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Answering Googled Questions

“why cant i pet a service dog”
“why ignore service dog”

The short and sweet answer here is because the service dog is working hard to keep his or her person safe. This takes a lot of concentration for dogs, and when you try to pet them, when you coo at them, when you try to get their attention, you are endangering the safety of the dog’s handler.

This is not cool.

If you saw me out with my cane, you wouldn’t try to kick it out from under me, would you? If you saw me out in my wheelchair, you wouldn’t grab the back and try to dump me out? Of course not. Trying to interact with a service dog without permission is pretty much exactly like doing those things. It’s true, Sid is a gorgeous dog and he’s very nice to pet, but he’s also doing a really important job keeping me upright. If you succeed in getting him to swerve towards you suddenly, it’s very likely that I’m going to fall and get hurt, and it will be your fault, just like you’d kicked my cane out from under me or tried to dump me out of my wheelchair.

Use some self-control and courtesy, and let service dogs work. Pretend they aren’t there. If you’re really so desperate to pet a dog right this very second and possibly you’re going to die if you don’t, ask before reaching for a service dog. But be aware that a lot of handlers are going to tell you no, even if it’s killing you to not be able to love up that dog (that doesn’t belong to you, and isn’t there for you, anyway), and you need to accept that and go away without argument.

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