Tag Archives: service dog vest

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.

New Things all the Time

Hi Friends –

Today is a strange day, usually on a weekend we’re on the move but today I’m taking it easy while Dad does some chores around the house and Mom is working hard on her Etsy store and getting some assignments completed for school so I thought I’d write to you.

I have a couple of topics today, so lets get work out of the way first. I’ve been working with Dad more this week on the stairs at his office. It’s something that we both know we needed to get done but something we’ve put off making a real focus on until now. I guess sometimes the elevator seems easier and the easy way out is alright. We do work on the 14th floor after all. The way it seems to work out best is when we work the two elevator banks to our advantage, so here’s how I like to do it. The first bank that gets comes up from the ground floor only goes to the 13th floor, so rather than taking it up one floor and switching over to the one that does 14-22, we take it to the 13th floor and walk up the single flight. We do the same thing on the way down. So if we do that 2-3 times a day for potty breaks it’s a good way to work in some training. (There are times, like when Dad has coffee in his hand, we take elevators all the way for safety.) The stairs actually work to save time too. I can get Dad up or down a flight faster than waiting for a car to take us. Dad’s really been happy with my progress this week. I’m in much less of a hurry than I’ve been in the past and we work much better together when making those small adjustments like a single step forward or back. Dad told me his goal is to be able to use me to brace instead of a hand rail. I think I’m up for that challenge as long as we take it slow.

Let’s get on to what’s been happening at home, other than chores I mean. The basement monsters have mounted a total invasion. Lucy has been getting lap-sits from Dad EVERY night. She always yells at me to get away from her when all I want to do is be friends. I have even tried ignoring her but if I get too close she flips out those short razors and takes a swipe at my nose. I do get is some good sniffs when she’s asleep though. I asked Winkie (the Maine coon who is starting to be friendly) what I’ve been doing wrong and he insists that this is just the way Lucy is and I just have to be patient and she’ll at least allow us to coexist without getting my snout scratched up. I really look forward to that day.

The other great thing that I’ve gotten away with a couple times now is that I’ve been able to lay on Mom and Dad’s bed. Dad doesn’t like it but I only do it when Mom invites me so he really can’t get mad at me. He really has a hard time being upset with either of us so we can get away just about anything. The other day, invited of course, I got to cuddle with Mom and be the little spoon. I’m kinda glad the puparazzi didn’t get a picture. Who knows if some day it could be used against me by the secret service dog agency or something? I really like cuddle time with Mom; she tells me what a good boy I am and I know she really loves me.

Dad doesn’t really like me up on the human bed so Mom invites me up when he is not in the room. I love being the little spoon and getting Mom’s hugs. When Dad comes in I try to pretend I don’t notice him, but usually he doesn’t fall for it and tell  me to get off. I always am a good boy and do what he says. (I love getting to use his pillow too!!! It smells just like him.)

I even hopped up once with Mom while he was in the room. I did my circles and fussed with the fluffies. I don’t know why they laughed. I am trying to teach them how to make a proper bed! Then after all that effort I had to go sleep on my own bed anyway. My life is terrible.

The other thing I got to do this week was to go to the oldest human puppy’s last field hockey home game. I really liked it, but it surely must have been the coldest day of the autumn so far; that wind was blowing directly at us and I couldn’t stop shivering. Dad said he would have put a blanket on me but I wouldn’t stop moving so it would have just been on the ground anyway. I was busy trying to figure out why the game was so hard.  I mean, I know that humans like to stay bipedal so they used those sticks to make up for it but haven’t they seen ice hockey? I mean really…give the stick a blade already, and make the ball bigger so it can go more than 3 feet before you have to hit it again. Of course the better option would be to let me play; I’m fast. I sat on Dad’s lap often so he could put his arms around me and pet me to keep us warm.

I asked him if we could find a coat that would fit me for when we go for walks in the cold. He and Mom looked on-line as soon as they got home. They said they didn’t buy anything yet but I’m sure they will find something that will make us all happy. Dad says it’ll be interesting to see how I work in a coat being that my planet dog harness is what he uses as a handle. I’m not worried we’re all a pretty creative pack if given the time.