal, I just get out of its way, It's the gay men who bring their little kewpie dogs everywhere that bothers me.
2 Family drama with a side of girl stuff
Hell, I don't even go up to people with non-service dogs. Maybe its people who don't have any pets that feel compelled to interact since they don't have that at home.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#7 Apr 12, 2014
LW2 isn't giving North Carolina too bad a name.

Glance into the future: LW2

(a) admitted to her son that she has a big mouth and often spills the beans, as he well remembers.
(b) asked Bree how to atone, because LW2 has a bad habit of not being able to keep happy secrets.
(c) sent a naive e-mail, asking if her blunder meant she'd have to wait until they say so when the baby arrives.
or
other
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#8 Apr 12, 2014
PEllen wrote:
2. Resign yourself to finding out family news after everyone else. My mother has done this for years. I share as little a possible with her because she retails it to anyone she talks to. She gets ticked off and complains that nobody ever tlls her anything. That's true
One of my sisters did this especially with the problems people were having. She'd blab it to any and everyone. After learning she had shared my private letters to her when I was in college with her husband whom I did not like or respect, I realized I could never tell her anything I didn't want everyone else to know. So I kept all my personal woes to myself. She only heard the good stuff. It was a slanted view of my life that I gave her but it was the only way I could protect myself, my husband, and my kids. She was very good friends with a woman in her community who wrote a newspaper column about the goings on in that community. Ok, in many ways, it was a gossip column. Every once in awhile she would comment on something that happened in our extended family. The only way she could have known some things was from my sister; so you can see how far my sister spread her gossip. If she knew (or thought she knew) something, the whole community might come to know it. It's a good thing I learned my lesson early.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#9 Apr 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Hell, I don't even go up to people with non-service dogs. Maybe its people who don't have any pets that feel compelled to interact since they don't have that at home.
We have dogs and cats. I'm not really a dog person but my husband and kids are. I treat the dogs well and care for them. I am the one who takes them to the vet and I'm the one who held and pet our dog and later my cat when they were old, sick, and needed to be euthanized. My husband turns into a basket case and needs to leave. I have my cry when I'm alone at home.

However, I DO pet dogs I meet while taking a walk. It isn't because I don't have any at home. I don't approach them. Their owners usually have them on leashes and for some reason, the dogs approach me, sniff me and even joyfully want to jump up. I figure if the owners didn't want me to touch their dogs, they'd keep them away from me. Sometimes, they do hold the dog back to prevent the dog from jumping on me but at those times, I ask permission to pet them. I actually like other people's dogs. I think it's because I don't have to take care of them; I can just enjoy them. ;-)

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#10 Apr 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Hell, I don't even go up to people with non-service dogs.
Yeah, most of us don't
Mister Tonka wrote:
Maybe its people who don't have any pets that feel compelled to interact since they don't have that at home.
Actually, I think it's the people who HAVE pets. It's uncommon to see a dog in a supermarket. If you're a pet owner, and see a dog while you're shopping for oranges, you might be more inclined to reach down and pet it more than someone who's never around dogs at all

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Apr 12, 2014
Pippa wrote:
However, I DO pet dogs I meet while taking a walk. It isn't because I don't have any at home. I don't approach them. Their owners usually have them on leashes and for some reason, the dogs approach me, sniff me and even joyfully want to jump up.
You're kinda helping make my point. You don't approach them. That's wat Isaid about me as well. Sure if a dog approaches me and sniffs me, I'll be friendly back. But this LW has a service dog. I'm guessing the dog is not approaching people. People are approaching the dog. People who, I'm guessing, don't have pets at home. For you and me, interaction with a pet is not a novelty, therefore nothing to seek out in random dogs we pass by.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#12 Apr 12, 2014
1: It just occurred to me that people who need to be able to park in handicapped parking spaces have to have special license plates or signs that hang from their car mirrors. I think people who require service dogs should be required to have a noticeable, bright colored tag on their dogs that indicate that the dog is a licensed medically necessary service dog and should be allowed into places where dogs are not usually permitted. This would mean all those people who want their dogs with them and falsely claimed they are service dogs would not be allowed to take them into restaurants and other areas where dogs are not permitted. It seems to me that a person's physician would know whether a person would be helped having a service dog and could simply sign a form so they can get the tag.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#13 Apr 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> You're kinda helping make my point. You don't approach them. That's wat Isaid about me as well. Sure if a dog approaches me and sniffs me, I'll be friendly back. But this LW has a service dog. I'm guessing the dog is not approaching people. People are approaching the dog. People who, I'm guessing, don't have pets at home. For you and me, interaction with a pet is not a novelty, therefore nothing to seek out in random dogs we pass by.
That's true to an extent. But I actually do like to pet other people's dogs. I don't approach them without permission simply because I know that isn't polite. I don't approach any animal without permission for the same reason. I suspect people who do approach other people's pets without permission might do so because it hasn't occurred to them not to. They simply haven't thought about it - especially if they don't have pets and were never faced with the problem from an owner's perspective. So I don't disagree with you. I just thought you meant that pet owners don't approach or touch other people's pets and I do but only if I feel it's safe and/or the owner gives me permission. But I think we're actually on the same page here. ;-)

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#14 Apr 14, 2014
Pippa wrote:
1: It just occurred to me that people who need to be able to park in handicapped parking spaces have to have special license plates or signs that hang from their car mirrors. I think people who require service dogs should be required to have a noticeable, bright colored tag on their dogs that indicate that the dog is a licensed medically necessary service dog and should be allowed into places where dogs are not usually permitted. This would mean all those people who want their dogs with them and falsely claimed they are service dogs would not be allowed to take them into restaurants and other areas where dogs are not permitted. It seems to me that a person's physician would know whether a person would be helped having a service dog and could simply sign a form so they can get the tag.
I think that's an excellent idea!!! I see a lot of people out with dogs at places like the grocery now because they just think they can and employees are afraid to ask. I KNOW those 2 women in the grocery with 3 frou frou dogs in their shopping cart PROBABLY didn't have them as service dogs.

And, loke eDog,, I immediately thought of Really Gloria.

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