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The Therapy Dog That Shunned Me

When you go to the grocery store, you pretty get all walks of life. I mean, there aren’t some humans that eat and some that don’t (except Angelina Jolie). We all have to eat thus we need to go grocery shopping.

Yesterday was no different, I began on the right of the dry goods and began to work my way up the first 2 aisles. Since I’m feeding a small orphanage, I hit all aisles except the pet aisle though to save money, I’ve debated on whether or not to try out dog food in my recipes. About the “Latin Food” section, I came across an older woman with an adorable little doggy. The doggy had a cute little pink bow in its hair and sat so still and good for the lady. Initially I didn’t question why she had a lap dog in the seat normally reserved for a child. Then it struck me, this was  a therapy dog.

‘Did she stress out going into the freezer section to get her meals?’ I thought.

I tried to resist the urge to pet the dog. But every time I went down a new aisle, her and Princess Cutie-Pie (this is what I’ve named her secretly) would walk past me.

Finally by the cereal aisle, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Mam?” I stopped and asked, “may I please pet your puppy?”

This ask is just a formality in my mind as I always ask to show respect. It’s kind of like asking a pregnant woman to feel her belly before just putting your hand down without the request. Obviously, if the dog has the potential to bite, I know my request may be turned down and for my own safety, I’m ok with that. But this little nugget of cuteness was harmless and besides, she was a therapy dog, right?

Do you know what that woman said?

“No. She’s just broken in. Thank you.” And she walked on.

‘Was I just shunned…’ I asked myself, ‘by a therapy dog?’

Well Now I’m Pissed

I walked away but it got more and more awkward as we crossed paths. I’m not going to lie, I became more and more pissed. What was this shit about just being broken in? Why can’t I pet your puppy that is supposed to bring comfort? What? You’re worried your stupid dog is going to like me more?

I began to run scenarios through my head. Perhaps I’ll tattle on her. Surely that’s not a therapy dog. In my brain service dogs are golden retrievers with a harness on it’s back. I had visions of that news article with the airline passenger that brought a fuckin’ peacock into the airport. What’s next? Therapy snakes? I was offended she didn’t let me pet her puppy. The puppy wouldn’t have minded. It’s not like I wasn’t going to pinch her dog or something.

I knew I had to get a picture of her and the dog but I was running out of time when I went to check out. I was relieved to have a clerk that I’ve had for probably years now.

“What’s with the lady with a puppy in her basket?” I asked.

“There’s a woman with a dog in her cart?” She asked.

“Yeah,” I said just as I saw her coming my way. “Look, over by the gift cards.”

She turned around.

“Oh yeah. She’s crazy.”

“Obviously. She wouldn’t let me pet her stupid puppy. Now not to be rude but I’m going to take a pic of her.”

I pulled my phone out and took this picture:

Therapy Puppy

So do any of you know about this “breaking in” thing so I’ll understand more as to why I was shunned by a therapy dog? I’ve Googled it and haven’t found anything.

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16 thoughts on “The Therapy Dog That Shunned Me

  1. The only “breaking in” that I’m aware of is of furniture and/or shoes. I hope to God this woman is not sitting on and/or wearing this poor pooch!!

  2. That wasn’t a therapy dog. That’s an excuse people use now to take their pets into a store. Since the stores can’t ‘discriminate’ they can’t even ask for proof that it’s a therapy dog. Because of people like this it makes it difficult for people with REAL therapy dogs. People piss me off. I had so many people suggest we have our 3 dogs certified as Therapy dogs so they wouldn’t have to fly in cargo when we moved across country, including the woman with the pet rescue. Yeah, two big labs and a fat, needy chihuahua in the cabin for 5 hours. Nope. Anyway, you can always pet our dogs, but you won’t find us in the grocery store.

    1. Oh I totally agree with you. And you know if you can’t go to the grocery store without your therapy dog, you just need to do a grocery delivery service. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to bring a big ole’ fuckin’ horse to grocery shop. No, I’m going to ride it into the grocery store as my therapy animal.

  3. Broken means “trained”, inasmuch as I know. Like a house-broken dog knows not to go to the bathroom inside. How a dog becomes grocery-store-broken is a mystery to me.
    But that dog had a lot of grey in her muzzle, and you know what they say about old dogs…so I doubt she was recently broken, regardless of the skill.
    But I totally agree with your cashier: that lady *is* crazy…I could tell just by the one pic. 😂
    That header pic of the black pug, though…SO cute! The expression is priceless.

    1. I know, right! That dog looked like it was totally blowing somebody off so I had to use it as my head picture! You saying that got my point across! And you are great detective btw. Your grey muzzle, I didn’t even think of that! I hope I see her in there again. I should just start gushing over her dog and rubbing it’s head and just flipping out. What’s she gonna do? Have me kicked out for gushing over the dog she has in there illegally? I don’t think so!

  4. First, she’s probably crazy and I won’t deny you your right to hate her. Hate away!

    But, from a training perspective? There are a bunch of reasons I might deny your request to pet a dog under my care. Yes, maybe because he’s a bite risk (even the teeny cute ones—they’re the worst!) but also maybe because I know this dog gets worked up when interaction with others is suddenly an option and I don’t want to deal with that shit right now, or because I’m trying to teach her that while she’s on-leash/in a cart/in her bag/whatever is not Other People Time, or he’s getting over some fear issues and we’ve done really good work today and I don’t want to risk all of that being undone because you reached over his head rather than across his side. The “just broken in” line might be something she landed on because it worked well to get people to stop asking and go away… or she might be completely batshit. No way to tell, really, but I thought I’d chime in as a responsible owner/trainer as to why you might not always get to pet all the doggies.

    1. Nope! I’m glad you told me this. I’m probably going to say something controversial but if the dog is that bat shit crazy, perhaps the therapy dog needs a therapy dog. Perhaps it could use a therapy bunny rabbit or something. In my mind, if you are a therapy dog, you are the most chilled, laid back kind of dog on Earth and short of pulling your ears, nothing should bother you. Am I making sense, what I’m trying to say here. It just put me off!

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