I have to say, I really do love animals. But it drives me crazy that people have to take their dogs everywhere they go. Yes, I understand your pet is part of your family and may even be like your only child, but there are some things that would be nice if you’d think about.
Right now I work at a grocery store and we’ve been hit hard with the issue of pets in our store. I have absolutely no problem with people bringing service animals into our store. They are a huge help to people in need and I think it’s great that these animals can perform such tasks and help people in the way they do. From my experiences, people who really need service animals due to physical disabilities don’t mind putting the vest on their dog or showing you their card. They are respectful and have all the credentials they need to have their animal with them wherever they go.
What really bothers me is when people bring their “emotional support” dogs in. Don’t get me wrong, some people have been through some real tough stuff and they may need an animal to help them feel safe and whatnot, but I don’t think it’s ok that people can just go online and register these dogs for really cheap <http://usdogregistry.org/registration/register-emotional-support-dog/>. For all we know, these people could be the worst trainers in the world and their dogs could have dispositions to varying types of people (i.e. children, men, women, people with dark colored hair, etc.)
One experience I had was when a woman said that her dog was a service animal and was supposed to alert her of when she was going to have a seizure. While I do believe in the power of an animal’s senses, I doubted the credibility of this dog for that purpose. I told my manager about the animal in the store and he gently attempted to approach her to ask to see her paperwork. But when he did, the dog suddenly got down close to the ground and started to growl at my boss. This did not exactly help the dog’s credibility. If a dog is a service animal, it should not be growling at people unless the owner specifically commands the dog that she/he is feeling threatened.
However there was another lady who brought in her dog and just let him sit in the cart. Since she did not have the barrier between the dog and the cart, one of our managers had to wait till the lady finished shopping, had to help her out to her car, and had to throughly clean the cart so that no one else would use it. Personally, I think this is very selfish of that customer. My managers have better things to do than to wash carts because somebody couldn’t leave their animal at home for their 30 minute grocery trip.
Also, I’ve noticed that people are really touchy-touchy about telling people that they have a service animal. So what if it is? You obviously got the animal certified for a reason so why wouldn’t you tell people? You are in no way required to tell us what service the animal is providing for you, so why not just let the animal wear the vest to make it easier on people who work in places where pets aren’t normally around?
Anyways, in my particular grocery store, they said that there’s basically not anything we can do if someone wants to bring their pet in. All they have to do is put a barrier between their dog and the cart. But this makes me wonder, why the heck would you bring your dog to the grocery store?! The cart is supposed to be where you put your food. And guess what? Other people put their food in that basket too. If you bring your dog, it’s going to be taking up space where you could be putting your food.
Not only that, but I, personally, am allergic to dogs. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely horrible. I love dogs. I used to have a dog. He was a beautiful German/Aussie mix and was one of the best pets I’ve ever had. But I couldn’t play with him too much since we found out I was allergic. We ended up giving him away to the family next door and they loved him as if he were their own. But being allergic to dogs does mean that it bothers me that people bring them with them into our grocery store.
I just challenge the “I take my dog with me wherever I go” people to just think, what if someone else, maybe even a child, is allergic to dogs as well? What if they are highly allergic? Even allergic to hypoallergenic dogs? Then putting your pet for your convenience and emotional comfort into that cart for the maybe 30 minutes that you’re in the store could cause someone else to have an allergic reaction. For me, I get it really bad in my bronchial tubes. I’ll lose my voice for a month and have a horrible cough for a month, accompanied by copious amounts of phlegm. Not only that, I’ll have intense sinus pressure building up in my head for three days, will spend tons of money on sinus medicine, and will daily drink my weight in hot tea and honey.
So does your 30 minutes of comfort and preference weigh more than my discomfort, money, and illness for a month? Maybe you don’t care about me, what about a little child who doesn’t have a good immune system? What if his parents are putting him in the cart for the first time and find out that he has a horrible allergic reaction? Would you be ok with yourself if that baby was sick because you couldn’t leave your dog at home while you shopped?
While I wish customers would not bring their dogs into our store, I absolutely DO NOT condone people leaving their pets alone in their cars while they shop. Fortunately, where we are, it’s not very hot. At all. The normal temp is around 65 degrees everyday. But regardless, cars can get really hot and can seriously harm pets. Check out the picture below.
So my question to people is, when does your comfort, wants, and needs trump my comfort, wants, and needs? While you may want your pet with you in the store because it’s fun and cute and, by golly, it’s just what you want, when does that mean more than the fact that I’m allergic? And what if your pet has fleas and you (unknowingly) bring the infected pet in?
It’s just not a very sanitary practice and I want to graciously ask people to please leave your pets (non-service animals) at home if you are going to go grocery shopping. Don’t leave pets in your car, just leave them at home. Please respect people, their allergies, and the cleanliness standards of varying grocery stores.