Thursday, July 8, 2010 you probably know that I love dogs...

..oh, and cats, and rabbits, and horses..and my fish, Sushi. And most all animals.

The chickens that we chicken-sit for are near and dear to me..

So when I found this blog I knew I had found a like-minded blogger.  And when I read this post, I thought it was worth sharing

"You don't always get the dog you want,
you get the dog you need." ~Cesar Millan

Occasionally, I tell people she's half Pit Bull and half Carny. It's meant to be funny but it's also true. She's Latina too but I usually leave that part out in case someone were to ask to see her papers. We are in Nashville after all. It's hard to know which of those three groups is more discriminated against. As if just being a dog weren't enough.

This morning we made a trip over to our neighborhood big-box office supply store. Stella's been going there with me for nearly two years. I try to walk her a couple of miles before we go in. She loves it there because the floor is really cool and as soon as I find an aisle I like she can just lie down and soak it up. She doesn't move until I pick up her leash and say "okay". This morning we were approached by an exuberant young man who wondered if I needed any help. Holding up a box of jewel cases, I thanked him and told him I'd already found what I came for. Then he broke down and said what was really on his mind.

"Ummm, Ma'am, is that a service dog?"

He made little circles with his index finger, pointing at Stella.

"No," I said "but she's been in here many, many times."

"No one is allowed to bring dogs into the store unless they're service dogs" he said.

"I got permission from the manager" I said, "before I ever brought her in the first time. She comes in pretty often."

"Well they're clamping down on us now to keep dogs out" he said "and if that isn't a service dog, well'll have to go."

This is the point at which I resisted the urge to ask him if he had some desire to have a middle-aged woman up his ass at nine-thirty in the morning.

"Actually, she is a service dog", I said.

He looked baffled for just a second and then with nowhere to turn, he said "She is?"

"Uh-huh. But thanks for letting us know about the dog policy." I smiled my best smile at him and we walked away.

Now I know that civilized societies have rules and generally speaking, I wouldn't consider myself a rule breaker (you people in the peanut gallery - hush up) but I'm keen to tackle this one since it makes so little sense. Bad dogs rarely show up in public places. Bad dogs are at home, usually on a chain; alone and psychologically neglected (clue: that's why they're bad dogs). Nobody thinks of walking into a retail store with an angry, unpredictable dog and the fact that someone thinks I'd bring that sort of dog into a place of business, where there are strangers and possibly children, is not only an insult to me personally, but a testament to how fearful and litigious and ignorant we've become. [end of rant]

One might also ask (and reasonably so): What's the big deal about taking your dog into a store anyway? Why not just leave him/her at home?

Well, it's simple really.

It's fun having her along, I like her and I believe the people we run into on a daily basis do too. She breaks up their day. For a minute or two she feeds them her energy and they melt and run down into their shoes. They say things like:

"Wow, she's so soft I can hardly believe it." or "Thank God, there's Stella."

They go back to whatever they were doing, somehow refreshed. It's nothing earth shattering or terribly important but it feels good and it's legal. I'm beginning to think it should be mandatory.

 But, if the big office supply chain wants me to leave her at home well - that's okay. There are lots of places to buy office supplies. We'll just look around for one that embraces diversity and has sense enough to enjoy a good belly rub.

*Kite Flyer is the carnival ride pictured above.

Please stop by and enjoy Stella and her human companion.  I know you'll enjoy them both..

Oh, and what in the world can grab Lulu & Braxton's attention so??

Yes, it's the aMazIng Mr. cookies...

Have a puppy-filled-cookie-givin' Friday..and if you're really really lucky, you'll find something that will make you smile and  "melt into your shoes" as well..



wendy said...

What a cute post! I love all the pictures!

Laurie said...

Yes dogs are the best!! I can't imagine my life dogless, and don't want to know what it would be like. They're my companions, and family! And my dogs look the same way when it comes to spotting treats coming their way!

ain't for city gals said...

A really good post with lots of reading between the lines...if I ever find one of those service dogs vest thing at a yard sale or something I am going to get it and "pretend" We have a Queensland Heeler (cattle dog) who is an extreme pill but Lord how we love her...

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

"This is the point at which I resisted the urge to ask him if he had some desire to have a middle-aged woman up his ass at nine-thirty in the morning."

Oh Colleen, we would get along so well, in Real Life!!!

But on the other hand, it would be down-right *painful* for people around us, hu? -evil giggles-

Btw, does your family drum you out of it, now and then? Just asking. 'Cause I know mine want to. Now and then.................. >,-)

diane said...

Dogs are great. We've had a few dogs but after the last one we didn't get another one because it made me too sad to leave them at a kennel when we went away. When we are too doddery to travel any more we will get a dog again.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Oh, just to be clear..the upst about "Stella" was not written by was VERY well written by her Mom - at her blog- Carny Dog - She's a hoot..and she makes you stop & think..which CAN be good..occasionally..

Pearl said...

What a heartwarming post Colleen I agree whole heartedly about our animals. Thanks for sharing.

Sweet Repose said...

And where would I be without the infamous Scratchy...there will always be a special furry heathen in my life, yup, I'm one of THEM gals...
and BTW...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to that ol' Iowa gal...good down-home roots Mrs.B...!

Oh yeah, the wind chimes are hung with simple fishin' line, I don't even drill the silver, just tie around the fat end...the sound is down home at it's best!

Happy weekend seester...s

Dapoppins said...

oh honey. Which is cuter, the puppies or your curtains?

But i don't agree with some of your guest friend...that...about the sweet doggie. What is the big idea with dogs inside businesses...? Not only do they lick their butts, (hey, I am just jealous that they can and I can't) they also shed hair. Maybe not that dog, but you know dogs that do. It's bad enough having to clean up the human hair, why add to the problems...and some dogs drool. a-lot. Have you ever slipped in doggie drool? I have. It's not nice. So what is a bigness owner to do, post a sign that only allows hair-less, non-butt licking, polite, non-drooling dogs? Now that would be discrimination.

P.S. My last name is very Hispanic and the only time anyone asked to see my papers, that is my actual drivers license and car insurance, was when I was going 40 in a 25 zone...

That said, I love dogies and kitties too, but some rules have practical reasons...don't you think...

so, do you still love me cause I have an opinion?

Sue said...

Loved the post about Stella! Thank you so much for sharing it. I agree 100% with Stella's 'mom's' views on this.

LOL "puppy-filled-cookie-givin Friday pics made me smile.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Coleen said...

love this story..your blog always lifts my soul...I have not been around for awhile...I needed to read this today

Heart Hugs,

Mellodee said...

I am a dog lover too, but I can't agree with your guest. There are usually city ordinances against having dogs (except bona fide service dogs) in public businesses. There are a multitude of reasons that are real and make sense. But this type of "well, the law doesn't apply to me and My dog", is an attitude that makes me crazy! Why does she think she is above the law? It's ok because her little dog would never harm anyone??

As much as I loved my dogs, I know that ANY dog can be provoked enough to bite.

Scenario to consider:

Cute little doggie getting petted too hard by a little child, end's up snapping at the child. Child panics, dog panics and growls, bares teeth, child screams and hits dog, dog bites child, parents call police, sue you, sue the store, insist the dog is vicious and Animal Control confiscates the dog and after much legal wrangling and so on, puts down little doggie because the dog is a biter! You end up with enormous legal fees and fines and end up losing anyway!

Never happen you think? Impossible for your little doggie?? Well, think again! This kind of thing can and HAS happened. And that's just one possibility! There are hundreds of others.

Just so the owner could let her cute little doggie lay on the cool floor??? Excuse me, but put the dog in the bathtub and leave it at home!