As someone who has an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), it is very frustrating to see a “service dog” out and about that you know is fake.
There have been plenty of times that my illness has prevented me from going shopping or out with my hubby. My instinct is to stay home. On the occasions where I am able, I take my ESA with me to go out and their presence helps keep me focused elsewhere by interacting with them. There are days where having my ESA with me is the difference between not leaving the house for days and venturing out into the world which also lessens my symptoms allowing me to recover faster.
While I wish ESA’s were more accepted, I abide by the boundaries and only go to places that allow dogs. Places with outside terraces for dining, Lowe’s, Barnes and Noble, Home Depot, etc.. We are fortunate to have an entire mall that is dog friendly where the shops even keep water bowls by their doors. I also keep them in a carrier or on leash at all times. I would never bring a dog that is disruptive, anxious, or has a history of aggressive behaviors anywhere in that capacity.
I was at Goodwill one day and a lady had her toy breed in the seat of her cart. She had her back to her while looking through the racks not paying attention. A little girl approached and the dog growled very loudly at her. The owner turned around and said, “No, no dear. She does bite strangers.”. What the hell?? I started talking to the owner and she had no problem with having her dog out even though it bites. It’s people like this that ruin it for everyone.