Earlier this year, I got a new service dog vest. At the time, the organization didn’t have the patches my mom wanted. So we’ve been waiting. And we were happy when the patches arrived earlier this week.
They changed the style and color of the patches a little bit. So they are different than what my mom was expecting. Although they will serve the purpose she wants. Since they still have the wording on them that she wanted.
The patches she added to my vest say, SERVICE DOG and PLEASE DON’T PET I’M WORKING. On my old vest, I didn’t need the SERVICE DOG patch. Only the one about not petting me.
This is because the organization’s old logo seemed to be more explanatory that I was a service dog. Although with my mom in the power wheelchair, it seems quite evident that I am a service dog for her.
SERVICE DOG and DO NOT PET I’M WORKING patches!
My mom says we are very fortunate to have a well-educated community of people in regards to service dogs. And their knowledge of service dog etiquette. At least, that has been our experience.
We often hear people say that they know they aren’t supposed to pet me, even though they would love to. And they know not to distract me or feed me. They even know they shouldn’t talk to me.
But my mom likes to have the DO NOT PET ME I’M WORKING patch on my vest. Since we do encounter people who aren’t sure. Or don’t know. Sometimes they read the patch. And other times they will ask if they can pet me before noticing the patch.
My mom always explains that it is better for them to not pet me while I’m working. This is because I must stay focused on my mom. Even though she knows they would love to touch my soft plush fur!
If we have time, she will sometimes let them shake hands with me. Which I love! And answer any questions they may have about me. And tell them about the many tasks I do that give her more independence.
The wrap on my front strap!
I also have another new addition. It is a wrap that goes on the front strap of my vest. And is embroidered with the logo and name, along with the website address.
My mom and I haven’t decided yet whether we like this or not. For my mom, she has to keep adjusting it because it is sliding toward one side or the other. And for me, it makes my vest fit a little snugger. But we will give it some time to see how we do.
Since I’ve had my current vest for several months, my mom had already replaced the buckle. So she didn’t have to do that again since we were just adding patches. But she wanted me to mention the buckle we use. Just in case I have new readers who may find the info helpful.
With my mom’s limited use of her hands and reduced strength, she is not able to use the more traditional type of plastic buckles. Instead, she replaces the plastic buckle with a magnetic one that is easier for her to use.
The magnetic buckle!
Using this buckle makes it possible for her to dress and undress me independently. Otherwise, she would need help from my dad or another person to buckle and unbuckle my vest every time I wore it. So she is grateful that she can use the magnetic buckle. Since you all know how independent my mom likes to be!
My mom often tells me how handsome I look when I am dressed in my working gear. But she also tells me that what makes me an exceptional service dog are the endless tasks I do that give her so much independence. And the joy I bring her every day, no matter what I am wearing!
They look great! We will check into that magnetic buckle. We tried a Velcro vest this time, but it often pulls apart when we don’t want it to. Love from Maddie, Beth, and JJ
Hi Beth, Maddie, and JJ,
The magnetic buckles have been a game changer for me! The brand I use is Fidlock. If you have any questions send me a message. Velcro is great for many things but I was hesitant to try the Velcro vest. I’m grateful that I found a workable solution without having to use Velcro.
Sending love, hugs, and wags,
Brenda and Clint