Monday, May 4, 2009

Graduate Question from Shirley with Guide Dog Cleo

Please send in your comments and ideas for your fellow graduate with this question.

I was invited to a party at a friend's house during the holidays. I did my friend the courtesy of explaining that I would have to bring my guide dog - - or, rather she would bring me (smiles).

My friend quickly told me I could not bring her. Let me add here that Cleo is very well behaved and has never given my friend a reason to exclude her. So I was surprised and hurt. My friend said. "I hope your aren't offended." I replied, "As long as you aren't offended that I'm not coming."

How do you handle situations like this? While our dogs cannot be refused in public, they can be denied entrance to private homes. I have always tried to be sensitive to the situation, and I have chosen to leave Cleo home on rare occasions when I concluded it wasn't prudent to take her; however, this did not seem like one of those situations. I knew all the guests, and many of them have since asked where my husband and Cleo and I were that night.

I'd like to know if I'm being too sensitive or if my friend is being unreasonable. Should I scratch this person's name off my friend list? Should I give in and simply leave my furry friend any time we happen to go to her home in the future? Or should I simply choose to stay home that day, like I did this last time?

Thanks for your input.


Anonymous said...

Friends like that you do not need. Glad you found out about them this quick.
There is lots of people out there who will welcome you and your dog.

Jessie and Heartsong said...

I know very well the situation you went through as I too had considerable difficulty - not with friends, but with acqaintances in Texas (that is one unpredictable state compared to the east coast, I was especially approached by a mall manager who assumed I rigged a regular dog to be a guide). You really can't force the issue, no matter how convincing you are to explain the need and non-difficult nature of guide dogs. I simply refused and thanked them for the "partial" invitation and sought another venue with other people I know - where Heartsong happened to be the main attraction (and a girl magnet - that l'il devil!). Just find a common ground to keep everyone happy. You may be surprised if they turn around and unexpectedly accept your guide, but I agree - their actions may be unreasonable, but you have to understand their reasons as well, whether it's a misunderstanding, ignorance, or a preference not to accept any type of animals. Think hard about your relationship before making a major decision, it just depends on how she can tolerate your guide outside her home.