I was in Las Vegas last year at this time. My traveling companions and I wanted some snacks and decided to pick up some other miscellaneous items. So, of course, Dollar Tree is the place to go. Lots of stuff to choose from and, at that time, everything was still one dollar.

On the way into the store, we saw a guy get out of the car with this huge furry dog. It was the size of a German Shepherd. Around the dog’s neck, rather than a collar and a leash, he had tied a rope. Since he was going into the store with the animal, I’m presuming he was claiming that it was a service animal (SA) or an emotional support animal (ESA).

Now I am not a dog person. I don’t like them and they can sense it. Thus they don’t like me either. Or they know I don’t like them, and they want to be all over me.  

By the time my companions and I entered the store, the man and his dog were just past the cash register. A store employee approached, and the dog leapt toward her. Standing on this hind legs, the dog was around 5 feet tall. It was a scary sight to see and, thankfully, the dog’s teeth did not connect with the woman’s body.

I have a favorite shopping spot out near Joliet. A man brings his dog all the time wearing a vest that says SA. As I made my way into the store, the dog began to approach me. The man did at least have him on the rope and pulled back. I had loudly commented that it was not a true SA! Real SA are trained to ignore people. The dog was nothing more than his pet, which he apparently likes to bring with him everywhere he goes.

The other day, I went into Menard’s in Melrose Park. I saw a man get out the car with what looked like a pitbull mix. He had a pink harness around the dog but no leash. He carried the dog like a toddler and went into the store. He placed the dog in a shopping cart and we both ended up on the ramp going up to the second floor. 

All I could do was stand back and wonder what possesses somebody to bring a dog into a store? And to top it off, without a leash! The dog also didn’t have any kind of tags indicating he had been registered or had his shots. Had that dog decided to leap out of the cart and attack someone, the man didn’t have any mechanism for holding it back. The harness, I guess, was to try to pretend that it was some sort of SA or ESA. Whatever the case, not having it on a leash is total irresponsibility. I know I was not the only person looking at the man wondering if he had lost his mind. But nobody said anything. 

We need a crackdown on the abuse of people wanting to bring their pets with them wherever they go, pretending they are SA or ESA. People are using the ADA with no regard to where my rights begin and where their rights end!