Yesterday, I had probably the most interesting of all of the encounters that I’ve had to date as a “handler” of a service dog.
It was at a restaurant, and my bestie and I were going to see a friend of hers from college that I had heard lots about but had never actually met, who was in town, visiting from NYC. We walk into the restaurant, a busy, hipster breakfast place where you wait for at least a half hour with standing-room-only. It’s always craziness at Snooze (and their pineapple upside down pancakes are almost worth it).
We greet the friend, a very cute doctor here interviewing for a fellowship, and we’re standing by the bar, which they seat from the host stand (it’s not first-come first-served like a normal bar in a normal restaurant would be). Just after we’re all introduced, and the greetings are all finished up, a couple is sat at the seats directly behind me at the bar. The woman (who incidentally had a very bad bottle blonde dye job, just so you have a visual) says to me, “Can you move your dog?” He had been standing slightly behind me, rather than at the left or in front of me as is standard with a service dog. I apologize and move him around to the front. She said to me, VERY condescendingly, “No, I want you to move to a different area. It’s just a little bit disgusting to have a dog next to me while I’m eating.” I politely said, “No, I’m sorry, I won’t. He’s a service dog…” to which then my companions took up the cause as well and the doctor tried to explain to her that Arthur’s mouth was much cleaner than hers anyway. She would have none of it. She had already decided that she hated us because we weren’t going to give her her way (and probably also because she was jealous of my better fake blonde hair), and she stomped over to tattle to the manager. I look over my shoulder and the guy says, “He’s a service dog. She has every right to be here. I can’t make her move.”
Later, my new friend bought breakfast for the bad blonde, telling the waitress to let her know when she dropped off the check that “It had been taken care of. By the DOG.”