The contents of this column reflect the letters we had received by the time we went to press, June 26, 2009. Letters are limited to 300 words or fewer. All submissions must include the author's name and location. Opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Note to All Dog Guides Everywhere!

Beware of blatant discrimination. Do not allow yourselves to be separated out and treated differently than other travel devices or aids. Do not be tricked into believing that your blind companion must show proof of your good standing in order to travel freely in the world.

Remember, if a person enters a restaurant in a wheelchair and goes about bashing into tables and grabbing food off patrons' plates, no one rushes up and demands to see a card proving that they have been properly trained. If a person enters a place of business using a long white travel cane and begins whacking other folks on the legs and shouting at them to get out of the way, no one steps forward demanding to see proof that they have received O&M training. If a person using a walker enters a cafe and relieves him- or herself in the corner, no one asks for proof that they have been given walker training. No, in all of these situations the offending individual will be escorted from the premises or the police will be called.

Only you, my furry, fuzzy friends, are expected to carry proof of your training. Even the blind man who enters a place of business with a sighted human guide does not need to prove that the guide has been certified to do this job. If the two of them become rowdy, out they go.

So my poochy pals, lift them tails, perk them ears, hold them muzzles high and go bravely forward, without any ID cards.

-- Carl Jarvis, Quilcene, Wash.

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