Dane Discrimination

When we brought Casper home Dan and I both had a vague idea of how different our lives would be and we knew some of it would be more difficult. We had no idea how much would change really but we wouldn’t give up even the hard parts if it meant no Casper. We love him like a child. And we defend him like a parent would.

You guys know how I get all Momma Bear about my pups. I guess I should start saying Momma Dog?


The thing that really bother us is how people can say just offensive things about them. They range from things that seem innocent but if you said it about a person would be rude to down right jaw-dropping rude. I won’t be surprised if one day someone asks how much Casper weigh and Dan responds with “How much do YOU weigh?” That is one of the tame ones.

People actually ask us all the time if he bites. It upsets us and also makes that person look like an idiot. Why would a dog who bites he allowed to be a service dog? And we have the stares too. Most are of amusement or awe but some are actually in disgust. People cross the street or step out of elevator when he enters.

And there is the fact that people judge him on his size, not his age. Even when he is not on duty people assume he shouldn’t be playful. When we are out he is prone to try to sneak a kiss on kids who walk by (we are working on this). Most people think its cute but others are not happy about it. He is a big puppy. Give him a break.

The biggest reason I am writing this though, is because these judgments mean that he can’t do his job right. You all know about the incident where a smaller dog barked and Casper was accused of being vicious and kicked out of a store. That hurt us deeply.

Now, we are facing another false accusation about him. I don’t want to give too much detail about it since it is a place were many people we love go often as well and we don’t want to defame it. However, here it the long and short of it. A child, one who often is misbehaving there, ran past Casper and made him pull Dan. It was fine. Dan got it under control. Later my kids told me this same boy was shining a laser pointer in Casper’s eye. This is were Momma Dog came out. I calmly talked to the mother about it and asked that she stress to her son how important it is not to distract a working dog and how dangerous laser pointers were. Then I was told Casper had “nipped” the boy. Nope. Didn’t happen. I matter of factly explained that Casper not only doesn’t do that, but even if it happened. Dan would have seen it.

Now we have been asked to come in and discuss an “incident.” Dan and I are livid about this. We wrote a detailed email about everything that happened and how there is no way this could have taken place and still we are asked to come in and talk.

So here we go with the burden of proof being on us, as the owners of a large and misunderstood breed. Ridiculous. Our schedules now have to be rearranged so that we can take care of this.

Meanwhile, what bothers me the most is that this boy is learning a lesson here. He is learning that a little fib can turn into something big. And that he is not responsible for that at all. He is also learning that he is more valued in society than a person with a disability. This makes my stomach turn, but even worse is that the adults involved don’t even see this.

We stand by our big sweet Dane though anything. Even lies. He is more valuable to us than any place is and if he can’t go back then we say goodbye.

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22 thoughts on “Dane Discrimination

  1. Cheryl January 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm Reply

    As a retired teacher my first thought was, “I wonder what that boy’s teachers think of him (and his parents).” The teachers would of course not be able to say anything, but I have a good idea of what their opinion must be of this particular family. Also, is it legal for a child to have a laser pointer? This is just the beginning for this boy’s parents. They have a long road ahead of them if they can’t get a grip on the lying – from the sister, too. I am very sorry that this has happened to you.

  2. DebiAnn December 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Remember the day when kids were taught to “be seen and not heard”! Kids are not taught respect today, and given too much respect that hasn’t been earned. Hope it all goes well. However, I didn’t know it was considered rude to ask how much a dog weighs, I think it’s very interesting, because of the size of a Dane……and I weigh 118 lbs! Go a little lighter on people, too, we are human, you know!

    • casperthedane December 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm Reply

      No, it’s not exactly rude to ask how much a dog weighs. We just find it really funny how people can ask things about dogs you would never ask a person. Also, it is asked so often it gets annoying.

  3. Carol T. December 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm Reply

    All I can say is that this is insane. Sorry this is happening to you

  4. Laura Fahey Hron December 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm Reply

    I understand completely about people not knowing what to do when they see a dane. I can’t tell you how many times people have crossed the street to get away from Tinkerbell when I am out walking her when in reality if they were ever confronted by her the worst thing that would happen is she would lick them. I have never understood how parents can have no control over their children and yet the complaint is usually against the person who has complete control over the dog. I am so sorry that you have to go through this but know that the truth will win out but if they have any questions regarding the general behavior of Danes, I’m pretty darn sure we can amass a pretty impressive group. We are behind you and Dan and Casper.

  5. Melanie December 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm Reply

    We went through this about a week ago with Lola. We were in Marshall’s and a 3-4 year old little girl came running, squealing and waving her arms right up to Lola. Lola backed up a step and we asked her not to touch the dog. Her mother actually got upset and said “if you can’t pet it why is it in here”. I looked around and said she’s a service dog. The woman had no idea what I was saying “what’s a service dog?”…….REALLY?!?!

    Stay strong and just hope this is a good learning lesson. That’s how we have to look at things, otherwise it makes you crazy!! Xoxo to you all!

  6. Diane Stern December 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm Reply

    So very sorry for the stupidity of the parents. My daughter who has been teaching 6th grade for 14 years complains daily about parents who do not see what is happening around them & I agree. Hope all goes well.

  7. Linda Craig December 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm Reply

    Having been in the classroom for thirty plus years, I concur with your assessment of today’s parents. Some parents refuse to step up to the plate and deal with what actually happened but, instead choose to transfer the blame to someone else. What should have been a good learning experience for this child, turned out to be an unfortunate situation for you, Dan, and Casper. I am sorry you have to deal with these kinds of people. Stick to your guns , hold firm in your opinions. Keep doing what you are doing with Casper and your human puppies. You are great parents and responsible dog owners. Go Mama Dog go! 🙂

  8. nhteach December 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm Reply

    Dear Laurie and Dan,
    So sorry you and Casper have to go through all of this. If I could count the number of parents I had to meet with over the years to report some sort of misbehavior, only to be met with the ‘my child would never do that’ conversation… well, I can’t count that high. It is truly sad. Those children do grow up and a great many of them go on to keep misbehaving or doing themselves harm. The main part of being a parent is the discipline. Somewhere we have lost the idea that ‘to discipline’ is equal with ‘to love’. Tell what happened. Stick to your story. Ask questions of the parent – who was WITH the child the entire time? Why did the child have possession of a laser?, etc. It is always telling – the truth doesn’t waver. Liars vacillate.

    (And ultimately, karma is truly a ‘beeyatch’!)

    Hugs to you and Dan and a special noggin-kiss for our Casper!

  9. Renee December 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm Reply

    Oh I am so sorry you have to go through this. Casper is such a love. I had flashbacks when I read your post. My husband was a high school teacher for 25 years. He had to take away a student’s cell phone when she refused to put it away as per school rules and then she made a false report about abuse. They didn’t even listen to his side. The truth came out eventually as my husband kept good records. We went through hell. As you said, it teaches kids the wrong way to solve problems and accept responsibility for their actions. My husband and I both got out of public education. I hope you all can have a good resolution on this but I know it will make you look at the people and place differently. Hang in there!

  10. Nancy Nyberg-Pennel December 28, 2013 at 11:21 am Reply

    I am deeply sorry that you have to go through this. In todays society, many children are not taught manners and the parent have no control over them. Like my child wouldn’t lie or misbehave scenario. It is disappointing that this continues to happen to you because you have a Dane. For the Danes that are not service dogs, I keep a close eye on mine due to the fact that kids will be kids and dogs will be dogs and sometime the two don’t match but I would rather be safe than sorry. Big dogs have a bad reputation sometimes and for no other reason because they are big and people “assume” big dogs means dangerous dogs. We all know that Danes are very lovable and if they are a service dog they are well trained and work for their person. Go Momma and stand behind Casper and Dan with all your might. Remember never ever mess with Momma. Best of Luck and keep us updated as much as you.

  11. Hilda December 28, 2013 at 11:18 am Reply

    I hope this doesn’t mean that poor Casper has to be quarantined for a week or so for a rabies check. Casper, as all SDP dogs, is the sweetest dog I know. This “kid” needs to be evaluated; Laser light beams should be banned, especially to kids. I recall when one was used at an aircraft in the sky, and the police knew exactly where to find it. These “toys” are dangerous!! Some kids need attention, even if it’s in a bad way to get it. Could be this kid was jealous of Casper, who knows? We’re here for you Casper; so sorry you have to all go through this. Please keep us posted on the outcome. Good luck. Love you, Casper, my boy…..<3

    • casperthedane December 28, 2013 at 11:38 am Reply

      Casper has shot records so nothing like that would happen.
      I also want to make sure we do not vilify the child. Kids will be kids. The problem is when a parent does not take action to correct the child’s bad behavior.

  12. Barbara Katherine Lee December 28, 2013 at 10:41 am Reply

    So sorry. Ridiculous. Deep breath, calmly, tell them no way Casper nipped. Boy& parents making excuses for something that only should have bee handled as an important lesson to the boy. 😩 I’m a Dr. Who fan also. I found the departing show very confusing. 😢 I will miss River Song just as much as Matt & Amy… HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Barbara Lee

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. Nancy H December 28, 2013 at 10:31 am Reply

    Hang tough – there are many of us on your side!

  14. Mary December 28, 2013 at 10:26 am Reply

    Pointing a laser light at Casper’s eyes, or anyone’s eyes, sounds terribly dangerous. I wonder why a child, in a public area, is allowed to even have this in his hand? What is happening to our society? I hope a fair conclusion is reached at the meeting.

    Please give Casper a big hug for me.

    • casperthedane December 28, 2013 at 10:48 am Reply

      As a parent I would have immediately confiscated that pointer!!!

  15. Sharon kbtz-AZ December 28, 2013 at 10:00 am Reply

    Go get ’em Mama Dog! Our society as a whole is deteriorating where we are losing too many of our freedoms. And why is the burden of proof always on the innocent. Hang in there and if you need Casper’s loyal followers to begin an envelope/e-mail campaign, just say the word. Bratty kid or well behaved service dog…..hmmmm….no contest. The parents obviously need education on rearing a well behaved, well educated, future contributing member of society.
    Hugs to all

  16. Nicole M Pelletier December 28, 2013 at 9:50 am Reply

    and those children of today (liars and those who misbehave) are the leaders of tomorrow (shivers)

  17. bobbity212 December 28, 2013 at 9:45 am Reply

    I am very distressed to hear this. May I ask, whom do you have to go talk to? The only agency I can think of (if it’s not the establishment where it occurred) is the police. If someone has truly taken it that far, the only word coming to my mind is despicable. I hope for all of your sakes it can be sorted out amicably and with no repercussions to Casper. Best of luck to you.

    • casperthedane December 28, 2013 at 11:06 am Reply

      In this case there is not a lot we can do. I can’t really say more since I don’t want to give anything away about where we were and who this was. It is a sad thing, but it is what it is. There are people out there who think their child can do no wrong. We have total love and admiration for out kids but we also know they are flawed (like all of us) and it is our job to help them be a better self. Too many parents don’t see things the same way.

      • lufree54 January 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

        So, so well put! I agree 100% and that’s the way my children were raised and my daughter is raising her daughter. Your perspective is why Casper is so lucky to have you as his parents!

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