Service dogs are necessary companions for many.
It is important that we recognize their role in the life of the owner, and respect their boundaries. Understanding that they’re doing a job, and not just pets help us give them the space they need to better protect their owners.
So, when someone doesn’t respect a service dog they are putting the owner in danger.
Redditor aervucedof encountered this very issue with her dog. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA For ‘faking’ a fainting spell?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Just a note, I didn’t actually fake it but I did dramatize it.”
“I (17F) suffer from several medical conditions, one of which is fainting. We’re still trying to figure out why this happens, but it does.”
“I have a service dog, who is honestly the light of my life. He has saved me in so many ways and I’m forever grateful.”
“I live with my dad but recently he’s been hospitalized and it’s not safe for me to be alone, so I’m staying with my mom, her husband and their kids.”
“They refuse to acknowledge that my dog works. They constantly try to overfeed him, or give him food he is not allowed, and are always trying to distract him.”
OP has tried everything.
“No matter how much I tell them to leave it, they won’t. He’s almost missed several cues, and I am getting increasingly worried.”
“If I were to have a seizure and he not alert me beforehand I could very easily fall and hit my head too hard.”
OP took matters into her own hands.
“So, the other day, they were once again fussing over him, after I had told them several times to leave him alone. I went to walk over and remove him from them when my vision went blurry.”
“This is a sign of a fainting spell, and when I can tell I’m about to have them I usually sit back down. I decided against it, and as one would imagine, fainted. I hit the ground pretty hard and had a headache, but most of the impact was on my arms.”
“Even through this whole thing, my stepdad held my dog back while my mom tried to figure out what was wrong. I snapped and told him to give my dog back once I came around, and have since decided I’ll take my chances living alone for a while.”
“My dad found out I was planning on going back home, and called to ask why.”
“I explained what had happened, and he asked why I had allowed myself to faint on the floor (he knows I can usually feel them coming) and I explained that I wanted to see if they would actually let my dog do his job. I’d rather faint in a more controlled way than have a seizure and not know if they’re going to help me.”
OP’s mom and family found out.
“I guess my brother heard and basically told his parents, both of which blew up at me for scaring them. Yelling triggered my PTSD and they once again refused to let my dog near to help.”
“I have since left, and everyone is blowing up my phone, calling me an evil b*tch for scaring them like that.”
” My dad said I shouldn’t have done it, and says I need to make up with them so I can go back, because he doesn’t want me staying alone.”
“I reiterated that even if I stay with them I’m at the same amount of risk because they won’t help. At least here I have access to my dog.”
“Am I the a**hole?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. They’re called service dogs not ‘wait here while the humans try and figure out what’s going on’ dogs.” ~ SuperVillain85
“This is ‘you don’t need an inhaler, just breathe.'” ~ Ciryl_Lynyard
Some people were worried about her living situation.
“NTA. They are abusing your service dog by interrupting him. Your medical safety comes first. However, I am not convinced living alone is the best solution.” ~ justinwalltown
“I do think I’ll struggle, but I genuinely don’t think I could live with them for much longer. At least here the house has safety precautions in place, you know?” ~ aervucedof
“Agreed, but living alone would beat living with people putting her in extra danger.”
“The best option would be to see if assisted living is an option (there are places where it’s actually fairly low interference, they check every few hours and make sure you are okay), but clearly living with family isn’t an option.” ~ Xenavire
Redditors supported OP’s decision.
“NTA, at all, you have that dog for a reason and they did everything possible to interfere.”
“They all suck so much, including your dad for trying to force you to make up (however well intentioned it might be, that would be putting you in danger.)” ~ Xenavire
“What part of “a service dog is not a pet” do they not get?”
“I was on a train once, with a bunch of trainers training such dogs. How to be in a public space, how to not react to people around and stay calm – the things they need to be able to do in public.”
“I went to the trainers, told THEM how gorgeous the dogs were, maybe give them an extra treat or hug on my behalf – BUT even without knowing everything that goes into training them, I know that you do NOT pet them or approach them or touch them or engage them in any way!!!”
“And here OP has told them what not to do and they’ve just ignored her??? Do they think she’s a selfish brat??? WTF???” ~ KeepLkngForIntllgnce
“NTA. Fainting is a pain in the ass, but it is a lot easier to avoid injury with that than an actual seizure.”
“Testing out their response with a fainting spell was the right way to go for your own safety. Also, this might be borderline not okay to ask, but have you gotten POTS syndrome ruled out as a possible cause?”
“It took me about two years of fainting/seizure-like episodes to get a definitive diagnosis of POTS and they figured out treatment pretty easily after that.” ~ Hippygrif287
“I haven’t, no.”
“Our doctors are being really slow with everything going on, and they basically said unless more symptoms pop up, to just live life until they have more time for me. I’ll mention it to them though!” ~ aervucedof
Service dogs are not pets!