Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Human

I am a service animal. My human is who I am loyal to. Please do not make fun of him because he is disabled. He is trying to make the most of what he’s got. I am the only one who can understand him. I go with him everywhere, even to the hospitals. As long as I behave, I can stay at the bedside.

I am his seeing eye dog. He can see shapes with his right eye. He lost his left eye several years ago in Afghanistan. As he walks by my side, he feels for the tug of my leash to warn him of danger in the path ahead. He responds to my subtle moves. Step to the left, step to the right. When I stop, he stops. After four years together, he trusts me. I once saved us both when I warned him of a car who whizzed by without regard to the blind man and his dog.

Yesterday, my human had to go to the hospital. The security officer tried to block me from coming into the emergency department and wanted me chained to a corner. I did not growl at him, but I was tempted to. It's good that the nurse came right on time to lecture the security officer of my human's rights.

I guess the officer was just too eager. There are a few people who try to pass off their pets as service animal. If the dog is just for emotional support, that is not enough to qualify as a service dog. My human told me of Mrs. Harris, our next-door neighbor, who tried to smuggle Rosita into the hospital. That chihuahua could not stay quiet at all. She even tried to bite the nurse. Ahem, then there is Senor Diaz, his pet ferret is not a service animal even though he claims he need Chester for emotional support.

My human suffers from what he calls PTSD. When there are these loud things in the distance that he calls “damn fireworks”, he cowers in the corner, just like me. We hold each other, and I try to calm myself so that he can stop shaking.

My human said that the American with Disabilities Act protects his rights as a disabled person. The public cannot discriminate against a person with a disability. He said that nobody can demand proof that I am a service dog especially since it’s obvious that he is disabled. I don’t have to have a license or a certificate. Sometimes, I wear my special vest except during the hot summer months.

When my human meets up with his old friends from his old platoon, that is when I also bond with the other service dogs. One German shepherd barks when his human’s blood sugar is getting low. A golden Labrador warns his human before he gets a seizure. I am a beagle and I am the most experienced dog in my group.

Oh, have you heard that miniature horses can also serve as service animals? I would love to meet one someday.

ADDENDUM: 2/7/18
An artist was prevented from boarding a United Airlines flight with her "emotional support" animal. Not a dog or a miniature pony as allowed by the American Disabilities Act. She tried to bring a PEACOCK on the plane. Really?