Hey, someone at the Associated Press must have been reading my blog because yesterday in the Sunday paper there was an article by Sue Manning titled “Impostors Hurting Service Dog System.” So I guess the dog at that auction party in Beverly Hills a few weeks back is not the only bogus service dog out there!
According to the article, bogus service dogs with the vest or ID bought off the internet are making it difficult for people who really have disabilities because businesses are loath to let them in. A furniture store in California was reluctant to allow any service animal in since a fake service dog urinated on several expensive Indian carpets. “A true service dog becomes nearly invisible. Pets might bark, urinate, sniff, scratch and eat off the floor,” according to the article. Hmmm… sounds like the dog at the party.
This is an area of interest to me because I know a couple of people who have dogs that do or might qualify. First, a friend has the sweetest little Yorkie type dog who has been qualified by her doctor as a service dog. The dog alerts her owner when the sleep apnea mask slips off. Having her dog certified has been very helpful when she’s had to fly somewhere and can have her little dog in her carrier under the seat. It’s saved them both a lot of trauma.
On the other hand is Jean in Rio de Janeiro. She has a big old Blue Tick Hound who had a very long and unhappy flight from Washington, D.C., to Miami to Rio last year. A long time for a dog to be in a carrier in the belly of a plane. When Lois and I were visiting Jean in Rio, we were trying to figure out a better way for Prancer to travel when Jean comes back to the U.S. next year. I very much doubt that an airline would allow a 90 pound dog in the cabin for an 8-1/2 flight and for sure not with a bogus “service animal” vest. Not that Jean would try something so stupid.
One can certainly sympathize with a person who wants to save her dog the misery of a long international flight, but it’s hard to be sympathetic to people who just want to take their dog with them into a store (why?), church (really?) or a restaurant (oh, pul-eze!).
So while I admit that the crotch-sniffing fake service dog at the Phyllis Diller auction preview was amusing, Ms. Manning’s article gave me something to think about. Remember how your first grade teacher would scold, “one person who doesn’t follow the rules ruins it for everybody”? Yeah, it’s like that.
My book, “Beyond the Spotlight: On the Road with Phyllis Diller” has been nominated for the Benjamin Franklin Award (2014): Autobiography/Memoirs — the Benjamin Franklin Award is regarded as one of the highest national honors in small and independent publishing.