I figure I am a week behind on this and should probably write a second blog. Oh joy. Rapture. Given that I am not feeling overly wordy at the moment I decided to personify a bit and write something from Ajax...
I was at the store with my owner today and a little girl came running up to me to pet me. My owner told her no because I am working. The little girl got mad and the lady with the child gave my owner a dirty look and called her a name.
I wish that people had more knowledge of appropriate action regarding working animals. I mean you should never run up to a strange dog anyway or try to pet one without asking its owner first. Doing that can get you bit. But it is very hard on us working dogs when they run at us or even just talk to us when we are working.
Another example is when we are walking in the store together and people make tongue clicking noises at me or smooch sounds. That is very distracting to me even though they are not touching me.
When I am working my owner needs me for balance and support, if I get distracted she could fall. I don't have to say how bad that would be. Even people that know me and know the correct approach, still distract me when I am working. It's almost like they think since they know me and my owner its ok for them to pet and talk to me whenever they like.
We ran into one of my owner's friends at the store and he didn't ask to touch me just bent down and started patting me and talking to me. My owner had me on a balance command and when he started to pet me I tried to back up so he couldn't because I am not supposed to. Unfortunately in doing so I caused my owner to lose her balance and she almost fell down.
A good way for EVERYONE to think of it is, if you aren't holding my leash leave me be. Also, only my owner and I know when I am on a command. All it takes is a simple question, "May I pet your service animal?" That gives my owner the opportunity to say yes or no depending on weather I am on a command at that time. This, will prevent my owner from potential injury, and me from getting in trouble for succumbing to proposed lovies.
And now back to my owner for some final thoughts...
Final thoughts he says. Hmmm. Having a service dog is rewarding and challenging. I feel bad when I have to tell people they can't touch Ajax. I mean look at him everyone wants to touch him and give him treats and things. Not to mention the heinous gas if his diet is altered even a little bit. I'm not kidding here, he's rank! I mean you can even hear them from a different room sometimes. And screw ceiling fans by the way. They only perpetuate the cycle.