Thursday, December 17, 2015

Trooper and the barber

“No dogs! No dogs!” said my barber when Debby phoned the other day to get an appointment for me for a haircut. (Trooper hasn’t yet been trained to do that. Phone for appointments, I mean. We can't expect him to wield electric clippers.)

“But he’s a service dog,” Debby said.

“No dogs!” my barber insisted.

Calmly Debby explained. Service dogs for people with disabilities have the right of full access to public places. It’s the law.

“Okay,” said my barber after a moment of reflection. My barber is a recent immigrant and evidently not au courant with the fine points of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

And so yesterday morning I visited the barber, who welcomed both me and Trooper (a tad nervously) and gave me my usual 20-minute No. 1 buzz cut with trimmings and polishing, a job that takes most barbers less than five minutes. Instead of lying at my feet, Trooper stood calmly at the chair across the room where I tied his leash. (We couldn’t very well have him underfoot, could we?)

So ended the first negative (but hardly hostile) response I’ve had to Trooper in public places. I hope they’ll all be like that.

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