Saturday, October 20, 2007

Some People's Children

It's been a while since I have actually sat down and blogged about Jetta, but I am sure in the past I have complained of the ignorance of some people. Well, today's story is a prime example of some people's idiocy.
Yesterday Tenie, Carmen, me and Jetta all headed to Chapters. I wasn't going to buy anything, but there is a Starbucks in this Chapters and I brought along my class notes so I could sit and have coffee while studying. Plus, studying in the Starbucks should have less distractions than studying at home-no phone, television, MSN or internet. So, I bought my drink and settled down at a table to work while Tenie and Carmen traipsed off into the jungle of books.
While I was studying, a few people made comments about how cute Jetta was and how well behaved she was being. This is a normal occurrence and I just pretended to be absorbed in my notes, while silently praising Jetta for her good citizenship. Every once in a while I would reach down and rub her chin or shoulder to let her know she was being good. Her head was up and her eyes were moving around the coffee shop, watching all of the patrons and beyond them, all of the shoppers. But not once did she get up to visit anyone and not once did she make a noise. So, all of the praise poured on her by the other coffee drinkers was appropriate.
Tenie returned as I was reading through the last note with her purchasers and a hot chocolate. She and I started talking and I put away my binder so she could show me what she had bought. In the middle of the conversation a man ventured over to our table and began talking about how great Jetta was. Since this has happened numerous times before, I thought nothing of it and engaged him in conversation. Little did I know that he would flop to the floor saying apologetically "I know I shouldn't pet these dogs, but I can't help it. She is so cute." I was so stunned. This man was openly braking the "no pet rule." Now I have had people break this rule before, but I have never had them camp out on the floor with my dog. Of course, Jetta's wonderful behaviour then ceased to exist because this guy was practically rolling around with her.
He proceeded to yammer away about how he should not pet her, which I promptly responded, "yeah actually she has bad people distraction. I don't people touch her." He sort of laughed and said, "Yeah, I guess I'm one of those people who make her people distraction worse eh?" This made me furious. Did this man not know what he was doing? Did he not understand that he was violating my personal space, and tampering with my safety? This all sounds rather dramatic, but Jetta is my personal space and she is my safety. If people distract her, it puts us both in danger. So I said-without even realising it-"ah, yeah." MA little snarkier than I planned. Well, Mr. dog petter, then climbed up off the floor and left.
I was slightly stunned from my conversation to I asked Tenie if I had actually said "ah, yeah." Normally, I am more articulate than that and explain in a calm voice why people should not be touching my dog, but I think I was so flabbergasted at his ignorance, that articulation failed me and I became an inarticulate bitch.
It never ceases to amaze me how rude and ignorant people can be. What gives them the right to go around touching my dog? She is not just a dog people! She is my eyes-she serves a function. You don't see me going around taking your glasses off your face and smearing my fingerprints all over them now do you? I didn't think so.
Tenie told me that she gave him a look to kill and although I don't like being rude like that, maybe it needed to happen. Maybe it's time I stop being miss nice guy and tell people where to go. I don't th9ink they comprehend that when they distract Jetta it could lead to us walking into oncoming traffic or stepping down a hole or something. It's just not safe.
So, to anyone who may read this, please don't touch service animals unless their handler tells you it is ok. I don't care what you think or what self of entitlement you may have...HANDS OFF!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes being abrupt is just what the doctor ordered... Good for you.

Brittany said...

Good for you!!!
I try my hardest as a puppy raiser to tell people exactly what I think when they pull the "I know I shouldn't" and then pet anyway! I usually follow their comment with "then why are you touching him?"

I do not allow people to pet Hobbs unless he is "off duty/doesn't have his jacket on". The few exceptions I make are for little children who are polite enough in public to ask me BEFORE they touch him. I feel your frustraition as do all puppy raisers and Guide Dog users everywhere!