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My Guide Dog is the Wrong Colour?

CharlotteN27CharlotteN27 Posts: 16Member Whisperer
Hello
My Name is Charlotte.
I am Vi and have a Guide Dog named Layla.
I was asked to share this thread by Scope on twitter.
I have a story that might shock anyone in the know. 

Layla is black. She is a lab cross golden retriever. 
I was out with a friend we were going to buy a burger in Coventry. My friend is fully sighted. I get separated from her as she goes to order our food. I am standing there with my binoculars trying to find my friend when a stranger comes up to me. 
This is what happens.

Layla Charlottes Guide Dog

Stranger (older Lady) "You can't have dogs in here they serve food"
me (only 20 at the time) "She (Layla) is my guide dog I am blind. (I learned long ago people do not understand VI) 
Stranger "that is not a guide dog its black! I demand you leave at once."
Me "She is my guide dog she has a harness on and her lead says guide dog."
"stranger "You must have stole them no guide dog is black."
My Friend "Charlotte are you okay?"
Store Manager "Can I help you?"
Stranger "She has a dog in here and she stole guide dog equipment to fake her disability."
Me and My friend "Guide Dogs come in many different breeds and colours not all of them are yellow labs!"
Stranger "they are lying. that can not e a guide dog its black." 

At this point the store manager was fed up as the lady was getting louder and upsetting other costumers.. He said he did not care if we were lying or not but that we had to leave. I tried to pull out my Assistance Dog UK ID Book. But by now it was too late. I was told I would have to leave as they do not let non assistance dogs in the store and did not believe me when I said Layla was a Guide Dog. The store manager said I was too young (20) to be blind. 

This is not the only time we have had this problem. I also know I am not the only one that has faed this belief that guide dogs can only be yellow labs. 

Layla and Charlotte waiting to cross a road

Replies

  • GuyatScopeGuyatScope Posts: 11Member, Community advisor Whisperer
    That is terrible, my mum is a puppy walker for Guide Dogs and had a great black lab a couple of years back who is now out working, she encountered issues when training him,  people couldn't understand that she wasn't blind but that she was training him, I think people assume Guide Dogs come from a special factory set up and ready to go. 
    Guy
    Employment Team Manager
    Scope's Support To Work
  • CharlotteN27CharlotteN27 Posts: 16Member Whisperer
    That is terrible, my mum is a puppy walker for Guide Dogs and had a great black lab a couple of years back who is now out working, she encountered issues when training him,  people couldn't understand that she wasn't blind but that she was training him, I think people assume Guide Dogs come from a special factory set up and ready to go. 
    Yeah. I remember months of training with Layla before we were let loose on our own. I am amazed at how much freedom she gives me. (I used a cane from the age of 10) However its not always easy when the public make decisions on what a guide dog is or dose with out any understanding of the facts. 
    Tell your mum thank you for puppy walking. With out puppy walkers I can not go to uni or get a job as easily as I have. Nor would I be able to go out with friends. However there is so much more that society needs to learn to improve accessibility. 
  • onyeeonyee Posts: 10Member Whisperer
    the ignorance of some people astounds me!   I have had people look askance at me parking in a disabled bay becoz I then take a child out of the car and children cannot possibly need to use a disabled bay can they?!  good on you for going public on this.
  • Geo08Geo08 Posts: 49Member Talkative
    Name and shame in my opinion. 

    They've broken the law. Both the stranger and the manager.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Posts: 60Member Talkative
    That is terrible, my mum is a puppy walker for Guide Dogs and had a great black lab a couple of years back who is now out working, she encountered issues when training him,  people couldn't understand that she wasn't blind but that she was training him, I think people assume Guide Dogs come from a special factory set up and ready to go. 
    . However there is so much more that society needs to learn to improve accessibility. 
    Society will learn much quicker if you make a formal complaint, go to the papers and name and shame the company.  You say this happened in Coventry but don't say which establishment it took place in.  If you say which one, then people will know where to avoid.  All too often people have horrible things happen to them, whether they be disabled or able bodied, but not enough of them are willing to stand up for themselves and their rights.  If I had been in your situation I wouldn't have been removed from the shop without recording at least some of it on my phone and then calling the Police.  Things like this aren't right or fair but if you don't stand up for yourself and do the right thing how will it ever change?
  • seanpreneurseanpreneur Posts: 2Member Listener
    Can't say I don't disagree with naming and shaming.
    what's ridiculous is that we are in 2016 & public education and perception still isn't good enough.
    Good on you Charlotte for sharing your story & not letting it stop or get you down.
    It is completely on several fronts.
    Anyone else tells you Charlotte, that Layla is not welcome "your faking being blind, stole Layla's harness & vest, so you can bring your dog in" try not to let others get to you too much Charlotte I know it sounds harsh but as I have sadly found myself society can be really single minded & judgemental all too often but unfortunely there is no quick fix to immediately to stamp it out,
    but I have to believe in time if we make small steps things will & have to change.
    Also when it happens to you & Layla again get your friend or who ever may be with you at the time to make a note of when & where it happened take the managers name too.
    My advice then is to start building a file. As not only is it disability discrimination but it could also be argued as hate crime.


  • seanpreneurseanpreneur Posts: 2Member Listener
    The ignorance of the few should not out way the positivity of the many. 
    Don't let incidents defeat or  define how you live your life or people like that stranger have won.
  • CharlotteN27CharlotteN27 Posts: 16Member Whisperer
    I would have reported it but the next time I went to the store the manager in question had been fired as apparently a witness had anonymously told the  managers boss about the incident. bbut I thought it would be a good idea to share so people know what its really happens when I go out some days.
  • Scope_rosieScope_rosie Posts: 133Member, Helpline Chatterbox
    This is absolutely ludicrous.  What is wrong with people?  
    Charlotte, kudos to you for keeping so calm.  I don't think I would have been able to do the same! 

  • waterfall72waterfall72 Posts: 1Member Listener
    Charlotte
    glad you spoke up and yes  the manager  broke the law glad he was fired maybe next time he will learn 
  • twitbrittwitbrit Posts: 5Member Whisperer
    In South Africa i worked as a copywriter and my boss allowed me to work for SAGA (South African GuideDogs Association) for a half day each week. They were wonderful, dedicated people and I loved what  i did.there.
    They bred a lot of their own dogs and the then Head, Ken Lord, preferred black labs. 
    - nothing political
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,791Administrator Scope community team
    Our latest guest post by @TheBlindJournalist shows that guide animals don't even need to be dogs! Mohammed has a guide horse!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • GoodienuffGoodienuff Posts: 8Member Listener
    Oh my god!!  That is appalling!  I would happily sign a petition to name and shame these morons, and would never set foot in one of their branches if they are countrywide!!

    I do hope that none of you will take offence if I post a silly joke about guide dogs.  I try to make light of stuff when I read such problems as this, so if it does offend, I'm sorry.  I am new to this site, so if I have broken any rules I do apologize

    SO. This guy is walking with his guide dog, and goes into a pub for a pint,and as he got to the bar the server says, "hey I'm sorry but dogs are not allowed in here pal"

    Blind guy says "oh but he's my guide dog because I am blind"

    Barman: "Get outa here that's not a guide, 🐕, guide dogs are either blonde labradors or alsations!"

    Blind guy reached out, and stroking his dog he says,  oh my god, what have they given me then?" 🙄😊

  • tru88letru88le Posts: 31Member Whisperer
    What a ****. Didnt your mate have a phone to record this madness? What store was it and where, phone the head office dont let em get away with it.

    Getting your own way by being loud is a form of bullying.

  • topshoestopshoes Posts: 443Member Chatterbox
    edited October 2018
    Hi @CharlotteN27 i am so sorry to hear about this, and  the stress you went through , yes you are so right the labrador dog does not have to  be yellow and can be of any bred , i see people who train any bred dogs to be guide dog everywhere and there is 3 different people who train the dogs up where i live .  
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