The incident I am going to describe now is just another example of people who think they have the God given right to distract my guide dog, and the lengths they will go to when I tell them they can’t.
I feel very angry about it but also very sad.
I was at a pub with friends last night and working Hudson through the tables to find ours. As we reached our table and the people in front of me slowed down, Hudson attempted to sniff some people sitting at a table behind us. I told him “no” and gave him a very small correction with the lead as we are shown how to do when training. The woman said it was OK and I smiled and said it wasn’t as he was meant to e Woking. Again she said it was OK and reached out to the dog, even though I was trying to move him forward. I said it wasn’t OK and gave him a firmer correction, again as we are shown to do. I then sat down and settled Hudson beside me. The couple behind were calling me charming in that sarcastic way people have and also unpleasant. I ignored them and carried on talking to my friends and going through menus etc and generally getting on with our evening.
About ten minutes later the obnoxious couple behind got up to leave. The direction of the exit was behind me and to the right. Hudson was lying on my left, my foot resting beside his back so that I would be aware if he moved. The man, who had been sitting to my right and behind came across behind me and I then felt something make sharp contact with Hudson causing him to jump up. The man said to me in a low voice “Now yank him again” and left. I said in a clear voice, “He did that on purpose” hoping that someone might have seen, but he was already out the door.
Unfortunately the two sighted friends at the table didn’t see the incident as they were reading menus. A couple at a nearby table started to give me all sorts of excuses like, he didn’t mean to do it, it was a chair that hit the dog and he’d probably had too much to drink. No excuse in my book and entirely wrong. I know what happened but no one will take me seriously as I didn’t physically see it take place.
The obnoxious guy probably realised that I wouldn’t be able to prove what happened either.
So, two things. Why is it OK to inflict physical pain to my dog? Fortunately there was no injury.
I’m sorry, but the general public do not have automatic stroking rights to my guide dog, even if they have kindly made a donation to Guide Dogs. There are times when it is just not convenient or appropriate to distract a working animal.
Also, whoever you are, you do not have the right to abuse me and my dog because you don’t agree with me and I can’t see you. If I can ever prove that you do abuse me, I’ll be after you and I won’t stop until you are prosecuted.