Bailey’s Tale

I am a proud guide dog owner and have been for the last two and a half years. He’s a cheeky little pup and often likes to get his own way. He’s a likeable dog and works hard when he puts his little blonde head down. I’m often out and about with Bailey, that’s his name, and tend to be out for hours at a time on occasion. This can present problems as Bailey has needs like you and I. He needs to go to the toilet and if it is warm, needs to have a drink.

A few weeks ago when I was out shopping with my boyfriend and Bailey, we decided to stop and have a bite to eat and drink. We went to the food court in my local shopping mall and I sat down with Bailey and the shopping bags while my boyfriend went to buy food. I asked him to get water for Bailey and upon his return, he informed me that he had to buy a bottle of water. I was very confused by this and I asked my boyfriend if they expected Bailey to drink the water out of the bottle? he returned to the vendor and they gave him a cup for Bailey to drink out of.

I want to make one thing clear, I do not object buying my dog anything. If you ask anyone I know, I would spend my last penny on Bailey but it was the sheer principle of the matter. The vendor had refused to give water to a thirsty service dog who walks his paws off every day to help a visually impaired person.

Upon leaving the food court, I visited the information desk to inquire how I would go about complaining. I informed them of what had just happened to me and Bailey and they informed me that this was actually discrimination. I suspected that if asked that anyone is required to give free water where possible as it is a duty of care to the individual. The fact that we were forced to purchase a bottle of water discouraged me greatly at the society we live in. Has it come to the point where water is no longer a free, flowing element? Did I miss the day that we were paying the equivalent of oil prices for barrels of water or is this just some greedy, multimillionaire trying to profit on our needs? I reported this incident to guide dogs and haven’t heard anything back as yet. But how is it fair that a service dog who just wanted a little water was turned into a paying statistic by a company that is internationally wealthy and clearly did not need the 90P that was profited from the water.

If that had been an old lady needing a glass of water? Would anyone have questioned it? And not just gone running to the nearest tap to pour her a glass of water? Dogs need sustenance as we humans do and although I am a very animal loving person, in my humble opinion a service dog is in a food court for one reason, and one reason alone. He is working and guiding the owner that dog has been given too because without that four legged friend, that visually impaired person would have a severe lack of independence and confidence. I know how much Bailey has improved my life in the two and a half years I’ve owned him and I don’t know many guide dog owners that don’t feel the same.

I have often been into various restaurants/fast food places/coffee shops of varying powers and financial excellence and only once before have I encountered this same level of discrimination for my dog. That, as this incidence did, occurred in a international/multimillionaire company that does not need a measly 90P for a bottle of water that they could easily get from a tap. Neither company refused giving me something to put the water in for free, so then why charge me 90P or more for a half litre bottle of water that he would only drink a portion of?

It’s a senseless act of discrimination and one to which I personally hope no other guide dog owner has to suffer. I know that if anyone else refuses to give Bailey water, I will write to the news papers and not just on my blog.

Give all the furry friends a glass of water!

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One Response to “Bailey’s Tale”

  1. LetRVoiceBHeard Says:

    Not sure what country you are from to know how the laws are written. Although for me it’s the moral and not actually a law issue.

    According to the way it’s written in the DOJ question and answer section for the businesses they do not have the responsibility of feeding or giving water. Again it’s the moral of things though as many businesses I have encountered would always offer water. Some would offer food which of course I do not except as my dogs are always on a specific diet.

    However if they do not offer or just give (ie free) it’s not considered discrimination from the way it’s written in the law books.

    Personally I keep a colapsable food bowl for my dogs water and purchase a certain brand name too. This way my dog has the same type of water all the time so there isn’t a change in his diet per say. As various waters could give loose stools because of the changes.

    Been doing this for years at end as I never rely on others for my dogs food or water. If they offer it’s fine if not well again it’s their morals not mine.

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