I recently had a customer struggling with her service dog on the other side of the counter from where I stood. She was a shopper at the retail store where I work.
"Get down!" she barked impatiently, a note of desperation in her voice. "Sit!" "Be still!"
I felt for the dog, a large black labrador retriever, and wondered whether impatience and inconsistency on the part of his handler was perhaps a cause rather than an effect of the dog's failure to satisfy her service needs. I inquired--gently enough, I hope--where she had gotten him and whether she had received adequate support.
"Oh yes," they were plenty helpful, she said. Then she blossomed with praise for him.
"He's been a wonderful dog." He just wants to play and that's why he can be hard to handle sometimes, she said.
Then she said, "He was already taken back to them once, but I'm not going to give up on him."
Giving up on someone is one thing. Trying to force them to be something they're not is another. How many times have we tried to manipulate someone into acting a role that's not right for them? How many times have we done that to ourselves?
We need plumbers as well as doctors. We need janitors as well as accountants. We need outspoken, opinionated people as well as quiet, cooperative ones. And we need friends as well as lovers.
For a service dog provider or recipient either one to force a dog into that role is wrong. Get another dog, and let this one go play with the kids.