Museum Musings: dogs at my cash register

It’s been a busy summer.  Yesterday

  • 6 year-old Anna wasn’t allowed to do arts and crafts, “because it would mess her dress”
  • two kids opened the emergency door opposite my cash register before their father could stop them.
  • tee-shirt: “I’m better than your best”
  • a young girl sat on the bench opposite me trying to sneak a photo of yours truly.

I’m getting a wee bit tired of the people and their repetitive questions,  predictable behaviours, and tee-shirts. It’s time to talk about the four-legged visitors to the Museum.  Over the years I’ve met many dogs at my cash register all of whom are smart,  quiet, and hard working.

Boy and girl with two dogs and a wagon. 1904.

Photograph from the Bain News Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Dogs aren’t allowed in the museum unless they are working assistance dogs wearing the identifying ‘vest‘.

An assistance dog is trained to aid or assist a person with a disability. According to Wikipedia there are three general “types” of assistance dog

  • Guide dogs assist the blind and the visually impaired.
  • Service dogs refers to dogs trained to do other work, such as mobility assistance, Medical response, seizure alert, seizure response.



This is Foxy.

She was rescued from an animal shelter. I could see she’s alert and very gentle.

I don’t know what work she does because her human didn’t volunteer the information.





“Carson’s my life-saver. I’ve had him for two years,” his human companion told me.

I was impressed to see how alert and well trained he was.

Phoebe Rose

Meet Phoebe Rose.

Her human told me she couldn’t pass “the tests” to be a service dog, because she’s a pug (I don’t know what tests dogs have to pass), so she’s what her human called “An emotional support animal who provides love, licks and comfort.”

I could see how she loves people.   She sat on the slippery wooden floor in front of my register for a fairly long time without moving, happy to pose for anyone who wanted to take her photo.

Phoebe Rose has her own website, you can click on the link for more information.

Phoebe Rose posed for us. Look how she's smiling!

* * * * * *

Lat year I wrote a blog about a Great Dane I met at the Museum, which I’m reposting in case you missed it:

Turlum Talent Scout.

Great Danes aren’t the kind of dog you expect to see working as a service dog, they’re so large they look more like a horse than a dog, so I wasn’t the only person staring at the middle-aged woman who walked slowly and carefully into the museum gallery, cane in one hand, and a brown Great Dane wearing the blue “working dog’s” identifying ‘vest’ in the other hand.

By Sannse [GFDL (  from Wikimedia Commons “]


When a man asked her about the dog, a circle of people instantly gathered around her.

“Toby and I are always a side show wherever we go,” she said with a sigh.

“I’ve seen several breeds of dogs working as guide dogs, but this is the  first time I’ve seen a Great Dane,” said the man.

She explained, “I was in an accident, which left me with no feeling in my right leg, which means I can easily lose my balance and fall over. I have a dog this size, because he’s the perfect height for me to lean on. If I had to bend over to reach a smaller dog, I’d lose my balance. I can’t lift anything or use a walker, so I use Toby like a walker.”  and she patted the dog who looked at her and wagged his tail.

“My word that’s really interesting,” said a man in a wheelchair.

“I’m also a teacher and Toby carries my books on his back. With this bad leg of mine, I can’t get up once I sit down, and he is trained to pull me up from a chair. These dogs are strong enough to do that,” said the woman,  and we watched her slowly walking away leaning on the patient dog

* * * * *

Looking for a photo for this post, I discovered that during the Second World War there was a Marine Corps Dog Platoon (approximately 75% of the dogs were Doberman pinschers, and 25% were German Shepherds).

File:K-9s on Iwo Jima.jpg

Members of the Marine Corps Dog Platoon

If you’re interested in the topic I recommend that you read the fascinating account of the occupation of Guam by William W. Putney who wrote:

“There were 25 dogs specially trained by the U.S. Marines to search out the enemy hiding in the bush, detect mines and booby traps, alert troops in foxholes at night to approaching Japanese, and to carry messages, ammunition and medical supplies.”

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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22 Responses to Museum Musings: dogs at my cash register

  1. Sybil says:

    That’s the first I’ve heard of a Dane as a service dog too. Makes sense with their size but they live such very short lives …

  2. Mahalia says:

    Ms H-Roo is a service dog, inside, i think. She will be a healer like her mamas. She knows when people need help with emotions, always. It is pretty cool. On the outside, right now, though, she is a naughty puppy who talks like Chewbacca and eats tomatoes off our vines!

    • dearrosie says:

      Interesting that Ms H-Roo is also a healer, and already knows when a person needs emotional help. She found the right home.

      but oops what a naughty doggie to eat tomatoes off your vines. I’ve never heard of a dog enjoying tomatoes!
      You make me laugh, how does a dog talk like Chewbacca?

  3. souldipper says:

    I enjoy seeing dogs that are trained in service – showing us their capabilities and their intelligence. I was surprised to learn how service dogs can be dearly loved by their humans, but they are to be treated appropriately. Rescue dogs in the north are gorgeous creatures, but we were not allowed to cuddle them or treat them like pets. The trainer explained, “If you were under an avalanche, would you want the dog to find you or refuse to search because it wants a cookie?”

    I’m saddened when I see people trying to turn pets into humans. Animals are at their best being animals.

    • dearrosie says:

      The trainer’s advice is sobering. Imagine being stuck under an avalanche without a dog cookie…!

      We’re not allowed to pat any of the dogs walking through the Museum because they are all working, in fact most of their humans won’t even let us say “Hi” to the dogs.

      Pets are not humans. I have trouble with most books or movies where animals are made to behave like humans – except for books like E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web”.

  4. Josee says:

    Military dogs are still used today.
    Remember the one in the raid on Bin Laden?

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for the link Josee. I didn’t know a dog was used in the raid on Bin Laden, but it makes perfect sense with their keen sense of smell, and good eyesight that they can do much more than us mere humans.

  5. magsx2 says:

    Where would we be without these wonderful companions. I loved the story of the Great Dane, it is a very unusual circumstance, but with the help of this wonderful dog, this Lady can get on with life, it is truly remarkable.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Mags
      Everyone who saw the woman and the Great Dane stopped and stared because the dog looked like a horse, and LOL one doesn’t normally see a horse in a Museum.

      I can tell you that all the service dogs I’ve met at my cash register are wonderful companions who have given their humans a new chance at a “normal” life, which I think is marvellous.

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    The first couple of dogs looked surprisingly small to me – it’s good to know that assistance dogs come in all sizes. I am always amazed at what dogs can be trained to do and how willing they are to help us, while asking for so little in return. The morning after Bin Laden was killed we had our luggage sniffed by a detection dog before boarding a train. Somehow I then felt safer traveling and was pleased to notice that our canine friend seemed to be enjoying his work!

    • dearrosie says:

      I was also surprised to see the small assistance dogs. I don’t know why I thought they had to be large, like a German Shepherd.

      I’ve had detection dogs sniff around me and my luggage standing in line at an airport, and I can tell you it made me very nervous.

  7. Liz says:

    You know I love anything dog related. This is fabulous!

  8. shoreacres says:

    I’m sitting here looking at my cat and just laughing. There are reasons you don’t hear about assistance cats!

    On the other hand, she’s quite alert, and especially responsive to my moods. She isn’t a cuddler or a lap sitting – she’s actually quite a strange cat, as she won’t jump on table or cabinets, claw things or any of that. But when I was sick over Memorial day – flu sick, with a fever and an unwillingness to crawl out of bed – you could tell that she was concerned. She would come over to me, sniff around and then use her head to push at my hand until I moved. Rather comforting, really.

    • dearrosie says:

      Your cat sounds like quite a character Linda. Although you say she isn’t a “cuddler or lap sitter” kind of kitty, the way you described her pushing you until you moved when you were ill, I wonder whether she could be trained to be an “emotional support animal”? Does anyone know why cats don’t work as assistance animals?

  9. feebeer says:

    Hi Rosanne,
    Mom ran across your posting of my visit to the museum. I am actually an emotional support animal- providing love, licks and comfort to all.

    I had a great time at the museum and met really nice people (especially you)!

    I enjoyed your blog and will add to my list of favorites on my blog.
    Love & licks,
    Phoebe Rose, celebrity pug.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Phoebe Rose,
      What a pleasure to welcome a doggie friend to my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum. I enjoyed meeting you, and I look forward to seeing you again.

      Thank you for correcting me. I met you so many weeks ago that I’d forgotten that you’re an “emotional support animal”. Please forgive me. I’ll correct the text on the post.

  10. bronxboy55 says:

    I’ve often wondered how dogs and other animals make sense of what’s going on in relation to their human companions. They clearly understand and are able to make good decisions, but at the same time, so much of what they see and hear us doing has to be incomprehensible. It makes their behavior all the more amazing.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Charles,
      Dogs know much more than we realize or give them credit for. For instance when I came back home after my Mom passed away it was late at night and I was tired after the long trip and felt very fragile when I walked into the house, and when our dog Monte Carlo came to greet me I tensed expecting his usual terrier exuberance, but this little dog came up to me, put his front paws and on my thighs and somehow managed to balance like that for about five minutes all the while looking at me with kindness and love. It was his version of a hug and one of those moments I’ll never forget. He knew.

  11. Priya says:

    This is a come-to-happiness post for me, Rosie. Thank you for writing it.

    All the pictures and stories here, including that of you and Monte Carlo fill me up with this woozy, happy, light.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m so happy I could make you happy reading my post Priya. It’s not me though, its the dogs, they can do that to one! I look forward to reading stories about your doggies.

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