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10 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Have a Service Dog

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I have Moebius syndrome and a mobility service dog. I wanted to add some levity to the current service dog discourse, so I created this humorous take on the unexpected predicaments you might experience when accompanied by a service dog. I hope people will realize that choosing to use a service dog is a complicated decision and could lead to all kinds of unexpected situations  but the rewards of the assistance my dog gives me are worth every unexpected moment!

1. You will undoubtedly have the chance to say something like, “You cannot pet my dog right now because he is peeing.” That will likely happen.

2. You might discover that “dog-friendly” is a double-edged sword — especially when you hear the barks of the purse-sized dogs reverberating through the department store after they see your dog.

3. People could think you’re an expert on things like dog training and service dog laws… and you might not have any idea how to answer their questions.

4. People will tell you their entire history with dogs. I love dogs, too (obviously!), but this always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times.

5. You might traumatize the employees at a local restaurant who have never encountered a service dog before — fun times! We did receive the fastest service ever, although I think they just wanted us out of there.

6. You will likely become even more puppy-obsessed than you already were. Because honestly, what’s the only thing cuter than a puppy? A “working” puppy in a teeny tiny vest!

7. People will know your dog’s name but might forget yours. And you won’t mind because you might do the same.

8. “Does your dog bite?” will be something you hear on a regular basis.

9. You will possibly encounter a TSA agent at the airport who is afraid of dogs and clogs up all the other lines when someone else has to be brought over to pat down your dog.

10. Most unexpected of all: these interesting predicaments won’t bother you at all. In fact, you’ll see them as opportunities to share the great things your service dog assists you with.

Follow this journey on Still Can’t Be Silent.

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Originally published: August 19, 2015
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