Service dog issues at airport with other dog and airline (read description)

    Colt is a weim/lab. So as we were waiting for our flight at the gate, there was a dog wandering around at the end of its leash eating stuff off the floor and saying uninvited hi’s to people seated near the women with the dog! I knew by its behavior that it wasn’t a service dog but could possibly be a ESA (emotional support animal) which by law can fly with its owner and also to be in non pet housing (but that is all) I kept a eye on it, since my service dog (which is very important and expensive medical equipment has been attacked before) I was just being cautious but it looked like she was sitting at a different gate and going on a different flight! The dog was on a weathered strand of paracord and hooked to the collar with a climbing carabeaner, the collar was extremely warn and loose, I was worried it could possible be a danger if it did react if it saw my service dog! Our flight was about to board when she got up and walked to our gate’s desk to talk with them! As she walked by her dog noticed Colt (my service dog) and barked! She took action to corrected her dog, which I applaud, since ESA’s have no training requirements, I expected it! I started recording after that when her dog wouldn’t break its stair on my dog and I was worried it would slip its collar on the walk back to her seat! During this time a person working for the airlines came up and tried to tell me that we needed to have the dogs meet, and assumed that Colt wouldn’t be working at the moment???? I was very upset that he said there would be problems if we didn’t introduce our dogs! He also called it a service animal when it was not, it was a ESA, and my assumption was confirmed when we talked later on the flight! Honestly they should not have say two dogs near each other in the first place, and I am not talking across the isle, I’m talking about literally the seat behind mine! You can’t really hear what Garrett (my fiancĂ©) said because my life proof case muffed it, but he said, he needs to stay focused on her right before he said while he is not working they can say hi, I corrected him, later after the guy leaves, Garrett said you don’t see people telling wheelchairs to meet before a flight, and I agreed ‘no I won’t let my dog say hi….’ When the dog walked back by with the lady after the guy went to tell her that I wouldn’t let my dog greet hers, her dog almost slipped its collar but didn’t thank God, at this point though I didn’t feel the dog would have attacked and I calmed down! When we got on the plane and I found out she was sitting right behind me I got super nervous again until I saw the dog inches from Colt under the seat asleep! Whooo the dog is actually ignoring my dog, thank God! I then knew that she had trained it pretty well for there not being any training requirements, and no it didn’t act like a service dog does with all its training but it was doing a damn good job for a ESA! I was able to calm down and talk to her and found out yes it was a ESA she had lost her mom to suicide a year ago and had problems since then! And in conversation I found out she was also very aware of the laws and knew not to bring her ESA into nonpet friendly places in public! It past the time talking with her and was very enjoyable since her dog was ignoring Colt! Colt did so great too, for being inches away and not even looking I was a proud trainer at that time! We even swapped numbers and pictures of the dogs completely pasted out ignoring each other! Thank God this turned out well, but my anxiety was real, real because every day is a battle as a service dog handler, fighting for our rights is hard enough but being scared around every turn that a fake aggressive service dog is gonna appear and attack means there is a real problem going on here, bring awareness to ADA law on service animals


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