I know I’m about to APPEAR
insensitive, but here me out first, I think I have a valid point.
So we have all heard of seeing Eye Dogs, and know the benefits they bring. I wonder if we are all aware of Hearing Ear Dogs?
Here is What I found out about hearing ear dogs:
For a person who is hearing impaired, the feeling of vulnerability and isolation can be overwhelming. A Hearing Dog is a dedicated assistant to such people — He will alert his master to important sounds, such as the sounds of a baby’s cry, the telephone ringing, a knock at the door, an alarm clock, a kettle whistle, in addition to such danger signals as the sound of a smoke alarm, burglar alarm, or even the rustling of a prowler, by leading the owner. (ok say maybe not in the case of the prowler, but you get the idea.) These dogs provide a sense of security, independence, and of course companionship to their human partners. They proudly wear their working vests and enjoy the same public access rights as Guide Dogs for the blind.
So in understanding that, do you think the dog is required for going to get a pizza or go to the gym?
This is where my problem lies.
I am aware of, and have witnessed the use of, such a dog while ordering a pizza and going to the gym. This person has been deaf for much longer than he has had a dog. He drives and ordered his pizzas perfectly well before he had the dog. But let me explain a bit more. When ordering the pizza, the dog sits on the floor. While the pizza is cooking the dog sits on the floor. When the pizza is ready and it is brought to the counter, the owner can see, and the dog sits on the floor. While the owner eats, the dog sits on the floor. The only time the dog moves, is when it’s time to leave. So what is the common denominator here?
The dog sits on the floor.
This has happened on MANY occasions, each result being the same. As for the gym, a friend of mine saw him in the gym with the dog. The dog laid on the floor, and actually sniffed at my friend. The owner has a special trainer that knows sign language. So unless the dog is spotting him while he does lifts or presses, what is the purpose? The trainer can alert of any danger.
What I’m getting at here is, where do you draw the line between being useful, and abusing a law. Yes the dog has the same rights as Seeing Eye dogs, and justly so, but situations should dictate, in at least some regard, if the presence of the dog is appropriate. There should be a need for the dog to be there.
Many people simply say nothing, as they do not want to offend the owner, or start anything that may be obscurely viewed as discriminatory.
This is really a smaller issue of a larger matter of handicaps being exploited because they can be. I could get into other things, but that is for another day.