Tuesday, October 8, 2013


We had a follow up veterinary appointment this morning for D'fer and we have had some very, very good news.  What one vet and a radiologist thought was osteosarcoma may in fact be very severe osteoarthritis.  We sought out a second opinion this week, and had a second set of radiographs (the medical term for X-Rays is Radiograph) done today, ten days after the originals were taken.  What this allowed us to do is compare what his hips looked like ten days ago and what they look like now.  By finding out what the difference is we can find out one of two things; either the rate of cancerous growth is really fast and dangerous OR that perhaps the diagnosis of osteosarcoma was wrong and the diagnosis might be something else.  There are no significant changes between one and the other which means that most likely...we are NOT dealing with osteosarcoma.  We also did chest radiographs and there are no scary shadows on the film showing us that there has not been any cancerous spread to the lungs.  Phew!  Never the less, the radiologist did think that there is cancer in the bone, so we cannot dismiss that entirely.  If this is cancer, it is growing slowly enough that D'fer won't likely drop dead at any moment, and if this is not cancer, then we may have some treatment options that we hadn't had before.  And this brings me to the roller coaster metaphore for today.

D'fer with his celebration stick.  That would be the toy you buy when you get a different diagnosis than osteosarcoma.  Still not a great diagnosis, but better than death at any moment.

The injury that led to the osteosarcoma diagnosis was that Deef had been lame for a couple of weeks, off and on.  He had a sore shoulder and then he was gimping along on his left hip and then his right front leg looked a bit off.  Then one night, just about dinner time, I took D'fer out to pee and he asked me to throw his frisbee.  Normal D'fer stuff.  I took it and gave it back to him because he had been too sore to really play frisbee.  Then he trotted around the yard and did his thing, and brought me the frisbee again.  I took it and dropped it in front of him.  He launched himself into the air (much more forcefully than he needed to mind you!) and on his way up screamed in a way I had never heard him scream before.   He landed in a heap on his left hip.  When he got himself up he wouldn't put any weight on his left hind leg.  Off to the emergency room we went and they took a radiograph.  His left hip looked like scrambled eggs.  Not good.  I asked some questions and the emergency vet thought that he had severe osteoarthritis; a degeneration of the bone in the hip and sent us home with pain meds to keep him comfortable.  That vet visit is when we got onto the rollercoaster.

The injury happened on a Saturday evening so on Monday morning I went into my regular vet who looked at the radiograph and gave me the sad news that this might be osteosarcoma; a form of fast growing bone cancer.  He sent the radiographs out to a radiologist who confirmed his diagnosis.  My world fell apart, and I wrote last week's blog about how I was going to approach treating this.  D'fer's pain has been well managed and when his pain is under control, he really is a happy dog.  He is still quite lame, but he is a happy dog.  Even so, I felt like I was falling, falling, falling.

With the encouragement of friends, I sought out a second opinion; the second vet disagreed with the first vet and the radiologist.  Regardless of agreeing or disagreeing, a second set of radiographs would tell us if the image on the film was growing or staying the same.  That leg of the journey has been like the rollercoaster coasting along nicely and politely.  Things don't feel quite so disrupted or discouraging.  I feel quite a bit like I got my life back when I saw the rads today; especially the chest rads that don't show any cancer in D'fer's lungs.

Radiograph number one take ten days ago.  Compare the left and right hip joints; you will notice that one is nice and even and the other looks like scrambled eggs.  Or more technically "the left hip (right on the radiograph) presents with a  moth eaten appearance.  If you know about radiographs, this is a scary looking hip.

Now compare!  Don't worry that the bones aren't in the same exact direction as they were on the first radiograph; you can see that the problem joint is basically the same.  Now if you are like me, you expand this picture and then you look at it with a magnifying lens for fun!  The important part is that the joint didn't change between the first image and the second, even though D'fer was positioned slightly differently the second time.

So now we coast for a bit.  Some things have changed and will stay changed; we still have the radiology report saying that the image on the film looks a lot like cancer.  It still might be.  But it hasn't changed!  The vet cautioned us that we have to remember that it might just be.  Now we have a crate in the kitchen so that if we need to we can easily care for D'fer if he is in pain from his leg.  That will stay.  We are not turning D'fer out with other dogs in the yard because it just wouldn't be a good idea for him to get to running and chasing and rough housing with his friends given the state that his hip is in.  That is a change for sure.  We use the hip helper harness (http://www.hartmanharness.com/) to help him up and down stairs and in and out of the car and over curbs when he is stiff or sore.  Likely we will be using this more and more often as he ages and we are very happy to have it.  Probably the biggest change though is that we know that there will be more diagnostics and possibly more treatments on the horizon.
Happy D'fer on pain meds, with his cancer beating Frisbee and his hip helper.  One of the changes we have made is to make a rule that he cannot come upstairs without the help of his hip helper harness.  So nice to see him smiling again.  Good boy! 

Right now, D'fer's rads are being sent to the surgeon to see if they can remove the head of the femur and alleviate his pain that way.  IF, and it is a very big if, the surgeon thinks that she can successfully remove the head of the femur, then we will consult an internal medicine specialist and see if his heart is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.  IF it is safe to anesthetize him, then we will work out a plan involving our veterinarian, the surgeon, the internal medicine specialist or cardiologist, and likely and anesthetist to remove the head of the femur.  This is a big hill on the Reprieve Rollercoaster, because a whole bunch of factors have to fall into place in order to be able to surgically help D'fer.  Knowing it is coming is stressful, and not knowing what the hill will surprise us with is even more stressful, but we are going to go up the hill and down the other side in the company of professionals who are educated and who care deeply about D'fer.

There are some important lessons in this experience that are not training related but they certainly do impact training.  The first is that you really need to know a little bit about your dog in order to advocate for him.  I have known for a long time that Deef has been "off" but have not been sure what exactly might be going on with him.  Once we had an injury, I count myself lucky on a number of fronts.  I know a lot about the basic anatomy and organization of the body, and how medicine works, so when the veterinarian wants to do something like taking a radiograph of my dog, then I have a good idea what she is talking about.  Also, I knew the emergency vet really, really well.  Those three things; knowing my dog, knowing a bit about biology and health and medicine and knowing my vet have paid off HUGE dividends this past ten days.  I have been able to talk to the veterinarians, I have been able to identify exactly how D'fer is not "himself", I have been able to ask good questions and I have been able to integrate what is being said so that I can advocate on D'fer's behalf.  When faced with an illness or injury being able to advocate for your dog like this allows you to return to training quickly and effectively.  This is really important.

Another thing to think about is that I had really clear boundaries about what I would and would not do to my dog before I needed to pull them out of my pocket and examine them.  I know that although I might amputate a dog's leg if it was injured or if it would buy him years of time, I am not going to amputate his leg to get a tissue sample (one of the options discussed when we had the osteosarcoma diagnosis).  I know that I will not engage in radical, painful, long treatment if it is not going to get us a great deal of benefit.  That means that for my dogs, although I might allow surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to happen to alleviate pain, or to significantly prolong life, I also know that I won't put being alive ahead of having what I consider a minimum level of quality of life.  I made this decision long before I needed it and I have discussed that decision at length with my veterinarian.  In fact I have decided these things about each of the animals I have responsibility for so that I can be certain that in a crisis I am not held over a barrel to make a choice I may not be comfortable with later.  Make your choices ahead of time where possible and then discuss them with your vet.  Doing so will save you a lot of headaches later on when you are faced with the decision and you already have a plan.

Finally, the most important thing that I did to prepare for the Rollercoaster Reprieve, was to carefully develop and organize a support system for myself.  This network is made up of close friends and family members, of dear and cherished clients, of veterinarians and technicians, of people on the net who have never met me but who have read my blogs and my articles and been to my seminars and who have reached out through this difficult time to help me, John and D'fer.  We are not out of the woods.  We may still lose D'fer imminently; he is after all ten years old with a heart condition.  He may or may not be a candidate for surgery.  He may over do it at some point tomorrow or the next day and fracture the neck of the femur, and we may be right back to where we were last week, when I wrote "IT WILL BE ALRIGHT", but I am confident that it WILL be alright because we have the support we need, we have good diagnostics and we have all the right things happening to help us to survive the Reprieve Rollercoaster and whatever it throws at us.  Thanks everyone; I couldn't have made it through this past week without you!


Saturday, May 11, 2013


I am a gun owner.  As a gun owner in Canada, I have to follow certain rules, and in fact, I follow even more rules than I am required to follow because I really want to make sure that I never ever allow my gun to fall into a situation where it might be used to commit a crime or to cause harm to someone.  I got my gun when I was pursuing a hunting license in order to be able to hunt food for myself.  Now that I no longer hunt, a good argument could be made that I no longer need a gun, but I might go back to hunting at some point and at that time, I would need a gun again, so in the meantime, I am a responsible gun owner who stores her gun in a manner that prevents people from getting the pieces, putting them together and firing the weapon.

Guns must be kept in a secure lockable containment system.  Dogs with aggression issues must also be kept safely to keep everyone from harm, including the dog.  Image credit: michaklootwijk / 123RF Stock Photo

My approach to gun ownership is very much like the approach I take to living with my dogs.  John and I live with three dogs, all of whom in various ways could create havoc if they were improperly managed.  D’fer, our oldest is not terrific with puppies.  Preventing him from harming puppies is pretty straightforward.  No matter how much your puppy wants to meet my adult dog, I don’t allow that to happen.  I keep him crated, behind a fence or on a leash when a puppy is around and this keeps puppies safe.  Would he harm a puppy?  Probably.  I don’t want to find out, so I will never give him the chance.  This means that there are a very limited number of people who are permitted to handle D’fer.  I don’t just leave him with a friend, because I don’t want to risk that they might mis-understand or put him into a situation where he might make a mistake.  Deef is my responsibility, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

Eco, my German Shepherd was bred for protection work and I did a certain amount of that with him.  Although he has met children, he doesn’t know them very well and he is over 45 kg.  Without trying, Eco could easily harm a child, just by running and bumping into one.  For this reason, Eco is not a dog park dog.  He is not permitted to run loose in public because I don’t want to risk that a child or even a small adult might be hurt if he ran into them.  Once again, there are a limited list of people I would leave Eco with because I don’t want to put anyone at risk.  If I left Eco with someone who didn’t clearly understand the risks of handling him, and the boundaries we have to be aware of, then I would not be behaving responsibly towards my dog or the public.

Friday knows more about kids than Eco does and she likes puppies, but she is also a large dog at about 30kg, and she is young and sometimes foolish.  She is a dog I could leave with some folks, but not with everyone.  Not everyone is set up to deal with a young, goofy adolescent dog.  She is a good girl, but she is creative, thoughtful, agile, and sometimes a little too much for your average person to deal with.

Most of the work that I do is with dogs with serious behaviour problems.  Some of these dogs are extremely dangerous.  I have worked with dogs who have mutilated people and killed other dogs.  Some of these dogs will never ever be completely safe in public and yet they live safely in people’s homes.  How does that work?  On our uniform sleeves we have the motto “It Depends...”  The answer to how does that work is “It depends”.  It depends on the problem, it depends on where the owner lives with the dog, it depends on what risks there are in the lifestyle of the owner and so on and so forth.  The bottom line when living with a dog who is dangerous in one way or another is risk analysis.

When working with dogs who are dangerous, it is important first and foremost to look at the physical premises and determine what would make the most sense when living with a dog with a problem.  A dog who is predatory towards chickens should not be asked to live loose on a farm with hens.  That would just not be safe for the hens and we would be exposing the hens to a significant avoidable risk.  That same dog might well be perfectly safe and content living in a city in an apartment, where hens are extremely rare.  I would not necessarily trust such a dog with a parrot however.

I frequently get calls from families who wish to add a dog to their home when the resident dog or cat either doesn’t like other dogs, or has caused a significant injury to another animal.  I have helped many people make this work, but one of the first things to think about is “is this a good idea?”  If it is not a good idea, then no matter how much the family might want to add another dog, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a bad idea.  A lot can be done by using crates and gates with care, and avoiding the problem, but if you have a resident animal that doesn’t like other animals, is it actually a caring move to add another animal to the home?  I would suggest it might not be a kind thing to do.  This falls under the category of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

When a dog is dangerous to the public at large, it is our responsibility to protect the public.  There are tons of ways to keep people safe, and if your dog has ever caused harm to someone in public, be it a human or another dog, you must keep everyone safe at all times.  I would like to make it cool for dogs to wear muzzles in public.  If a muzzle will keep people safe, then why shouldn’t your dog wear one?  Keeping large boisterous dogs on leash can help a lot too.  Walking in places where other people don’t walk can really help a lot.  And finally, choosing your time to walk is important too.  I had a client who got up at three in the morning for four years to walk his dog because that was the one time that he could pretty much guarantee that his dog aggressive dog would not harm anyone else’s dog because other dogs just weren’t out at that time. 

Owning a dog who has already caused harm to the public is a huge responsibility.  It is as big a responsibility as owning a gun, but because this is a thinking and feeling gun, we often forget that the dog can cause an enormous amount of damage.  Knowing how much damage a dog can do, and understanding that a dog is a thinking and feeling being requires a healthy dose of awareness, and compassion, without tipping yourself over into paranoia or soft heartedness.  When you live with dogs like this, you have to be entirely and dispassionately rational about what your dog is able to cope with, and what he should not be exposed to.  It is easy when you love a dog and you live with him to forget that he may have caused an incredible amount of damage, especially if you have not seen the action.  It is equally possible to become overly protective and never allow your dog to live a normal life at all.  The middle road can sometimes be difficult to find, and it can also sometimes be difficult to follow once you have found it. 

The other issue to consider is that it is not only what YOU do with your dog but what others do too.  Consider the situation where you have a dog who has seriously injured another dog in a dog park.  Perhaps this happened when you weren’t with your dog.  Perhaps this happened before your dog lived with you.  If it happened at all, it is now your responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and this is where other people come into the equation.  Perhaps you can take your dog to the dog park when no one is there.  If you are able to see when other people show up, then you can leash up and leave.  If you are unable to see people coming, then you cannot reasonably let your dog off leash to play.  You cannot count on other people who don't know your dog to take the kind of care that you do.  Another alternative is to find dog friends who ARE safe with your dog and meet them together to keep his skills with other dogs fluent.  All this falls apart though if you hand your dog over to a dog walker who doesn’t understand the risks.  Or if someone comes to the park and as you are leashing up, unleashes their dog to come and molest your dog.  When you cannot control who comes into contact with your dog, you really cannot take your dog into the situation.

One tragic incident happened to a client of mine many years ago.  She knew her dog was not good with strangers, but it was her family’s year to host Christmas dinner.  I suggested boarding her dog.  Not keen on that idea, she chose instead to put her dog out in their outdoor kennel while her guests were there.  An uncle, who had met the dog as a puppy decided he knew better than the owner and went out to the kennel and let the dog out.  After playing with the dog for half an hour, he let the dog into the home, where she mauled one of the other guests.  The owner appeared to be behaving responsibly, but she could not prevent her uncle from doing something that we knew would cause a problem.  It isn’t always what the owner does, but what the people around the owner do that can cause havoc.

When you have guests, containing your dog at home may be a good idea if your dog has aggression issues, but often it is a better idea to send your dog to a professional boarding kennel where he can be safely cared for. Image credit: evdoha / 123RF Stock Photo

There are lots of dangerous dogs living in communities, and when everyone is brutally realistic without being paranoid or soft hearted, we can make it work.  When you own a dog who might be dangerous, it is your responsibility and no one else’s to protect society from harm caused by your dog.  As members of society, when an owner tells us that a dog is not friendly, you are not helping in any way by insisting that you know better.  You don’t.  You have no idea what the history of the dog you meet is and if the owner or handler tells you that the dog is not safe or not comfortable with being touched, then don’t press your luck; it is not worth it in any way.  Staying safe when working with dogs is like owning a gun.  You don’t leave it out where people who don’t understand it might have access, and you don’t leave it in a place where someone who might use it to commit a crime might find it.  With dogs with behaviour problems proactive handling, preplanning and organizing a plan B so that you can avoid problems is just common sense.  Kind of like living with a gun.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


 I just arrived back from my trip to teach Treibball in Montreal with DogzWorth, and as many of you know this was Deef’s last big trip with me.  I am thinking of a retirement party for him sometime soon.  In many ways it was a great trip with the exception of the enormous access challenge that we faced just before we travelled.  I was travelling by train and as normal for me, I called the day before I was to travel in order to make sure that D’fer was going to be welcome on the train.  I call not because I have to, but because I want the trip to go as smoothly as possible.

The answer I got was somewhat frustrating.  I was told that the company’s policy was to require that all service dogs have certification by a recognized service dog school.  Under the law, this is not required, and probably not permitted, but many companies in many countries all over the world are beginning to make their own policies without regard for what the local laws say regarding disabled people who are accompanied by their service dogs.  And many companies are very concerned about people faking that their dog is a service dog.  Hmmm.

John posted a short blurb on his Facebook page lamenting how frustrated he was with this attitude, stating that we have never met a fake service dog.  I know many people claim that they know of this happening and I know many trainers who have been presented with dogs that clients want trained as a service dog so that they can either live somewhere that a dog is prohibited or that they can travel with their dogs, so I know this is out there, but I think that the whole “fake” service dog issue is a side bar. 

First and foremost it is illegal in most places to fake having a disability.  In the United States there are big fines at the federal level for faking a disability in order to get access to services that might not be available to the general public.  So if you are faking having a disability, then that in and of its self is wrong.  Using an assistive device to perpetuate that is even more wrong, regardless of the type of assistive device that you choose to use.

This is an extremely sophisticated assistive device.  Who trained her, where she came from, and what she does is not as important as the fact that she is never a disturbance in public!

Interestingly the transportation company did not have a policy regarding the use of wheelchairs, canes or walkers, of eye glasses or of hearing aides.  They only had a policy regarding the use of a dog.  Hmmmm again.  So in theory, if you are in need of a prosthetic finger, and you happen to be a bicycle repair guy, you can make your own and no one will care.  In fact, if you do that, you can get yourself an article in the Huffington Post:  http://tinyurl.com/c3qfhvf .  You are more than welcome to travel with your prosthetic finger, even if you are not certified to make one.  That dear readers is discrimination.  If you are permitted to make your own wheelchair, cane, glasses, prosthetics or hearing aides, then why should you not be permitted to train your own service dog?

Something that I think is an important part of disability culture is the right of the individual to determine what the best accommodation is for him or her.  I live with migraines, traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety.  My dog is able to pick things up, make space for me in a crowd, help me to walk in a straight line and alert me to oncoming migraines and panic events.  My dog makes travel comfortable when I might not be able to go at all otherwise.  My dog frees up the skills of my fellow travelers who might otherwise be asked to pick things up or take care of me when I am not able to take care of myself.  I would far rather have D’fer by my side and not have to explain each day what I need and ask for the help I need in order to be able to go from one point to another.

Not every dog is suited to this work, and not every disabled person is able to train their own dogs, but we need to start considering some of the things that we can do when the situation comes together where a disabled person has a suitable dog and has the skills to train it.  When this comes together, then why shouldn’t we have the right to train our own dogs?

The law already says I am not permitted to create a disturbance in public.  Dogs themselves don’t have the right of access; it is disabled people who have the right of access and who may be accompanied by a working dog.  If I am traveling and my dog was to create a disturbance by barking, or toileting inappropriately, or by jumping on people or by knocking someone down, or by picking things up or carrying things, then it doesn’t matter if the dog is certified; the company has the right to kick me out.  My dog does none of these things.

When I called the company, I was told that I would need a certificate from a recognized service dog school.  I have a friend who is trying to fly overseas right now with her service dog and she is going through the same thing.  She has a very highly trained sheltie who assists her in a number of ways, but she does not have a “certificate”.  This discrimination is frustrating and avoidable.

There is a theory that is very interesting when it come to disabled and currently abled people sharing space; it is called Universal Accessibility.  What this means is that without making a special ramp, or changing the configuration of the room; how could we set up the world so that everyone would be welcome.  When you build a building so that it has Universal Accessibility, you think about how a wide variety of people would access your service.  In the case of a train you think about how you might build a train and the platform so that wheelchairs could roll in, and people could walk in and strollers could roll in and we wouldn’t need to preboard if we were disabled because there would be no more difficulty for someone with a wheelchair or a service dog or a baby in a buggy than there would be for someone who is currently abled.

We can also think of this as being something that we do when we make our rules.  Rules should apply equally to all.  No one ever worries about currently abled people rolling into their place of business in a wheelchair that they made themselves.  So if you are NOT disabled, and you decide to take your kitchen chair and the wheels off your bike and meld them together, there is no law that says you cannot travel around just like that.  Why you might want to is beyond me, but it is perfectly legal to do so.  In fact you can do this if you are disabled too, but really, who would want to do this?

When we look at the laws that we live with and the rules that companies make, they are often the result of a problem that has cropped up.  Presumably there have been no problems so far with homemade wheelchairs or prosthetics and thus there are not rules about this.  There have however been problems with service dogs and thus, we have rules, but the rules are rarely universal in nature.  I would implore organizations that make rules relating to service dogs to make fair rules that are in line with the law AND that apply equally to everyone.

If a rule were to state that train passengers are not permitted to make a disturbance either through making excessive noise, littering or leaving their seat area in an unsanitary manner, or interfering with their fellow passenger’s access to the train, we would have a rule that applied equally to service dog users, currently abled people and those with canes, wheelchairs or incontinent babies or service dogs, without specifically listing the service dog as an issue.  We already have a law that requires that service dog users in Ontario carry a letter from their doctor indicating that we have legitimate need for a service dog; why should we need more than that to give us the right to use a dog who is clean, well behaved, not barking and not blocking the aisle?  Fair is fair and I would like to see the rules change internally to reflect that rules ought to be the same for everyone.

Traveling through the public realm with a service dog is not nearly as much fun as people think.  The background work that goes into making a service dog candidate into a great service dog is huge.  You have to choose the right dog, and then give him the proper socialization.  You have to train him to cope with all the things that you are going to need to face as an adult doing public access.  You have to teach him to do things that help.  That your dog makes you feel better is not a task; it is an outcome.  If you cannot articulate what your dog does, then he isn’t a service dog.  Assistive devices are not toys, even though they may be a lot of fun some of the time.  If you are thinking about making your pet into a service dog, and you don’t have a disability consider that I cannot choose to not have my disability at any given point.  I am reliant on my dog to make it possible for me to do things, and it is not cool to pretend to have the limitations that a disabled person does. 

Traveling with a service dog is a lot of work.  When we got off the train in Toronto, my first order of duty was to find somewhere that Deef could toilet without inconveniencing any of my fellow travellers.  This weekend, that meant a twenty minute walk, lugging about fifty pounds of gear, out of the building and through construction.  D’fer was really thirsty from our trip so I had to find water.  I purchased a big bottle of water for him and unpacked his bowl and put it down for him to drink.  He drank most of it and then I needed to wait and see if he needed any more.  After waiting ten minutes, I dumped what he didn’t drink, used a dirty shirt from my suitcase to dry off the bowl and repacked everything.  Then we had to walk some more in case he needed to go again.  Have you noticed that I haven’t been to the bathroom yet?  Then we had to hike on back to the train station, and find an accessible bathroom; we don’t fit in a regular stall.  That done, I found a place to wait the hour for my connection.  During that hour four people interrupted my work (I was on my computer) to ask me inane questions about my dog.  Sometimes they ask me really rude questions too.  I am not fond of answering personal questions from complete strangers but it is par for the course when traveling with a service dog.  Why anyone would fake this is beyond me; it is too much work!

I have written this for several reasons.  Firstly, if you are a gate keeper who is trying to make sure that those who should not have a service dog don’t, please look first at the behaviour of the dog; if the dog is jacketed and well behaved, on one level, who cares if the person is disabled or not.  If they are not, if they don’t really need the dog they will learn soon enough that it is a big pain in the butt to travel with a dog who isn’t needed, and they will stop doing it.  If in the meantime, you have a well behaved dog on your hands, what harm?  And if the dog is not well behaved, you are within your rights to refuse service to the person solely based on them creating a disturbance.  Secondly, if you are considering faking your need for a service dog, think again.  It isn’t fair to the dog if he has not had the appropriate training to ask him to do the things we ask service dogs to do.  It is also a ton of work for you and it will get you attention you really don’t want.  Thirdly, if you are a service dog user, please make sure that your use of a dog doesn’t inconvenience the people you encounter.  I have seen service dogs who do not mind their manners, whose people don’t clean up after them and who create a disturbance.  YOU are disturbing the peace when your service dog barks, lunges, takes things that don’t belong to you or soils the area he is within, and the proprietor has the right to refuse you service based on YOU creating a disturbance.  Having a certificate from a service dog school doesn’t give you the right to disturb others.  We can all get along if we try, but we all have to try if we are going to get along.