If you have read any of our previous blogs, or other pages on our site, you will notice how we stress the fact that our service dogs are more than just utensils to live a more enriched life. We talk about how these service dogs, whether they assist with diabetes or autism, they become part of your family. Here at SDWR, we receive stories from clients daily about how happy they are with their new family member. We enjoy these stories, and it thrills us to know we have assisted yet again in improving someone’s life with one of our highly trained service dogs. As much as all of this tickles us pink, we all must remember, when in public, your service dog is not your pet, they are your service dog. That may sound contradicting to all that we tell you about our service dogs being a loyal family member after a client receives them. We do have our one and most important reason; they are service dogs. Giving these dogs the title of being a “service dog” means they are working dogs. They are qualified differently than a therapy dog. Service dogs are trained to provide specific kinds of assistance to their handlers. Therapy dogs are not trained to do specific tasks. Many of us have seen service dogs wearing a vest that says “please do not pet.” It is not that the handler is selfish with their furry friend, their furry friend is just on the job trying to fulfill their duty while the rest of the world is zipping by. By petting a service dog or giving it special attention, one could take them right off track and make the dog lose it’s focus. It is extremely important for these service dogs to stay on task. Whenever they are out with their handler they are considered on the job. While on the job you never know what could occur, therefore the service dog needs to be 100% tuned into it’s handler at all times. As a handler we at SDWR tell you to flaunt that “Do not pet” vest and absorb the polite ignoring of those who know proper service dog etiquette.