Service (Dog) with a Smile

Having exhausted the roster of cartoon cavemen, TB revisits a couple tropes from past Wally strips. First, the “Hey, you can’t bring that dog in here” guy, as seen in a restaurant a few years back. Wally explains that Buddy is “my service dog.” But according to the “Dogs and PTSD” page on the VA website:

A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. Service dogs can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, or help someone who falls or loses balance easily.

What you’ve got there, Private, is an “emotional support dog”:

An emotional support animal is a pet that helps an owner with a mental health condition. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and companionship…In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do.

Fortunately for Buddy, he does wear that swell little vest and has a winning smile. Not to mention he’s a “chick magnet.” Perhaps Rachel’s come to accept that aspect, but when Wally brought it up a few years ago she sure gave him the stink eye.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Service (Dog) with a Smile

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, I was certain he’d used this gag before, but then again that’s certainly nothing new. At least Wally is actually in the building now, which is progress, albeit glacially slow progress. Maybe he’ll actually be seated in a classroom tomorrow.

    His “I’m a student now” spectacles sure are annoying though, aren’t they? I hope they aren’t bifocals. Nice to see Buddy get a panel today at least.

  2. The thing is, service dog or emotional support dog, they are supposed to be for one person’s needs. They’re not just a friendly dog who will respond to anyone.

    And in both cases, it’s bad for other people to swarm around them without asking permission first. For service dogs, it’s especially bad.

    Again, what we see is how Tom Batiuk would like the world to be, not anything like it actually is.

  3. HeyItsDave

    Nice cameo by Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

  4. Gyre

    I doubt the writer knew the difference, but I’m willing to give it a pass since it would be easier for Wally to call Buddy a service dog then explain exactly what an emotional support dog is. Besides, he’d probably feel uncomfortable admitting he’s had any psychological difficulties, still a lot of stigma around that.

  5. billytheskink

    It was nice of TB to bring back Cayla’s original actress for a cameo in panel three. A little Easter egg for the true fans…

    Poor Buddy sure could have used Paul Blart’s “no dogs allowed” shtick back at the Monsters of Metal concert.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    I’ll be shocked if tomorrow we don’t start in on several days of young students drawn as spacemen, because of all the high tech doo-dads they use, like cell phones and online registration.

  7. ComicTrek

    Yeah, because they’re clearly interested in the DOG. Not you. You can’t forget that you’re still Sufferin’ Wally Winkerbean.

    @billytheskink: “Cayla’s original actress”! Hahahaha! Too funny!

  8. Epicus Doomus

    The old Wally might have snapped that rent-a-cop like a twig before fleeing the building in a panic and going off on a brooding spree, but new Cured Wally handled it the same way he handles everything now, with barely perceptible humor and an “everything’s gonna be OK” attitude. Apparently this mildly happy relief over being able to function in society again is the only emotion Wally can experience now, or it’s the only one Batiuk can remember when it’s time for a Wally arc, or maybe both. The point being that Wally’s newfound slightly detached amusement over not freaking out is good for Wally and all but doesn’t do much for FW readers entertainment-wise, not that anyone was expecting any of course.

    Coming in 2019: after years of meticulous thought and careful preparation Wally finally heads over to Sprawl-Mart to return that broken shower curtain rod and appears to be somewhat pleased by how everything turns out. Customers pet his dog.

  9. On this side, Paul Blart got work as a minor antagonist in the sitcom “The Glacially Slow Progress Of Wally Winkerbean”; on the other side, a child has fallen asleep on Cranky’s bus and is now at the bus garage to be groused at by the incompetent, apathetic asshole who turned in his ride without checking to see it was occupied.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Pulitzer Comittee: look look LOOK. I’m writing about senisitive topics that affect young adults. See look: disabled veteran who can’t use modern technology, service dog, an uncaring security guard. See, see, see, I crammed all of this touching stuff in–like throwing all kinds of decorations and candies on a poorly made cake. Now give me my award!! Look! You are not looking!

  11. bayoustu

    Let’s face it: deep down, we all know that at some point, Batboy- aiming for pathos but landing squarely on bathos- is going to kill off Buddy… Leaving exactly zero likable characters in the Funkyverse.

  12. @Rusty – apologies in advance, but your comment made me think this:

    Look, look. Tom Batiuk is writing.
    He is writing about sensitive issues.
    Look, see. It’s called writing.

    Look, see. See the Pulitzer Committee get Tom Batiuk’s letter.
    Look, look. Baby Sally thinks they are smirking, but Dick knows better.
    “They are sneering,” he says.

    Look, look! See the committee ball up the letter and toss it away.
    “Two points,” says Dick.


    Look I know your proud of your military career Wally, but dressing like Tim Robbins in “Jacob’s Ladder” isn’t going to put people at ease!


    Meanwhile in Crankshaft..

    Looks like Keesterman will see Crankshaft got to jail . We just have to wait for the wandering pedophile to violate this kid that Crankshaft left in the bus depot. Good times!

  15. Hitorque

    1. Cliche alert, and a sexist one at that…

    2. So this JuCo classroom has a random security guard standing outside the door, but this assclown can take his mutt to a death metal concert at Quicken Loans Arena and nobody says anything?

    3. Fun fact: There is a huge legislative crackdown on the horizon because of rampant abuse of the “therapy/support” designation for pets, especially on airliners… Vague laws and loopholes have resulted in “therapy” pigs, snakes, monkeys, the list goes on… In fact, you don’t even need to have a real animal:

    4. I was only joking last time, but now I’m honestly curious on whether this moron needs his dog present for sexytimes with the wifey…

  16. I work in a high school where a couple of the students have support dogs, and the dogs’ vests say in big letters “DO NOT PET.” The dog is there to support the student, not to attract attention from others. Yet another thing BatHack couldn’t be bothered to learn.

  17. Professor Fate

    have been on planes with small yippy support dogs who while they may give some emotional help to their owners sure as heck managed to annoy everybody else on the plane – as a personal note i’m allergic to dogs as in very allergic which doesn’t help my comfort during the flight.
    When did Wally get this chronic wasting disease he is so obviously suffering from – he looked more robust when he was freed by his captors.
    Is it possible that he has picked up some sort of weird vampire like condition and actually going to college to seek out victims to be killed by Buddy and then drained of blood….not bloody likely of course but something has to explain why he looks like someone tried to starve John Lennon to death.

  18. Hitorque

    Also, didn’t old-fashioned “Olive Drab Green” stop being a thing in the U.S. Army ages ago? Or is Wally trying to be one of those “hipster” PTSD vets?

  19. Chuerlopp

    Maybe it is just me, but shouldn’t Buddy be on some sort of leash?

  20. The Dreamer

    He has already abused Buddy by taking him to a heavy metal concert this summer. Buddy is probably partially deaf now. How many years does he need this dog to go everywhere with him?

  21. Jim in Wisc.

    @Hitorque: Regarding point #3, there was a case here in Wisconsin last year of a woman trying to take a baby kanagroo (wrapped in a blanket and strapped into an infant carrier) into a McDonald’s. Someone called the cops and she was escorted out. That municipality has since passed an ordinance limiting support animals to dogs and miniature horses.

    Full Story Here