Cant you read? it says no
As Guide dog owners, we are fairly experienced
in being accosted by various functionaries in public places,
although, I cannot say many of us are actually used to it.
Invariably these individuals insist with some assertion, ranging from
the shy apologetic mumble of their
belief, that to their knowledge, dogs are not allowed; to the strident
conviction, that (as if the guide
dog owner ought to know better) Dogs are absolutely not allowed!
To be fair, one does not get this as often from staff within actual
shops as from security personnel, who
are apparently often outsourced, and therefor are somehow devoid of
this form of basic customer service training.
The guide dog owners responce I fear is
as varied as the original challenge, ranging from the apologetic embarresment,
followed by a hasty retreat; to the violent clarion of indignation,
invariably followed by equally strident
However recently, in the reception area
of a well known Cape Town Civil Service building, I came across what
rate as the wierdest challenge I have had.
The main security type chap, says, very
politely, but firmly, upon seeing Barklee with me; (cant you read sir,
it says no dogs!" I imagine he is pointing to a sign stating this
I reply, just as politely and firmly, although I admit to being bemused;
"No its ok, he is a guide dog,
he is allowed in."
Quick as a flash, he retorts: "No sir, it does not matter what
breed of dog it is, it says no dogs!"
For you blindees reading this page, there
follows two cartoons depicting this story.
Picture, a snazzy car pulling up in a
Disability Bay .
Not such an unusual sight, hey?
a man gets out and begins to walk away, clearly demonstrating that he
does not have a physical
disability, niether does he display a Disabled parking sticker on the
A person near by, who happens to be in
a wheelchair, calls after him;
"Hey, you cant park there!, its meant for people with Disabilities!"
the man without stopping, calls back:
"well I have, and anyway Disability is nothing to do with me!"
What the selfish car parker does not realise
is that he parked
next to a construction site, and a brick is shown in the cartoon, falling,
and just about to land on his head!
Cartoon drawn by Allan Downey