Last fall, I was standing in the checkout line at the University of Missouri bookstore and a woman with a service dog was in line behind me. Two young women saw the dog and came up abruptly and started petting it. The dog handled it gracefully, but I could tell it was startling to both the owner and the dog.

I don’t think the two women did it to be obnoxious, I honestly believe it was a lack of awareness. This is why I am so happy Mizzou wrote an article on learning to respect service animals on campus.

The article has many great points, but I believe Julie says it best:

“Service animals are an extension of us.”

We’re hoping Compeer will heighten awareness of service animals in Columbia and encourage people to respect the animal and their owner.