This morning I had my first confrontation because of bringing Eli into a store.
Other than a quick stop at a fast food restaurant for some take out, I have always carried Eli in public inside his carrying bag. I stopped at a store this morning and got everything situated in the cart. The kids needed some shorts, so we proceeded to go into the clothes department. Next thing I know, one of the store associates is coming up behind me, asking if I have a dog. I acknowledged her, but before I could say anything she stated that only service dogs are allowed inside the store, then asked if he is a service dog. I told her that he is and she requested proof.
Now, I would eventually like to be able to take Eli in public without him having to be inside his carrier. Honestly, he can not alert me while he is inside the carrier. So even though Eli had his vest on, I understand that the store associate was probably unable to see it. However, I do have a badge on his carrier that identifies him as a service dog.
In anticipation of someone eventually questioning Eli, I carry a copy of his service dog paperwork and letter from my doctor in my bag. I am glad, though, that it did not come to that because when the associate requested proof I was able to direct her attention to Eli's badge and that was satisfactory for her.
I am thinking that I may need to order a second badge for Eli so I can have it attached to his vest or leash in the event we are questioned when I do not have him inside his carrier.
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