A Scared Woman Chose a Dog-Prohibited Hiking Trail, but When She Came Across a Woman with A Service Dog She Accused Her of Lying

A 33-year-old woman had a passion for hiking, but due to negative experiences in the past, she found herself increasingly drawn to dog-free trails. Unfortunately, she would soon have an unavoidable encounter with a service dog when hiking, invoking a reaction that the owner found deeply offensive.

A Clear Prohibition

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One day, the woman embarked on a hike, specifically choosing a route that she heard had rules prohibiting dogs. As she arrived at the foot of the trail, she was happy to see unmistakable signage declaring the trail as a “no dogs” zone. 

A Disruptive Encounter

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However, approximately half an hour into her hike, she crossed paths with another hiker accompanied by a dog in a service dog vest. The dog was on an extendable leash and exhibited curiosity, straying off the designated trail to sniff everything in sight. 

An Untrained Dog 

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The woman cautiously observed the ‘service dog’ casually interacting with its surroundings. She felt that this was not the behavior of a service dog, which would be more disciplined. 

The Polite Reminder

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Frustrated by this breach of the rules, the woman decided to speak up. “I tell the owner, ‘You know dogs aren’t allowed on this trail and it definitely shouldn’t be stepping off the trail even if your service dog is real’”, she recounted.

Ignoring the Request

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To her surprise, the dog owner completely ignored her. A moment of tension hung in the air as the woman processed the blatant disregard for the regulated trail that she had chosen specifically to avoid such situations.

Questioning the Service Dog’s Legitimacy

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Unable to contain her frustration, the woman took a more assertive stance. She exclaimed, “Honestly, I think your dog might be a fake service dog.”

An Angry Glare

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In response to her accusation, the dog owner shot her a furious look, her eyes filled with anger. She didn’t hold back, unleashing a barrage of harsh words. “Shut up! You’re a jerk for assuming I don’t have a disability”, the owner accused.

Sticking to Her Belief

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Unfazed by the verbal onslaught, the woman maintained her stance. She asserted, “Regardless of whether it’s a real service dog or not, you’re acting rude and disrespectful.”

Choosing to Move Forward

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The woman chose to disengage from the confrontation and continue with her hike. She truly felt that the dog’s owner was being dishonest, but realized that continuing to engage with her would only escalate the situation.

Conflicted Feelings

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The woman attempted to enjoy the rest of her hike, but she was plagued by conflicted feelings. She felt that she was justified in confronting the dog’s owner as she remained adamant that the canine was not behaving like a service dog. However, the owner’s reaction had been fierce, and she began to question whether her accusations were unfounded and rude. 

Asking a Forum

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Upon arriving home from her hike, the woman posted about her predicament on an online forum, asking other hikers what they thought. Within the comment section, not a single commenter took the woman’s side. “It isn’t your place to ask if her service dog is real”, one reader stated. “You were the aggressor in the situation – you acted rude and disrespectful.”

Service Dogs Need Breaks Too

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Many people questioned the woman’s accusations of the ‘fake service dog’. “Service dogs also need breaks – they are animals, not automatons, and will need to pee and poo and rest their brain at times”, reminded another reader. “The fact that the dog was sniffing around doesn’t mean it wasn’t a service dog that was working while on the trail.”

Not Her Place to Accuse

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Everyone agreed that the woman had acted incredibly rudely and presumptuously. “Unless you are a park ranger, it is not within your right to police who can and cannot be on a trail”, one commenter stated. “It is within NO ONE’S right to question whether that person has a legitimate disability, nor to speculate whether their service dog is real or not.”

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