Ask Not What My Dog Can Do for YouOctober 29, 2016
Flu-likeJanuary 3, 2017
People say and do things in the presence of a service dog that are harmful, even when they often meant no harm. When I post about such encounters, I tend to write them in essay form. If I simply ranted, it would be, to me, like spitting on the page, leaving only a mucous glob for readers to see. Simple narrative seems just that: too simple, especially when the topic at hand isn’t. Essay – which, in French, means to try – gives me the opportunity to rant some but also to explore, maybe educate, and perhaps discover for myself some deeper insight as I write.
The essay fails me right now. Try as I do, no aha moment emerges from what came from a recent dinner conversation. Seated at the dinner table, the three of us talked as we ate crockpot chicken and cornbread. A typical evening. Until my husband and I asked our teenaged son how about the election and what was being discussed in school.
“We’re not allowed to talk about it in class,” he said. “It’s not safe.”
Election results. High school. Shouldn’t that be the perfect civics lesson teaching moment?
Wait. What country is this?
Given the intimidation stories school children are sharing around the country, I commend the staff at my son’s school for safety first. It’s that they had to that is so disturbing. The kids are learning lessons, indeed.
How does this relate to a service dog? The answer is: it doesn’t. Or, it didn’t until I saw Samantha Bee’s call to letter-writing. All those intimidation stories – racist, sexist threats – send them to Paul Ryan. Here’s where to get the address:
Still wondering about the dog connection? Well, whenever a threat to access for a service dog and its handler became known to the supporters of the agency that raised and trained the dogs, they’d send letters. To be noticed, they all decided on a particular color of envelope. There was the pink envelope campaign when a school denied a student access, a green envelope mailing to a particular inn.
Would that work? Send your stories in a letter in a colored envelope? What color? What about any color but white? You in? Send your story. It’s worth a try.