(164) Greyhound Bus or Greyhound Dog–Which One Loves the Veteran?

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Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

The Foibles of Greyhound 

Earlier this month, the DOJ (Department of Justice) announced it entered into a consent decree with Greyhound Lines, Inc., the largest provider of intercity bus transportation services in the US to correct violations of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Acts). Apparently, the DOJ received complaints about the bus line that it denied access to individuals using wheelchairs and the disabled with service dogs.

The consent decree stated that Greyhound will make reforms, including adding wheelchair lifts, changing its policy to require assisting customers with disabilities, employee training, implementation of a system that allows those with disabilities to make reservations just like the general public, and making accommodations for those with disabilities when transferring to other bus lines on a continuous trip. Additionally, Greyhound will pay $75,000 in civil penalty to the US and compensate an open-ended number of passengers, who experienced disability discrimination during the three years prior to the consent decree. An additional sum of $300,000 will be paid to certain passengers identified by the DOJ, who were discriminated against because of their disability.

That’s a whole lot of love to go around to those with disabilities, who were discriminated against including Veterans!

Apparently, the DOJ feels the love, too, remarking, “Today’s agreement marks a major step toward fulfilling the promise of the ADA, and we applaud Greyhound for entering the consent decree.” 

Unusual Service Dogs 

William and I met a young Veteran at the VA with a pit bull for a service dog. The high-spirited animal behaved perfectly despite the dog’s high energy and desire to lick everyone nearby. The dog offered much more than help with the young man’s TBI. This service animal steadied his Veteran and assisted the Veteran in managing his PTSD. While a pit bull seemed an unlikely service dog, the Veteran assured me the dog aced his 18-month training period.

Although fooled by the high-performing pit bull, I expected the greyhound would not make the list of likely service animals. In doing a bit of research, I found an unusual pairing of the National Greyhound Foundation with the Inmate Prison Partnership that matches a prisoner with a retiring racing greyhound to train the dog as a service animal. The sponsoring website of the Purple Heart Greyhound Service Dogs features a number of well-trained greyhounds and shares the stories of Veterans and their greyhound service animals. The site states that greyhounds make excellent service animals for PTSD given their temperament and physical characteristics.

Viewing the faces of the Veterans and their service dogs, one clearly sees the love the greyhounds hold for their Veterans.

The Verdict 

To answer the question of which loves the Veteran, Greyhound Lines or the Greyhound service dog, Molly declares a clear winner as the Greyhound service dog.

Post your Comments:

Have you ever had problems taking public transportation with your service animal? Please reply below. 

Sources cited:

  • US Department of Justice Weekly Digest Bulletin dated February 14, 2016.
  • US v. Greyhound Lines, Inc. Consent Decree dated February 10, 2016, Civil Action No. 16-67-RGA.

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.