dog

Mom Writes Brutally Honest Facebook Message To Moms Who Let Their Kids Pet Service Dogs

by Malcolm Freberg

Fact: All dogs are the best boys or girls, and they deserve all the petting and treats and snuggles we humans can muster — generally speaking.

The problem is, a few of our best furry friends have very important jobs to do. Not every dog exists just to play fetch and hog the bed at night; some work for the police, others patrol the airports sniffing for drugs, and still others perform critical services for their owners.

Such is the case for Laura Joos, whose service dog Polly is literally on life alert duty for her master’s health every single day. Polly goes everywhere with Laura, keeping an eye on her vitals and letting her know if things are getting dangerous.

But Polly can’t do her job if she’s being harassed by well-intentioned strangers who are trying to play with her. This exact scenario played out recently in a department store, and Laura took the opportunity to post the frightening story and powerful message on Facebook.

As you can see, Polly is clearly marked as a service animal.

As you can see, Polly is clearly marked as a service animal.

So there really is no question as to whether or not you can play with her — despite how cute she is.

The hardest part of this entire story to swallow is, as you will see, the other mom’s complete indifference to the situation.

Can you imagine the fear this situation would cause for people who depend on their service animals?

Service dog or not, this is NOT how you act toward a new animal.

Service dog or not, this is NOT how you act toward a new animal.

If your child is treating animals this way, you’ve already done something wrong.

Because Polly’s a rock star, she handled the situation as well as could be hoped. And Laura is clearly trying to be as gracious as possible with this open letter.

The timing couldn't have been worse for the incident.

The timing couldn't have been worse for the incident.

If you’ve never had to deal with symptoms like this in random public situations, it can be hard to relate, but do try and put yourself in the woman’s shoes and realize how scary this must have been.

Disaster was avoided, thankfully, despite Polly getting distracted by the slap-happy kid.

It sounds like Laura tried to talk about the incident — and it wasn't well received.

It sounds like Laura tried to talk about the incident — and it wasn't well received.

Understand that a woman with this condition depends on her service dog just as much as more traditional aids.

This isn’t a story to rage over. Instead, everyone should accept it as a lesson and learn from it, and pass the lesson on to their own kids.

Well, maybe we can be a little upset. Understandably so.

The way Laura signs out of the letter as a fellow mother makes this all especially poignant.

The way Laura signs out of the letter as a fellow mother makes this all especially poignant.

Laura would later clarify that she didn’t drive home from the store, and that the store wasn’t actually a Walmart. That’s just where this picture of Polly came from.

Naturally, the comments section is full of support for Laura and Polly.

Naturally, the comments section is full of support for Laura and Polly.

In this day and age, it truly is important to understand the role of service animals.

Hopefully, the stigma around certain breeds will die off soon, but it’s going to be a long process.

But most importantly, remember that a dog clearly marked as a service animal is not your or your child’s plaything. As much as you might want to pet the good boy or girl, the animal has a job to do — one that you should make sure any children you are with understand.