Tag Archives: Instagram

Calling All Casper Supporters! (Ghost Stalkers?)

Along with this blog most of you know we also maintain a Facebook page and an Instagram. We use these platforms to also educate about disabilities and service dogs. We also like to post heartwarming stories about animals and kids, etc… We want to educate and entertain. I hope we are doing a good job. Part of maintaining all of this means that we encounter situations online that inspire us to do further personal education. One of these incidents happened today and I really need to share the story.

So, you all know how we feel about fake service dog, right? If not then you need to read the rest of this blog. Really… all of it. I mean, we really hate fake service dogs. Today I found a photo on Instagram that I felt I needed to comment on. It was a photo of a dog in a Target shopping cart. I did not suspect there was any fraud going on, just some ignorance about how troublesome it can be to take your pet in public.

Here is the part where I would love to share my comment and the photo of this particular dog, but I can’t. I can’t because they took so much offense to my mild concern that they blocked me from their feed. I am sure you can find it on Instagram under @thefrenchduke. Just look for the cute French bulldog in a Target cart. I will just have to share with you what I remember and not verbatim.

I commented that while I love looking at pics of Duke, he really is an adorable dog, I felt the need to point out that people should not bring their dogs into shops (except pet stores) because it can be a distraction and a danger to service dogs and their handlers. I ended saying I was sorry, but felt I needed to give a PSA on that.

I felt this need because many pet owners had already commented that they wanted to take their dog into Target now. The owner of Duke, who has her own Instagram feed under @amybriggs, commented that “no one said anything” when she brought him in. With these comments I felt it was truly a pet and I thought people should be educated. Not just the owners of Duke, but all of the followers. You see, @thefrenchduke as over 2300 followers after being featured on Huffington Post. That is where I heard of them.

Immediately @amybriggs responded that it was none of my business, but that Duke was a “registered” (we all know that they are not registered at all, but are called certified) service dog and that she would not allow my negativity on her page, etc…

I tried to respond with an apology and to explain that I did not mean harm. I was not being negative. I also mentioned that there was no evidence in any photos or the profile that Duke was a service dog so my assumption was well founded. Also, I stated that as a service dog handler I was sure she understood my concerns.

You see, at this point I was still giving her the benefit of the doubt. Then my comment would not go through. I had been blocked. I could see her comment, but could not respond. I started to question her authenticity. Why would she be so mad and block me if she was truly a service dog handler?

I tried to go back to see more comments but now I could not even see the account. That is until 2 more people responded directly to me. One was just a jerk with a rude comment. The other was @thefrenchduke. They had decided to DELETE the original response from her personal account and the restate, more politely, that Duke was a “registered” service dog.  Still, though, I could not respond.

I am not totally convinced they are lying and it is driving me mad that I cannot let them know that what they are doing is not only rude, unsafe, and ignorant, but more importantly, illegal. I am also pretty irritated that they have so so so many followers when they are violating federal laws with their dog.

If I am wrong, then I invite @thefrenchduke to prove Duke is a service dog. No, there is not paperwork to prove this, as our readers know, but a handler would know the actual laws. They would also be able to tell me what kind of service Duke provides and who trained him. And if he is a service dog, I encourage them to be proud of that. Use your popularity to increase service dog awareness! Do not hide your disability. Educate.

Readers, if you have Instagram, please help me educate this account and their followers. We have to put a stop to these fake service dogs all over the country.

Roadtrip Part Two

Hi Friends –

We’re back to share more stories of family time in Oklahoma! Mom has a big pack of humans that care for her so these stories sure could take up a lot of everyone’s time. Dad says it would be like throwing a party and pulling out one of those old slide projectors. I don’t know what that is, but he thought it was funny. He says it’s like Instagram for old people. I couldn’t imagine giving you that much detail; it would interrupt my nap schedule.

One day we hopped back in the truck and went for a ride. I asked where we were going but all Dad would tell me was, “It’ll be fun, go lay down,” I asked, “Is it Rib Crib*?” Dad said “No! It’ll be fun, go lay down” I asked again “Is it Taco Bueno*”? Dad said “No! It’ll be fun, go lay down” Mom said not to worry about it, because I don’t get people food anyway.  I do get people food when it’s on the floor and I’m quicker than Dad but Whatever! What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him (shh!).

As it turned out it the day was pretty great. We ended up at Papa Joe’s house at the lake. I know that not every Dane likes the water, but I DO! Papa Joe and Nana Mary are super nice people. Mom said Nana Mary has dog allergies but she loved me so much she didn’t mind. I tried not to get my hair all over so it was good that it was a nice day outside.  Papa Joe has cool toys. The first one I spotted was an off road golf cart; they tried to get me to go in it but I didn’t want to. It was way more fun to chase it down and cross in front of their path like we do at SDP.

After everyone had lunch we packed water toys up for a quick ride down to the lake. It was basically in Papa Joe’s back yard so the trip wasn’t long.  I didn’t waste any time and ran right in. The lake is much bigger than the pond on the farm so when the family got in I had to protect them. When they got out too far it made me nervous. I’m comfortable when everyone is close to shore and I can touch bottom. Mom and Dad got into a big float tube that was tied to a dock so I was sure they were safe. The girls really made me nervous because they looked like they were having fun but they kept screeching like something was wrong. I don’t know why, but Mom and Dad weren’t reacting. I jumped into action and tried to help them. I even swam out over my head and kind of panicked. Dad laughed when I swam to a dock float and hung on for dear life until he got there and pointed me toward shore again. I panicked so much that I tried to crawl onto an inner tube with the biggest puppy and I scratched her leg and gave her a bruise. She was really nice about it because she knew I was scared and just a baby. I really love those human puppies! Dad explained that the puppies were fine; they had life vests on and this is how they play in the lake.  That’s fine, but I don’t have to like it! Mom kept yelling at the girls to stop yelling because they were making me nervous but it never lasted long. My biggest problem was that Papa Joe kept throwing the littlest pup up in the air and that makes her screech and then hit the water with a big Sploosh! I really don’t see how they thought this was a good idea? Human’s Geesh!

After we finally got done playing in the water we went out on a big pontoon boat. This was really fun you guys. The whole family in one spot where I can safely watch over them is a plus. The bonus was when the boat would go fast. I stood up and let the wind blow my ears all around. Everyone laughed and took pictures. I don’t really like the puparazzi very much but I have to let all of my fans see me sometimes, and this was a pretty fun time. (Check out Instagram for lots of photos from the trip!)

When we got back to shore I took Dad up to change his clothes and take off my wet harness. Dad left it on me in the water for safety’s sake; I appreciate that. The girls played for a while longer and followed us up to the house. I had dinner first, and then took the family for their dinner. It was another Oklahoma place called Charlie’s Chicken. It smelled tongue-wagging good and I could tell the humans loved it. We met some nice people who told Mom and Dad stories as they said hello to me. Of course we started the visit with one of my secret service aliases, but before we left everyone was genuinely interested in our cause so Mom shared the blog and Facebook information. They understood why we use a cover and now they follow me. I really think that a brick of business cards would help, and keep Mom from writing on scraps of paper. It’s a tough job be a celebrity service dog but I really love my job and fans so much, I wouldn’t trade it for a truckload of treats!  – Stay with me and I’ll post the next chapter soon!

*Oklahoma has a lot of restaurants we don’t have in Connecticut. Mom talks about them a lot. We understand now what the big deal is!

written by DFS