What do you do when you meet a service dog? Nothing. Nada. Not anything. Don’t talk to her. Don’t touch her. And do not, I repeat, do not stand there staring at her.
In addition, do not ask her partner what she has. Do not ask what the dog does for her. Do not stare at her eyes to see if she’s blind. Do not talk about the person and the dog in their presence as if they weren’t there unless they can’t hear you, in which case the dog’s cape will say HEARING DOG. In fact, don’t do it anyway because even if that person can’t hear you, everyone else will and it’s just plain rude.
Do not whistle to the dog, snap your fingers, cluck your tongue. Do not fall upon the dog as if she’s a sizzling steak and you haven’t eaten in years. Do not yell at the person or act snarky if you are asked not to touch the dog. If you really really love dogs so much that you can’t keep your hands off a working dog, go to the shelter and adopt a homeless dog in dire need of a loving home, and pet that dog.
Do not make people angry who have enough problems already, which is why they need a service dog, especially if they write a blog.
Do not, do not, do not presume to know why the person you see with a service dog needs a service dog. Do not guess some wrong stupid reason why the person has a working dog. Many legitimate service dogs do work you cannot discern for disabilities you cannot see.
And, finally, unless I need to keep on ranting, do not pretend your dog is a service dog so that you can have him in the plane with you because you stand a good chance of screwing things up for people who cannot get by without help from their legal service dogs. And you will go straight to Hell in a hand basket, whatever that is.
Thanks for listening. Over and out.