We took my grandma out for dinner a few weeks ago to an extremely clean, very sneeze proof buffet (which is the only kind I will even consider eating at). Everything was going along smashingly until my sweet grandma turned to me and said “Do you think that’s a service dog?” Across the restaurant, placing its paws on a previously disinfected table, was a small breed white dog with no collar and absolutely no tell-tell signs of being a service dog. I gagged a little thinking about these dog owners dragging a handful of rogue dog hair back to the salad bar and having it drift into the ranch dressing while their loving little poodle made a tootsie roll on the table. I wanted to scream “Take your fucking pet home and stop ruining it for real service animals, jackass.” Instead I just glared in their general direction, covered my entire body in hand sanitizer, and sprinted out the front door.
Before we all have a come apart about my insensitivity towards animals and especially service animals, let me calm your tits with this little tidbit of info…I love animals and my family and I raised service animals for many years. Guide Dogs For The Blind allowed us to take their puppies for the first year of their training in order to get them acclimated to living with a family, learning basic commands, and being socialized in public places. While training our service dogs in public places, they were required to wear a vest that clearly stated their purpose. The first time my brother and I were in charge of taking our yellow lab on a grocery store adventure, we both began bawling in the parking lot at the thought of our little puppy dropping a load in the bread aisle.
“Please don’t make us take him in there. He’s going to poop and then everyone at school will see us cleaning up poop in the grocery store and we will never be able to show our face in public again.” The teenage drama was thick, but we all survived that trip and many others with our service pups.
We not only took our dogs to grocery stores, but to restaurants, schools and many other public places. It was cool and not weird because they were actually service animals and not someone’s sweet little Bichon Frise wearing a ruby encrusted collar and licking the salt shaker at a fast food restaurant. The truth is…your dog doesn’t need a latte or a buffet salad and if they aren’t a service animal, they need to stay home.
Working at a coffee shop has opened my eyes to how entitled people feel when it comes to their pets and frankly…it’s disgusting. Last week we had to ask a customer to please take her pet outside after finding out it was not a service animal. We kindly asked her to take her four legged friend outside and she rudely stomped out the door yelling “You need to calm down.” Yes, we are the one’s who need to calm down. Another time, a woman placed her small dog on top of the condiment bar where patrons are meant to add sugar and cream to their coffee. Her sweet little Boo Boo began rubbing his shaved rectum all over the counter while she checked her phone and opened a straw. That’s not service dog behavior, that’s fucking disgusting. And that is terrible pet owner behavior. I don’t take my kids to Target and let them wipe their bare asses on all the two liter bottles of soda while I completely ignore them and scroll Facebook. (Or do I? No…I usually don’t). Unless your pet is a service animal, having been trained on how to act in public, they don’t need to go inside every fucking business establishment you frequent on your Saturday afternoon errands. That is what drive through windows and dog sitters are for.
You love your pet, I’m compassionate to that. I love your pet, too. Especially when Mr. Tickles isn’t rubbing his ass on my condiment bar or sniffing for a place to poop atop a table in the only buffet restaurant I can eat at. Or used to be able to eat at.