Freesia Ettiquette #1

2015-06-18 19.37.15 2015-06-18 19.37.08

If you love me, you’ll read this. If you don’t love me, then you’ll read this anyway so that you can become more educated.
As Ellen DeGeneres once said, a million times actually, “Be kind to one another.” Be kind, be polite, be respectful, be courteous. They all fall under the same blanket. There is something that continues to happen to not only me, but other people who own guide dogs, or any other service dog. Petting without asking. With any dog, service or otherwise, you should always ask the owner permission first.
In most cases, I don’t really know how to be completely assertive and up front with people because I fear that I will hurt their feelings. But as I write this, I would like to put the following info out there:
My dog is a working dog. When she has her harness on, it signifies that she is helping me. S ometimes it may seem like she is not doing anything, but she is still helping me. Even when I am in class, and she is laying down, and most likely sleeping by my feet, she is still working. She is remaining alert and ready for when I will again need her to guide me. When someone pets her without my permission, many things happen.
•I will most likely be unaware of you petting her.
•If I am aware of it, I will be incredibly irritated.
•She could become distracted.
•Her distraction could compromise my safety.
On the other hand, it is definitely okay to ask to pet my guide dog, or any other service dog. Depending on the situation, it is possible that I may say no. Sorry, it’s that whole pesky safety thing again. You know, the stuff that my dog is trained for. However, if we aren’t getting ready to cross a street, walking in a parking lot, or in a hurry, I will most likely say yes. I know that it is quite tempting to reach out and pet a cute dog when you see one, but just remember that, when her harness is on, Freesia’s number one priority is guiding me and keeping me as safe as possible. So I ask anyone that may come into contact with us, or any other team,  think about that before you pet without asking. Be respectful. Be kind to one another.

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