We've decided it's time we started celebrating the very large number of businesses that treat a psychiatric service dog / handler team appropriately. As we continue the Service Poodle Outreach/Outdoors Tour, we'll be updating this Honor Roll with more businesses and recording the successes of our return visits to places already on the Honor Roll.
We're always careful to talk about the down sides of animals and of service dogs. The challenges experienced by a person whose disabilities are not obvious are certainly a down side. However, we've been thinking about our experiences and have realized that the situation is better than we thought. When we started going out in Orange County, NY, and the part of NJ that is close to it, for example, we weren't even challenged when we walked into the grocery stores together (note: Maeve was wearing a pink tag with the words "Service Dog" printed on it on the handle of her saddlebags). In other businesses we might have been challenged, but we were gladly admitted once I explained she was a service dog. We've had good experiences lately in CT too.
If you're considering a service dog and you are anxious about being challenged, please take a look at our Honor Roll for the good news it contains.