Don’t ask the question, if you can’t handle the answer!

I’ve just spent about an hour removing myself from a large number of Facebook groups. Almost all variations on a theme around Service Dogs.

It took that long because Facebook doesn’t seem to provide an option for doing this other than by leaving each individual group one at a time and waiting for the computer to refresh between each one!

The reason that I left these groups is that I am tired of people asking for advice and then going ballistic at the responses when they don’t like them.

Don’t ask me if it’s OK for your service dog to be off-leash, chasing toys in the school hallway while you have a spare? –  if you don’t want me to answer – NO!

Don’t ask me if it’s OK for your service dog to protect, sorry you really meant keep people away from, your autistic child and expect me not to ensure that the dog is also trained to let people help that same child in an emergency.

Don’t ask me about the rules and laws for bringing a service dog across the border between the USA and Canada and then decide for yourself that you know better. I live on the border. When I’m not sick, I cross it several times a month! I do actually know what I’m talking about.

Don’t use your disability as an excuse for your bad manners and bullying.

All service dog handlers are disabled by definition – that doesn’t make it OK for you to bitch and scream online at others.

It is not OK to describe an incredibly dangerous situation and then get mad when people warn you that you must remove the dog from public access and have the dog evaluated by an animal behaviourist before returning to public access work.

It is certainly not acceptable to rant about what you think is a ‘fake’ service dog and handler because they don’t meet your version of what’s acceptable when they are acting well within the law. Especially, when in doing so you make it clear that you’re acting outside the law yourself!

Please don’t quote the US laws in a Canadian group. It doesn’t matter how many times you say it – or how many pictures and tables you quote – it still won’t make an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) legal in Canada. We don’t have them in our legislation.

Yes, I know that some of the Canadian training organisations state that they train ESAs. That’s their choice. They’re still wrong!

I’m through with spending hours pointing people to the correct legislation and rules; to providing advice in response to their requests only to be treated like **** when they don’t like the answer.

So I’m taking my own advice and walking away.

Just not engaging anymore.

I had done so previously by turning off alerts and not responding to the vast majority of posts but in the last few days, the idiocy, stupidity and sheer sense of over-riding entitlement has overtaken me.

Yes, as a disabled person I have the right to be accompanied by my service dog. However, with that right comes responsibility.

It is my responsibility to make sure that he is fully trained, that he acts appropriately at all times, that he is house-trained and obedient at all times. Most importantly, that he is trained in performing tasks that mitigate my disabilities.

It is my responsibility to take care of both of us. We are a team.

Kai’s wellbeing matters. His health matters.

However, I still have to abide by the law.

I must still abide by the rules.

Being disabled doesn’t make those go away, and neither should it.

So please get over your sense of entitlement and expectation that the world owes you.

If you are following the law, and you are discriminated against I will fight for you with my last breath (Ironic in my current circumstances).

However, when you are acting outside the law; when you are not being respectful to others as human beings; when you are treating your dog as a pet and complaining that you’re having public access issues; when you are doing stupid and dangerous things…. AND  you ask my advice… then I will give it to you.

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However, before you ask the question, be sure that you can handle the answer!

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