[nagdu] National Convention--my opinion

Julie J. julielj at neb.rr.com
Wed Jul 10 21:46:12 UTC 2013

Uhhh, no I think pay toilets were before my time! *smile*

I get what you are saying.  We want people to use the designated relief 
areas and we need to take responsibility for the cost incurred.  I'm in 
total agreement with that part.  However I think charging guide dog users a 
fee to attend the convention with their dogs is not a good approach.

I think putting it on the registration as an option is a good idea.  I also 
like the idea of a conference call before convention to assist  folks with 
handling convention with a dog.  Perhaps some sort of mentoring program or 
something to get new people connected with those with some experience 
together so there is a resource for help during convention week.  Other 
ideas...perhaps stationing a couple of people near the front desk during 
peak check in times to help people with guide dogs find the relief areas or 
at least to advise them where they are.  Perhaps a specific phone number to 
call if there is an accident in the building.  this would avoid burdening 
hotel staff and would ease the stress of looking for help in a trying 

I also like the idea of offering a different surface instead of just the 
wood shavings.  And having a local company or community service group to 
provide the box maintenance service.

Perhaps there could be some sort of announcement in the beginning of general 
sessions...something to the effect of, "there are dog relief boxes please 
have your dog use them so the hotel grounds remain pristine.  If you require 
help finding them, Joe will be available at the XYZ table in the back of the 

Just some thoughts.  I won't be able to make the conference call.  I look 
forward to hearing what you come up with.


-----Original Message----- 
From: National Association of Guide Dog Users
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 2:01 PM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: Re: [nagdu] National Convention--my opinion

Do you remember when there were pay toilets? I believe that practice
was discontinued because it was deemed to not be in the public interest. I
believe charging guide dog users for the privilege of using a relief area
could be construed as a surcharge and, by definition, would be
discriminatory. At the same time, I believe those of us who use the relief
areas would be best served by making contributions to its upkeep. The
challenge is that those of us who are responsible will voluntarily make such
contributions while those who are not will likely not. It is much the same
as for our meetings. Those who attend the meetings and make contributions as
we pass the dog bowl understand it is our civic duty. Those who do not
attend our meetings are those who have other ideas in this respect. This is
not to say that there are other reasons, such as conflicts in scheduling,
for not attending our meetings; however, the vast majority of guide dog
users do not come to our meeting due to apathy. At a convention a few years
ago, one person told me NAGDU had nothing to offer him. About three months
later he called me to ask what NAGDU was going to do about an issue he was
having. I reminded him of his "NAGDU has nothing to offer" comment, then
help him out. He promised he would become more active. I haven't heard from
him since!
There are practical considerations we need to take into account due
to the sheer number of dogs in one place and, I am of the opinion that we
should all do our parts in ensuring that our hosts do not suffer losses
because of our presence. By this, I mean that those who tend to be a little
defiant of rules would do better by understanding that public order is best
served when we comply with some basic codes of etiquette.
If we go to someone's home and our dog relieves itself on the
carpet, thus damaging that person's property, most of us feel it is our
responsibility to take care of the problem. When we visit a large hotel, we
should also take collective care to not damage the property. As I mentioned
in an earlier post, the number of dogs requires we employ different
practices than when we are the only guest with a service dog. If we were to
allow 400 dogs to relieve on a small patch of grass, the urine would damage
the landscape; therefore, we need to employ unusual circumstance of a relief
I know this is redundant, but I say all this again in the hope it
will get through to those who may not appreciate how 400 dogs can impact a
property's landscape.
We are working to find solutions to the problems we face during
convention, one of which is how to accommodate for so many guide dogs. We
have a year to brainstorm and plan how we will solve this problem. If we had
an easy, economical alternative, we would be more than willing to consider
it. Please let us know your thoughts!

Fraternally yours,

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Julie J.
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 11:01 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] National Convention--my opinion

Isn't requiring guide dog users to pay a fee for a service or participating
in an event against our beliefs as an organization?

I've always felt that NAGDU  was opposed to charging guide dog users fees
based on their choice to use a guide dog.  I don't know about the legality
of doing this in this particular situation, but if the hotel did it, there
would be a giant fuss about it.  If we wouldn't put up with it from the
hotel, why would we impose it on ourselves?  I'm not trying to start
anything, but it seems like a contradiction to me.


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