Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Don't Pet Service Dogs

A ton of people don't know this, including me until I saw stuff about it on Tumblr, but you should never pet or do anything to distract service dogs.

Here's a story for you:

While Flynn was distracted from the petting, Hailey had a seizure. “I am used to him giving me 10 minute warnings, so when he alerted that’s what I thought I had,” explained Hailey. “Out of nowhere I remember the world going black. I woke up with Flynn on top of my legs and my father cradling my head. On the whole left side of my face there was a terrible sting that made me tear up.”

Service dogs have a job to do, but they're not people. They get easily distracted by people who call to them, make eye contact with them, point and wave to them, and especially by people who come up to them and pet them. There's a reason why their little vests often come with big STOP signs on them.

Hailey's dog can sense her seizures coming before they hit somehow and is trained to alert her as soon as he senses them. But if he's distracted, he fails to alert her in the usual time, and Hailey doesn't prepare in time, and she wakes up with a big rug burn on her forehead or worse.

The Internet is for spreading information, so do it!

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