Unfiltered Story #199879

, , | Unfiltered | July 4, 2020

I have a service dog due to an invisible medical condition. She wears a beige and red coat and has a bright blue collar, leash and head harness that read SERVICE DOG in two-inch letters all over them. Because she is a very large dog and an unconventional breed, she gets a lot of attention when we go out and it’s usual to have questions about her role and training. On this day, it was only our third outing in public and I was feeling confident because I hadn’t been challenged all day. I was in a pharmacy to pick up my medication.
Sales assistant: *running down the corridor* Excuse me!
Me: Yes?
Sales assistant: I don’t want to be mean, but next time you come you need to leave your dog outside.
(I look at [dog] standing beside me in all her gear, then at the door which is fifty meters away, then at my medication held plainly in my hands)
Me: Um, no. I’m not going to do that.
Sales assistant: It’s fine this time, but next time you really need to leave her outside. We can’t have dogs in here.
Me: I can’t leave her behind. She’s an assistance dog. MY assistance dog. I need her.
Sales assistant *nastily*: Well I wasn’t aware of that! And we don’t let dogs in here.
(I look at [dog] again to be sure – she is still clearly marked. Literally the only parts of her that don’t have some kind of identifying equipment are her tail and her paws. I’m confused by the hostility in the woman’s tone, and starting to feel anxious because I’d never faced being sent out of a store before. I really need my medicine, so I stand my ground.)
Me: But she is a service dog. She’s legally allowed to go anywhere I can go. It’s not safe for me to leave her behind.
Sales assistant: *throwing her hands up* Ugh! I know that! I wasn’t aware that she was an assistance dog! *glares*
Me: I – I don’t know what you want me to say here. She is one.
Sales assistant: Ugh! *storms away*
(I completed the rest of my shopping and left as soon as possible. It wasn’t a big deal but for someone relatively new to my condition and just learning to be independent again with the help of a dog, it was a devastating thing. It was very difficult to be brave enough to go into the next shop that I needed to, although the people working there were totally kind and absolutely appalled at the behaviour when I asked if there would be a problem bringing my dog inside.)