Fighting For Your Rights In Public

I had Tagert my first seizure alert service dog for seven  years and now I have Rocky.

 This is what I have learned.

  You have to be a fighter for yourself and your dog. When we go out to shop, run errands or eat we have trouble sometimes. People just do not understand that Tagert and I are legally allowed any where we want to go. It seems that places of business and the public are still in the dark ages when it comes to this. They do not understand that they must let us in. They are breaking the ADA and the state laws by doing this. Now this is where it becomes even harder. First I can just leave and go somewhere else but why should I .I am just like any other consumer and this is where I wanted to go. Number two I can ask the person who stopped me to get the manager and explain to them both that I can stay. In most case's that is all that is needed. Number three if they wont listen I can stand my ground and call the police. but I have come to find out that sometimes they too are on the low end of knowledge. Now number four I can call a lawyer. Well the problem I have found is that is not so easy to do. I have tried this and they just say that for them there is no money in the case, so they wont take it. I am not out for money just justice and the right to go where ever I want. I can call the department of justice and file a case but that takes a long time but is worth it. It does get the point across. So as you can see I have a tough time almost every time I leave the house.

Now there is even more ignorance and rudeness from the public. I go to a store or restaurant and you would think the human race had never seen a dog before. Dogs for the blind have been around for years, so just because I have an invisible disability, I should be treated different than the blind. You would not believe the stares and the rude remarks from kids as well as adults and as I think about it the adults are worse than the kids. Most kids don't know to put their hand down and let the dog smell them before petting the dog. Adults don't even think twice before petting, even though I have a do not pet sign on his harness.

If anyone comes up and ask a question nicely about Tagert I will be more than happy to explain What he does to help me. but lately I have gained an almost sarcastic attitude when dealing with some of the public. I had one lady walk up and rudely ask, " What's That ". Well being in a rush And not in the mood to deal with her and others like her, I just said " A Cat " and kept right on Walking. I have had some people literally run when they see Tagert. Like he is a vicious dog and will bite them as to look at them. Common sense would tell you That I could not take him in public if he was a biter but they don't think of that. That is because I have come to find out the public has no common sense when it comes to something new, that they know nothing about or have ever seen before. I could take up half an article on some of the funny response's I have received and said over the years. It just gets me mad when I try to have a nice time with friend And I get harassed by the public or a business.

I am just like any other person who wants to lead a normal life. The only difference is that I have a dog to help me do this. Tagert and I are just like everyone else. We are here and if we have to we are going to fight for that right, but why we should not have to. I would rather just get along.

What is that famous line? How do you treat a person with a disability? Just like a person. 

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