[nagdu] Handling difficult store owners

Tami Jarvis tami at poodlemutt.com
Mon Jul 22 21:02:08 UTC 2013


Welcome to the list. I'm Tami, working my 7-year-old owner-trained 
poodle guide in Oregon.

I'm with you. Give me a big jerk over a nice confused guy any day. 
/smile/ I've worked things through with nice people who were just 
confused or didn't know the law, as well as nice people who just didn't 
want the dog wherever and were trying to break the law without looking mean.

It sounds like you handled things excellently. The only thing I tend to 
add when the subject of tying the dog outside comes up is the value of 
the dog's training. That does seem to help to clear up the matter of 
whether I am likely to just leave her unattended somewhere that she can 
be stolen. In fact, I just mention the dollars a training program would 
spend to produce a dog to replace her and then leave it at that. I guess 
most folks can figure out from there that this is not my little pet 
Fluffy we're talking about. /lol/

I've also been known to state clearly and firmly that if they don't want 
me to spend money in their business... That may not work with the barber 
shop you want to return to. Or it might. Business owners generally 
understand dollars and cents very well.

As for what to do with the dog during the hair cut... I don't think the 
law is specific about how close you keep the dog. I prefer to keep the 
dog close and have managed to find a place out of the way but near 
enough I can hook the leash to my foot or even hold it when I'm getting 
my hair cut. If your barber's set up doesn't provide a convenient close 
spot, though, then I guess you have to make do. If his problem is that 
he has a fear of dogs, then you might want to consider if you want a 
frightened person with sharp instruments messing with your head... I've 
never run into that, so I don't know how I would handle it. It just 
occurred to me that I wouldn't want my hair dresser doing her job with 
shaking hands. /grin/

Bringing a printed copy of the law next time couldn't hurt to reassure 
the barber that you aren't just making all that up. I think it's a good 
idea but must confess that I never have such a thing handy when I need 
it. So I get to bareface my way through and hope for the best. Another 
option is the NAGDU Hotline at 1-888-624-3841, where you can get 
assistance with access issues. You can also find copies of the laws on 
the site: http://www.nagdu.org/rights.html.



On 07/22/2013 01:16 PM, Andrew Webb wrote:
> Hello all,
> I've been a member of this list for all of about the last 15 minutes, so
> it's good to be with you all.  I'd like to ask some advice on a topic that
> I'm sure comes up very frequently.  I'm a pretty new guide dog user and so
> there are some situations on which I'm still sort of feeling my way and
> appreciate hearing thoughts from more experienced handlers.
> I recently visited for the first time a store where the proprietor was
> plainly not very happy about my having brought my dog inside.  Specifically,
> it was a barber shop.  However, the point I'd like to emphasize is that,
> unlike with a couple other similar encounters I've had, this gentleman was
> absolutely kind, respectful, and courteous to me in every other regard.  He
> gave me a warm greeting, made small talk, made sure he knew what I was
> looking for in a haircut, etc.  He just wasn't comfortable having the dog
> inside the shop.  He said that ordinarily the shop has a "no dogs" policy,
> but that for me, "he would make an exception."  (Yes, I know, kind of
> patronizing, but I needed to get my hair cut.)  When we were done, he asked
> if next time I could please tie up the dog to a post that is right outside
> the shop's front door.  I explained to him in a respectful tone, that this
> was a service animal and as such enjoyed a special status, and that by law
> the shop owner could not refuse admission to the dog or ask me to keep him
> outside, not to mention the fact that I take care to ensure that the dog is
> clean, well-groomed, and well-behaved.  After I explained this, especially
> the part about the applicable laws, the gentleman just sort of went silent,
> we left it at that, I wished him a good day and the dog and I were on our
> way.
> Bottom line: This was a nice and seemingly decent fellow, who probably
> sincerely believed that he was acting within his rights as the store owner,
> and simply doesn't know the relevant law.  He listened to what I told him
> about the law, but I don't think he believed me.
> I wonder how people would suggest that I handle this matter going forward?
> This barber shop is far and away the most convenient one for me to visit,
> and what's more they give good haircuts at a reasonable price.  In other
> words, all other things being equal, I'd prefer to keep going there, and it
> would be an inconvenience for me not to.  What's more, it's a short enough
> walk from my house that I can feasibly get there using just my cane and park
> the dog at home (in most cases).
> What's giving me pause here is that the shop owner was nice, just ignorant.
> If he were a jerk, it would all be different.  I can deal with a jerk, and
> have done so.  I'd have no problem suing, if need be.  (I'm actually an
> attorney.)  But in this case, since the shop is right in my neighborhood and
> I pass by it every day, since I'd prefer to keep going there for haircuts,
> and since the owner was an absolutely nice guy aside from not wanting the
> dog in the store, I feel sort of conflicted.  I wonder if I should just
> check my ego (and my rights), and go there in futre without the dog?  Or
> should I return there next time with the dog, armed with a copy of the
> relevant statute in hand, and show it to the gentleman, in the interest of
> educating him (and consequently probably taking the pleasure out of that and
> all future visits)?  Perhaps there are no right or wrong answers here per
> se, but I'm just interested to hear people's thoughts.
> Also, when I went to sit in the barber's chair, I left my dog tied down to a
> seat in the waiting area (perhaps 20 feet away).  Can anyone tell me if
> legally this was permissible, or do I need to have him close at hand near
> the barber chair?
> Thanks in advance for all thoughts and perspectives.
> Regards,
> Andrew
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