Monday, February 18, 2013

Interesting Spin

               This weekend I went to Costco to do some shopping. I like that they have my new favorite gluten free Lara bars their at a great price and I was almost out. They also have numerous other things I love their as well. Duchess does not mind shopping their I think in part because the aisle are so much wider than the grocery stores. Less people almost running her over with a cart. So I was browsing and I was approached by a man. He comes up by saying it is such a wonderful thing for all of us who get to see and pet your service dog. I said actually I appreciate you liking her presence but she is unable to be pet by the general public. He looks at me and says why I am not allowed to pet her? I told him that most service dogs can lose focus or stop working if they are pet too frequently by the general public. They will start to crave the attention and lose sight of their actual job. Duchess had a three week period where her alerting was compromised during my couple weeks of college. I was telling everyone to please not pet her but they kept on regardless of what I had to say. I know the college did step in once I told them of the issue and put out an announcement to all students to not pet service animals on campus. Thankfully that helped and I was able to get Duchess back on track. It took a great deal of work to get her back to focusing on her job but after that she was great. Duchess in my opinion has an on and off switch and being pet by the general public turns her off.

                   I am completely okay with her not being pet by the general public if that what it takes to keep her focused. I know quite a few Diabetic alert dogs who can be pet and keep on going but Duchess is not one of those dogs. I love who she is and know that is one of those things their is not flexibility on. Each service dog is so different in what they can handle. The good part of the interaction with the man was positive even though he was disappointed he could not pet her. He told me having her in the store is like therapy for everyone else. Which I know is great just as long as they don't pet.

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