‘What Is a Service Dog?’ is a nitty-gritty guide to all things service dogs


What Is a Service Dog?

Zine, Olivia Dreisinger, 12 pgs, oliviadreisinger.com, PWYC

This little quarter-sized zine printed on light blue paper is a straight-ahead informational zine on — you guessed it — service dogs. Printed as two head to tail sections, the first one focuses on information for prospective service dog handlers. The other contains information for the general public. Cute little pups in service dog jackets adorn each cover: a poodle and (perhaps?) a chihuahua. The zine is written and designed by disability scholar Olivia Dreisinger as a general introduction, but it is clearly tailored for understanding service dog information, regulations and best practices in British Columbia. It is made up of bulleted lists and small paragraphs, undecorated with graphics, except for the cover pups. It is not overly flashy, but it is precise and digestible as an introduction to its subject. In the section devoted to prospective handlers, Dreisinger concisely describes the various kinds of service dogs, tasks they may perform, how they differ from therapy and emotional support dogs and how one gets a service dog. They then go on to describe some more, such as housing factors, responsibilities to the dog and what kinds of gear a handler will need to acquire. All very practical. Some of this information is repeated in the section for the general public, but with an added note on etiquette around service dogs (do not pet!). A helpful zine for anyone considering service dogs or who might know someone with one.