On the way home from work this evening I popped into my local Sainsburys with my guide dog, Trigger for a few items. On reaching the till a young boy announced, in a voice which would do credit to a sargent Major
“Dogs ar not allowed!”
The obviously embarrassed mother reprimanded her son, (I could detect the rebuke by the tone of her voice but, not being able to understand French I was at a loss to know what, exactly she said). At the time I just smiled. However, in retrospect I ought to have said something along the following lines
“Pet dogs are not allowed in supermarkets, however, my dog is a working guide dog who helps me to find my way around. Because of his special training he is allowed into shops, restaurants and other places which pet dogs are not allowed to enter. All guide dogs will have on a special white harness so you will know (if you see the harness) that the dog is a working guide dog”.
Obviously I would have phrased the above in a manner easily understood by a young child and my words would have been accompanied by a smile so as not to intimidate the little boy. As I said above I don’t know what the mother said to her son but her words where brief and sharp which leads me to believe that the child was admonished for his statement rather than having the role of working guide dogs clearly explained to him, It is only through patient explanation that children learn and shouting at youngsters is not the way forward. Education is, as with so many other issues the answer.
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