It has happened two times in the last few weeks. Recent trips are showing dogs are on the move, really taking some miles in. There are service dogs in hotels, airports, and yes in restaurants. My Yorkie is a registered service dog, she literally goes to work with me. She is a low dander breed sometimes referred to as non-shedding. That’s not what the vacumn cleaner reports when we get Reba (that’s my hubby’s cleaning frenzy mode); We love Reba and she comes out most every Saturday if we are in town. So the non-shedding, non-allergy subject has ranges of opinions and not a lot of substance.
So you want to know what has happened twice, right? Okay we purposely go on sunday afternoons to a restaurant that has a covered porch, is pet friendly and on the lake nearby. No more than my back hitting the chair than this lady, although not acting too lady like in the moment, she states “I’m allergic to dogs”. First thought “sooooo”. To share more detail. This lady is at the 12 o’clock position at an opposite table close to 8 or nine feet away, Im on the opposite side of our table at the three o’clock position. Now I’m thinking how can you even see my dog? she is a short little thing about four inches off the ground. As I look around at the surrounding tables, there is a big lab puppy on my right. A terrier directly in front at a six person table. Of course, Im wondering, does this lady see all these other dogs? There are three times as many tables inside on two floors and another level of covered seating outside upstairs and an outdoor area…..okay cool it, I say to myself, chill!
The leash won’t even reach past the left hand chair but I kindly say to the lady, I’ll keep her on my right side. Her husband returns from where-ever he was, seems disinterested. Another family arrives from the steps to the boats WITH HER DOG. She looks around and asks if her dog can up, I say “it says so on the website” in the best customer service non-emotional yet factual rebuttle.
Well, then we are in a restaurant last week and this couple comes in with their service dog. The hostess places the couple and the dog beside another occupied table. Not even bending to sit in the chair yet the lady at the next table states, I’m allergic to dogs. The hostess rambles indistinguishably and moves quickly to a deserted section of the restaurant, waving the couple to follow. I watch this and think of how I had researched our pet friendly venture and carefully move to state “outside please” when we have her with us.
It came to me today, when someone states, I’m allergic to dogs the response needs to be “where is your bracelet stating your allergies?”
Now I know this sounds extreme and that’s how I see it, we spent the entire lunch looking up dog allergies. Yep they are controversial.
Gotta get some lists of what breeds affect what people. Some will need very large bracelets, maybe make them into photo charm bracelets with giant X’s marked through the breed. Believe me I have a child who had to test for allergies. Purina, veterinarians and Proctor and Gamble need to get together on this and help out some research. Whoever finds opportunity in problem solving this is an entrepreneurial and legislative moment in history for the US.