The Hayliegh Project

What does a service dog look like?

Hayliegh and I went out on a date this last Friday to a local and popular restaurant in San Diego / La Mesa. My date and I sat down in the bar area he then left to the mensroom.  The couple next to me inquired about Hayliegh (service dog) and I picked her up standing in the isle.  In a split second the manager came over and with hostility said we have complaints that your dog is in your arms. Now before I go any further let me play this out becuase it wasn’t about her in my arms it was about me not looking disabled, what I call “hidden disabilities” = discrimination.

* He said he had 4 complaints I hadn’t even been there 3 minutes and she was on the floor for those 2 minute and 53 seconds.

* I had her in my arms 7 long seconds at most.

* The manager addresses me with an antagonistic manner basically abusive saying a person w/ a service dog had to be physically disabled.

* I don’t look disabled as I have hidden disabilities. (I didn’t share this out loud it is for the to reader know)  I am a size 4 wearing Victoria Secret cloths, I eat healthy and workout every split second I get.

* I shared with him that I am physically disabled this went for three rounds. Then my date returns and with his strong voice says “What is the problem here?’  The manager says she has to be physically disabled and I looked at him and said “I am physically disabled.”

The couple next to us went to leave and kept apologizing to me as they were up set that I had been treated so horribly.

I managed to work through the discomfort and my date was more then helpful to get me through the ordeal.

Today is Sunday and I called the restaurant to ask for the corporate number as I was going to report this to the head office. Well it turned out that a supervisor was on the phone and took my compliant. She was apologetic and offered a meal for me and my date to make up for the rudeness that we endured.

Again another issue of abuse to those of us who DON’T LOOK DISABLED!


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8 Responses to “The Hayliegh Project”

  1. Dale Says:

    SO sorry you had to endure that type of horrible treatment. SO glad your date was man enough to stand up for you, & that you fought for your rights as well. I can’t tell you how happy I am that both you & your pet are doing so much better on LDN! Hugs to you!

  2. Theresa Harmon Says:

    This is so cool! How ignorant of him! How does your dog provide service for you?

    • hiddendisabilities Says:

      My dog woke me up at 6 months old to get medical help. Since I was disabled w/ nerve damage and then fibromyalgia I found out she could start working for me. She knows when the disease is going to attack my stomach, migraines, my spine and etc.. She is old now and you know she still knows. She is my love. I thank you for reading and responding to our blog. WOOF!

  3. AngelColbert Says:

    When I first started using copper I was terrified I would receive this sort of treatment. I found this tip sheet, kept one in my purse and handed it to the rude jerk along with my cell phone with the ada number pulled up. There is another handout but this is the one I could find right now.

    I said something along the lines of, the government disagrees with you. Before I contact your corporate headquarters, would you like to educate yourself about the rights of your customers?

    If they weren’t jerks, I just handed the paper to them and suggested kindly they educate their employees on service dog users’ rights. Then I walked away and did my shopping while they read or pouted or whatever they liked.

  4. AngelColbert Says:

    This one might be better and it’s formatted for printing. You shouldn’t have to do it, but it saved my peace of mind by doing so.

  5. Kenneth Gobbin Says:

    I Have tourettes and i was accused of being high in drugs and was refused service at a coffee shop and told never to return the owners conStantly call the police on me for parking in front if there coffee shop in a public parking space, and she lies to them trying to get me arrested without cause, and its very embarrassing when others see this, i have been told why not park else where, well should not have to, i have rights like everyone else, or so i thought. I park here because i can not to harasse her but to excercise my rights, i can’t find anyone to help me. Im affraid i might get put un jail for something i did not do. Please respond if you can you can email me or call at Or phone at 707-889-9409

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