In Memory of Tess
December 22, 2015
Tommy in the News
February 3, 2016
In Memory of Tess
December 22, 2015
Tommy in the News
February 3, 2016

What’s His Name

sdharnessAfter three-plus years, I continue to be taken aback when strangers see Sir Thomas and me, acknowledge that they’ve read the various Do Not Pet, Mobility Dog, Ignore Me I’m Working tags and patches and, yet, they still ask his name. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s a friendly request made out of genuine curiosity,

My hesitation in answering stems from that one percent who’ll then call out his name. It takes only once to distract him, leaving me to crash into the avocado display at the grocery store or face-plant onto the floor at the Delta check-in counter.

For safety’s sake, I often respond with a smile and a fake name. Today, while enjoying a breakfast-served-all-day lunch with my husband and our son, Tommy dutifully napped on his mat beside our table. A couple stepped in and as they passed by, I sensed their pace slowing.

“Aw.” I heard and knew The Question was coming. I couldn’t answer as I’d just taken a bite of my omelette.

The woman murmured to herself, “What’s his name?” She leaned in close and scanned his patches and tags for the answer.

“Ah, ” she said, standing back up. “Service Dog,”” she said to her partner.

“Service Dog?” she said again in a questioning, what-kind-of-name is that tone.

“Oh,” she said next. “Service Dog. Oh,”

They scurried off, leaving the three of us laughing over our eggs. Tommy went back to sleep.




  1. Sandy says:

    Have you used “Killer” yet? =o)

  2. NedraE_E-TN says:

    I like that… it’s a good name. She is a proverbial “blond” !

  3. Marcia Aulebach says:

    Well written. Thank you. So sad the kids read the vest better then the adults. Maggie and I get this all the time. I have so many people get so made at me when I ask nicely pls don’t talk to the SD leave her alone she is not a pet but working here do not distract as asked again all done nicely. Just get me so upset Or you get you have to stand there to hear there long stories about so and so pet etc that is a fake dog or asked 100 questions. I them tell them I do not feel well and have to move on with my day. When all you need it one thing at the store an get the heck home.
    Thank you again Like give a fake name good call will try that. I find some days I have tough time talking bc of PD and I avoid the heck of folks or just don’t go out. Thanks for your courage and sound advice. Next time I will use the fake name and wait while they figure it all out.

  4. Dianeks-MD says:

    Love it. It takes all kinds.

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