Some people just don’t understand

The Adventures of Trackr & Amy J.

Some people just don’t understand

I have wanted to tell this story, but I didn’t know how so I had to think about it first. So before I start to tell you what happened, Seeing-eye dogs, which is a service dog for a blind person, for a very long time, was the only kind of dog allowed to go anywhere a person could go. However, I would like to make everyone aware in today’s society we all need to be mindful that there are plenty of other kinds of service dogs.

A few examples are Diabetic service dogs that alert when sugar levels are off, Hearing service dogs for the hearing impaired, Autism service dogs to calm down their handlers with autism, and PTSD service dogs for those who have post-traumatic stress syndrome like soldiers. There are Stability Mobility service dogs, which help their owner stay stable while upright and walk. Then there are Mobility service dogs which is what I am. I help my mommy to stay as independent as possible by picking up her cell phone or anything else that she may drop excluding batteries because they are harmful to me.

So, if you see a dog in an unusual place, we would appreciate it if you would ignore us. You don’t know why they have a service dog and by talking about them or approaching them you may upset that person. Some disabilities are not obvious like PTSD or Autism so don’t be judgmental. Service dogs may also get distract from doing their job by the attention you give them.

A couple of weeks ago mommy and I went to a restaurant we’ve been there several times before because we know the owner of this particular restaurant and Mommy has known her since she was a little girl. It was a very quiet day at the restaurant, and we were sitting in our normal spot. I was behaving myself very well laying under the table right next to my mommy and my grandma like I was trained to do. When three elderly people came and sat kitty-corner from us and since the restaurant is so small and not a busy day, they were easy to hear not that we were eavesdropping or anything.

There were two gentlemen and one woman. It was clear to my mommy and I that the older couple was a regular of the restaurant not that we had seen them before but the way they were talking to the waitress we could figure that much out and they were introducing the older gentleman to the restaurant. It wasn’t until they had been there quite a while that the two older gentlemen noticed that I was laying under the table.

One of the Gentleman said to the other gentleman, “That’s a nice-looking dog!”

The other man replied, “I wonder why she has a dog she doesn’t look blind to me?”

Mommy tried hard not to roll her eyes or laugh at this. She hates when people talk about her like she’s not even there or she can’t hear them when it is very obvious that you can and they’re not trying to hide their conversation.

The lady with the two gentlemen responded, “You’re right she doesn’t look blind to me either. Why on Earth would she need a service dog?”

My mom being a spokesperson most of her life is really trying hard not to say anything at this point because it is ridiculous to think that she is a blind person in an electric wheelchair. How would she drive? Even with a service dog how would I direct her where to go when I am hooked up to her chair? So, therefore, she decides to stay out of it.

A little while later the lady said to the two gentlemen, “I wonder why she’s feeding her?” The lady was referring to my grandmother feeding my mother her soup. Having cerebral palsy eating soup is very difficult and messy if not impossible to do on her own.

The Gentleman said to the lady, “Well she must be blind if she needs to be feed.”

By this time, the only waitress in the restaurant since it is so slow who knows my mommy well came over to check if we needed anything overhearing the other tables comments gave my mommy an odd look. Mommy just shook her head in response and the waitress blushed in what to me looked like embarrassment.

Then one of the gentlemen said, “She sure doesn’t look blind to me she has one of those electric chairs.”

The lady with the two gentlemen responded, “Well that’s ridiculous if she’s not blind, she shouldn’t have a dog in the restaurant.”

By this time, I let out a groan at these ridiculous humans and my mommy tried her hardest not to burst out laughing at me. A little while later everyone is done with their lunch and mommy and I get ready to go, she called me from underneath the table and we start to leave.

“Well that’s just disgusting to have a dog in the restaurant when she’s not even blind,” says the lady to the two gentlemen.

My mom just shakes her head and laughs, sure enough, she asked Grandma and Grandpa if they had heard the conversation and though they caught bits and pieces of it they had not heard a thing.

The lesson of the story is if you see a dog with a service collar or vest in a grocery store, restaurant, home improvement stores, doctors’ offices or schools we would appreciate it if you would be respectful we are allowed and needed to be there.

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Amy Falk
See all posts by Amy Falk