"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.
Labels: Service horse