On Monday, I had a brainstorm of absolute brilliance. We were on our way to the football game and Gigi, my toy poodle, had been very disappointed that she didn’t get to accompany me. I had the day off from work that day and she had spent the entire day by my side, including a trip to Starbucks for “poodle coffee” (a squirt of whipped cream in a sample cup). We are both happier when we’re together. Gigi worships and adores me in the way in which only the perfect dog can. (Read: “My Dog Is a Better Person than Everyone”) Gigi is like xanax on four legs. She is a buffer between me and the rest of the world. I imagine it’s a lot like the puppets that therapists use to get people to act out their feelings, making them more comfortable by externalizing and distancing themselves from their thoughts and experiences. I can handle things with a poodle on my arm that would be unbearable alone.
As we were driving to the game, I said to my daughter, “I wish Gigi was a service dog so she could go everywhere with me.” And it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
“Quick! Here’s my phone. Get on my eBay ap. and find a service dog vest in a toy size!”
In less than five minutes, my daughter had found an eBay seller with vests from size puny to huge. They even offered a choice of patches for the vest to describe the job that the dog was doing.
We chose two patches: one says “Service Dog” which should be enough to get her into most establishments, and one that says “Emotional Support”.
I can’t wait for it to arrive so we can try it out! Is there a special license that service dogs are supposed to have to allow them into “human only” places? Is it technically fraud if I really do have less anxiety when accompanied by a poodle? Will the “real” service dogs see her for the impostor she is? I guess I’m about to find out!