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Stop Shopping With Your Dog!

Vivian observes life and culture and offers truthful insights to introduce balance and normalcy to the crazed sectors of society.

In a culture that sanctions cherry-picking one’s own gender and related pronouns, it really should come as no shock to witness store patrons shopping with their dogs. In fact, it’s a growing trend. Emboldened by pet retailers who encourage bringing Spot along to garner more sales, patrons have tested the waters in other establishments by gliding in on the coat tails of service animal store policies. Why is this alarming?


It Exploits Programs For Those With Disabilities

Service animals make life easier for those with disabilities. People who suffer from blindness, deafness, mobility disorders, seizures, autism, or PTSD gain a new independence as they access venues previously unobtainable due to their condition. Service animals are a compassionate alternative to isolation. Retailers are accommodating the disabled by training their associates to make shopping a comfortable experience for those with service animals. Because federal law does not require service animals to come with a prescription or special licensing, pet owners of non-service animals are taking advantage of the lax substantiation procedures. Store owners are permitted to ask customers if their animal is a service animal, but those gaming the system simply lie, knowing proof will not be required. The only recourse a retailer can take is to require the patron to leave if the animal is creating a disturbance to other customers.

If a person can be fined over $250 for parking illegally in a handicapped spot, the law governing service animal use should be comparable. A license or form of verification should accompany every service animal to put an end to the abuse of this benevolent policy. Petition your state officials to make changes in current laws.

It’s Unsanitary

Four times within a two-month period, I have personally sashayed around doggie do and yellow puddles at Target, Walmart, and Meijer stores. If not for having children in tow, I may have been tempted to confront the narcissists about putting their own selfish desires ahead of reason and good judgment. The idiom don’t crap where you eat could be taken literally in this situation.

Employees must wash hands before returning to work signage can often be found in the public restrooms of area merchants. Yet, it’s okay to track dog tinkle and dung around the produce department? Dog urine and feces are comprised of harmful bacteria and should be cause for alarm in grocery stores, malls, and restaurants. This gross practice needs to be tackled and nixed by store management before it spirals further out of control.

It’s Neurotic

Pet owners are devolving. Instead of craving connection to real people, they are humanizing pets to take the place of authentic relationships. After all, dogs don’t talk back, engage in emotional conflict, or require much of people at all. It’s an easy investment that costs nothing, similar to inserting emoticons in social media to skirt around genuine dialogue. To insist a dog is one’s fur baby that must be lugged around on errands and treated like a toddler is psychotic.

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Emotional support animals is the new umbrella term some use illicitly to smuggle pets into places they don’t belong. If a non-human furry creature has become your source of solace and refuge, it’s time to try counseling, Prozac, or because you have bigger issues that a mutt can’t fix.

The Solution

Common sense escapes people in our current era for one main reason: people have become inordinately selfish and egotistical. They are ruled by their own desires and oblivious to personal responsibility, namely, how their actions affect others.

So, for those lacking common sense, Princess pooch does not belong in the shopping cart, in a purse, or on a leash at the store. She belongs at home, in a dog house, or in a pet cage until you return. To piggy-back on a policy instituted to help the disabled is morally reprehensible.

Retailers, set boundaries and enforce them because when patrons see pet caca in your stores, we are running in circles like Lucy in the Peanuts cartoon screaming, I have dog germs! Get hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some iodine!

Where Do You Stand on the Issue?

© 2018 Vivian Coblentz

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