October 15, 2011

Dog Crazy

This afternoon I was called for help by my Mother-In-Law.  My FIL was out of town at the moment and their dog, an ancient Chesapeake Bay Retriever, had fallen (or jumped) into one of the windows wells.  The window wells are a good 5' deep and Babe was unable to get out.  She needed help.

No problem, I just drove over and after inspecting her for any obvious wounds, picked up up and lifted her out of the well.  If her name was Lassie and mine Timmy, this could have been utterly hilarious.

Notice the purple harness?
On the way home I noticed a lot of dogs.  It isn't unexpected since it is a really nice day.  Most dogs simply had their head out the window, sniffing the world as they drove by.  A few pooches caught my attention more than most.  First was a small black Toy Poodle standing in her owner's lap as she drove by in a yellow Corvette convertible.  I love my dog and take her out for rides, but no way do I condone ever having a dog in the front seat with you.  Tessa sometimes gets to ride in the passenger seat, but only when she has her harness on and is buckled in.  She couldn't get to my seat if she tried.  I don't care how small your dog is, allowing it to roam free over you is just an invitation for an accident.

Go ahead and get yourself killed.....I'm all for Darwinism at its finest, but these heroes drive in traffic around other people....people like me!

On my way home I decide to stop off at Fred Meyers to pick up a couple things I needed.  As I'm coming down off of the bench I can see the parking lot and sure enough, there is a very noticeable yellow Corvette convertible.  This car is parked way out at the end of the parking lot by itself, so it stands out even more....has to be the same car.

Before I can even pull into the parking lot I spy yet another dog in the front seat with the driver.  This time it is even worse.  The vehicle is a 60's Willy's Jeep and the dog is a medium sized beagle mix.  This dog isn't just sitting in the owner's lap or leaning out the widow....no, this dog is actually propped up and laying on the outstretched arms of his owner.  This guy has his hands at 10 & 2 and his dog is lying across his arms!  I wish I had a 360* camera mounted on my rig because I wish I could have gotten proof.  The old lady with her poodle is bad enough, but do you know what it takes to drive a 60's Willy's?  That car doesn't have power anything.  How is he going to muscle the car around should he need to?  Hell, a sharp left turn could dump your dog out onto the street.

(Some) people are morons.

After parking my car I pass by Mrs. Corvette as she exist the building.  Her little pooch has a service dog vest on.  You have got to be kidding me.  I so call bullshit on this.  There is no way this dog is a bona fide service dog, which brings me to another rant regarding dogs.  There are too many people slapping vests on their pet and calling them service animals so they can work the system.  I know it happens, I've seen it in person.

At my old job I ran into an interventionist who got a fake service dog vest for their pet German Shepard so they could bring her on planes (for free) and take her on vacation without having to pay a non-refundable pet deposit.  They (his partner was in on it) totally were working the system.  I did the briefest of google searches and found a place where for $150 and your initials you could "certify" your dog as a service dog. They have a simple list of 11 "qualifications" and you simply agree that your dog meets MOST of the qualifications, send them your $149.95 (plus $10 shipping and handling) and *poof* instant service dog.

Legit association
What a racket.  Legitimate service dog certification includes having your dog signed off on by your vet, your doctor, and by you.  In addition to actually being trained to perform some function for your medical well-being, they should behave in a specific fashion.  The certification paperwork from NASD ends with a great line: "In other words, the service animal should be an animal that behaves as if they graduated at the top of their obedience training class."  Huge difference between this and the fly-by-night folks.

The fakers don't even have a logo, just a great sounding fake name.  They don't do much anything other than sell you a vest, some ID cards, and some paperwork.  Their tenuous grasp of being legitimate (FAIL btw!) is summed up in this one statement, "Service Dog Certification of America recognizes that every person in The United States of America may have some form of disability."  Seriously?

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