I have a ‘Have Guide Dog, will travel’ attitude to life, today I decided in the sun to visit Winchester (alone) something I don’t think I will be in a hurry to repeat.
The rudeness, the sly comments & general ‘opinions’ that were continually thrust upon me resulted in a very short visit.
I am more than happy to accept and I do understand that not everyone likes dogs, be that an assistance dog or a pet.
I do understand that in some cultures dogs are not warmly accepted. But today the comments or actions of rudeness did not come from the here.
Today it came from,
A business woman looking down on her phone;
The art student with a VERY LARGE portfolio;
The man in the queue in Starbucks;
The woman behind me in boots who tutted at me when I asked the sales assistant to repeat herself for the 3rd time because I couldn’t hear her;
The van driver who got shirty when I waved him on because I wouldn’t cross in-front of him.
Were it not for the kindness of strangers I would have found myself fighting tears & heading for the nearest taxi.
it was thanks to ….
The window cleaner who moved his ladder so I would walk past;
Theassistant in Starbucks who offered me water for Fizz while pointing out to the rude man that assistance dog or not I had every right to enjoy coffee;
To the sales assistant in boots who guided me to a quieter area so I could hear what she was saying!
I know that I may stand in the wrong queue at times, I know that my guide dog likes to walk by the building line, which means we often walk right in front of the shop doors, I do understand that I take up more width on the pavement as I walk beside my guide, and she can’t tell me to “step in” the way a sighted person would if the path was narrow.
But at what point does vocalising your opinions change this? All it does is demoralises someone who just wants to get on. And could even stop a (less stubborn) person from going out and visiting other areas.
Today has been one of those days where I have felt isolated and hurt by the actions of others. But writing this now I am able to say that I won’t let it stop me, I share this with you now to raise awareness.
Because it can often be the ‘off-handed’ comment that you quickly forget making that can cause irreparable damage to someone. We never know what demons people are fighting; so just be kind.
It really is THAT simple.