Letter to the Editor, “‘Service Animals’ Should Have Boundaries”

I am going out of my typical, tell you about my 48 states 44 national park’s trip with Indiana, to answer this persons question about service animals.  Now this is a letter taken from Bradenton Hearld’s website from a man called H. Burmeister Parrish.  This is what he had to say about service animals.


Indiana’s Final Thoughts
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11 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor, “‘Service Animals’ Should Have Boundaries”

  1. Took the words right out of my mouth love this!

  2. Very well said! I would only add that a small dog, such as a chihuahua, could be a service dog if it is trained to alert a diabetic to blood sugar changes, or a person with epilepsy that they are about to have a seizure and need to get to safety. In the case of those small dogs, they could be carried or travel in a pouch on the handler. But as you pointed out very well, they must be trained to behave in public and stay focused on the handler to mitigate symptoms of a disability.

  3. So many issues near and dear to my heart. I am a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the blind, and I’ll admit that it’s harder and harder to train our pups when there are dogs everywhere we go, specifically malls, grocery stores, and restaurants where we expect our dogs to behave and focus. The Bottom line for me is that if we run into a dog while working, whether they are a service dog or not, if the handler can’t control the dog, then it becomes very detrimental to our training, and to service dog handlers that need their dog to be focused. As you said in your post, every dog has a bad day – they are living, breathing, creatures,and it’s up to the handler to make good choices when working their dogs.

    1. Yes that’s another huge thing! Service dogs shouldn’t be distracted or aggressive towards other service dogs! This is where socializing and aggressive training is really important. I mean sometimes I will have Indiana meet the other service dog but that’s only if the other owner is ok with that. Otherwise it’s just walk past them like they don’t exist because they are working and Indiana is working. But regardless of that situation the dog should be controlled for whatever the situation may be.

  4. Interesting! All the service dogs I’ve seen out and about have been impeccably trained. I wonder if this guy was indeed seeing fakes, or confusing regular pet dogs for service dogs. many restaurants I go to allow pet dogs.

    1. I feel as though he’s overreacting just a bit but I have seen quite a few fake service dogs. Also restaurants will normally let dogs on outside patios but not in the restaurant because it’s a health code violation unless it’s a service dog.

  5. I like the use of the word “dragged”. He makes it sound like the service dogs don’t like where they are going. This is a great post and very informative. I like your point of view. I read your post about the differences in the service and emotional support dogs. That is a very informative post. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I find that after having my service dog for 4 years it was time to start informing people and hand them a business card rather than explain everything lol I also think this guy might be over reacting to an extent as well because I don’t think I’ve even run into that many fake service dogs in 4 years.

  6. Im from the u.k and we have service dogs but emotional support dogs arent
    Recognized here, Saying that i have never seen a service dog misbehave, there are high Standards for these dogs amd they are amazing animals with more restraint than most other dogs! (Even some humans 😂)

    1. When I went to Canada they don’t recognize emotional support dogs either and they had the right to see your paperwork from a training program proving your dog is a service dog. I’m so glad my dog went though a program that gave me paperwork because I wasn’t even sure that was the law there! In 4 years since I’ve had Indiana I’ve truly learned a lot about service dogs.

  7. Really very helpful information. Thanks for sharing.

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