We were invited out on Saturday night by some close friends to eat dinner.  My husband and I hadn’t been on a date where there wasn’t at least one kid with us in a long time so we jumped at the chance!  We made arrangements for the kids to go next door and we got ready to go.

When our friends showed up I had Bear all ready to go.  I don’t think they realized he would be joining us!  They were more than happy with him coming, but I think they just hadn’t realized that I really do take Bear just about everywhere with me!  On the car ride over I was asked what I would do if they don’t let Bear in.  I explained that my training had prepared me for that and it is something I keep on my mind whenever we go someplace.  I said that what I do is explain to the person denying me access that Bear is a service dog and by law they are required to let us in.  If there is still an issue, I would ask to speak with a manager.  If the manager (or highest level person there) still denies me access, then I would ask for their corporate address and let them know that I need it so I can courtesy copy them the letter I plan on sending to the Department of Justice about their civil rights violation.  I wouldn’t “demand” to stay or cause a scene.. I would just try to inform and educate, and then go somewhere else to eat!

We arrived at Rafferty’s around 6:30pm.  I am always the most nervous when we first walk into an establishment.  If I am going to be challenged that would normally be the time.  Well, we had no problems at all.  No one even noticed he was there (no one who worked there anyway!).  One lady seemed scared of him but her friend switched places with her and I was very relieved there was no scene like the one I had the last place I shopped at.  We were seated in a great place where Bear was out of the way and no one would trip on him.  Our waitress (Jamie) was great and really it was a non-issue!

These types of experiences are what really help get me out of the house.  I was so nervous I thought I would be sick.  I looked around and realized I am there with 3 other people who would more than likely stand up for me and Bear.  It really really helped!  So I am going to go ahead and add Rafferty’s to my Service Dog Friendly places list.

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