What should i do about this situation

so as some of you know, i have a guide dog. 99% of the time, he is really really good. but as most dog owners know, they have a weakness for food, trained or not, it can still happen on occasion. sometimes, it has happened that people have held food too cle to his face and he has taken it from them. in the 7 years i’ve had him, it’s happened at most 3 or 4 times. i always try to apologize whenever it does. mostly it’s been alright. they are very well trained dogs but it is a bit like having a toddler, sometimes things happen that you wish didn’t

anyways, a couple years ago, there was this one situation where, i entered the community center where i practice my sports and there was a lady with her son. they lady screamed when she saw me and it kind of broke both our concentration. the kid had food in his hand and kobe tried to go after it. i caught him when i realized what he was doing so i don’t know if he actually got to it or not. but the kid dropped the rest and started crying and screaming too. this guy who was beside us kept telling me not to worry and htat it was ok so i thought he was part of the family or something but it turns out he wasn’t. all my apologizing to him was in vain. then my dad showed up and asked me what happened so i tried to explain it to him. then the lady cut me off and said that she never screamed and i was making it up. i then realized that i had been apologizing to the wrong person so i tried to explain to her what happened and apologize but halfway through, she cut me off again and started yelling at me that i was tryingot make her feel sorry for my dog and that no one was sorry about her baby even though i was trying to say i was. after then, i guess i got a little frustrated and was a bit snappy and the conversation ended with her saying that it was pointless talking about it since no one saw anything. i know, not my best moment of christian witness.

she has walked past me a couple times in the last two years and both times, has made a point of referring to the situaiton, which her kid does not remember, by saying things like “there’s the bad dog that stole your food” or, in the case of today “you should be scared of that dog, it’s the one that bit you last time”. i know for a fact that Kobe did not bite the kid at all, he may have gotten some of his food but i’m not sure about that part.

just please remember that even with service dogs, accidents can happen, just like when your kid accidently spills something or breaks something in a store. they are trained but sometimes they cave in to their basic instincts. but what i want to know is, how much am i at fault here and is there something i can do about it? should i try and talk to the lady if she passes me again and give her another apology?

I have to say I had a chuckle when thinking about your normally obedient dog misbehaving snapping up some food now and then. This is just life. No one was at fault. Had it happened to me maybe I would have been a little shocked, but I would have probably genuinely laughed it off afterwards. Your dog wasn’t doing anything horrible. And the kid was just being a little kid. The one who should have known better was the lady. Maybe you should have been more patient. But it seems she doesn’t let things go very easily.

You can be charitable and make another attempt to apologize and ask her to put the incident behind you two, but that’s the most you can do. The rest is up to her. And by the way, reminding the kid of (what to him was) a traumatic incident every time he sees the dog and even telling him “he should be scared” is some pretty bad parenting, psychologically and morally speaking!

You can’t really do anything about crazy people. They are just going to be crazy.

No. Ignore her. She might be dangerous. Crazy people sometimes are.

I’m really sorry this happened to you. To me it doesn’t sound you did anything wrong. I think the situation just overwhelmed you. When you see her again, you could make a last attempt to apologize.

I don’t know what to do about the lady other than try to avoid her. If anything, it sounds like she’s trying to make the kid think your dog did bite or hurt him, which means she might be setting up for another claim if you get too close.

I do wonder about the dog’s behaviot, though. Are you still in touch with the trainer or agency you got him from? If so, you might want to see fi they’d be willing to work with him some for a refresher or additional training.

One of the big issues with service dogs is that they aren’t supposed to alter the environment or interact with any people other than their handler, at all. That’s one reason they are allowed in places other dogs are not. Most trainers know that dogs like food, but they are supposed to be trained not only to not lunge for food, but to not even touch food dropped on the floor or to sniff around, and to not engage with people other than their handler, even if treats or food is offered. That it happens, even on rare occaions, and that the dog was close eough to this child to even possibly take food from him tells me that there is a training problem there that needs to be addressed.

None of this is your fault, or the dogs’s fault, but trainers vary and sometimes a dog needs a refresher or a little help in an area for it to stick. One big problem is that the ADA allows even a service dog to be excluded or banned from a place if it displays viscious, aggressive, or disruptive behavior and it sounds like something that lady might try to push, especially if the dog gets near anyone else or their food if she has told them that he snatches food or bites at people.

Let it go; say nothing more; pray for her. You have encountered someone with an unforgiving heart— she has her own “handicap” to deal with.

I agree

Try not to let it worry you.
The woman is acting in a very immature way.
How silly to hold resentment against a dog who happened to take some dropped food, and ages ago!.
It was only natural dog behavior.
You shouldn’t feel guilty, she should feel silly for making a fuss about such a thing.
God bless!

If you hate her, then try to compensate by praying for her, and try to understand her as terribly lost and worthy of pity, not antipathy, so that your prayers will be genuine and not laced with anger. That is all, a few prayers. There is no need for you to talk with this woman.

Even Jesus tells us to treat someone as a Gentile if they are unwilling to be reasonable. We must love the person, that is, love the soul that God has created, but not necessarily like them or want to associate with them.

You apologized once. That’s more than sufficient. For the rest, I agree with the above posts on doing your best to ignore her.

No need to apologize anymore. If she says anything in the future, either ignore her or tell her that she’s the one who needs to apologize. She shouldn’t be making such a big deal about it after all this time. She’s the real problem here.

I don’t really think your at fault at all here. You already say you shouldn’t have gotten angry and I would say you’re right.

That said, if you can avoid this lady, that is what I would try to do since she seems to be so rude to you all the time. If you do encounter her again, try to be nice. :slight_smile:


This woman is a nut and a drama queen by the sounds of it. I find no fault with you or your dog. I suppose he could always use a little daily training on not touching food, but that is all I would do.

Don’t talk to her. If you can ignore her. I have to wonder if the kid tried to reach for your dog in the first place. Some folks don’t know that they should not attempt to touch or get friendly with a service animal. I would think after all this time she would let the subject go, so it seems to me she is a bit obsessed . Maybe she is afraid of dogs in general and is now passing that fear to her kid. Shame on her.

Maybe a friend can help you work with your dog on not accepting food from anyone but you. I hate to see you get in trouble because of an honest mistake with him.

he doesn’t have a training probelm, every single service dog has a mimstake or other in their life time. the trainers are busy, i cna’t call them in for little things like this and they even told me so. i just try to work with him and make sure he knows what he did was wrong. you can’t expect absolutely perfect behavious though, they’re not robots but the general public doens’t relaly understand that. not that i’m trying ot make excuses, if i had known there would be food, i would have kept closer hold or attention on him. if i know i’m going somewhere with food, i give him more corrections and commands to keep focused but they were eating in a place they weren’t supposed to so i wasn’t expecting it. and it was the fact that she screamed that really threw us both off

I would be worried about some law suit since that’s a favorite thing these days. If your initial trainer won’t help then try a different trainer. It would be helpful both for you and if this should ever come up as a legal matter.

I feel for you and your dog. The “screaming” is something I don’t get. Some folks are just over dramatic about everything, panic is their constant state. I am sue you do your best with the dog. People forget that this animal is responsible for a lot of activity and can be distracted by something like shouting, screaming and goodies. I make it my business to inform people (When I see them attempt to approach a service animal) not to do so. The public needs to respect this boundary and become more informed.

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