Hello Dear Readers!
I’m on my way home from my very first international trip with Brit, and boy has it been a learning experience. If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you’ll know that nearly two years ago I took Nala, my 10lb yorkie, with me all around Europe. It was great. I booked pet friendly Airbnb’s hung out at outdoor cafes, and when I wanted to tour inside something, I simply left Nala at home for a few hours.
Europe is so pet friendly.
Europe is not service dog friendly.
I know that’s a sweeping accusation, so let me refine it. Spain is not service dog friendly. I really wish I had some positive things to say here, but simply put, my trip was extremely uncomfortable from start to finish. The lack of relief areas in the airport sucked, the hotel requesting additional documentation for her training was stressful, being thrown out of restaurants and kicked out of markets was dismaying, and the constant disbelief and doubt was a struggle. (What do you mean she’s your dog? What’s wrong with you?”)
Worst of all? The lack of awareness within the country meant that people were constantly after Brit. Calling her, grabbing her, petting her, dragging their dogs over to her…like I said, they’re very pet friendly. Unfortunately, Brit is not a pet. My stress came to a peak as I went through security at Madrid airport, where I put Brit into a stay and prepared to walk through the metal detector, at which point the security guard called her over and straight through ahead of me. He then grabbed her and began roughhousing, which Brit totally went with because she’s a dog.
Mid-play, as I’m freaking out, one of the other security workers realizes what’s going on and tells him to stop because she’s a working dog and you’re not supposed to touch them. I thanked her profusely, but this basically just sums up my entire experience in Spain.
I’m going to keep this brief before it becomes a ten page complaint fest of what an awful time I had.
Enjoy some nice photos of Brit looking cute instead.
-Carissa “For The Love of God She’s a Service Animal!” Rawson