My friend Emilia sent me photos of this great PSA at Dragon Con this year. Dragon Con is an enormous pop culture convention annually in Atlanta, GA, with attendance of about 80,000 guests. They have a lot of service dogs working at the convention.
Because many people still don’t know how to let service dogs do their job without interference, Dragon Con posted a PSA on their internal feeds so that attendees with service dogs could enjoy the event as much as everyone else.
Emilia missed the first screen introducing the PSA, but here’s a transcript of what followed:
When you see them, they’re on the job.
Don’t distract them!
That means no getting in the dog’s face while shouting GOOD DOGGIE!
Don’t offer it treats.
Instead of speaking to the dog, please speak to the owner.
If you want to pet the dog, ask the owner for permission.
And if the owner says “no,” then don’t do it.
If you’re having trouble following these directions, please stop by the nearest Dragon Con security office.
They’ll fit you with your cone of shame to help remind you.
Brilliant! Mad props to Dragon Con for keeping everyone. human and canine, safe and comfortable, and with a touch of humor.
Fandom conventions can be hard environments for service dogs but are fantastic training grounds. I took young Penny to Gen Con for several days, both Penny and baby Undómiel accompanied me on a guest appearance at Anime World Chicago, and for a couple of years I’ve seen this team in a fun Sir Didymus and Ambrosius costume. Thanks to conscientious organizers for making the environment better for service teams!