Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unexpected New Challenges

               The challenges of having a service dog at work is still something I am learning about as time goes bye. I noticed today when I was at my desk working on some audits I was preparing for and another employee walks close to my desk. Duchess is laying on a mat next to my chair she is not under the desk but out of the walk way. The lady works in a separate department from mine. She was coming to visit my coworkers and she stops and makes a fuss because she thinks Duchess should be under the desk at all times. I told her that I would have Duchess move under the desk. The thing is that she is not working she was visiting and interrupting me for no reason. Duchess was not moving around in fact she was sleeping I had to wake her up to get her to move. I know there is a give and a take but some days I feel like I am the only one who has to be flexible and not other employee's. I know there will be people who are afraid of dogs and have allergies but I was not really prepared for this.

               I always do my best to make every one comfortable as possible. Duchess is a very active do and to expect her under a very small desk all day is a tough thing. I have a very small workspace for her to rest at. I allow her to come out from under the desk right next to my chair where at least their is some light it is very dark under my desk and I honestly don't blame her for getting tired of laying under their. I know for the most part most of my coworkers love having Duchess around at work they say they feel like she lightens the moods most of the time. She quite the character and for most people who give her a chance they end up loving her.

                Lunch today was not much better either. I went downstairs my little department three of us usually try to each lunch together. I went to sit down near my coworker and there was a new woman who had recently started. Once I was seated she got up and moved down the table from me. I need to grow some thicker skin sometimes because It bothered me because it felt offensive on one hand. Most likely she did not like dogs but I still struggle with the fact that in some ways having a service dog at times can be isolating in some aspects. I talk to more random strangers but quite a few people I think have this idea that I don't live a normal life. The funny thing is that my life is the same except I take my dog with me everywhere. It's not glamorous like people like to think it's a tremendous amount of work. I think people see me and judge me with the old stigma's attached to disabilities. I am always trying to break down the old stigma's by educating people in hopes to change their perceptions. I have the same to offer as any other employee I work with but convincing other of this is a major challenge. I am attaching a link of a story written by a college student about Duchess and I. I try to get my story out to allow others to become more educated.



  1. I commend you for doing what I probably wouldn't - have been tactful and agreeable to that woman who came by to visit. There doesn't seem to be any reason for Duchess to have needed to go under the desk, and that's just unreasonableness on the woman's part. Maybe the lunch situation is simple and you could just look for her again at some point to just ask her about it nicely. Maybe she's allergic or doesn't like dogs, and that's an easy fix. Anyhow, thanks for sharing this perspective on things.

  2. Thanks Mike. I try my best and nice to get another s opinion on this. It can be easy to miss things when you in the middle of the situations. I will try and talk with the new girl and see what might be the issue.