[nagdu] Handling difficult store owners

Larry D. Keeler lkeeler at comcast.net
Mon Jul 22 23:16:50 UTC 2013

Well, you did great, Andrew. I go to a barber I've went to for years even 
before I had my dog. When i come in and get ready for the haircut, I put her 
on a tiedown and get the cut. I put her on one end of the seats or the other 
so that she doesn't get in the way but other than that, we're good to go! 
They like Holly better than Me anyway! What state are you in?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew Webb" <awebb2168 at gmail.com>
To: <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 4:16 PM
Subject: [nagdu] Handling difficult store owners

> 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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