Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Clean-up on Aisle Five!"

Quite some time ago, I wrote about these little bitty ponies that some folks with sight impairments use instead of guide dogs.

Besides the extreme cuteness factor of these micro-ponies, (they’re about 22 inches tall and weigh around 50 pounds) there are certain other advantages. They live to be around forty years old, they have a broader field of vision, and they can also be house trained.
As you can see, they’re no bigger than your usual Labrador retriever-type of guide dog.

You can even plunk them in the shower.

According to the American with Disabilities Act, service animals should be allowed in all public spaces: Theatres, taxis, restaurants, grocery stores and the like.

Well, here’s an article I saw today about this woman in Fort Worth Texas who uses a guide horse – only it’s a full-sized, Texas-style type of horse. She goes shopping with it at Target.

Obviously, she uses it for both sight and mobility. But what do you think of allowing a full-sized horse in a grocery store?

Would it be tempted to eat all the carrots? A hungry horse could really decimate a produce section in one fell swoop.

The micro-ponies can be house trained, but what about a ranch-style horse? I’ve seen some of their healthy deposits along Chicago’s downtown area and you certainly wouldn’t want to come across that in Aisle 5 of your local market.

I supposed you could tell the horse, “You’d better behave or you’re gonna end up in that dog food aisle, buddy-boy!”

Could one bring a large horse into a movie theater? What about the doctor’s office?

I would think it might be a bit disruptive in a nice restaurant. I really don't think I'd want to dine with an equine. I’m picturing the horrified expressions of the wait staff at Lao Sze Chuan if someone brought a big, sturdy horse in there.

Like I said, the ADA says that service animals must be allowed in all public places -- as long as they’re not disruptive. There was a case where someone brought their guide dog into a theatre, it got upset and began barking incessantly and the person and the dog were asked to leave. A lawsuit ensued and dog owner lost the case.

Sure, I can see how this horse might be an effective service animal for this person, but not a very practical one for all situations.

Any thoughts?



At 7:24 PM , Blogger Pati Mc said...

I am picturing a horse in an elevator for some odd reason. Not coll if you get stuck on there with one. Yikes!

Hmm...horses in church? Going up front for communion? Better yet, ride it up to the Drive-Up window at McDonald's. That should get you some attention. At the airport? I could go on and on...

At 10:12 PM , Blogger MaryRuth said...

I was in line to see a concert (electronic-type) and some woman also in line had a little dog with her and wanted to bring it in the show. She made a big fuss and said it was her "companion dog". I don't think she got it with it, but how mean is it to subject a poor dog to that super loud music? Only in LA. sheesh.
I don't know about that horse either....

At 8:13 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I'm still laughing at the idea of the waiters at Lao being freaked out by a full-sized horse in there. Hilarious! :)

We did see a bird in there once, though--remember? :)


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