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Would You Question This Handler

Now I have traveled to some pretty out of the way places and enjoyed seeing service animals in other countries. Heck, I was almost kicked off the express train out of Russia for taking a picture of the beautiful German Shepherds they have to patrol the train. But I was not a service dog trainer at that time. Also, I have learned to ask before snapping a photo even if I don't know the language. Pointing at the camera is always a head nod yes or no in most places. When this policeman walked down the street of Lima, Peru with his canine partner there was nobody that stopped him to question him about his dog and why he had an animal at his side. The animals job was understood and there was a certain respect shown for the animal. Now I know that the first thought might be, well he could chew your face off if he wanted to, but also the animal was trained to do what he was doing and he didn't sniff at crotches or lick food off the tables. He was intent on his handler and followed his gestures and commands almost before his handler made them. With education and awareness we as a society can elevate the service dog acceptance and end the debate of what qualifies an animal to serve his handler in public places.

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