Assistance Dogs Journey

A Request To Parents

Parents… please teach your children that it’s rude to inquire into people’s private medical history. Twice today I had children, right in front of their parents, interrogate both me and my daughter, regarding my medical issues. The first one, in the supermarket, actually asked me if the DO NOT TOUCH patches on J’s harness *really* mean they can’t touch him. No of course not, they are on there for gits and shiggles. Then the boy looked me straight in the eye and said ‘But you can see’. Yes, yes I can. Most of the time. ‘So what’s wrong with you then?’ By this point I am glaring at the mother who *finally* takes the hint and tells her kid to mind his business.

Then this afternoon as I’m crossing the plaza to go home from the hardware store, some children come rushing up. Journey is distracted so I had him sit to refocus. The kids read the patches, then ask if he bites. No, of course not. They reach out to pet him. I give J a hand signal to circle behind me out of reach. They continue, repeatedly, to chase after him, around me in a circle. Finally I said please don’t pet him, he’s working. ‘Doing what?’ they ask. I reply ‘trying to keep me upright, for starters’ and get J refocused and walk away. They then badger my daughter until she was in tears demanding to know why I have that dog and what, specifically, he does for me, because ‘he’s an assistance dog and he helps my mom with her medical problems’ was not enough.

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