I’ve noticed a growing trend and just had to check it out. And yep, my research shows, dog cheats are on the rise.
What’s a dog cheat? I’m so glad you asked.
A dog cheat is… wait don’t google that one, I made that phrase up. A dog cheat is someone who buys a service dog “license” and vest on the internet (for about $180 bucks) so that they can take their dog anywhere with them (flights, stores…). These fake service dogs are giving the real service dogs a bad name.
Not to discriminate against dogs, the service dog designation is now being stretched to other animals. Believe me, you don’t want some of these critters sitting next to you.
The other trend is to designate pets as emotional support animals. These pets (not just dogs) are afforded much the same treatment. The big problem with fake service dogs and emotional support pets are that they have no training. And you are seeing them more and more. Excuse me ma’am, my 100 pound hound dog needs to squeeze into my middle seat with me. Say what. You used to just have to worry about the person next to you taking up half your seat and smelling, now it might be that pot bellied pig!
My neighbor’s son was injured in a fence accident this Spring (pretty sure there was beer involved). He lives on campus in the dorms. They introduced me to his new dog, an emotional support dog, to help him heal faster. Hmmm. Cute dog but 1) it’s a puppy. And a German Shepard puppy so he’s gonna be even bigger soon; 2) what does his roommate think?; and 3) does this really seem like a good idea? All I can say is, the new dog has seemed to now join the owner’s other three dogs pretty much all the time. Of course, it’s Summer so we will see what happens this Fall.
Along the service line angle, I was at an airport recently and spotted one of these dogs. He was big and friendly, as exhibited by everyone I saw petting and playing with him. He came with his own red ball in his mouth to facilitate you playing with him. Or perhaps that was this support dog’s, support aide. Where does it stop?
You would think people would self regulate on this issue, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. I expect we will see more regulation at some point but as the saying goes, I’m not sure you can regulate stupidity.
Meanwhile, this animal lover remains appalled at the growing abuses that I am witnessing more and more as I travel. Now that I mention it, you are going to start to see it too.
Now you can google it, this will get you started: