Did you know that when you see a person out in public with their service dog you should not pet them or distract them? My mom says that this is very important to know and remember. If you do try to pet me or distract me I might not know that my mom is needing my help while my attention is on you.
I know that it is really hard for you to resist petting me. My fur is so silky soft and it feels good when your fingers touch my shiny black coat. Talking to me is equally hard for you to resist doing. I am friendly and have beautiful brown eyes that would look adoringly at you. But I am doing an important job of being there to help my mom. Please help make my job easier by letting me do my work.
My mom does let me occasionally shake hands or visit with people. It is always okay to ask her if you can. But please don’t be disappointed or upset if she says no. Sometimes we are in a hurry and don’t have the extra time to stop and visit with you. Or sometimes it may be because I’m having a day of wanting to be extra friendly. Being petted will just make me want to stop and visit with everyone. My mom enjoys talking with people and loves to educate others about service dogs. Whenever possible she does take the time to stop and chat.
My mom recently had these really neat postcards made. We have them so we can give them out to kids or others who may be interested in knowing a little bit more about me. Also so people will know some of the ways they can help to make my job easier. My favorite part is the side where she put some photos of me helping her. I love for people to see some of the things I can do!
Here are the highlights from my card where I share with you how you can have a very special job, too, and help make my job easier…
- Do not pet me unless you ask if it is okay.
- Do not make distracting noises.
- Do not feed me treats or any type of food.
- Do not run towards me or jump at me.
- Do not yell or tell me to do anything.
In the area where my mom and I live we are fortunate to have people who seem to have a good understanding of how important it is to not pet me or bother me while I’m working. We often will hear a parent say to their child “that is a working dog so we can’t bother her.” Or someone else may say, “I know I’m not supposed to pet her but it is hard because she is so beautiful.” Or other similar type comments.
We do occasionally get what my mom calls “drive-by petters” who will reach out and touch me as we pass by them. There are others who will talk to me or make noises to try and get my attention. My mom uses these times as a training opportunity for me to remain fluent with keeping my attention on her and ignoring others.
Sometimes she will anticipate that someone is going to reach out to pet me. She will quickly give me my “let’s go” cue so that I remember to stay right there with her. If I do get a little distracted my mom just has to say my name. Then I remember to pay attention to her. When I do ignore them or get my attention right back on her she gives me lots of praise which I love. She sometimes will even give me a little treat!
It is good for me to practice these skills because there will always be distractions around us. I need to remember that paying attention to my mom is the most important thing for me to do. My mom and I want to make sure that we continue to be a really good team!
I hope you are enjoying my blog as much as I am enjoying telling you about me and my mom! Remember to tell your friends about me and subscribe so you don’t miss any posts.