>"Yikes! The comments on Ruffwear's site are quickly getting nasty."
Maybe, like me, they're tired of all the abuses of the "service dog" concept. Just 20 years ago, if someone tried to take a lapdog into a restaurant or grocery store, they would have been told to leave. Now little yappy dogs are in stores all the time, sometimes peeing in the aisles. And airlines have been such wimps about distinguishing actually trained service dogs from "I clicked my heels and declared my pet to be an emotional-support animal" that it is a rare domestic flight that doesn't have at least one pet outside of a carrier and with a lot less training and control than my family's pet dog. (it doesn't help that checking them as baggage costs $100 or more, vet certification, early arrival, and weather constraints, while "service" animals breeze on through at no cost).
Medical privacy, blah, blah, blah, is great and all, but in other cases when society makes accommodations for an actual medical condition, you DON'T self-certify and you DO have to disclose. Handicap parking, carrying oxygen tanks onto a airplane, needing corrective lenses to drive, etc.
And then there are all the reasons dogs aren't allowed in the backcountry - killing and harassing wildlife, defecation, worrying other hikers. To which EVERY owner says, "oh, but my dog doesn't do that."
And what's a Belgian Malinois? I totally get that chocolates and lace doilies are a nicer heritage than gassing 6 million Jews, but still, a German Shepard by any other name. . . .