Thatz Not Okay: Can I Pretend I Need a Service Dog?

I want to bring my dog everywhere. I want to enroll my dog in service-dog training so he can enter stores, restaurants or airplane cabins alongside me, as those venues are typically reserved for "Service Dogs Only." While I don't have any physical or mental issues that necessitate a service dog, the training requirements would be met and dog would pose no harm to anyone. Is this okay?


Thatz not okay.

You know who doesn't want you to bring your dog everywhere? YOUR DOG.

Here is a list of things dogs love doing:

You will notice that standing quietly inside Bath & Body Works does not appear on that list. Dogs do not enjoy running errands.

Because humans and not dogs rose up and colonized the Earth, most places in the world have been designed for the ease and comfort of people, rather than pets. An exception is dog houses, which are too small for most humans to live in, and lack many conveniences to which humans have become accustomed such as plumbing, central heating, ice maker, etc. The slim chance that some primitive wishbone inside your family Great Dane will snap and cause her to rip out a customer's throat is but one on a long list of reasons why she is not welcome in your local Benihana. There are also issues of space and cleanliness. Consider too that some people are allergic to dogs. Some people are afraid of dogs. Some people are just not dog people, and should not, therefore, be made to sip seasonal Benihana cocktails alongside them just because you have decided that your dog is cool and you like hanging out with her. Also, a dog would probably hate Benihana. So much clanging and banging and shrimp flying through the air.

People make allowances for service dogs that are performing a service, because their presence is necessary. Service dogs are not magically allowed inside movie theaters and shops just because they are service dogs; they're permitted inside these places because they are assisting people. You will never go to a bar and find all its stools occupied by off-duty service dogs whose owners are home sleeping.

Treating the concept of service animals like a scam invented by the hearing impaired so that they could go shopping with their dogs undermines the credibility of animals that are actually working. (Some owners of working service dogs say poorly trained impostors can even directly hinder their animals' ability to perform their required tasks.)

A good rule of thumb for life is that if you have to lie on a daily basis about having a medical condition, you're probably in the wrong. You can't just start riding around in a perfectly legal standard wheelchair because you think walking is a drag. That is not the behavior of a successful person.

Think of it this way: What would your response be if a blind person with a service dog confronted you about your carting your loophole dog all over town? Would you say, "Fuck you, my dog is TRAINED AS HELL!"? Or would you feel embarrassed?

Best case scenario if you go through with your plan: People you meet will think you have an extreme psychological condition which necessitates the use of an emotional support dog. Most folks will probably just assume you are lying (which you are!).

Maybe one day you will experience a physical or psychological impairment so great that your everyday living will suddenly necessitate the use of a service dog. Then you can see how cool it is. Until then, if you want to shop with your dog, take it to PetSmart.


I'm currently single and living in NYC–the city of endless options, most of them un-dateable. So I bit the bullet and joined OkCupid–no credit card transacted, no strings attached. I ended up meeting a southern gentleman who took me on nice dates and cuddled on my couch while watching SNL. Swoon. He didn't even use tongue until date 4. After about 5 dates I decided to search for him on Facebook. Maybe I'm naïve, but I think meeting someone on a DATING website implies that they're single. Facebook was telling me otherwise. After a few clicks, I was led to some blonde's Facebook that featured 9 profile pictures of them together and a relationship status explicitly stating they're in a relationship. What I could see from his profile was basically the same, if a selfie of them together in Paris is any indication of relationship status. Shocked that a "nice" guy could be so deceiving (silly me), I confronted him about the situation. He claims they're on a break and they're not planning on getting back together. So: Being in a relationship on Facebook but still dating as if you're single — is that okay?

Thatz not okay. (And this guy iz not single.)

If you are "on a break" and "not planning on getting back together" with someone, what you actually are with that person is "broken up." That's why people don't say they're "on a break" from their high school sweetheart who is now married to someone else, with two kids. But this guy didn't tell you he and his girlfriend were broken up. Because they are not.

There are three kinds of people in the world: people who care about updating their relationship status on Facebook, people who never bother to update their relationship status on Facebook, and people who do not lie in bed wide awake for 15 to 80 minutes every night, held hostage from sleep by a vague yet paralyzing anxiety.

No one who cares enough to modify their relationship status on Facebook in the first place will ever allow it to lapse into error.

It takes two people to be in a relationship on Facebook, literally; both parties must click to "approve" the status change in order to link their profiles. If the girl's page says they're together and the guy's doesn't, it doesn't mean they're not. It means he's tweaked his privacy settings to hide this detail while he trolls OkCupid for cheek kisses.

(Another possibility is that the couple mutually agreed to "take some time," and this cuddlemonster has yet to inform his current/former girlfriend that he has opted to take the rest of his life without her, thanks.)

His proclaimed single status isn't the only part unbelievable aspect of this story. Who waits until they're five dates deep to look someone up on Facebook? That's doo-doo diligence. Part of the fun of a crush is clicking through all of their photos back to 2007, and then clicking through all of their friends' photos back to 2007 in case they're in any of them, and seeing what pages they like, and seeing how many friends they have and are more of them from high school or college or work or what, and seeing what their birthday is and verifying their star sign's compatibility with your own star sign. Yes, you can still perform these tasks five dates in. (You might even run through them every day for as long as you're together, which could be for a very long time, depending upon star sign compatibility.) But the most important thing is that you perform them IMMEDIATELY. Unless all you're looking for is a one night stand, don't let someone put their tongue in your mouth without first looking them up on Facebook.

It is bizarre that this non-single guy is taking things so slow with you, his sidepiece. Is he so hooked on polite conversation with women and splashing out on expensive dates that the amount of action he was getting from his girlfriend was insufficient? Is he that obsessed with hearing about people's days? Perhaps he's addicted to maintaining a respectful distance from ladies, though, if he took his girlfriend to Paris, you KNOW she let him get to at least second base.

The best explanation I can come up with for his behavior is that this guy is to cheating what an amateur parkour enthusiast backflipping face-first into a wall is to a highly-trained military agility drill sergeant. He wants to do it, but he can't quite master the nuances, so he slams face-first into brick every time. He was probably hoping for sex (OR AT LEAST A TONGUE KISS) on date one, but when he opened his mouth to say "Let's go back to my place so I can fuck you like an animal," what came out was "Please tell me more about the traffic you were afraid you might encounter on the way here." No man signs up for OkCupid looking for some no-strings-attached light cuddling and zero funny business with a girl who wants to stay in on a Saturday night. He's just finding out the hard way that pimpin' really ain't easy.

Given this guy's dweebish tendencies and slow-as-molasses hook-up style, it's also possible he's invented some sort of loophole for himself like "It's not cheating if you don't interlock your fingers when you hold hands while watching SNL."

While this guy is clearly somehow in the wrong here, it's important to remember that you get what you pay for. If you're only willing to plunk down $0 on a dating website, all you can reasonably expect is "a date that doesn't murder me." There's a reason it's not called "OutstandingCupid."

Thatz Not Okay is a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions (max: 200 words) to caity@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay." Photo via Getty.