Entitled Mom Won’t Accept No For An Answer When She Asks To Pet The Service Dog
There are some people who try to be as peaceful as possible with others but then again, there are people who just tend to fuel arguments at any opportunity. It doesn’t even have to be over a serious subject and before you know it, they will be up in arms and ready to fight. It seems as if this issue has even gotten worse because the world has gotten smaller with the Internet in place. In addition, we may see these altercations regularly because people take videos and upload them to social media. Even if something starts out as a mild altercation, it can quickly turn serious.
This type of altercation took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a local mall. It’s an example of how something small can get quite large very quickly. Perhaps the strangest part is the fact that the woman got angry over something that was relatively mild and it was more misplaced than anything else. It started out with her asking if her children could pet a service dog and before you know it, it escalated. Thousands of people are now watching the video and giving their opinion about what had happened.
Megan Stoff was the dog handler who was shooting the video. She posted it on Facebook and it has more than 2 million views and still growing. Many of the people who watched it were alarmed at how much aggression the woman is showing. You really don’t need to know much about service dogs to realize that they are working and should not be distracted or touched. You can ask but if you are told no, you should accept it and walk away. I don’t think this mother got the memo.
You can watch the video for yourself:
It seems that a meet up was taking place at the mall with dog handlers. One of the handlers couldn’t understand why this mother was so upset but when mall security confronted them, they decided to take their leave. She talked about the perspective of being the dog handler: “I don’t necessarily mind being asked to pet my dog, though usually, I have to tell people no,” he told us. “I don’t really get upset by having to do this unless it’s a particularly stressful day or environment and I’m having trouble doing what I’ve set out to do in the first place.”
“I’d rather people ask than just lean in and try to grab her, which happens every day… but I don’t always have the energy to explain what she’s doing or why she can’t be petted. I’m autistic and sometimes just can’t speak very efficiently at all so I can’t explain even if I wanted to. I might shake my head no, or indicate in some other short way not to pet her or talk to her, and I just want to have that respected. People also often take pictures of us without asking and that makes me really super uncomfortable, I don’t want people to do that at all.”
“I guess I just don’t want people to assume I am able to divert my attention to interact with them how they want me to, and that if someone has a service dog in the first place it means they’re disabled and probably having a hard time already. Using judgment about whether it’s appropriate to ask to pet helps (does the dog already have a vest on that says not to pet? Is it really loud and busy and chaotic of an atmosphere? Does the service dog handler look uncomfortable or distracted?) I have let people pet her, but in really specific situations where I can focus on making sure I keep her attention and I know I won’t need her to work for me at that moment.”
“Unfortunately I feel like people don’t consider me at all when they ask to interact with my service dog the majority of the time. Usually people just lean in and talk to her or try to pet her without even acknowledging me… They also often just assume I’m rude instead of something out of my control (like I can’t hear them, which happens a lot in overstimulating environments). I am concerned about people continuing to do these things because it’s really common.”
“My dog Clover is doing very well in training though, she has a Facebook page I started for her recently so people could see her and ask me questions about her and stuff there if they’re curious. I like talking about my service dog, just not necessarily when I’m trying to go grocery shopping! She deals well with strangers approaching but she is a very friendly and outgoing dog that enjoys people so attention from other people can be a big distraction for her and it’s something we have to work on all the time. I don’t think people consider that when they get upset about not being allowed to pet her.”
People had a lot to say: