No Service Dogs on Retractable Leashes

My friend Nancy and I find many of the same things funny, odd or just plain wrong, but how we react to them is usually different. See, Nancy is much nicer than I am. The story she told me the other day is a perfect example.

Nancy was at our local Trader Joe’s where she saw a well bodied twenty something couple in the store with their small brown labradoodle dog on a retractable leash. Before she went on with another breath of the story I was suspicious since “service” dogs are only allowed to be in public on retractable leashes if the disability of their human required them to be able to go farther than an arms length. And comfort support animals do not qualify for retractable leashes inside public buildings.

Nancy said that the young couple paid little attention to their dog and while they were stopped talking to another person in the store Nancy witnessed the dog pull a long lead out of its leash and go over and lick a whole row of French bread loaves that were displayed in a basket on the floor. The owners never even noticed and moved on with their shopping while Nancy stood dumb founded.

Nancy quickly told a clerk, who was on his or her way out the door and said, “I’ll get to that in a minute.” Concerned that the clerk would forget about the doggy saliva loaves, Nancy went up to the counter where the Trader Joe’s, excuse the expression, big dogs, stood. She alerted them of the situation using the word “disgusting” with extra syllables for emphasis and not just one, but two clerks ran to the bread basket to retrieve the soiled product, much to Nancy’s relief.

Now I am a proponent of dogs. I think dogs should be allowed in many more places than they are now. I believe that service dogs greatly improve the lives of people who need them. I just don’t like when people take advantage of the program. Here is where I would have acted differently than Nancy, and why she is nicer than me.

If I had witnessed the dog even stepping away from the owners, the second the animal put out a tongue towards the bread I would have said in my naturally loud and attention grabbing voice, “Your dog is licking the bread!!! Why aren’t you paying attention to your Dog?” And pointing dramatically, I would say, “All those loaves!! Your dog licked ALL of them.”

Nancy was concerned about other people not buying dog licked bread. I would be concerned about making sure those people never took their eye off their dog in public again. And by the way, if there are two of you going to the store, one can stay outside with the dog on the retractable leash and one can shop!

One Comment on “No Service Dogs on Retractable Leashes”

  1. Jane C Wagstaff says:

    I could relate!!! Retractable leads are awful anyway. I love the people in my neighborhood but some are somewhat elderly and walk two dogs, both on retractable leads and, well, it’s a problem. I don’t know why one needs them frankly. At least your friend Nancy spoke up until it was handled!

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