1) What is a service dog?
The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
2) So you can go everywhere?
Almost! I can go anywhere my handler is allowed, with the exception of sterile areas like operating rooms, and it's up to each church to decide weather or not to allow service dogs like me.
3) Where can i get one of those cool vests so i can take my dog everywhere?
If you have a legitimate service dog, feel free to contact my handler and she would LOVE to recommend places we have had good experiences with! BUT she wants you to know it is a federal crime to claim a pet is a service dog! there are some serious penalties for doing that, and it makes real service dog teams look bad!
4) How were you trained?
in short, i was train using both positive and negative reinforcement AND positive and negative punishment. if you want more details, or how i was trained to do a specific thing, feel free to ask!
5) What tasks do you do? I know how to check rooms for intruders, provide "grounding", bring my handler's attention to me if she is having a problem, and help her get out of a crowd or situation if she is disoriented. i am also learning physical tasks! i know how to help with laundry and pick things up my handler drops, and i am learning to open and close doors, and retreive some objects by name!
6) Are you always "dressed"? In public, I am always dressed in some type of gear (check out my gear page for pictures and info!) but when i am home, i am "naked"!
7) If i see you in public, can i say hi? Sure! just know that if we only smile politely and continue on our way, it's nothing against you! we are probably in a hurry, or having a bad day and just not up to interacting much! being in public is exhausting for my handler. but most of the time, we will stop and talk for a minute! we love meeting nice people on our good days :)
8) What do you do when your handler eats/studies/is in class? I rest! I might look like i'm being lazy, but if my handler needed me i would jump to action!
9) Is that a muzzle??/why do you have such a mean collar on! Some of the time i wear a gentle leader in public, which is NOT a muzzle! i can open my mouth all the way with it on! but I don't like it much, so usually i have a pinch collar or chain on. these do not hurt me at all because my handler knows how to use then gently! they are simply what i'm used to and what works best for us!
10) Do you ever get to play? Yes! whenever my gear is off i am a typical terrier! i LOVE destroying toys and running around with my dog friends!