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Sid Goes Out In Public

Yesterday marked the first time I’ve dragged Sid out in his green vest, which clearly identifies him as a Service Dog In Training and also includes patches which say “Working Dog Do Not Pet”. The end result of this first evaluation: Sid needs more work on leash walking in fascinating places like Tractor Supply, but is starting to get the hang of it, and I Hate People.

No, let me be precise: I hate adult people. Universally the children we ran into today who wanted to interact with Sid saw the patches, read the patches, and did not attempt to interfere with Sid. One boy paused on his way out of Home Depot to look me in the eyes and say “Nice dog.” I smiled and said “thank you” because hey, Sid is a nice dog and the kid was fantastic.

The adults, though? Oh, the adults. One man behind us in line at Tractor Supply said to his kids, “His patches say he’s a working dog.” and then proceeded to reach out and try to pet Sid. I said, “Please don’t, he’s in training. That’s why his patches say not to pet him.” And the guy responds, I shit you not, “Oh, I didn’t see that.” while trying out a sheepish smile on me.

Really, Mr. Anonymous Guy in Tractor Supply? REALLY NOW? Sid, on the other hand, was pretty golden, he eyed the guy’s hand, gave it an indifferent but polite sniff, and then moved so I was between him and Mr. Anonymous Partially Literate Guy. I gave him a chunk of hot dog for it.

He was balanced out by the young girl in the same store who started to approach Sid (I’d seen her ogling him from afar), saw his patches, and settled for just hanging around to stare at him, which was a little creepy but I’m totally OK with a little creepy since she was being very polite.

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Let me insert a pic of Sid in his vest here. Perhaps I need to have LIGHT UP BLINKY PATCHES for the adults, who are apparently either illiterate or convinced that their desire to pet a dog trumps my need to train the dog. Not that I’m, y’know, bitter or anything. One thing that works against me is that Sid is a damn good lookin dog, so he attracts more attention than a less notable looking dog would. The thing that works for me is that Sid is not terribly interested in strangers and sometimes even looks like he wishes they would stop bothering him. He got lots of hot dog bits to encourage him to keep ignoring the impolite strangers. Now I just need to work on him not following Daniel after he realizes that’s what I’m doing.

Oh, right, I was putting in a pic… I’ll just put it in huge and full-sized so everyone can admire my handsome dog in his spiffy vest. Please note the cool collar with flames and skulls.
A shot of the front half of Sid's body, coincidentally with my legs in jeans also in frame. Sid is wearing a dark green vest with a soft raised handle. A patch on the side of the vest says Working Dog Do Not Pet, patches on the top say Service Dog In Training. There is another working dog patch on the other side which you can't see. Also he has a really, really cool collar with flames and skulls.


9 thoughts on “Sid Goes Out In Public

  1. I really wish there was a better way to wolf whistle via the internet. He looks so handsome all dressed up for work.

  2. Andrea, Sid really is a STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL dog. He looks very stylish in his spiffy harness and collar with flames and skulls! :)

  3. While Siddy is indeed extraordinarily handsome, I have a feeling that you could put a downright ugly dog out there instead and you’d have fools that would still want to pet. Something about working dogs just makes certain people go stupid.

    Best of luck with the training, he sure does look great!

  4. […] friend of mine asked after my rant about adults trying to pet Siddy while he’s in his vest, “Is there ever an appropriate time to pet a working dog in a vest or harness? Like when you’re […]

  5. Ran across first the appropriate times to pet a working dog (honestly never in public) and proceeded to forward to All my friends and basically anyone else I know. Then decided to lurk here and I have to admit that from the perspective of someone who Has a service dog and Has had one since I turned 14 and decided I wanted a Life, and not a babysitter (I’m 27 so it’s been a while), that this is totally true.
    You do run into the most interesting/crazy people with a dog. My first service dog came from a group, and that lasted almost a year before I had to take her back due to aggression problems. I decided after a lot of thought (and still wanting that life) that I would just train my own, and my next two dogs were gems. Current dog was less prepared. He’s great on everything But the people, and he tolerates that with dignity but since he is a medical alert dog as well as psychiatric service dog, dealing with the absolutely crazy ones give him three times the work.

    I had a woman in a Sam’s Club the other day Follow me for 30 minutes with her two children asking twice (I tried to ignore her really I did) to pet him. Then after the second firm no with explanation that He (my dog) was working (after the first no she told her children to pet him anyway I was blind and couldn’t tell the difference). Offended she told me that I should at least be nicer to the kids because they had never seen a dog before. Sometimes I ask myself why… this was one of those days.

    Anyway, I love both posts, Sid Is stunning and I admit even with all the stress I go through that I’d have a hard time keeping my eyes off him. I have also found that the patches with the pictures sometimes work better… if only they were neon and flashed… but then my boy would draw even more attention.

  6. I enjoyed this rant….I have the same thoughts in my head. I am the Executive Director of an organization that trains service dogs and I am personally training a dog…so I can certainly relate. I have even had people try to feed my dog chocolate!

  7. I so get this! I also have an unusual service dog – a pattern white Aussie with one blue eye and one brown. It’s like traveling with a rock star – the comments NEVER stop – and sometimes I just want to get the milk and go home, you know?!

  8. Sid is a good looking guy. I wish I could share a photo of my service dog Daisy-Mae

  9. I need to get a harness for my dog and all the ones I have found aren’t quite what I’m looking for. Where did you get your harness if I may ask? Sid is absolutely gorgeous! My pup is quite the looker too (Husky) so I completely understand the struggle of conveniently illiterate people. Either people are running away scared or they are trying to hug and kiss him. The motto seems to be – don’t ask and apologize later.

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