I have a very good friend that trains dogs, service dogs. As part of the training she will take them to the mall and other places where people tend to gather.

This is done for a few reasons; one, is so that the dog can learn to take care of its handler in any situation.

However problem is, that many people will see her dogs or any service dog for that matter and think it’s fine to approach and pet the animal.

Wrong! When you see a service dog, or any dog for that matter, it is not ok to approach or pet it. A service dog is doing a job. It is trained to care for its handler.

You have no idea why the handler needs the service dog. It could be for seizures, anxiety, P.T.S.D. or any number of reason. The service dog needs to be aware of its handler at all times.

The proper approach is to ask if it is okay to pet the dog, and let the handler address the animal before you touch. If the owner says no, then understand that there are reason for that.

For instance, one day when my friend was out training a dog; a man screamed at her, calling her rude and saying that she needed to be medicated. This is because my friend sternly said to a woman that decided to pet the dog, “Please do not pet the dog!”My friend was right and the person who called her rude was way off base, as was the person who decided to just reach down and pet the dog.

Lesson here, please respect the vest!

Until next time.

Rock on party people!