A young woman’s post about her service dog being ignored when he was trying to get help is going viral and helping people understand what to do if they see a service dog approaching them alone.
Tessa Connaughton has epilepsy and her dog Raider is trained to go get help if she has a seizure.
Recently, while out shopping, Tessa fell down. She wasn’t having a seizure, but Raider thought she was and went off to alert someone.
When she followed after him, she found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman,” she wrote on Tumblr. “She was swatting him away and telling him to go away.”
The incident reminded her that although most people know not to approach a service dog when they are on duty and with their owner, not everyone knows what to do if a service dog approaches them alone.
So she wrote this post, which has since gone viral:
Tessa is extremely happy that her message is being shared, and people have a better understanding of what to do. The lesson is simple:if a service dog approaches without a person, please follow them. They are trying to get their owner help. Or, as Tessa humorously writes: “If what’s-his-face could understand that Lassie wanted him to go to the well, you can figure out that a dog in a vest proclaiming it a service dog wants you to follow him.”