A letter to rude parents: Part 1

Dear Rude Parents,
As the handler of a service dog, I feel it is my duty to speak up for my rights as a human being, and my desire to shop without being hindered by the heathens you call your children.  So, please take the following message to heart, lest we have a throwdown in the middle of Walmart.

“Honey!  Look at the doggie!” is NOT an appropriate phrase to utter to your children.  Particularly when your children have paid my dog no mind as it is (which is GOOD)!  Were you raised in a barn?  Were YOUR parents rude parents?  Did they never teach you that it is not polite to point and gawk at another person?  Did they never teach you that while calling attention to somebody else, you’re calling attention to yourself?  You say they did?  Well, I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m really not convinced, since I not only SEE you pointing at me, I can now see the 6 other people whose gaze has been directed my way thanks to your immature behavior.

Also, I get it that some kids are afraid of dogs.  I’m sorry.  That sucks.  You know what else sucks?  Listening to your shrieking brat as I try to make my way past you whilst you coddle the kid.  How about instead of feeding the kid’s fear, you either: 1) Tell them to shut the hell up 2) Pick them up if possible and move them away from my dog 3) A combination of both 4) Explain to them that my dog will do them no harm, and he is simply in the store to help me (and don’t assume the dog is a guide dog…I am not blind).

To mesh my first and second peeves together, when your child screeches out “Mommy/Daddy!  THERE’S A DOG IN THE STORE!!!!!” could you please make an effort to shut the kid up and explain WHY the dog is in the store (again, “That’s a helper dog” will suffice)?  You’d think I’d be more tolerant of kids doing that than adults, but, believe it or not, I am not!  SHOCK! 

I’d like to be able to shop without people acting like fools.  Why is that too much to ask?

Also, Rude Parents, don’t you DARE get all up in my business and be all pissy when I yell at your child (or YOU) for trying to interfere with my service dog while he’s working.  I’ve said this many times before, and yet, y’all don’t seem to get it.  THE DOG IS NOT A TOY!  The dog is not a pet!  The dog is not there for your amusement!  HE IS THERE TO WORK!  So get a handle on your freaking little urchin angel!  If you had been supervising the kid in the first place, they wouldn’t have gotten yelled at.

I don’t know what the fuck your excuse is for trying to touch my dog.  You’re an adult.  You should fucking know better.

And quit interrupting me while I’m trying to shop!  While I appreciate you at least ASKING if your child can pet my dog (or if you can pet my dog), the answer is STILL NO!  Working dog…W-O-R-K-I-N-G D-O-G.  Do you see the word “pet” in any of that?  No?  Well then, guess what it means you CAN’T DO?!  For cripes sake, would you ask somebody in a wheelchair if they could get out because your kids fancy a ride?  No?  That’s preposterous you say?  Well then, how about I reiterate one more time that if you wouldn’t ask that of a person in a wheelchair, you shouldn’t ask it of me with my service dog.

I’m a nice person.  I am a largely good person.  I can really be very happy to educate people on my dog and his use.  But my patience has worn thin for you, Rude Parents, and your snot-nosed scream factories little darlings.  So, put on your parenting pants and take charge of your children (AND YOURSELF)!

Flail on,
 – Classical Spazz

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~ by ClassicalSpazz on January 17, 2012.

19 Responses to “A letter to rude parents: Part 1”

  1. Fantastic letter! I’d be tempted to shop with you and hand it out to dumb ass people.

  2. Sorry, but this post reflects really poorly on you.

    And I happily disagree with you.

    Most people aren’t knowledgeable about service dogs; can you really hold that against them?

    Yes, I can. Because this post is about how rude it is to point and call attention to somebody else.

    Maybe try educating them instead of acting rude yourself

    I try and educate when I have time, but I also have a right to be in a store and NOT be bothered and interrupted by rude people. You seem to be under the misconception, however, that I am obligated to educate people about service dogs.

    I am not.

    Not to mention, you have no business yelling at anyone’s child unless they harassing the dog and putting themselves in some kind of danger.

    Did you read the post? Did I ever say I went out of my way to yell at somebody’s child? No. But I certainly am going to stop them before they try and touch my dog or talk to him. It is not acceptable. I depend on my dog for safety. He’s not out for a joyride. Parents DO need to watch their children, and I am NOT obligated to let them pet my dog, or even be polite about telling them to knock it off. Am I polite most of the time? Yes. But sometimes politeness doesn’t pay off, and I’ve just had it with people thinking they’re entitled to touch my dog or coo at him because he’s in the store.

    You don’t have my sympathy.

    Good to know…even though I didn’t ask for it.

    You don’t have special privilege.

    You mean being able to shop without being bothered? Clearly not.

  3. Please let me reiterate that I am in no way obligated to educate people simply because I have an SD. People should be able to exercise some common sense and manners, and not point and gawk at others. It’s not hard.

    Several people have been on excursions with me, and thus, my dog. I am, the vast majority of the time, polite, but there comes a breaking point when enough is enough.

    People think it is ok to run up to my dog, and hug him. It is not. People think it is ok to interrupt my errands to ask me if they or their child can pet my dog. It is not. People think it’s funny/ok to let their child scream at my dog. It is not.

    I don’t understand why this is hard to comprehend.

    • You may not be obligated to educate people, but if you want people to treat you with respect, that is the best way to get it. Otherwise, simply be firm but not rude in informing people of leaving your dog alone.

      And excuse me, but you did say you yelled at people’s children and then seemed to be surprised when people got pissy about it. IMO there is a much better way to go about stopping kids from interfering with your dog than yelling at them. I think those people also have a right to go into a store with their kids and not have strangers yell at them. No matter what they might be doing. That’s what I mean by “you don’t have special privilege.” I don’t think you ever have the “right” to be rude to people.

      Parents should control their kids, of course, but some may not get to them in time or even know what to do themselves when a service dog is around. I doubt all the parents are just letting their kids run loose without a care in the world. And I never said it’s okay for people to gawk, but you have to think about why people are doing it. The majority probably are NOT doing it just to piss you off; they just have never seen a service dog and don’t know what to do. Most people don’t know that trying to be nice to the dog is interfering.

      You do have the right not to be bothered, but so does everyone else, and not everyone knows how to react to service dogs.

      • And excuse me, but you did say you yelled at people’s children and then seemed to be surprised when people got pissy about it. <–No, I did not. This is what I said:

        "Also, Rude Parents, don’t you DARE get all up in my business and be all pissy when I yell at your child (or YOU) for trying to interfere with my service dog while he’s working."

        Please note the words "trying to interfere with"

        A service dog is medical equipment. People are taught not to stare at a person in a wheelchair, with an amputated limb, or with a visible cognitive disability (as some examples), thus, you would think it would transfer over to somebody with a service dog.

        Bottom line is that it's not polite to point out those that are different than you.

        I really am a very pleasant person, most of the time, but I am still a person, and there comes a time when enough is enough.

        Just a few days ago, I went shopping in a large mall with a friend. While in one of the stores, an employee actually jumped out in front of my dog and pointed frantically at his co worker while calling out "Bite her! Bite her!"

        Do you really think that's appropriate behavior? Sorry, I'm so BEYOND done feeling any obligation to be polite to such a jerkwad.

        Conversely, in the same store, a woman and her two children walked past my dog and I while we were browsing. The children asked their mother what my dog was doing in the store.

        "He's a helper dog," she said kindly. "Don't bother him. He's working."
        "What kind of help, mommy?"
        "Oh, well, I don't know. There are all sorts of helper dogs."

        I told them, "Strauss helps me stand up. I don't walk so well, so it's his job to make sure I don't fall and hurt myself."

        The children smiled, nodded, and went on their way. Polite as can be, and wiser for it.

        Those kinds of interactions are pleasant, and I am very, very glad to have them. I have a good few of them (which is supposed to be the topic of tomorrow's blog post). But as I've stated numerous times, enough is enough.

        Yup, sometimes I'm rude. Sometimes I feel bad afterwards, but for heaven's sake, my safety comes before somebody's feelings.

        End of story.

  4. Giving a rebuke to a child or parent for being rude does not mean one is being rude. That’s giving a correction for behavior that isn’t appropriate. If the child isn’t getting it from his/her parent(s), then it’s going to come from her or me. Jackie is a hell of a lot nicer about it than I (husband) am too.

    So if she yells at a kid, chances are the kid is doing something dangerously stupid. The parent should also be yelled at, but she’s far more polite than she should be, and simply informs the parent to watch their kid.

    Really, both deserve a reaming for improper manners and doing something dumb and dangerous as running at a working dog. If you can’t understand why, then I urge you to just turn off your computer since you won’t figure out why such behavior is intolerable and any logic will escape you.

    She’s the nice one, I’m not in cases such as this. Feel free to yell and argue with me, but don’t start static with my wife for correcting inappropriate behavior that’s demeaning and potentially dangerous.

  5. “but you did say you yelled at people’s children and then seemed to be surprised when people got pissy about it. IMO there is a much better way to go about stopping kids from interfering with your dog than yelling at them. I think those people also have a right to go into a store with their kids and not have strangers yell at them. No matter what they might be doing.”

    Actually, OP has the same right to shop without being disturbed, with or without her service dog. It is not a “special privilege” to expect other people to leave you alone while you shop – it is EXPECTED by all people, including those with service dogs. It’s not like she’s walking into Wal-Mart, going up to strangers, and lecturing them on public etiquette; people are interfering with HER first.

    Let’s look at it from another perspective. If you’re out shopping and people are getting in your way, you get vocal and try to solve the situation. You do it politely at first, but after a few hundred incidents, you might become a bit shorter in your temper and a bit more direct in your manner. To do so would be understandably human.

    I feel like “Anonymous” expects the OP to have some superhuman sense of patience. That the OP should be extra-understanding of people who just don’t know any better. The thinking is this: she’s the one who is ‘different,’ so the burden of making people understand how to deal falls upon her shoulders. That line of thinking is…problematic and unfair. You know how I learn to correct myself when I’ve been rude? By having my rear end handed to me. I don’t claim “special privilege” for my feelings. If I’m being a stupid dork, I expect people to tell me, and I don’t require them to deliver the message nicely – I was the one being rude first!

    Actually, I bet that the OP actually IS extra-patient with ignorant people, at least compared to the average Joe. Especially compared to me. I would curse people out regularly like the crotchety lass I am. >:)

  6. Eventually, a trickle of water will wear down a rock. A situation or two will make most people happy to educate, however, as human beings it’s not surprising that most people, annoyed over and over again, will eventually tell rude people to STHU. Whether or not someone has never seen a service dog of any kind, most people with half a brain would realize pets aren’t allowed in Wal-Mart, and that S is there for a reason. Having a SD isn’t about having a play toy. It’s about safety, and sometimes thick people who can’t seem to realize that a large dog in a store is there for the safety of the dogs’s handler NEED to be told off to get it through their thick skulls.

  7. “Most people aren’t knowledgeable about service dogs; can you really hold that against them?”

    Really? Who in this day and age doesn’t know better than to charge up to a working service dog? Oh yea, rude people. :/

  8. Lol you all are overreacting to what I said. I NEVER said it was okay to “charge up to a dog” or yell and make a big spectacle, or anything like that. I NEVER said that stuff was okay! But honestly, in public spaces you DO have to have a lot of patience whether or not you are disabled. It’s called courtesy and ignoring people’s shit. People are always going to be doing stupid things that might frustrate you, especially in crowded places. I don’t think it’s right for ANYONE to blow up at someone just because you have had a lot of frustrating experiences with others over the course of your life. I think that’s a crappy excuse and it’s not okay. If it was, people who worked at retail stores would blow up at customers all the time, people who were sick of waiting in line in a crowd would blow up at each other, just because they have been frustrated and mistreated by others hundreds of times before, etc. I don’t blame you for being frustrated, especially by really stupid reactions to the dog, but I feel like you all think it’s okay to take it out on others just because it reaches a certain point and it’s not.

  9. Also I do think it’s okay to yell to warn somebody if something they are doing is dangerous. But I highly doubt most of the time the situation warrants yelling.

  10. Previous anon, it is possible that the attention the OP gets from yelling at children is something they get off on. Some people feel entitled to plague others with negativity because of the massive negativity in their own lives. Misery loves company. The dog alone draws attention and then the OP gets additional attention by yelling at the children the dog draws. Negative attention is better than no attention for some. One of these days the OP may cross the wrong parent by yelling at their kid, and hopefully it does not get volatile, especially since children and the dog will be involved. When one is in public, one can’t expect everyone else to adhere to what that person feels they deserve, there are some really stupid people out there, that’s why dogs have to go through rigorous training before they become service dogs – because they must be able to react well to the unexpected, which includes unruly children.

    • Yeah, I totally “get off on” yelling at people, Daffer.

      Hardly the case.

      I’ve had a very hard time standing up for myself throughout my life, and I’m not taking it anymore. You don’t seem to get it. This animal is for my safety, not for funsies. I don’t just run up to people and start yelling at them.

      99% of the time, it’s “Please do not bother my dog, he is working.” When a child or adult cannot get it through their heads that NO means NO, I am going to get hash.

      “one can’t expect everyone else to adhere to what that person feels they deserve”
      Huh….I didn’t know it was unreasonable for me to think that I deserved and had the right not to be interfered with while shopping, like everybody else does.

      Go figure!

      This isn’t about the dog. The dog can handle a lot. He is trained to. He is also medical equipment, and people interfering with my equipment is #1 illegal and #2 endangering me.

      People do NOT have the right to do that, no matter how much one would like to make excuses for the curiosity of others.

  11. I think everything in the post is justified. Honestly, if you can’t keep your child under control in public, you should know that others will not like it…and may say something. When you have a service dog, you do what needs to be done to protect you and the dog…and if there are kids, adults or wild animals interfering, then I think it is in the SD handler’s right to say what is needed to make sure the dog can do its job. It is really easy–parents need to control their kids. If they do that, nothing will have to be said. Period.

    • Exactly.

      I find it interesting that two people think that I am in the wrong for wanting to be able to shop safely (emphasis on the word safely).

      I am supposed to just accept and tolerate people potentially causing me serious injury because they are curious.

      The curiosity of others does not trump my right to be in public and be safe.

      How about instead of being hung up on the fact that I correct people (albeit loudly on some occasions), people focus on the fact that others interfering with my medical equipment puts me in danger.

  12. So I suppose it would be OK to allow my child to rush up to a paraplegic and push them aside so they can play on that super cool wheelchair…

  13. LOL… yea, writing an open letter asking people to LEAVE HER ALONE equals wanting to yell at people in public because of attention seeking. How does that work, again?

  14. Anonymous…really, you find it hard to believe that after asking someone to leave you alone, once, twice, thrice..and not being left alone and then NOT getting frustrated and angry is asking too much? Go ahead and live in your little castle in lalaland. The reality is that J was writing about how she feels and that she feels imposed upon by the lack of manners of the general public. I have that same feeling, multiple times a day, and I am not walking around with a service dog or a visible difference. This increases the odds of J being harrassed many more times than any of us can even imagine. She has a right to feel this way and she has a right to express it here and to express it out in the world.

    You can’t find it in your heart to even try to understand where she is coming from…and that is a big cognitive and emotional lacking on your part. She is not talking about yelling at everyone, nor at even MOST of those she comes across..but if someone tells you to bugger off..then bloody well bugger off. She has a right to be left alone, just like the rest of us do. That may or may not happen all the time and we all have our days. But if someone can’t control their children, that is their responsibility, not J’s.

    People with service dogs are harrassed every day, about access, about “what is wrong with them” etc…people, adult people, should not only try to understand how frustrating and demeaning this is..but they should grow the hell up and teach their children to understand as well.

  15. Ok… where to start. Anon, I’m going to flat out say you’re [redacted].
    Being out in public does not require a vast amount of patience for anyone. Common courtesy, yes, but neither my wife or myself should ever have to put up with anyone else’s idiocy. Staring and pointing, shrieking and running away, comments about how strange having a service dog is, constant ignorant comments, etc are all things that go against common courtesy. If you do not have any, then don’t expect any back.

    It should be just as much the other person’s responsibility to show courtesy and keep comments to themselves. It should be their responsibility to not point and stare. Or not try to give a strange dog a hug. Or distract the dog that’s keeping someone from falling over.

    I’m not going to be polite and show saint like patience to someone who lacks common courtesy. I have even less tolerance for parents who can’t teach their kid, or remind their kid, about being courteous. I call that doing the parents’ job, not rudeness.

    Get over yourself if you think that having a service dog in public means you should be immune to others. We’re human. We react negatively to ridicule and rudeness. We react sharply to dangerous situations. Deal with it.

    Again, that’s MY response, not my wife’s. Direct comments to me if you take issue with my response.

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