Or shoes, what have you.
I took Juno back to the fair on Sunday, in work gear because I knew there would be crowds. Dad and I were hungry, and we were like, “Hey, there's yummy food at the fair!” It was hot, though nothing like disgusting Saturday. Hot enough that the pavement would be uncomfortable to walk barefoot on. So I put on Juno's boots.
I don't think I had to answer a single of the usual unintentionally rude, sometimes annoying service dog questions. All I got was, “Why is your dog wearing boots?” It was actually kind of nice, in a way, since none of the people who asked had dogs.
The first person we met, in fact, turned to look at Juno and while I was bracing for the usual questions, she said with feeling, “Thank you for putting boots on your dog.” It's one of her pet peeves when people bring dogs to hot places and don't protect their feet; she will often, apparently, confront people about the fact that their dogs' feet are burning, and get nastiness back. Good for her for keeping on, though.
I don't understand why you'd be defensive about it. As soon as I saw pavement was starting to bother Juno (which it hadn't before), I got her shoes as quickly as I could manage. The idea that if I wouldn't walk barefoot somewhere, I shouldn't force my dog to do so, makes perfect sense. If it's hot, you prepare your dog for the environment with as much care as you would prepare yourself, or you leave the dog at home.
Anyway, Juno was the only dog at the whole fair wearing any kind of protection on her feet. We actually saw a big, very furry Collie-Shepherd-looking dog dancing his paws around because they hurt to touch the street. And people were asking why she was wearing shoes. “Why are you wearing shoes?” I sometimes retorted (in a gentle, laughing way).
Junebug did fantastically well. There was a much bigger crowd than in the morning, unsurprisingly, and she led me through nicely, if at a slower pace than normal due to heat. We tried to keep to the shade, took lots of breaks, didn't stay long. There were several areas where dog water bowls were available but Juno took a couple sips and was done.
People were better than normal about not touching her and not letting their dogs screw around with her, right up to the end. Then two people, who were together in some way, one after the other let their ill-behaved dogs run right up on Juno. I'd watched the dogs pulling their owners through the fair—we kept seeing them. In the crowd and trying to stay in the shade, there was no way to avoid them. The first one pulled the dog back as soon as I said, “Please don't let your dog run up on her.” The second one, the guy, let his bigger dog get his nose halfway up Juno's butt before listening to what I was saying, in a vastly peeved tone: “Do NOT let your dog run up on her! She's WORKING!” Grrrr.
Other than that, though, an excellent outing for Juno, an interesting one for me.