A Disservice To Service Dogs

, , , , | Friendly | January 11, 2019

(I’m visiting my boyfriend who lives in a different state. I’ve got my service dog with me, who is wearing an obvious red vest with a short lead that says, “Do not pet.” We’re at a big box store to grab some food for my stay when a customer comes up to us.)

Customer: “Ugh, go take your d*** mutt home!”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “You heard me! This isn’t [Pet Store]! Take him out!

Boyfriend: “You know that’s a service dog, right?”

Customer: “Like h***! You’re not blind!”

Me: “No, sir, he’s for–”

(Suddenly, the customer lunges for the lead. I pull away, and my boyfriend shoves himself between me and the customer. An employee turns the corner and sees us.)

Employee: “What’s going on?!”

Customer: “This b**** is refusing to take her s*** dog outside where he belongs!

Employee:Sir, that service dog is legally allowed in the store! You need to leave or I’ll call security!”

(He glares at us and storms off. The employee makes sure we’re fine. My dog is signaling that my anxiety is out of control, so we ask for a place to sit. The employee guides us to some benches near the front and gets me a small cup of water. While we’re waiting it out, the customer drags a manager over to us. At this point, my dog is tucked under the bench, and is hard to see since he’s hidden behind our legs.)

Customer: “Them! They probably ran the d*** thing back to the car to lie!”

Manager: “I’m… sorry?”

(The employee comes back over.)

Employee: “That guy–” *pointing at the customer* “–started harassing these two over her service dog. I asked him to leave them alone before I called security.”

Manager: “Where is the service dog?”

(I stand up, and my dog stands next to me. The customer points down at him.)

Customer: “SEE?! DOGS CAN’T BE IN HERE!”

(He ended up being kicked out. The manager apologized profusely and gave us a small gift card.)

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