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Thread: Dogs at Work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Artistic Fan, I hope you never lose your eyesight, ... - all situations which merit from the engagement of a working dog.
    Actually, that is incorrect. I have met and interacted with a lot of people who are visually impaired, even dated one for 8 years, and most of the others were in his circle of friends. Only 2 of them had guide dogs. The other 98% do just fine without them, and these people live in NYC of all places, yet they know it like the back of their hand.

    And FYI, before someone is paired up with a guide dog for the first time, they have to demonstrate that they have received sufficient Orientation and Mobility training and can travel on their own using the white cane. They still have to know where they're going; the dog can't help them if they don't have their directions correct. The dog's major purpose is to help in negotiating hazards like street crossings, obstructions and obstacles, stairs, etc. which, like I said, the person is already trained to be able to negotiate on their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Actually, that is incorrect. I have met and interacted with a lot of people who are visually impaired, even dated one for 8 years, and most of the others were in his circle of friends. Only 2 of them had guide dogs. The other 98% do just fine without them, ...
    you know exactly 100 blind people?
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    To follow up on my original post, FWIW another college in the same area has just passed a policy of no animals on campus, except for guide/working dogs and lab rats (or other animals being used as part of classes). The fact that both places are considering the same issue at the same time makes me think that there is some kind of external regulatory crackdown going on.

    And also FWIW I got a look at a petition site that the pro-dog people have set up. They only have 136 signatures and were hoping for 1000, and most of those are signatures of people from other countries who I'm assuming don't visit this college's campus on a daily basis Some of the comments are astounding, frankly. "Doggy day care is expensive"? Yes, but is that a reason to demand to be allowed to bring your dog to work every day?
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    My office building also contains the local office for ATF. One of the officers has a dog as his partner. She's a beautiful black lab mix, and friendly as anything. She detects accelerants at arson scenes, so she isn't aggressive at all and she lounges with the secretaries during the day. Sometimes when I have a really, really bad day, I go and see if she's here. She loves belly rubs, and it relaxes me.

    I'll be sad when she retires this summer - she's almost 10 now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Some of the comments are astounding, frankly. "Doggy day care is expensive"? Yes, but is that a reason to demand to be allowed to bring your dog to work every day?
    I really don't get this attitude. Would someone ask to bring someone with dementia because adult day care is expensive? Work is work. No one/thing belongs there other than the employees, customers, and the people needed to keep the business going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Artistic Fan, I hope you never lose your eyesight, become confined to a wheelchair, have an autistic child or live on a farm - all situations which merit from the engagement of a working dog.


    I do live on a farm where my husband works very hard to raise organic goodies for local farmers markets in between his working and home hours. I still have no use for a dog. I have no problem with you wanting a dog or even wanting a dog around you, but I will not be around you or do business with you if you have one at your place of work.

    I like to be able to take a breath without wheezing and breaking out in a rash. And I prefer not to have panic issues that arise when I even see a dog through a window. I love my life and have lived for more than 35 years without losing an ounce of sleep over missing out on dogs in my life.

    I am not an animal person at all. My husband cares for the animals that we do have, but he knows and accepts that animals are just not something I care anything about having in my life - work or home. They are not in the house with me and I'm fine with that.

    As for being blind or in a wheel chair, there are more than a few options for such situations. I am well aware of what can and will be done, as I do come from a large family and several do have health issues that require assistance. Not a one of them have a dog.

    Now that we have veered off subject I'll go back to my happy and dogless existence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rvi5 View Post
    ... My brother's step-daughter is uncomfortable (not terrified) with large dogs. She grew up never owning a dog, just cats. Her lack of exposure to dogs is what makes her uncomfortable.
    Are you sure? I disagree with this. I had plenty of exposure to dogs and grew up with them as family pets, mainly Border Collies and Dobermann, and never had a problem with them. But I am still decidedly uncomfortable and wary around dogs - other than the Rottie owned by one of my sons which I love

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    As someone who got into it with his local drugstore chain branch for allowing customers to bring their dogs in, and going to restaurants where customers are allowed to let the dogs sit at the tables, no. Unless it's a working dog, no. I love animals, but they don't belong at work. Even my ex, who is obsessed with his spaniels and pug, says dogs don't belong at work. It's not just about hygiene, but disruption of routine.

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    I love dogs...when not at work.

    A co worker brings her dog to work all the time and I filed a complaint. I don't care if it will get lonely if she isn't home with him. Not my problem. My kids miss me when I go work, that doesn't mean I am going to bring them to work with me. (Never mind that I miss them too!!) I love my cat but I wouldn't think to bring her to work with me. Bosses hired the worker...not the little dog too...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    I really don't get this attitude (re: doggy day care is expensive). Would someone ask to bring someone with dementia because adult day care is expensive?
    ITA. Simply not a valid excuse. Again, if it works for your workplace to bring in your dog, great; but if it doesn't, and you can't/won't leave your dog at home and can't afford the daycare ... then don't get a dog. Dog owning is a priviledge a responsibility, not a universal right.

    Of course I feel more or less the same way about human children ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I'm not implying that the dog is doing something aggressive. The dog is doing what dogs do. And that's fine -
    If you're talking about biting, it is a dominant aggressive behaviour and is completely unacceptable. If your dog bits a person the SPCA can call for it to be put down.

    I am sure many/most owners do take steps to train the dog not to scratch and bite, but my examples were to illustrate that not all do, and in fact some people represent their dogs as friendly and harmless when they are not.
    I agree with you there. And I find this particularly true of little dog owners, who seem to think that because their dog is tiny and cute, it can't be aggressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    And FYI, before someone is paired up with a guide dog for the first time, they have to demonstrate that they have received sufficient Orientation and Mobility training and can travel on their own using the white cane. They still have to know where they're going; the dog can't help them if they don't have their directions correct. The dog's major purpose is to help in negotiating hazards like street crossings, obstructions and obstacles, stairs, etc. which, like I said, the person is already trained to be able to negotiate on their own.
    You are incorrect. My mother and my sister are both blind. My sister was born blind, my mother went blind 11 years ago. My sister doesn't have a guide dog because she also has a hearing impairment, so she walks with a cane. She relies completely on other people to teach her how to get places, and because of her hearing and her crappy memory, is fairly dependent on others. My mother has a guide dog, even though she can actually "see" large objects and very bright colours. She had a guide dog before she learnt to use a cane, and the guide dog goes everywhere with her when she is alone, including to her work. All mum does is say "shops" or "bus stop" etc. and the dog takes her. If there's a new place that she wants to go, either the local guide dog's association comes to teach the dog (with mum) or my stepfather, who now knows enough to train her, teaches the dog.

    My mother wouldn't be able to get anywhere on her own without her dog, regardless of the cane. The cane's primary purpose is also to stop the blind person from bumping into things. The dog can be trained to go places. Talah (mum's dog) knows how to take mum to the bus stop, the local shops, from her work to the market etc. - all places that mum couldn't get to with just the cane, the dog guides her there. My mum only uses the cane when she is with friends who don't know sighted guide, or feel uncomfortable with it.

    I have many blind friends, and have worked with the blind and visually impaired for years (I work in special education). I also have formal training in mobility and orientation, and have done work placements with Royal Society for the Blind, Vision Australia and Guide Dogs SA. Yes, one does have to qualify for a guide dog, but it isn't necessary to know where they are going, or have to use a cane first. From Guide Dog SA's website "[Guide dogs] assist a client to locate destinations, avoid obstacles and stop at kerbs. They give their users confidence and companionship." (bold mine)

    Working dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere in Australia due to anti-discrimination laws, but other dogs are almost always not allowed in the workplace because of occupational health and safety policies.
    Last edited by Angelskates; 02-05-2011 at 09:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    It's hard for me to comment on not liking or being afraid of dogs. I just can't imagine it......But I really, really can't stand cats, so there you are...........
    You've hit the nail on the head there. Some people (and this isn't directed at you, by the way, I'm speaking generally) just don't get that whilst they might love their furry friends, other people might not be so enamoured.

    I love my cat, but having the fear of dogs has left me very aware that I shouldn't assume the same of everyone. So I'm very careful to make sure that potential visitors to my house know we have a cat. If they don't like cats, and particularly if they are allergic, I'll suggest we meet elsewhere. That's better for them, better for the cat, and better for me (because I won't be stressing about upsetting both the visitor and the cat). Or if they're only popping in for a few minutes, then I'm happy to shut the cat in the bedroom for a short time, if the visitor is happy with that solution. Overnight visitors are told very firmly that they should not feel guilty about removing the cat from the room if cat decides he'd like to sleep in the spare bed with them, and they don't want that.

    Some owners (and it's definitely not confined to dog owners) just can't seem to grasp that whilst the animal is part of their lives, it's not part of other people's. Others aren't obliged to love your pets.

    As I said earlier, the above isn't directed at anyone here - it's just a general observation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I have many blind friends, and have worked with the blind and visually impaired for years (I work in special education). I also have formal training in mobility and orientation, and have done work placements with Royal Society for the Blind, Vision Australia and Guide Dogs SA.
    See, therein lies the difference. You're in Australia, I'm in the United States, New York State to be exact. The approaches to education/rehabilitation/societal assimilation of the blind (and other disabilities) are not universal, so there are going to be differences between what you were taught in Australia, and what I was taught when I was in college in New York (I went to college to be a teacher of the blind, took and passed all the required courses, passed the NYS Teaching Certification Provisional Test, but due to extenuating circumstances, plus a relationship with my academic advisor/professor that was always a power struggle in nature, I ended up failing student teaching, yet graduated anyway with my B.A. in English).

    For example - does Australia have an equivilent to the USA's Fair Housing Act, which states that a landlord's "no pets" policy become moot once a disabled person with a service animal applies for an apartment, and that they can't charge a pet surcharge on a service animal? And is Australia's definition of "legal blindness" the same as in the US? Does Australia have laws like we do in NY, that say that a blind person always has the right-of-way when crossing a street, even if it is against the light (which a properly trained independent traveller would never do anyway)?

    At any rate, the entire point of my first post, in case you missed it, is that having a guide dog is not necessary if one is blind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    For example - does Australia have an equivilent to the USA's Fair Housing Act, which states that a landlord's "no pets" policy become moot once a disabled person with a service animal applies for an apartment, and that they can't charge a pet surcharge on a service animal? And is Australia's definition of "legal blindness" the same as in the US? Does Australia have laws like we do in NY, that say that a blind person always has the right-of-way when crossing a street, even if it is against the light
    Yes, to all of the above. And they also get free public transport for themselves and a guide, and, in most cases, non-means tested disability allowances and taxi vouchers. These are all part of Australia's anti-discrimination laws.

    What you stated as fact is not only incorrect, but it doesn't make sense. If "The dog's major purpose is to help in negotiating hazards like street crossings, obstructions and obstacles, stairs, etc. which,..., the person is already trained to be able to negotiate on their own" what exactly is the point of the dog? If you know where you're going, and how to get there, you don't need a guide dog, you can use a cane. In order to qualify for a guide dog in both the US and Australia, O&M training needs to be done, but this can be completed sighted guide and not cane, or both, or just cane (pretty rare from what I've heard). You still have to prove you need the dog, which means you need the dog to guide you places - and won't be able to use just a cane.

    I have worked with more than twenty people here who have masters and above qualifications for working with the blind and visually impaired, and none of them agree with you. Guide dogs are taught to locate places, regardless of the country. A person does not need to use a cane, or know how to get to their destination, in order to have a guide dog. Actually, the training in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and a lot of South East Asia, with regards to working with the blind and visually impaired, is almost exactly the same. I have worked with more than 10 nationalities, and found almost zero difference in the training we've received, which is why, in Beijing, it's easy for us to work together, and also why Chinese orphanages and schools for the blind aren't fussy with foreign staff - we're consistent in our methods. Some of the people in my course and work placements were American (and I think there was one Canadian too). My supervisor at the time trained for some time in the US. One of the only differences in Australia, is that people often qualify for dogs at a younger age than in the US.

    Working with the blind and visually impaired is probably the most internationally consistent with regards to training and teaching methods; working with the deaf and hearing impaired, and those with special needs such as autism, is much, more more inconsistent, and organisations usually have a nationality preference or two (if they can afford it).
    Last edited by Angelskates; 02-05-2011 at 02:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    If you're talking about biting, it is a dominant aggressive behaviour and is completely unacceptable. If your dog bits a person the SPCA can call for it to be put down.
    I was talking about scratching, directly replying to your post above:
    As to scratches - if kids engage with dog's claws, they will get scratched. But you're inferring that the dogs are doing something aggressive with the kids to scratch them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny Hop View Post
    That's better for them, better for the cat, and better for me (because I won't be stressing about upsetting both the visitor and the cat). Or if they're only popping in for a few minutes, then I'm happy to shut the cat in the bedroom for a short time, if the visitor is happy with that solution.
    I'm so glad you are also thinking of the cat! I'm an animal person, I've always had dogs, but in Beijing I have four cats. When people who don't like cats want to come over, they think I should just lock the cats in a room. Um, that's okay for a short period of time maybe, but it's cruel for more than that. "They're just cats" is what they say. We can meet somewhere else, or we can stay confined to one room while the cats roam the rest of the house

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny Hop View Post
    You've hit the nail on the head there. Some people (and this isn't directed at you, by the way, I'm speaking generally) just don't get that whilst they might love their furry friends, other people might not be so enamoured.

    I love my cat, but having the fear of dogs has left me very aware that I shouldn't assume the same of everyone. So I'm very careful to make sure that potential visitors to my house know we have a cat. If they don't like cats, and particularly if they are allergic, I'll suggest we meet elsewhere. That's better for them, better for the cat, and better for me (because I won't be stressing about upsetting both the visitor and the cat). Or if they're only popping in for a few minutes, then I'm happy to shut the cat in the bedroom for a short time, if the visitor is happy with that solution. Overnight visitors are told very firmly that they should not feel guilty about removing the cat from the room if cat decides he'd like to sleep in the spare bed with them, and they don't want that.

    Some owners (and it's definitely not confined to dog owners) just can't seem to grasp that whilst the animal is part of their lives, it's not part of other people's. Others aren't obliged to love your pets.

    As I said earlier, the above isn't directed at anyone here - it's just a general observation.
    My therapist had a cat that was actually quite helpful during sessions. But that was in her house/office, so it was different. But she did carry her cat lurve too far. This cat (she had a couple actually) got cancer from licking shellac off her fancy office furniture. They removed half of her teats, but the cancer spread and the poor thing died. My shrink was understandably upset. She told me that she had actually thought of having the cat (named Shiva) stuffed and mounted so she could greet her patients! But her children and husband talked her out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    My therapist had a cat that was actually quite helpful during sessions. But that was in her house/office, so it was different. But she did carry her cat lurve too far.
    My cats are at my house, which is also work (centre working with special needs kids). My kids LOVE them. They make the kids feel instantly at ease, and I use them in sessions all the time.

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