Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The weighing of the wands..

So I was really debating weather or not to post this up but here goes.. why not.

Today I went into one of my classes.. which is the second time in this particular one. I sit at the front so when I walk in the professor asks me "Where's your dog?" In a friendly interested voice. I then explain to him that I'm volunteering and such and Alfie isn't mine and I will probably be sitting several different dogs before I get my own. I also tell him that I would have come and talked to him that first day but there were too many people up there and I needed to take him to the restroom. Well then he tells me "Sorry but you can't have him in here." So I tell him "Oh well since he's in training all the laws are the same them as they are for normal guide/service dogs." So then he says "Well it's a fire hazard and he can't be in here." I thought he was joking so I said "No it's not.." So he says again that yes it is a fire hazard to have animals in the classrooms. So I go ahead and explain "Well service dogs in training have all the same rights as fully trained service dogs" So then he says something like "Oh he's a service dog, ok then but if I have anyone complain then I'm going to make you leave." So I tell him "Oh well I wouldn't worry about that, they're just supposed to lay there and be good." He says "Ok, but if anyone complains, like if they are allergic or something then you can't bring it back in." So then I proceed to quote my little law statement again adding on "It's no different than an actual service dog, if you had a person come in with a real service dog you wouldn't be able to kick them out just because another person is allergic to it." (side-note - it's not at all a small room, there is space to get away from your allergy issue in there if one is present) Anyways, he comes back with "Ok but if it causes any distractions I will ask you to leave." So I tell him that's fine because the only reason he can legally ask anyone to take their service dog out is if it's acting up, but tell him it shouldn't be a problem because they are trained. I then tell him I can bring him a copy of the laws and any paperwork that would be helpful if he likes. So then he says "I don't care what the law says, If it's a distraction you will have to leave." So I don't say OK or anything, I'm not giving into this, I just tell him "Well it shouldn't be a problem" and sit down.

I mean, maybe I'm taking it too personally but was he just determined to come up with a reason to not have a dog in his classroom? I get that they can ask me to leave if the dog is acting up but to just keep thinking of excuses.. the whole thing just really upset me... but there's not really anything to do right now because nothing technically happened you know..

Plus, his reasons were kind of bogus you know... A fire hazard...  what? Maybe I just don't know all the rules but how is that a fire hazard (if anyone knows please educate me because I was completely taken by surprise with that one..) Then about the allergy thing... seriously... would you kick out a blind person and their dog because someone that sits 8 rows up is allergic to it? And then the distraction thing that was fine, if it's being a distraction but I had a 14 week old puppy in there on Monday and get this, the people that sat in the row right behind me didn't even realize he was there until I stood up and walked out. And if it's an issue over people looking and them not being able to concentrate or something.. hello, this is college, not kindergarten, I think it will be ok.

So anyways, I will have to discuss it with two other professors (who didn't see Alfie, because I only took him on the first part of Monday. He stayed home after lunch.. Hopefully they will be more understanding. Wish me luck..

Point of the whole post though is to ask opinions on what ya'll would do. Have you ever had a professor or even an employer try and tell you stuff like this? It wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't a guy that controls my grades and I have to see him every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.. I wasn't mean or snippy to this guy like I was becoming with the other guy on Monday.. He's my professor, I in no way want to be on his bad side... so what to do then? Technically I can't do anything unless there is an attempt to throw me out right? Why add fuel to the fire before it's even started? Anyways, let me know and wish me luck with the others ;)

A clip art drawing of a male teacher behind a desk. He has a mean face and has his arms crossed over his chest

I do want to add that this guy is not a bad guy.. He's a really good professor at the school and is very helpful with the students. He's just strict and I think he just doesn't know enough about the situation. Maybe just a little hard headed too.. Just know.. I don't want ya'll all thinking I have this awful tyrant over here.. he's really not as bad as the post makes it sound lol. I think it was just a bad moment, bad conversation, bad opinions and we're all biased anyways haha.


Ally, Teddy and Kira said...

Our high school principle was exactly like that. Maybe talk to your Disability Services and see if they can educate him any. One of our teachers was also like that and eventually just conceded to not bring the pups to that class, if it happened now I would do differently though. Try your hardest to not give him a reason to kick you and a pup out, if it's possible to not take a pup to that class until you're positive of it's behaviour, don't. Animals are considered fire harzards same as a stroller is, they can be a tripping hazard in an emergency.

Think of it as your opportunity to educate this "gentleman" by you and your pups' behaviour, not by words or arguments. Good luck with him! :-D

Mitch and Meade said...

ERGGGG!!! Ok, I have had almost the exact same issue. It was the day I went to take Meade on the bus. (I don't know if you read about that or not) I took him on and we got kicked off because the head honcho of the district bus service said he could be dangerous. BUT if I had a disability they would allow the SAME dog on the bus. So my mom had a big argument with her and then my puppy club leader went to her office with her own PIT to show her how well trained these dogs are but she kept on being stupid. We had to give up because GDB doesn't want us fighting to much and giving them a bad name. But, I'm sorry! The law is the law and everyone needs to follow it!!!!

I have no clue how he would be a fire hazard. Unless you were in chemistry and he got to close to a Bunsen Burner.........

Anywho, I would just keep on fighting for it. Good luck!

Katrin said...

As a SD user, I have personally had places try to use the 'allergy' excuse for why we couldn't come in. Normally I just quote the law and say, sorry, not a valid excuse you have to let us in. And eventually it always comes down to them saying "Well then I have to call the police or health inspector" and I politely say "Yes please do, I'll wait right here while you do that and then they will come down and tell you I am legally allowed to bring my service dog in here with me." That 99% of the time ends it right there and they do not call the police or health inspector, they just used that to try to get me to back down. Never works. I don't back down. Because if I do, the next SD user is going to have that much more difficult of a time.

I do not know how it would work in your state for a PIT.

Good luck!

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

Oh my word. I can't believe sometimes how people in the education field still need...educating! And I keep having these hilarious images of Alfie bursting into flames...! OK, I actually do think I know what he means (from my experience getting our church to pass fire code): there can be nothing in the walkway impeding people's escape in case of emergency. Which I really don't think applies, b/c it's hard to imagine Alfie, or any other dog or puppy, snoozing and refusing to move in a fire drill or real fire!! good grief! If it were me, I'd call Michelle right away -- she's faced this before & knows what to do.

In the meantime, you have my FULL sympathy! Especially since, as you said, this is the person who will be giving your grade. :-( I can only imagine how upsetting that would be, & you have done absolutely nothing wrong! Maybe he felt like he'd lose face if he gave in...Hopefully persistence will win out. Hang in there!

Natalie said...

Hmmm thanks everyone. I don't really have any battle plan set up yet. If it does come to him trying to kick me out for any non-legit reason then I will definitely give my Puppy Raising Manager (Michelle) a call.. She is always happy pull on her boxing gloves for us puppy raisiers. The laws in Texas are exactly the same for PIT as they are for Formal Guide Dogs so legally the only thing he would be able to do is ask me to leave if the dog is either 1) dirty or 2) acting badly.. I'm not worried about winning or losing with him. I just don't want it to come to that being as he's my professor and I'm sure I'll have him again in the future.

I will definitely not be taking my puppy to school (whenever it comes) unless I have full confidence in it, or I'll take it to the more lenient classes.

I do agree with you Beth, that maybe he was just grasping towards the end of the conversation... trying not to loose you know. Because he just kept coming up with all this stuff.. too bad the disruption thing is actually legal haha.

Anyways, if any issues arise I will make sure to call Michelle immediately.. probably crying cause I get all emotional when I get yelled at but whatever.. it will make her fight harder right! haha.

Ro said...

Ugh. Like other's have said, I would talk to disability services or the puppy club leader or something. Rediculous. You are not having a good first few days :(

Oh, Alex wants a turn.

Alex here. Wonderful description of the cartoon.

Ok, oh and I was really expecting to hear something about Fleur or Cedric :)

Katrin said...

Oh one other thing I wanted to mention, public access laws really only apply to public spaces where the general populus can go. So most college campus classrooms don't really apply, as I understand it. When I went to college with my SD it was perfectly legal for them (through disability services) to ask for medical and other documentation that my dog was medically necessary and a trained SD and if that paperwork wasn't in order as they wanted they could have legally said I couldn't bring him with me. Luckily the college I took classes at was very open about SDs and GDs (they have the only O&M grad progam in New England so they are very disability friendly campus) and had no issues at all with my needing James there and why. But I did have to bring in forms and paperwork to document it. And as I understand it that was all legal. So I don't know if your college may have issues like that.

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

OH GEEZ, seriously people!!!! I feel for you - I had someone have an excuse - but that dog is over 20 pounds. I was like, any good guide dog will be! They said it didn't matter! People are so frustrating sometimes. I think you handled it well. Good luck with that one!

Natalie said...

I do want to add that this guy is not a bad guy.. He's a really good professor at the school and is very helpful with the students. He's just strict and I think he just doesn't know enough about the situation. Maybe just a little hard headed too.. Just know.. I don't want ya'll all thinking I have this awful tyrant over here.. he's really not as bad as the post makes it sound lol. I think it was just a bad moment, bad conversation, bad opinions and we're all biased anyways haha.

Natalie said...

Oh, I forgot.. As for DS I went and talked to them yesterday, just as a follow-up for what happened on Monday.. and the lady told me since it was an actual organization that she knew was legit and stuff I didn't have to do anything.. I think there is paperwork involved for people who do the home training thing.. Anyways yeah, I will get them and Michelle involved if any other problems arise with him. It was just kind of a weird thing since he didn't say a thing or even give me a funny look when he saw us in there on Monday.

Oh and Ro, you're the only one who caught that haha. You should get a prize!

Ro said...

That's because I am a total Harry Potter geek and I wanted to make you smile :)

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog -- looking forward to following you and reading more. By the way, I LOVE Kings of Leon!!!!

SGR said...

Woof! Woof! Hi There I'm Sugar. WOW! Can believe it. Such a professor will do that. I'm glad that you stayed. I just hope it will not affect your grade. Looking forward to be blog friends. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Anonymous said...
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puppyluver said...

OMG OMG OMG I am NEVER going on vacation again!!
1. call me first, i will make your life SO much easier!
2. you will take your pup to class as soon as YOU want, if that means freaking 12 weeks old then take it at 12 weeks old. you can leagally start training a PIT at 7 1/2 weeks old!!!
3. this is NOT your fight to fight!!!! ESPECICALLY since he is grading just smile sweetly and do what he asks you to do, leave, sit, shake, whatever! and call me! and i will deal with it. (ok, thats not what my first words were, but they were the only ones i could type and not get censored)
4. he does NOT get to choose when you are to leave. Just ask Beth, they asked me to leave the mall because Jethro was barking at Duckie. umm... NO, do they think we give a guide dog a freaking magic pill when they graduate that allows them to behave!!! grrrrrrrr

bare knuckle brawls are my favorite! bring it on!

after dealing with 6th grade and Ben and Dakota... everything else is easy!

did i mention i am NEVER going on vacation again!!

Happy puppy raising, you will love him!! :o) (i so wanted to type his name here, but i'll you announce it) hehe