Friday, June 17, 2011

Not the Post I Intended to Write Today

Warning: This post will contain some ranting and sentences that may not make a whole lot of sense and loads of sarcasm.
Last night Jon informed me that a relative of his would be having a birthday celebration Friday evening at a local Mexican restaurant. I told him to double check that Leo's presence would be no biggie, figuring it wouldn't, but, I didn't want anyone to be surprised that I brought him. A little background info before I continue: Jon has had mega weirdness when it comes to taking Leo to restaurants when it involves joining members of his family. His father to be exact is the source of this; he's old and tends to be predictably unpredictable. He can be fine one minute, the next he'll be cranky. Jon's concern about his father's behavior has been a sore spot, especially in regards to Leo going to restaurants. That has really drove me crazy and only recently has Jon has begun to get over it.
Now this relative has met Leo, knows he has worked with me at the elementary school, has heard many stories of his accomplishments while working in public, etc, etc. So imagine my surprise when said kinfolk texted back say they were concerned about Leo being at this restaurant because of a) Jon's father (shocker I know!) and b) that this particular Mexican restaurant, with it's more 'authentic' staff if you will wouldn't understand that Leo is okay to be in the restaurant, so they'd rather me not bring him.
Jon explained that Leo has been out to many restaurants including Mexican ones without a problem, but, no dice. They are too hung up about those assumptions and so I've decided I'm not going to even bother going tonight. I realize how b*tchy that is of me, but, I'm really tired of Jon's family, and/or concerns they have, prohibiting Leo's training. The assumptions are prejudice and unfounded- like really have any of them been in public training a service dog?? You'd think my personal experiences working with Leo would have some weight here, but, apparently not. To be quite frank, Leo and other service dogs (in training or partnered) would be better behaved and not nearly as loud nor messy as most kids. I know, because I was one of those kids who was loud and not so neat about eating my food. Leo on the other hand settles in his spot, leaves food alone (even if it is on the floor), and takes a long nap. Yes, it'd be SO horrible and unnerving to have such a dog around in a restaurant!
I'm in a grouchy mood because of this. I have worked really hard with Leo and I feel that this is a slap in the face. No acknowledgement of Leo's need for experience and our work together; just baseless assumptions. The restaurant would likely be fine about a service dog being there, and if they were to cause trouble a simple call to Therapetics would bring down calls from lawyers and even a visit from the police. I seriously doubt it would EVER get that far with though. Oh, and let's not get started on how that a Mexican owned restaurant wouldn't understand is kinda racist. I mean COME ON! In regards to Jon's father, well, he's never been given the chance to show if he's okay with Leo or not- Jon's paranoia has caused me to leave Leo at home on several occasions. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it now! I have six months left with Leo and I refuse to leave Leo at home based on these fears! He needs the experience and it is my responsibility to him and to his partner to get him these experiences and train him the best I can.
So I say screw 'em. I'll stay home, surf the Internet, pour myself some tequila, and keep Leo and Louie company. Seems like a better way to spend my time!


annelise said...

Well, this is crap. I know in Australia, service dogs have the right to go anywhere at all, I can't imagine the laws would be any different in the States. I also can't imagine why people would have an issue with you taking Leo anywhere.

People are stupid. I hope you enjoyed your tequila.

Habebi said...

annelise, the laws are the same in the states. Some states don't give as many rights to service dogs in training, but, Oklahoma laws treat training dogs just the same as partnered dogs. I thought I was being nice just giving them a headsup, and boy did that blow up in my face. Still boggles my mind!

Anonymous said...

As I'm sure you're aware, dogs are pretty common features in French restaurants. I'm so shocked that anyone would object to a trained dog anywhere.
Sorry you had to deal with this.

Habebi said...

Dedene- I know that Europe tends to be a lot more pet friendly in that way- I love it! If I could take Louie (who is trained, just not to the extent Leo is) everywhere I would. It's sad that some people with service dogs (trained and partnered) here in American are kicked out of places because of their trained and well behaved dog's presence eventhough it isn't against the law! It's very sad, and sad that prejudices against these amazing animals exist. I'm disappointed with the whole deal, I really am.

Sarah said...

Wow. I just got home and read this. That's pathetic! I hope you had a lovely evening at home!

Habebi said...

Sarah- It's rotten isn't it?!? I just shake my head about it. I'm sure I'll be able to take Leo into a restaurant with Jon's family present at some point. Jon now thinks it's just better to ask 'forgiveness' than to ask permission lol! At least there's progress with someone! ;-)

Caitie said...

Umm, that is B.S. Does the family get offended when they see a blind person in a restaurant with a service dog? Because how else do they think the dog gets the training to be able to be the eyes for that person?