Just Another Day!
A few weeks ago, on one of the first trips I took on my Service Dog Awareness missions, I ventured into a restaurant near my home with my Service Dog, Grace. I stood nervously fidgeting as I anxiously awaited a less than enthusiastic manager that plodded ponderously towards us. With what I hoped was a friendly smile, I began to explain that I was a local resident, and had taken it upon myself to educate my community about Service Dogs and would love to share with local businesses so they would be able to benefit from the knowledge as well!
I wonder if my grin was a bit too toothy, for surely the manager only saw teeth. She drew back visibly and stiffly replied “We don’t need any such thing – we allow all Service Dogs in here, even questionable ones…” at which point she leaned over to scrutinize myself and Grace with squinted eyes.
As the manager loomed ominously above my head, my mind raced frantically. She looked down her wrinkled nose at us, as though she could make Grace and I disappear by sheer force of will. “Our policy is to allow pretty much anything in here” she icily informed me. I turned my palms skyward and opened my arms in what I hoped was a gesture of goodwill and appeasement and tried once more: “Wouldn’t it be nice if there were less questions about ‘questionable’ teams and more definition instead of an open door policy? I’d love to help you and your team learn more about the legal definitions-”
I was cut off by a curt hand signal “We know all we need to. Have a nice day.”
Well, no one said it would be easy! I thanked her for her time and headed to the next restaurant nearby. Just another day!