If you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you’ll know that I love dogs. Let me try that again. I LOVE dogs. Of course I think mine is the best in the world, but in general just about every dog is worthy of belly rubs and behind the ear scratches. Naturally, I often miss my dog when he’s not able to be with me. Like when I have to go the doctor, to the library, to a work meeting, or go grocery shopping. But, hey, those are the rules. Even though it pains me, I follow the rules and I know I’m going to see him again soon, so it’s not like it’s really that bad. I mean, really, what kind of person can’t be separated from their dog for even an hour while they have brunch with their friends?
I’m so glad you asked! THIS kind of person can’t do that. A dog trainer, in fact. One who took the time to write an article detailing the ins and outs of having a “fake” service dog while encouraging others to take her lead. It was mainly infuriating, but often it also veers into delusional with a couple of quick pit stops into utter nonsensical.
It should be noted that the author of the piece entitled “Me and My Fake Service Dog,” Anna Jane Grossman, quickly deleted her original article from medium.com due to the severe, and immediate, backlash it received upon its publication. Strangely enough, even the Google cache link has since been removed. However, a very industrious YouTube person posted a video showing screenshots of the original article which has also been removed. BUT the article did exist, however briefly, and deserves comment.
This woman, Ms. Grossman, has taken it upon herself to give the laws of the state of New York the middle finger and intentionally go through great lengths to lie so that her dog can go with her everywhere. She pretends he’s a Service Dog which means everyone who encounters her and her dog assumes she has a disability that requires the help of the canine.
She doesn’t lie about whether or not she has a disability (because by law no-one’s allowed to ask what her disability is, she just lets everyone assume). She just lies about her dog and his alleged “job.” And she’s very aware of what she’s doing. It’s a very purposeful thing.
A few stellar quotes from the blog that jumped out at me due to their sheer audacity are:
“But it’s true that often people in shops and restaurants are assuaged to see some kind of “proof,” even if it’s meaningless. (For this reason, a friend used Photoshop to make Amos a “Service Dog” card, which has indeed helped mollify shopkeepers)”
“I might lie for my own benefit, but I can’t condone someone else’s dishonesty”
And my favorite:
“Of course, I’d rather not lie at all!”
Oh, you’d rather not lie at all? Here’s an idea: don’t. Just don’t. Follow the laws like other people. No one is making you put yourself above the law. No one is making you print out fake registration cards (she even puts a picture of the card on her blog). From what I’ve read, there’s no reason that this dog is in mortal danger if it is left alone. There are simply no external forces making her lie as she tries to make it sound like (this is when the delusion comes in). She just wants to be with her dog all the time. So lie she must! What a crock of crap.
What’s worse is that she also encourages others to do this. She has a dog training school. I will repeat. She has a dog training school. She is a dog trainer. She trains dogs. For clients. Presumably for money. And she believes it’s okay to not only lie about her dog being a Service Dog, but to encourage others to do the same. Shouldn’t someone who is in the business of training dogs for a living have more respect for the real jobs of Service Dogs and those who need them?
Look, it’s bad enough that people who are disabled have the drawbacks of their disability affecting their daily lives. But they also usually have to jump thru bureaucratic hoops just to get a Service Dog or get their own dog (or animal) certified legally. Yes, they have it hard enough already without this woman threatening their credibility just because she gets lonely without her dog around.
She seems to think that the behavior of the dog is the determining factor in this whole issue. If the dog acts well-behaved then it should be able to go anywhere. She’s missing the point that it’s not about the dog’s behavior; it’s an issue of what’s legal and what’s not, period. An issue she’s decided to skirt around for her own selfish desires.
My favorite delusional line (when talking about NYC changing their policies about dogs allowed on outdoor patios) is:
“Perhaps this is the beginning of a movement to stop segregating dogs based on their owners’ disabilities, and instead look at the dogs’ abilities.”
Yes folks, dog segregation is obviously a HUGE problem in this country in case you didn’t know. Now I’m all for animal welfare, which you guys well know…but seriously, she’s going to claim her lies are to protest dog segregation!?
Now Ms. Grossman, at one point, put a statement on her company page to the effect that she was simply trying expose the regulations involving Service Dogs, though I have no idea how exactly she might have been doing that.
Her following statement sort of contradicts that intention anyway and is much more telling:
“There are various reasons why Faux-disableds may bring dogs with them to places like restaurants. It might be because it’s convenient, or it could be for the well-being of the dog who, for example, might have anxiety when left alone. Many, like myself, just are happier when they have their dog around. I’ve suffered depression for years; if Amos is with me, I’m less likely to drift into the dark recesses of my brain. But is my depression so crippling that I’d diagnose myself as disabled? Maybe one day a year.”
When it comes down to it, this self-centered, self-absorbed woman sure doesn’t seem to care one iota for Service Dogs in general or their behavior or worse yet, the people who truly need them. She just wants to make sure her dog can be by her side 24 hours a day and she doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. In the end, isn’t that just sort of sad, too?