If you are a sane, normal human, you have on reaction when you see a dog on the street: OH MY GOODNESS LOOK IT’S A PUPPY I MUST PET IT AND I MUST PET IT NOW.
Everyone knows that feeling and we all cherish the occasions we are lucky enough to feel it. Encountering a dog out in the real world is the kind of surprise that can literally make a bad day into a good one. But for reasons that are very reasonable and fair, all of us may soon need to contain ourselves and be careful what kinds of dogs we’re petting.
The reason being that some of those dogs (while good and very pet-able) are service dogs. They are there to help a disabled person navigate the world safely and without incident. And while they look just as cute as a non-service dog, they are working and we have to respect that.
At least, that’s what a proposed bill in Connecticut is saying. According to The Post Star, the proposed new law would actually make it a crime to distract a service dog while it’s working.
And while that might seem unfair to everyone out there who wants to pet every dog they see, the part of us that just sheer joy and dog love has to acknowledge that it’s the right call. Service dogs do a great and selfless thing and make people happy in a whole new way. Not only that, but it makes them so happy to know they’re helping their human. So as much as it hurts to contain ourselves, we have an obligation to let them do their job in peace and without distraction so that they can get the happiness that comes from a job well done.
So the next time you see a good dog out there in the world wearing his service dog vest and helping his human around, give him a smile but contain yourself. He’s got a job to do and he’s damn happy to be doing it. And we sure wouldn’t want to get him (or, soon, maybe ourselves) in trouble over a few ear scratches.