Wendy, a 22-year-old woman with a service dog, recently had an encounter that left her questioning if her response was out of line. She shared her story to gain insight into whether she was in the wrong.
Wendy’s Loyal Service Dog
Wendy relied on her service dog to assist her during fainting episodes. This loyal companion played a crucial role in her life, providing alerts and ensuring her safety during these episodes.
Thanks to her furry friend, Wendy could venture out in public without the constant fear of fainting looming over her.
“Can I Pet Him?”
One day, while Wendy was grocery shopping, she encountered a young boy, about 12 years old, who was using a wheelchair. The boy expressed a desire to pet Wendy’s service dog.
A Polite Refusal
Wendy, understanding the attraction of her cute and fluffy Husky, politely declined the request.
She explained that her dog was working and that she preferred not to disrupt the working process of her medical equipment.
Despite her initial refusal, the young boy persisted in asking to pet the dog. Wendy’s patience wore thin, and she declined again.
A Surprising Twist
However, things took an unexpected turn when the boy’s mother approached them with the same request!
Wendy’s Breaking Point
Wendy’s frustration escalated, and she snapped in response, suggesting a trade – the boy could pet her dog if Wendy was allowed to pet the boy’s wheelchair!
The Mother’s Reaction
This response didn’t sit well with the mother, who got annoyed and said touching someone else’s medical equipment was weird.
Wendy, furious, explained in a few choice words that this was precisely her point.
The encounter left Wendy questioning her actions and wondering whether she had been inconsiderate or rude.
Wendy Questions Her Response
She couldn’t help but ponder whether her response was justified, so she took to Reddit to find out what the community thought.
Recognizing the Service Dog as Medical Equipment
Hundreds of Redditors turned out for Wendy, and the consensus seems to be that she was not in the wrong.
Redditors expressed support for her response and understanding of the importance of respecting boundaries, especially when it comes to medical equipment like her service dog.
A Common Issue
One user stated, “Your service dog is medical equipment, and if someone were to pet him, that could potentially distract him from doing what you need him to do.”
This sentiment resonated widely, highlighting the fundamental issue of people not comprehending the gravity of the situation.
Wendy’s Witty Comeback
Redditors appreciated Wendy’s witty retort, with one person praising, “That was honestly so quick-witted, really put in perspective how it feels to treat your lifesaving equipment as a toy.”
Another added, “Sorry about the situation you found yourself in, but my god, that comeback had me chuckling like a loony! Well done for maintaining your boundaries!”
Lack of Awareness About Personal Boundaries with Disabilities
Another Redditor stated, “As cute and fluffy as your dog may be, you are right. He is your medical device when he is working.”
The comments highlighted a common issue faced by people with disabilities: the lack of awareness and understanding surrounding personal boundaries, especially concerning medical equipment such as service dogs or wheelchairs.
A Wheelchair User Highlights the Impact of Disregarding Boundaries
A Reddit user who uses a wheelchair shared their perspective: “People push into my wheelchair, not realizing that every shove goes through my body & causes pain.
I’d love to push someone into a barrier so they know how it feels.”
The Final Verdict?
The general consensus on Reddit was that Wendy’s reaction, although assertive, was a necessary defense against the complete disregard for her boundaries, making her undeniably not in the wrong.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maria Surtu. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.