“Service Dogs” on board ships....should they be allowed?
I don’t often make comments on here, but I have been following John and Dianne’s Lucky Number 7 thread from the Amsterdam World Cruise with discussions about so called “Service Dogs” that are currently on board the World Cruise and decided to start a separate thread to see if other people also have an objection to these animals on board.
Obviously they are approved by someone in an office who has no idea that they are not properly trained.
I do love dogs.....love our two “Granddogs” ....but not on ships! I have no objection to a properly trained Service Dog that is on a harness, but have no time for these people who seem to be able to bring on their pets by calling them Comfort Dogs.
The following is a quote from John and Dianne’s latest thread....
This morning in the gym, there wasn’t just exercising going on. A group of people, including the wife of one of the ship’s top officers, had an angry discussion going on about the dogs on board. I think I may have mentioned them before. A couple boarded the ship somewhere in Europe and, with HAL’s permission, brought aboard two “comfort dogs.” Apparently the husband had had heart surgery recently and felt he needed the comfort of his two dogs. Unfortunately, these are NOT service dogs, which I realized when one “escaped” their cabin one morning and ran helter-skelter down the hallway. Apparently the situation has become worse rather than better. During one show in the Queen’s Lounge, one of the dogs began to bark and then to howl, continuing until removed from the room. Also, one pooped in the elevator and another peed on the carpet somewhere on the ship. In addition, the couple brought their dogs to The Pinnacle for dinner and a conflict broke out with other diners which required that security be called. We don't know the outcome of that situation. Of course the person who approved this doesn’t have to deal with the consequences, but both passengers and especially crew do, and officers and crew at the very highest levels are really fed up with the whole thing. I realize that some people really do need their (well-trained) service dogs wherever they go, but noisy, badly-trained ankle biter dogs are certainly not a good idea. I know that it’s possible to find “service dog” certificates online, but I think the situation should require a letter from a vet certifying that the dog is actually a trained service dog as well as a letter from a physician explaining why the person needs such a dog. That would not violate the ADA, but it would keep situations like this from arising. Enough said.
I have experienced first hand one of these dogs last year on the Prinsendam in Europe and Holy Land and decided to now share some of the stories from that cruise.
A lady from New York had a “Service dog “. ...an Australian Sheepdog that is not bred to be a Service dog, but to round up and chase sheep!! This dog was totally out of control. It was apparently to protect her Personal Space! .....but invaded the space of many other passengers and crew!
The first we were aware of it, my husband said there was a strange noise that sounded like a dog barking when he was on the balcony.
This dog was seen by us and other passengers and crew.....
......bounding up the stairs on the ship on a very long lead
......off the lead in the Crows Nest, licking the tables and eating any dropped nuts off the floor and tables
......Off the lead on the back pool deck looking to be patted and jumping up on people
......pooping on the deck....instead of in his tray
.......according to the Dining Room Manager it jumped up on waiters, and the lady was ordering the best steak off the menu and feeding it under the table....the Dining Manager said he objected to the dog being given the HAL dining china to eat off and he found it a plastic dish. There were many confrontations apparently in the dining room and the lady was moved from several tables when people objected!
.......On an excursion the dog was in the front seat, with paws up on the partition over the driver and drooling on to the driver.
...... other passengers were asked by the lady if they would hold the lead while she went into some of the churches etc in Israel where dogs were not allowed.
......the lady was seen ashore on a few occasions without the dog in ports where it was not allowed (she was travelling with a friend so assumed the friend looked after it)
...the worst for me was while on an excursion, whilst climbing some stairs, this lady and her “Service Dog” raced passed me ......the dog went one side of me and the lady the other the dogs lead caugh my legs and I fell heavily on a landing on the stairs.
This dog was NOT a service dog and should never have been allowed! I made this quite clear in our cruise evaluation also.
Apart from the above, it is not fair to the dog to be confined like this
I hope I never encounter these so called Service Dogs on a ship again.