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Laura Consoles a Friend

IMG_2581When a service dog is first bought home, it is important that he interact only with his new partner and not be distracted by others.  This is primarily for bonding purposes, and so the dog learns who and what to focus on.

Even though I understand this rule because I am a service dog owner, it’s sometimes even hard for me not to ask if I can pet other service dogs because of my own love for dogs in general.  “No touching or distracting” is a ‘rule’ that all service dog owners must constantly reinforce with the public.

Here is another story about Laura and Darwin (see my last post) and how she is helping teach others about these stipulations.

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(Written by Laura’s grandma)

…The trainers urge all of the clients not to let people pet Darwin because, especially in the early days of being home, he is learning to focus on Laura.

In public, such as a store or at yesterday’s soccer game, people have been understanding.  It’s harder, however, when people we like and who are passionate about animals want to pet him.  He is such a handsome dog, with an earnest expression and that shiny, silky coat, that people say they just want to hug him.  Yesterday (our friend), although completely getting the point, was telling Darwin that she was sad about not being able to hug him and that she was just going to break into the house sometime to give him a huge hug.

Laura disappeared to her room for a few minutes and returned with her 12 inch high, bright red plastic Red Rover puppy from a game. She handed it to (her friend) and said she could pet it. If an adult had done this , or even an older child one could suspect a smart- alecky attitude, but Laura said, “I don’t want you to feel bad.”

Darwin Alerts in the car

Darwin Alerts in the car

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Comments on: "Laura Consoles a Friend" (3)

  1. Sounds like a great way to handle it to offer an alternative. I can imagine that it’s difficult. I ran into a Starbucks not long ago and I saw a service dog wearing a “diabetes service dog” vest. I had left my daughter with diabetes in the car with her brothers, but I went out and got her just so she could see the dog. We didn’t bother or try to interact with the dog or his trainer. I just wanted her to see him. I always think it’s nice when she can see other examples of diabetes out in the world. When she was first diagnosed, she cried “why me, why am I the only one?” So I try to point it out to her any time I find examples.

    It’s actually a little strange that she felt so isolated, because her father, my husband also has diabetes, but at the time she didn’t know other children.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Thanks for writing. It never hurts to ask if you can interact with a service dog’s handler. That may open the door for more info as well as the ability to actually interact with the dog. I hope your daughter is feeling less isolated, not, I remember the feeling. It sounds like she has a great in-house support system.

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