[nagdu] Handling difficult store owners

Marsha Drenth marsha.drenth at gmail.com
Tue Jul 23 23:33:50 UTC 2013

Welcome to the list. I hope you find the infromation your looking for here. 

I'm marsha, working my third pup from GDF. 

If you need anything, I am also the moderator of the list, so please don't hesitate to email me offlist. 

Thank you, 

Marsha drenth  
Sent with my IPhone 

On Jul 22, 2013, at 4:16 PM, "Andrew Webb" <awebb2168 at gmail.com> 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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