Monday, February 24, 2014

Service Dog Insanity--a faux 'crime' against a faux 'service dog'

I often comment on articles/posts/status updates in an extremely lengthy fashion, especially when I've had some proverbial food for thought.  These meandering diatribes become expansive enough to warrant their own post, and here is one such example;

the post:

long story short; a woman went to visit a patient in the hospital and bought her 'service' dog pitbull with her.  Hospital staff asked her to evacuate the dog, and did not acquiesce to her flimsy cries of service animal. 
(note; any dog can be masked as a service dog by paying a $60 fee to title it as such--no training, tests, conditioning, exams, or third party evaluation needed.  These animals are most often touted as 'emotional support dogs'...These kinds of "service dogs" are the equivalent of pulling a degree out of a Cracker Jack box. .)

my response:

how lovely that [the syndication] omits entirely what the dog's alleged purpose is. A venue can only be charged with a misdemeanor in denying access if the dog is a SPECIFIC KIND of service dog, i.e. guide dog.  Service dog =/=guide dog. There IS a difference. She's not blind, deaf, or significantly impaired physically (though mentally seems quite another story). Those are the qualifiers for unrestricted admission.

I bet you dollars to donuts this 'service dog' is nothing more than 'an emotional support dog' with no real training or purpose, just a vest slapped onto what obviously appears to be a former fighting dog (the docked ears) or a "rescue".  Pitbull fanatics brag--yes brag--about how they arbitrarily turn their companion animal into a service dog to skirt ordinances that inconvenience them. They derive great pleasure from their 'endeavor' and crow about 'beating the system'. (I think one of the recent posts on Craven Desires showcases an example of one such service-dog-joke nutter.)

Additionally, the hospital was right! The dog is yet another contagion whose purpose does not outweigh the risk. Not by a long shot. You've got the canine champion of most unpredictable, sudden, most frequent, and most brutal destruction trapped in a building with society's most vulnerable and helpless people.

The woman was not in any need of medical care. Putting her out was not harming her in any significant way. She was a VISITOR, not even family, and not a patient. Ergo, the hospital was not denying a patient critical medical care. If she's so unstable she can't handle bringing along a friend or family member to substitute as her emotional crutch for a little bit, just to see a sick friend in a controlled environment (not exactly a trying and nerve wracking ordeal), she's not really fit to be in that environ anyway.

I do not say this to denigrate, but more as an observation of mental fitness for certain environs. I say this as a person who knows what its like to have a little baggage and not feel safe outside the home without a companion close by (this phase has passed, obviously), but here's the thing: I didn't expect the world to rearrange itself according to my dysfunction.

This smacks of boredom and a persecution complex.

The hospital was right, PERIOD.

Capital Regional Medical Center of Tallahassee, if you EVER "apologize", I hope it is naught more than this; "We are sorry this woman was uncooperative and deeply distressed by our unwavering dedication to put patient safety first." I know where I'm goin' if I ever need medical care in Tallahassee.

Her demand for an apology smacks of entitlement, but I do want to note that there is an instance in which I might understand that desire... if they were inappropriately rude or excessively terse with her from the get-go about it. But that would be more about the staff's behavior than the service dog policy.

Notably, she evacuated the premises when the 'threat' of law enforcement was issued, which tells me she knew on some level she was in the wrong--otherwise, why would someone with the temerity to hit the presses over her non-incident not stand her ground and assert she is doing no wrong?

Now some might say, perhaps, that maybe she was afraid her dog would be shot (since pitbull fanatics hyper-fixate on the armed self-defense people must use against these animals). However, in such a small place (ricochet risk), with countless witnesses (discouraging 'bad behavior'), with great risk to self and others if a firearm is discharged (oxygen tanks, etc.), law enforcement would not discharge their weapon unless absolutely necessary... i.e. the dog is aggressive and threatening.

If she left for the possibility of mere police presence alone (which, if she is truly convinced she's in the right, would be the only reason to prematurely depart), that means, on some level, she knew that contentious dog behavior in that situation was high enough a possibility to warrant a scootch-away.

If her animal is truly a service dog, on par with other service dogs, it should possess the necessary congruency of temperament, documented background, and [what should be] extensive training to not be phased by a plethora of varying environments and people. If crowds, machines, different sights and smells, or even a mere stranger elicits canine hostility, the dog is definitely NOT FIT to be a service dog...

and most likely was never formally qualified by a reputable testing method in the first place. In some jurisdictions, turning your dog into a service dog is as easy as filing some papers, paying a fee, and slapping a vest on your dog.

That, in conjunction with her fixating on the dog aspect of the scenario, and not mentioning anything about the staff attitude toward her, leads me to believe this is a case of--pardon the vernacular--attention whoring, most likely eagerly exploited by the pitbull lobby as a publicity stunt to push their product.  That may sound conspiracy theory-esque, but when a single fight purse can go for tens of thousands of dollars, and this underground 'sport' nets billions of dollars, you can bet your buns there is high incentive to blind and distract the public from the dog's true purpose, so that they might be easily camouflaged in communities, thus expanding the range of the industry.

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