So I’ve made my decision. An easy one but one I had to consider all the ducks and line them up.
Quinn is now a Service Dog in Training (SDiT).
What does that mean? In North Carolina (and many other states) a handler with an SDiT has the same access rights as one with a “real” SD. I can take Quinn wherever I go. Before, we’ve only gone to dog friendly places and one trip to Blue Mountain Pizza. It’s time for her to learn that the tasks she does at home, she is to do AWAY from home, too. In all situations and places. Time to add distractions (kids, other dogs, smells) and practice, practice, practice.
With Joella, I used a red cape. It was easy to put on and take off and it was, like, RED. On her black coat, it really looked good. Not that anyone paid much attention to the “do not pet” patches but that’s another post.
But what I don’t like about most SD gear is the part in the front goes straight across the shoulders vs dipping down into a Y to go down the chest and reconnect to the belly part. Those that go straight across tend to restrict shoulder movement, or, at the least, make the dog think it is restricted. This can lead to muscle and bone issues. It is the standard, however, and finding one for Quinn that I liked was getting difficult.
Then a friend who knew someone who knew someone with a service dog had a leather harness they needed to rehome. The friend asked my friend if she knew anyone. Which means I have a cool leather harness for Quinn. I need to get some stuff to clean and protect it but it’s a nice harness. And it does not restrict shoulder movement at all. It is plain brown so I’ll need to add stuff to it to make it look “official”.
By law, a service dog does not need to wear any identification at all. It’s just folks expect it and it makes it a LOT easier. Jo’s had a “Service Dog” patch and a “Working, Do Not Pet” patch. Quinn’s will be more subtle I think. I’ll do a velcro spot with patches to make it look “official”.