I began thinking about service animals this week, mostly because I saw this furry creature sitting in a shopping cart (where normally a child would be) at the local market. I am certainly not mocking those who need care for serious psychological issues such as PTSD, but I am also not quite sure whether the amount of comfort the furball provides the individual is worth the dog hairs I find on the produce I consider buying. I intellectually know that it is as I have seen a traumatic stress anxiety attack in person and understand they are very scary events. However, when the person with the service animal walks out of the store without an event and I still end up eating some strange dog’s hair off my peach, I occasionally have an emotionally selfish moment of, “Fuck it all, really?” as I spit out the offending contagion.
As an intellectual, I decided to investigate and research the matter further. First, I never knew that a service animal had to be a dog. Why call it a service animal when the only choice is dog? Using the term service dog would save us two syllables of wasted time! I searched another source and saw that there are conditions when a miniature horse could qualify as a service animal. I still believe service animal is too broad a term and the vernacular could simply be service dog or service horsey (I added the extra syllable to horse just in case there is a condition out there that finds single syllable words stressful). But why stop at just two animal choices? I see so much potential in training other animals to be life assistants.
- Service llamas could be trained to spit at people who block the entire aisle with their shopping carts, making it stressful for me to get to the creamed corn I really need to buy.
- Service bats could be trained to fly around and eat mosquitoes to assist those of us who live in constant fear of the next “blah blah” virus.
- Service octopus in a tank could be trained to hold onto objects for those of us with early stage arthritis.
- Service cats could be trained to randomly hock up a hairball for those of us suffering from obsessive/compulsive need to be in unclean environments.
After I had fun imagining the menagerie of nature which could invade our Stupid-Marts with just a little bit of psychological creativity, I had a second thought: what if, as a practitioner of the bondage and D/s lifestyle, I convinced a therapist that the only way I could avoid panic attacks was if I had a submissive on a leash whenever I was in public? Now, stay with me, because I know the initial reaction is, “What the hell?” But consider that society sees kids on leashes all the time and does not bat an eye. It is not currently illegal for a person to be leashed in public of their own free will. Cop wants to know what is happening, the sub in the leash says, “I consent to this. I’m helping this man cope with potential stress,” and hands the officer a notarized card proclaiming he is, in fact, a service sub.
Remember, not everyone likes dogs. But those of us who do not like the walking poo-factories just have to deal with service animals. The same rule could apply to a service sub. You may not like seeing a someone with a collar around his/her neck with a leash attached, but you will just have to deal with a service sub.
There would have to be rules of course. The sub would have to be clothed appropriately for public view; I am not suggesting women walk around in crotch-less and cup-less skin-tight latex suits. No ball gags allowed, because the service sub has to be able to identify as a service sub to any authority who inquires. There should probably be some kind of licensing or educational program for the service subs. I am absolutely positive there has to be some Human Sexuality Professor at the University of Florida who is qualified to design the instructional course. The service subs could even wear little vests like seeing eye dogs do, to instantly identify them as service subs.
I know some of the uneducated and uninitiated on D/s reading this are thinking, “So, the Dom is going to have a panic attack and get to do sexual things X, Y, and Z out in public?” Let me assure anyone who even considered that as a realistic possibility, I too immediately fantasized about my service sub on hands and knees in the cereal aisle while I spanked out my frustrations of some other person purchasing the last box of Fruity Rice-Snappy Flakes. But no, that is not what I am proposing at all. The service sub could be trained to cuddle up to his Dom at the onset of an anxiety attack, just like a service animal. A service sub could be trained to bark for help if her diabetic Dom needs insulin, just like a service animal. And just as it is with a service animal, it would be illegal to fornicate or do borderline sexual activities with a service sub in public.
Yet sadly do I realize this will never come to pass. Whether we admit it out loud in abeyance of political correctness or keep it bottled up inside, we all know there is a limit to how much society should bend to accommodate anyone with specialized needs. We do not demand amusement parks have an option to alter rides for differing needs.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Space Mountain. Due to one of the passengers being afraid of the dark and another passenger being pregnant, this trip will be done at quarter speed and with the utility lights on. Enjoy your ride.”
We do not expect museums to provide translators for people from New Jersey.
“Yo, check out this picture of a broad named Mona Lisa. Boy, I’d like to get between her garbanzo beans, ya know what I mean? Some noot from some hoity-toity college thinks she’s just the guy Leonardo painting himself in drag. I mean, c’mon!”
And we cannot expect the sexually repressed, Christian-majority, sheep-mentality culture of America to accept the idea of a service sub – even if a person would be one hundred times better at dealing with any emergency that a dog could be trained to handle. But society can handle dog hair covered peaches just fine.
Dog hair covered peaches cause me anxiety though. I need a cuddle from a service sub. Any volunteers?