I often joke that my dogs could be Therapy Dogs…as in, they’re going to cause me to go into Therapy.
All joking aside, in another case of “jerks ruining it for other pet owners,” many online sites are selling Therapy Dog patches or clothing for people to use to get their pampered pets into places their pets don’t really need to be.
For legitimate concerns, Therapy Dogs can be quite life saving. I’ve read numerous articles about the dogs that help soldiers afflicted with PTSD, or dogs that can sense blood sugar levels dropping to assist brittle diabetics. More often you’re seeing dogs specially trained to work with children with autism related conditions. And of course, seeing eye dogs for the blind are in widespread use.
So, each time some
asshat individual buys a Therapy Dog badge to use so they can take their pampered dog into a department store or restaurant, it mocks the people using these dogs for legitimate reasons.
What happens if businesses start to question whether pets wearing Therapy Dog insignia are legitimate? It’s not like a clerk could ask the person why they need a Therapy Dog, as that would be so completely inappropriate.
So, bottom line is that if you’re faking your Therapy Dog needs, you are self-centered and insensitive. And a self-centered and insensitive person is probably not the best pet guardian. And someone who is not the best pet guardian is probably not making a very good impression in a store that usually doesn’t allow pets. So going forward, a store that has had bad experiences with pets will have preconceived notions about legitimate customers with trained Therapy Dogs. See where I’m going with this?