Normally it is easy to make a quick trip to the grocery store, however with a service animal you're stopped multiple times both by employees and customers and asked about the animal. Legally people are only allowed to ask whether the animal is a service animal and what service it performs. And unfortunately people bringing their “pets” and ESA (emotional support animals) into stores are not helping the situation.
And that's all well and good, but it is never that simple. It’s the other questions and comments that tend to hold you up. “How old is he?” “Oh he is so cute.” “What is his name?” “Can I pet him?” All of these questions extend your shopping trip time remarkably, there is no quick trip.
And parents you think you need to pack a lot when you travel with your children, you can't begin to understand the amount of things needed to travel with a service animal. I don't have enough time today to tell you what all is required to take your animal out of the country on a cruise!! I mean you just don’t take them outside to do their business.
Despite the media and internet availability for education, the purpose and functions of service animals are misunderstood by the general public. "Why do you need that dog? Why does the dog need to go?" “That dog can’t go in there.” Service animals are a type of medical devices. No one stops a person with a cane to question them when they walk into the grocery store. Nor do they stop a person with a walker or wheelchair and tell them "you can't come in here!"
I implore everyone to please be more considerate of persons with service animals and other medical devices. Educate yourself instead of discriminate. Service animals are becoming more prevalent partly because of our increasing number of veterans with special needs and because of better medical care for disabilities that were previously fatal.
If you need more information do some research online, or contact Sara at Solutions Noticed, I am sure she would be more than happy to assist you.