I decided to buy “credentials” for the Girl as a service animal and needed an image for her badge. Plus, Wednesday was National Dog Day (so named to coincide with the dog days of summer?) and I wanted to post her image in celebration thereof.
So, I asked her to pose for me and she obliged. The shot was executed with the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fuji’s excellent 35mm f/1.4 prime. She was in a good mood and so was I, so it was an easy shoot.
I think Daughter and I are driving to Lancaster this morning for a bit of shopping and to take care of a couple of errands. Then there will be football practice and scrimmage tonight, but I think I’ll stay at the house (perhaps with Younger Grandson) and either hang with him or finish a couple of tasks that remain on my list (for far too long).
My time here is good. It’s good to spend time with this part of my family. Yeah, I’m watching too much television. Yeah, I’m not writing enough, reading enough, or working on my craft enough. I think that is part of what this time is about and I will pick up those threads again when I depart and head west later this year.
There is no official certification for service dogs. There are several companies that provide (that is, sell) badges. The only reason I elected to buy a badge is for those people who do not know the law. If my dog provides a service that I need in order to live normally (and meets the criteria in the law), and she is trained to provide that service, and she is trained to behave in public, then she is a service animal. She does all these things.
The problem is that arrogant people have learned that they can take advantage of the law to take pets into public places. Fake service dogs are usually readily identifiable. They are poorly behaved because most handlers never really train their pets. They make it more difficult for folks who have genuine service animals because of the increased scrutiny that comes from bad experience (from fake service dogs).
Although the Girl is still in her “In Training” tags, she is ready for graduation. She does what I need her to do and behaves herself in public. She is not perfect but perfection is not required. We continue to work, which is good for both of us.
As we travel, I’ve collected a number of experiences. Most businesses don’t hassle us. I am sometimes asked if she is a service dog. I sometimes get a skeptical eye. One person asked me about her and then said “You don’t look like you need a service dog.” I was not prepared for that comment, but the answer is that “It’s not always apparent and that is not an appropriate comment or question.”
The best times are when we finish our business and someone says “I didn’t even know there was a dog!” That means she’s doing her job of blending in quietly and providing me with the service that I need. That’s actually happening quite a lot and I’m proud of the Girl for being so good.
Finally, to take one last tangent in this rumination, I’m really proud of my Little Girl. She is genuinely good, loving, and a great mom. She handles herself with aplomb and grace, but is not naive. I’m blessed to call her Daughter.