Pierce, for example, has developed a routine with Autumn that involves the dog communicating when she needs to go to the bathroom, and then doing so in a specific orientation to Pierce that enables him to easily find it and collect it in a baggie.
A true service dog is essential to its human partner's well being, as well as a huge financial investment that other untrained dogs in public places put at risk.
That's good, but with all the confusion surrounding what a service dog actually is, there's less and less protection for their unique status.
A new bill introduced to the Senate this summer by Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin threatens to add to the confusion even more.
It also prohibits businesses or individuals from asking a disabled person for proof that their dog is a service animal. No inquiry can be made about the nature of the disability and no proof can be requested, nor are there any licenses or documents to prove a dog is a service animal.
In fact, the ADA permits only two questions to be asked of people with service animals: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? Emotional support animals (let’s just use that as a catchall for any dog that provides comfort but does not perform a specific task) are specifically excluded by the ADA, and access for them is not provided by that law.
In June, an ESA aboard an airplane attacked the human seated next to it, resulting in severe injury.
So where's the confusion come from, and why are there so many pets on airplanes these days?
Airways flight to make an emergency landing after repeatedly defecating in the aisle.
Their dog, Lola, is trained to smell the sweat associated with an oncoming seizure, alert Hayden and his parents, and then lay across him during a seizure to comfort and protect him.
“We often have to ask people to get their pets away from ours, because it’s a distraction, and the dog needs to pay full attention to my son,” explains Kunitsugu.
“People think we’re being assholes, but we can’t afford a distraction.” Pierce's dog, Autumn, completely ignores other dogs, doesn't beg for food, sits quietly for the duration of long flights, and generally minimizes her impact.
That's the result of lots of money—service dogs cost upwards of ,000—and thousands of hours of training.