take your guide dog outside – he’s licking the food!!!

I adore a bargain!!! I remember, years before Aldi and other cheaper supermarket chains became fashionable Mum and I would go there every week to stock up on food.
Actually, I remember rather snobbishly at the time saying to her that perhaps we shouldn’t mention we buy our baked beans from Aldi.
Now I proudly declare my allegiance to bargain shops to anyone who’ll listen.
But, I had my first – and hopefully the last Aldi drama yesterday.
I was there with a friend, happily picking up items and trying to decide whether to have berries or apricots in my wheaty cereal.
“Excuse me!” barked a man.
“Yes,” I said, thinking he wanted me to move the trolley but had left his manners at home.
“Take the dog outside, dogs aren’t allowed here!”
Now, these words strike fear and loathing into any guide dog owner who hears them.
My hackles rose, I looked the jobsworth straight in the eye and showed him James’s lead.
“No, he’s a guide dog, he’s allowed in here! It’s fine.”
Now, I’m very ashamed of how I spoke to the man.
He had an accent, not a Cardiff one but one which suggested he might be from a distant land.
I have two ways of dealing with people who confront me about James.
One group gets the sort of voice you would use with a small child, or a rather trying grandma.
The other gets the voice I use when I’m in a pub quiz team, and the other members override my answer. It’s a sing-song patronising voice, but with a tinge of fun in it too, it’s the sort of voice you have to put a smile in, or you’d sound rather fierce.
Unfortunately the poor man got the former.
“No, the dog might lick the food, he’ll have to go out!” he said.
By now I was extremely irked so decided to walk away.
I had my friend with me and didn’t want to cause a scene. By now a small crowd had started to form, and it wasn’t to get the 49 P cucumbers!
“Well, we’ll go and ask the manager what he thinks!” I said – resisting the opportunity to ask James to wee on the man’s foot (Oh how I wish we could get away with that kind of juvenile behaviour)!
I reported the incident to the manager and she’s promised to have a word with the man.
But, this is the second time it’s happened in a supermarket.
The same thing happened last year in Tesco – and the man had a similar accent to the one in Aldi.
I think more training needs to be done regarding dogs in shops.
This kind of misunderstanding occurs in all sections of society, but I feel that employers must make their non-native employees more aware of the rights assistance dog owners have, which are different to normal dogs.
Now, before anyone starts shouting at me/sending horrid comments (which, you’re quite welcome to do) I wasn’t born in the UK, so what I’m saying has absolutely nothing to do with where people are from. It’s purely cultural, just because some people are brought up to think dogs are different from how we view them, it shouldn’t give them the right to publicly attack me for having an assistance dog.
I will continue to fight back and stand up for James.
He’s my eyes!
If someone ripped your glasses off or tried to steal your contact lenses, you’d fight back right/? Of course you would!

You can follow my adventures with Chelsea and James at:
http://www.twitter.com/nickiandchelly
What do you think?
Have you ever had any trouble in a supermarket/shop with your guide dog? How do you react?

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