Most people know not to pet a service animal so you don't distract it from doing its job. It's hard. Whenever I pass a servcie animal I just want to tell it how cute it looks and how great of a job it is doing. But I refrain and admire from afar. Most people know this. This mom, however did not.
Our narrator took to reddit to share the story about how she and her friend who confronted by a very rude lady and her child, demanding to pet her friend's service dog.
"Backstory: Me and my friend, Fiona, were working an open house at our college. We were advertising a club we participate in. Fiona has a service dog that is still in training for her severe anxiety. She is normally very friendly when people come over and ask to pet the dog, but eventually it gets annoying after a while.
It’s important to note- in case you don’t know, you should never pet, call out too, or get a service dogs attention because it can distract them from doing their job. Therefore, they can not alert their trainers if the trainer is in distress.
Me, Fiona, and her dog were at the open house trying to get incoming students attention and possibly recruit new members for their club. Dog was laying down under their table keeping a close watch on Fiona. Many people came up to the table asking to pet the dog. Fiona says it’s okay at first, but starts to get fed up as many people just came for the dog and weren’t interested in the club. Eventually, Fiona puts a sign up, telling people to leave the dog alone and ignore her. It’s also important to note that due to her anxiety, Fiona has a hard time standing up for herself.
Everything was going okay until a lady and her kid came. The child, about 3-4 years old ,yelled “PUPPY!” and ran towards the dog. Fiona froze in place while I stood in front of dog, somewhat blocking her. I then knelt down and told the kid that the dog was a service dog and that while it would be hard, he needed to ignore her because she was working right now. The kid somewhat understood, he wasn’t a bad kid, he was young and probably hadn’t seen and didn’t know how to act around a service dog. Then came the mother in tow. Surprisingly she didn’t have the typically Karen attributes. She started asking me what I was doing.
“What are you saying to my son?” She asked me.
“Ms, I was just explaining to your son that the dog here is a service dog, and why he can’t pet her.” I said happily.
“Well why can’t he pet her?” She said raising her voice.
I then repeated my whole lecture about how to act around a service dog. Also to note, this was an open house for college students and I never saw the the mom's older child. After I’m done explaining, she starts back up again.
“Well that’s a dog, and dogs are meant to be pet.” She said in that classic Karen tone.
“Ms, if you distract the service dog that’s the same thing as asking someone to get out of their wheelchair.”
“But your friend can walk fine.”
“That’s not the point.” I said starting to get annoyed.
“It’s just a dog, it’s not like petting it will hurt anyone, go on honey you can pet the dog.”
To my surprise, the kid looked up at his mother and just stared at her. I guess my lecture got to him better than Karen. The lady started pushing her kid towards the dog to which he just ran away into the crowd of people in the gym- I assume to find his older sibling or maybe another family member.
The lady then gave me a death glare saying something along the lines of “Now look, you ruined this fair for my child. I hope you're happy you low life. I bet you just love to ruin children’s fun, Don’t you?”
At this point I’m fed up and I’m done being nice out of respect. I’m usually very sassy so I respond to her “Well at least it’s not my job to suck the life out of everyone. You must be really good at that.” I don’t know why I said this but it’s what came out of my mouth. She then got very red faced and stomped away.
Fiona thanked me for sticking up for her and we had a good laugh. The fair ended with us only recruiting a few members and the dog got lots of treats and hugs when she was off duty.
I later found out that I was reported for inappropriate behavior to the student government- who are in charge of all clubs on campus. But because it’s college, there isn’t anything they can do so we all just kinda laughed and moved on with life.
I’m not sure why the mom thought this was a fair. Sure it was an open house but there was nothing too exciting was going on. At least I have a funny story now."