Wednesday, November 13, 2013

RV dog dilemma

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We travel full-time with our dog. It is often inconvenient, but the joy we get from the companionship offsets the limitations it causes. We met a couple who are campground hosts and they invited us to go out to lunch with them. They insisted on driving because they needed to bring their "service dog" along. When we questioned them about the need for a service dog, they admitted it wasn't actually true. It seems the dog suffers from separation anxiety so they were able to go online and get papers that officially designates the dog as a “certified service dog.” My husband thought it would be a good idea for us to do the same, but I feel it's dishonest. He says it is only a little white lie. What do you think?
--Barking up the wrong tree in Baton Rouge

Dear Barking:
I find it more than dishonest. I find it disgusting. These fake Internet documents erode the credibility of actual service dogs. Many people that truly need a service animal are already suspect. To have a wave of pet owners falsifying the need for an animal will only help destroy an important program that many authentic handicapped people rely on. Life is full of choices. If you travel with an animal it will often mean sacrificing some activities. We have more than once offered to babysit dogs for fellow campers that wanted to take a day hike on trails that did not allow dogs. In fact, dog sitting could be a very lucrative work camper business if someone wanted to pursue it. People leaving barking dogs all day in a rig while they go off is a common complaint. The service dog program is for people, not animals. Don’t let your husband confuse the two. That said, I am going to take another crack at humor. The last time I attempted to attach a bit of humor to a serious subject I got a lot of flack. But this story is just too appropriate to pass up. These two guys were out walking their dogs when one of them suggests they go in a bar and have a drink. The other guy says, “They won’t let us in with our dogs.” His buddy responds, “Oh, no problem, I do this all the time. Just follow my lead.” At that he puts on his sun glasses and heads into the bar. The bartender says, “Hey buddy, you can’t come in here with that dog.” The guy says, “But this is my seeing eye dog.” The bartender says, “A dachshund is your seeing eye dog?” The guy says, “Oh sure. It’s a popular breed now. When you come into an establishment they fit right under your arm out of the way” The bartender says, “Okay, come on in.” After watching all this the other guy walks in. The bartender says, “Hey buddy, you can’t come in here with that dog.” The guy says, “But this is my seeing eye dog.” The bartender says, “A Chihuahua is your seeing eye dog?” The guy musters up as much theatrical shock as he can and says, “THEY GAVE ME A CHIHUAHUA!!!!”
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

18 comments:

Me and My Dog ...and My RV said...

I agree completely with your opinion of people who get Internet documents to allow their dogs to go anywhere with them. True service dogs are trained, right? They are quiet, alert, well behaved animals. Fake service pets are often not that well behaved. Also, it's CHEATING and LYING. How can anyone rationalize this? What the heck is wrong with some people???

Your joke is funny! You shouldn't get any flack from it. :)

scootingranny said...

Love the joke! And BTW, doing this is just like somebody getting a handicap parking sticker/tag when they really don't need one or people who use their Grandmother/Mom/Uncle's handicap tag and park in handicap parking spaces when that person isn't even with them. Just not right

Anonymous said...

We don't travel with animals and try to tolerate inconsiderate pet owners. Since we don't stay in our camper during the day (out and about).......it usually means only cleaning up an occasional "missed" poop and sometimes some early morning barking. But what I can't tolerate is eating in a restaurant with Fifi the service Chihuahua at the table next to me eating off the restaurant plates. Yech! And yes, this did happen at an Outback in California.....

Anonymous said...

I also agree the people are wrong to use internet fake papers. They should talk to a trainer. There are ways to work with the dog to correct its behavior. Takes time and effort which these people may not want to do since they are taking the "easy way" out. I've been known to tell that joke myself. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

We have an 8 lb poodle that is an "assistance dog" and she is better behaved than most children we see during our travels. Most of the time I carry her and if we go into a restaurant she is in a "dog purse" I don't feel in any way that we are harming the service animal program or the people in the program.

Anonymous said...

We have a well behaved small dog, my wife has emotional issues when in crowds of people, and our dog keeps her calmed. So we were advised to get an "ESD" (emotional support dog)vest and tag for the dog and a clip-on ID for my wife.
Emotional Support dogs are not the same as a service dog, and are not welcome in restaurants or grocery stores, but are allowed in non-food stores, and can be walked on hiking trails where dogs are not usually allowed.

Unknown said...

What assistance is that 8 lb poodle offering? I bet if you found a hair in your food you would be the first to yell but, you do not see any problem with a dog in a restaurant? I have no further comment there is to explaining the thinking or lack of that some people have.

Anonymous said...

Yes you are, a dog is still a dog, and you don't need it at the table no mater how well they behave.

Anonymous said...

These lazy people 'game' the service dog designation to avoid the pet charge in motel rooms and/or boarding fees. Hopefully, karma will someday bring them what they deserve for their deception.

Ron Lane said...

What is an "assistance" dog?

Anonymous said...

You may "feel" like you aren't playing the liar in untrained service dog , but really you are. Each untrained dog helps to bring down the real meaning of service dogs. You really know that.

Anonymous said...

I too find these fakers disgusting. And "most" assistance dog owners should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and be banned from pet ownership for life. Turn it the lying campground hosts who are abusing the system to the local PD. Otherwise you are accessory to the crime.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but you with your poodle are one of the abusers! My Opinion

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have hosted in Texas state parks for 7 years and this is a new low for a host! We have met many "hosts" who think it is "OK" to make a commitment to work in the park and then just sit back and do nothing for their "free site"! The site is not free and when used by free loaders it is stealing from the park system! These people and their "fake" papers are of the same caliper! The should be turned into the authorities!

Anonymous said...

What a load of BS. Just because you can get the paperwork doesn't make it true or right. It's clear these people don't care about anyone but themselves. Eventually that will turn on them and they'll wonder what happened. Karma. Stop undermining the important job that trained assistance dogs do.

Everett said...

I likewise find, the "Assistance, comfort or whatever else you want to call them", a complete breach of ethics. I have a true service dog of 105 lbs and a big dog is needed for me. He has been trained to be completely unnoticeable except for his good looks. He does not bark, he sits under the table in a restaurant and doesn't expect anything to eat, and is a silent partner. Please think twice before breaching this necessary program with your little pets!

Anonymous said...

Something not mentioned here but should be is the conflict that can occur when people with animals (service or not) meet people who have severe allergies to those animals. My husband and I are allergic (my husband could end up in a medical emergency if licked or bitten -- even being around some animals is enough to give him a reaction), so we're very careful about where we go. We give wide berth to animals -- even those on leashes -- and understand people love their pets and need their service animals.

However... we've left restaurants when animals have made their appearance. In CA it's legal for restaurant managers/staff to ask to see documentation for service animals. They can't ask what the service animal is for (the condition that requires it is private information) but they can verify the animal is truly necessary.

Please consider those of us with opposite afflictions when you think about taking your pets with you wherever you go -- animals help some people and can cause great harm to others.

We live in a world of delicate balance. Please don't upset that balance by trying to scam the system.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone read my post or did you just babble some words. No I don't like hair in my food not even from the cook or waitress. I said (read carefully) if we do go to a restaurant or any attraction we keep or puddle in a DOG PURSE. so most of the time people don't even know she is with us. And no we don't let her eat off our plates even in Europe( where pet are allowed in restaurants) that is unacceptable . And for those who push negative karma on me I forgive you.