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Service animals, and service dogs in particular, get to accompany their human partner many, many places, but there are still a few places where they can't go.

I had to go to one of those places today.

Service animals are not permitted in private residences if the head of the household objects, or in private clubs if any member of the club objects.  

They can't enter rooms where X-rays, MRIs, CAT Scans, and other such diagnostics are performed, even though they can accompany thier handler to the waiting room and be present in the examing room.  Nor can they accompany their handler into the operating room.  Since the medical staff are not obligated to watch the dog while the handler is in the diagnostic testing rooms or surgery, the handler must provide a sitter for the service animal.  If that's not possible, then the service animal must stay at home.

They can't accompany their handler to physical therapy unless the therapy involves working with the service animal.

They can't enter the NICU, ICU, or CCU, unless they or their handler are the patient, and then only if the doctor and medical staff agree to it.

Service animals can accompany their handlers to standard hospital rooms, clinics, examing rooms, and waiting rooms of hospitals, clinics,and doctor's offices.  If the handler is going to need diagnotic tests, blood work, or to enter an area where their service animal can't accompany them, the service animal needs to stay home.

Service animals can't enter food preparation areas where the food will be served to the public.  They can enter the dining rooms, hallways, and restrooms of food service establishments - all the places where customers can freely go, a handler/service dog team can freely go.

Service animals can enter court rooms only at the discretion and invitation of the judge.

Today, I had to go to court, to settle a worker's compensation claim.  The judge who would be presiding doesn't allow service animals.

Or rather, he previously didn't allow service animals. That may change.  I noticed he had hearing difficulties and mentioned them to him, saying I understood because I also had a hearing impairment and a hearing ear dog to help compensate for that.  I described a lot of the things Itzl does for me, said he looked like a Corgi man (he blinked and said he loved Corgis), and I told him Corgis were one of the preferred breeds for hearing ear dogs.  I gave him the contact information to the local hearing ear dog training facility and the links to information on hearing ear dogs.

Then we settled my claim, which was a rather straight forward affair (work injury, surgical repair, permanent disability, done).  I probably added an hour to the time it took talking service dogs.

And when I got home, Itzl scolded me rather thoroughly and promptly forgave me for leaving him home for hours and hours to fret and worry.

Itzl Close Up June 17 2009

There may be places he can't go, but today, there's one less place forbidden to him.

Originally posted to Noddy and Itzl on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 04:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers, Pink Clubhouse, PWB Peeps, DKOMA, and Progressive Hippie.

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