Thursday, September 10, 2015

They need to be educated

Once again, I have had to educate someone about the rights I have because I have a service dog.

It is getting tiresome.

We are going on a short little vacation tomorrow. Yesterday, I called the hotel to confirm our reservations and to make sure the hotel staff was aware that I would be bringing my service dog with me. I was told that it was noted and I would be fine.

Today I get a call from the hotel front desk employee telling me that I would have to bring my dog's certification and papers before he would be admitted into the hotel. I politely informed her that I would not be bringing his papers because it is not a requirement for me to have them.

Of course an indepth conversation ensued. I educated the employee that I do not have to provide them with papers and quoted the ADA's requirements for a service dog. The employee then transferred me to the hotel front desk manager. I again explained that I would not be bringing documentation with me and I was not required to. Again I had to explain the law to her. She insisted that I would need to bring documentation. She then said that she would contact the hotel manager and have him call me.

I got on the phone with the company I booked my trip through. I was explaining the situation with the representative. (We belong to a vacation plan program). She was very understanding and said she would do whatever she could to fix the issue. As we were exchanging information, my call waiting beeped in. It was the vacation plan supervisor and the lawyer of the hotel chain.

I was surprised to know that the lawyer was on the phone. Well, I explained what had happened and quoted the law to them. The lawyer for the hotel confirmed that I was, in fact, correct. He stated that the only issue with the reservation is that my room was booked on a ground floor and those rooms were set aside to be allergen free. I understood that and agreed to have my room changed as long as I received the same amenities that I was promised when I made the reservation. The hotel lawyer then got the hotel manager on the line as well. All the arrangements were worked out and I am satisfied with the results, so far.

When I get to the hotel tomorrow, I will know for sure if everything has been handled when I check in tomorrow.

I took a moment today to make a little PSA about service dogs. Of course, Eclipse had to star in it. I have been trying to show the PSA here but for some reason it won't post.

I wish people would ask if Eclipse is a service dog instead of instantly assuming that I am trying to sneak my dog into a place where he is not allowed.

And I wish people would know that I don't have to carry any documentation, certificates, or tags. My dog is NOT required to wear a vest or have a leash that says "Service Dog". I also would like to see people acknowledge that service dogs don't always come in the shape of a German Sheppard or a Lab. They come in all shapes and sizes.

I am aware that some people do lie to be able to bring their pets with them, but I assure you, I am not faking it or lying.

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