Readers comments 8-3-18
One of the sincere delights of reading the COURIER is the occasional astounding crime description that you can find nowhere else, such as the recent early-morning break in at the Euro Café.
The crime is, of course, troubling and deeply unfortunate but the description of the perpetrators is priceless: They are described as “possible males, unknown ages.” This covers essentially the entire human race.
The range is narrowed somewhat when we learn they are of “average height and weight.” Presumably this eliminates most jockeys, NBA centers, Sasquatch and the 400 pound man Donald Trump accuses of hacking the Democratic National Committee last election.
The description concludes by informing the reader that clothing covered all identifying features and no car was seen. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police. Based on what, exactly?
All this has done is stoke my paranoia and cause me to cast a wary eye on almost everyone, all of whom are now suspects. Ah, the joys of summer reading!
My name is Kerri Taylor, the blind woman with a service dog who was refused at two restaurants. You put our letter in your paper on Friday, June 22, and I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
This is a story that explains why those of us with service animals are having problems with being respected and recognized out in the community.
How pretending that you have service animal hurts me as a real handler:
You have this dog and he’s cute. You really want to take him everywhere, because you want to share him with the world, right?
Maybe you saw a real service dog working, and you thought about how fun and cool it is to take your puppy everywhere. So you go online and pay into a “registry.” You get a vest and some paperwork. Now you can bring your puppy everywhere, too! No harm done, right? Wrong!
You don’t see how horribly damaging, and even deadly, this act is. When you walk into a store and someone asks if your dog is a service dog, you flash your new ID and say, “Yep, he’s a registered service dog.”
Now you just taught that business that service dogs have “registered” ID cards, but they don’t. Service animals are ordered through training facilities using a licensed physician’s prescription note.
Now I walk in a few weeks later, and someone asks if my dog is a service dog. I answer “Yes, he is,” and I’m told they need to see his registration, which of course doesn’t exist and I do not have.
I have to try to explain that the last person did not have a real service dog, demanding registration is illegal, and real teams don’t use that. But thanks to you, I am hassled, threatened or kicked out like I’m the criminal when you’re the one who broke the law.
You walk your dog around in stores, thinking how cool it is and how cute he is. But he isn’t trained like a service dog, so he barks, begs for food, wanders around grabbing at items, maybe he even pees or defecates in the store.
I come in later, and I get glares from employees and customers, because it’s one of “those” dogs again. Thanks to you, I’m guilty by association because I have a service dog, and to the general public, so did you. I have had businesses ask “that dog isn’t going to s*#t in here like the last service dog did, is it?”
You are walking with your dog, and we actually meet. Your dog, untrained of course, starts screaming and pulling toward my dog. My dog goes into defense mode, and is more focused on protecting himself than monitoring my health. He misses a cue.
I have a seizure. I have a cardiac episode. I have an asthma attack, my blood sugar spikes, I pass out. He walks me into a wall or trips me over an item, he isn’t staying at my side and I end up falling and becoming severely injured.
In the mayhem, maybe his paw gets crushed by my wheelchair, maybe he gets tangled and pulls me out of my wheelchair. You get to walk away with your barking puppy, your pretend service dog. I need an ambulance, or worse. I might be dead.
I really, really hope that your selfish want to bring your puppy along was worth my life.