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About HenryKisor

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Evanston, IL

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  1. It's a neurological echo that goes away after a while. After a cruise my legs "thrum" to the cadence of the ship's engines for about five or six days. Same after a two-day, two-night train trip. I've heard some people are so bothered by the phenomenon tey never want to travel by ship or train again. I also find myself walking spraddle-legged like a sailor for a day or two after a cruise.
  2. "By their behavior ye shall know them." By the way, it should be pointed out that some states, Illinois among them, make discrimination against service dog teams a misdemeanor, a criminal offense, and the local cops can be called to enforce state law. However, some law enforcement agencies may not be aware of the law or think they have better things to do. If you run up against this problem you can ask the county attorney to inform the police of their obligations.
  3. Here's a vote for always vesting your dog in public, except maybe at a nude beach (that would be a faux pas). Trooper is from an ADI-affiliated organization so wears an official Dogs for Better Lives-issued vest wherever we go. I too have an invisible disability, so the vest helps persuade gatekeepers on first glance that Trooper MAY be a legit service dog. In fact, DBL's policy is that hearing dogs should be vested at all times in public. There are other reasons. I now live in an independent living retirement community with about 110 residents. Trooper's bright orange vest helps alert seniors with poor eyesight to the little black dog on dark carpets. Of course some people assume Trooper must be a fake because he is a small dog, a 20 pound schnoodle, but the hell with them. (If they ask nicely, I do try to educate them politely.) Should we buy identifying gear online? If we have independently trained, or self trained, service dogs, there is no choice. I myself bought a "SERVICE ANIMAL" patch to put on Trooper's orange winter coat because DBL doesn't provide such patches and carefully limits each of its graduates to one vest (it will supply a new one when the old wears out). I guess that every service dog and their handler has different needs and experiences, and we should respect their ideas about what they have to do to make life easier for them.
  4. If your ship is stopping anywhere in the Bahamas, you MUST have an import permit for your service dog even if you are not getting off the ship. You will not be allowed to board if you do not have this permit.
  5. First, is your dog actually a service animal necessary for a disability? If so, then we can help you. But if your dog is a pet, we cannot help you. We do not approve of trying to pass off pets as service animals. That hurts us. Other questions: Where was your dog trained? A training organization? A private trainer? What tasks does it do for you?
  6. I strongly recommend that you ask your vet to fax the application to the Bahamas over the vet's letterhead. The Bahamians seem to treat that as more "official" than "casual" and move faster and more carefully.
  7. Every service dog handler will have their own way of dealing with unwanted attention, and this is mine. Very, very few people have any understanding of service dog etiquette, and it is not their obligation to educate themselves—it is OUR obligation to educate them if we can. If someone asks to pet Trooper, I almost always can say yes, asking the person to sit down and giving Trooper the "go say hello!" command. Then I explain what Trooper does for me as a hearing alert assistance dog, at the same time pressing a calling card with the Dogs for Better Lives info upon them. It's a victory when we not only educate someone but can make them friends of service dogs in general. SD handlers with guide dogs or those in wheelchairs or with mobility or social impairments may not find this so easy to do, however, and no obligation attaches to them. So far I have encountered no unruly drunks or rude people while cruising, but that's probably because Trooper and I sail the staid Geezer Line (HAL) exclusively. Not that older people are any less curious, but they do have better manners in general. There are a few stink eyes, but those can be ignored.
  8. Anent the business of wearing a vest: No, it's not required by law. But, in my view, oftentimes it's a good idea. My disability is an invisible one, deafness. In such a circumstance, having a dog aboard ship without a vest might be confounding to other passengers unaware that a service animal is aboard. They might be resentful, thinking that another passenger is so privileged he can bring his pet on the ship while they can't. So every morning I dress Trooper in his bright orange Dogs for Better Lives vest when we go out and about. It does pique people's curiosity and they ask questions rather than shun me because they don't know what to do around deaf people. That's the beginning of a human connection and another untrained "task" for a service dog. Also, Trooper is a small black dog, a schnoodle, and the bright orange of his vest catches people's eyes and helps keep people from stepping on him. Everyone's needs and experiences are different, and these are mine.
  9. Actually, dogs are permitted by Jamaica, although they don't make it easy. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/health-certificates/non-eu/jamaica-pet-guidance.pdf
  10. I have, numerous times. Different zoos have different policies. Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago welcomes service dogs, but a monkey house (they throw poo, you know) and the Farm in the Zoo are off limits. The zoo gives you a map marked with the sites where service dogs are not permitted. Other zoos have kennel cages where a service dog can be stashed while you go inside an exhibit to see the animals. Often big cats in outdoor cages will go nuts when they see a dog so you should move away quickly when that happens. Best thing to do is call ahead and ask a zoo what its service dog policies are.
  11. A number of folks have voiced concern about the visibility of their dogs in the theater seating areas of cruise ships. I am wondering if a little collar flasher, available in several kinds on Amazon.com, would be a good idea, especially if one's dog is black and hence almost invisible in dark areas. On the other hand, these flashers might be so bright they might annoy others in the audience. Presumably some of them can be turned down to limit the visibility. Anyone?
  12. One does not need the 7001 to be endorsed by the USDA for Alaska or the ship. Your vet just signs it and you are good to go.
  13. Chris, I know that spot . . . Debby, Trooper and I also stayed at the Sheraton during our 2018 cruise to Alaska. We didn't see any rough trade there, but we used it only in the evening (before 8 pm) and the early morning (after 6 am) and nobody was there. Kind of a stiff uphill hike there from the hotel, wasn't it?
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