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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Educating the Kids

Yesterday I was walking through the grocery store with Quinn. Some rain (and 'bad behaviour') disrupted our plans of spending some time in the park, so I figured I might as well go and get food while I'm out. And I noticed two things while I was there.

1. Children are ten times as observant as adults.

Since yesterday was Saturday the store was crawling with children. I mean, it was a weekend and raining so what else are you suppose to do with your children besides take the food shopping with you. Not that I'm knocking taking your children shopping with you. Quite the opposite. I believe it is important for the children to help pick out the food and cook it. But, that's a different story. Anyway, I heard "Look mummy! There's a dog in the store!" and it's many variations about twenty times in the half an hour we were there. Some of them really cracked me up because their language was very, very British. (I'm in Scotland so I guess that's the be expected, but it still cracked me up.) And a couple of time when the child noticed Quinn, the parent was confused until they looked around and finally saw Quinn. 

2. All the parents seemed fairly well educated on Guide Dogs.

Seriously, every single parent said "That's a helper dog." or "She's training that dog to help someone who is blind." It was refreshing to say the least. I don't know what it is about the States, but about half of the time the parent will explain to their child that my dog is in training to be a service dog and they can't pet him/her without asking and the other half will actually tell their children to just go and pet my dog or won't do anything when the child runs up to my dog and starts petting them. Here, every parent I encountered explained to their child what my dog was and kept them from petting him. It was...amazing. 

It's time like this where I feel I should start up a youtube channel or something about service dog education. Because this is really the only way we'll see a majority of people not try and love on the dog and we're walking; get to them young. 

What I really wanted to say with this post is Thank You. To every parent out there who educated their children with proper service dog etiquette I can only say that you are making my job easier and are helping to ensure the safety of any working Guide Dog team. And that's pretty big. So, thank you! We all appreciate it! 

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