It was bound to happen at some point, but I’m surprised at where it did. Recently I was challenged about having a service dog.
Now I know I don’t look like I need a service dog. I’m just about as proud of that fact, as a fact I don’t look handicapped. I don’t look like I have a limp (most of the time), and I don’t need to use a handicap space. However the truth is I do need these things and I am these things. In some ways I’ve just become a very good actor that has been able to hide my troubles. But I want to tell you about today. Like I said I knew at some point somebody would be aggressive in the fact that I have a dog with me. I stop by the post office in my hometown. I walked in and they were very few people there with no one in line. I was invited up to the teller that had opened up to help me. I told her that I needed to mail this letter out of the country and I didn’t know for sure how much it would be. Before she even took the letter she says to me, “We don’t allow pets here!” Now Arya was in her full service vest and being very calm next to me. I simply replied, “She is not a pet.” To which the teller then replied, “We don’t allow dogs”. “She is a service dog”, I replied. To which she repeated, “We do not allow dogs.” I then asked if I could see her manager and she asked me if I still wanted to mail my letter. I said yes not knowing how much it would be still, and placed ten dollars on the counter. She look at me somewhat confused and said, “It is only a dollar twenty-five.” I said, “Very well, but I still would like to speak to your manager.” She gave me my change. She then instructed me to stand off to the side and wait while she got the manager. She turned and walked away with a huff.
I went to the door at the side waited. After a short time the manager came out seeing very quickly that Arya is in a service vest. The manager said she explained to the associate that is okay because she’s a service dog. And then the manager looked at me and said, “Is there anything else?”
I said, “No, with the exception that if you would like; I would not mind coming and giving an in service to help train her employees regarding service animals.” She said, “No that is alright” and turned away. Our conversation was done.
Now I was expecting it some point to have this conversation with someone but I was a really surprised that it was at my very own local post office. I could understand more had it happened at a small business or store; but I was quite surprised that it happened at my local post office. Maybe handicap people just don’t use the mail anymore…