My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Friday, June 22, 2012

Such Goodness

A week ago I had a  a difficult experience.   In that moment I felt so alone.  In the past week I have been amazed at the outpouring of support.  I am inspired by the goodness that has abounded.   Because of so many examples, I am reminded to not just sit back when something happens to someone else that isn't okay, but to take a stand.  Our voice matters.  Thank you to those who shared the important message of the Americans with Disabilities Act with others.  Thank you to all who let me know that inspite of preferring to be quiet, encouraged me to take a stand to speak out - to be a voice.  This wasn't about me - this was about all of us.  Accessibility.  Respect. Equality.  It is for each of us.  I am determined to make a further difference.   

I wish we could all sit outside and enjoy some  lemonade on this beautiful Friday afternoon and celebrate that hopefully in light of this difficult experience some good has come with much work to be done.  We have heard from long-time friends, previous colleagues, strangers that have reached out that now feel like friends. Seeing the numbers that read the various blogs lifted us, and it is our hope that further education will benefit many happened. Each of your comments brightened our day and helped us to continue to be assertive.

Updates:  Ann Taylor has reached out.  I have spent much time talking with them and helping them understand the seriousness of the mistakes not just for me but for so many others.  I explained how disheartening it was for people to take the time from their busy lives to submit a comment and then to have a incorrect response back from their headquarters.   They have acknowledged they made some big mistakes.  They are working on making that right through future education to their employees and giving back to an incredible organization. I encouraged them to spread the message to all their employees and pay it forward.   I hope I have more to share as real results and action happen.

Some of you have asked about Cricket.  In the KSL clip, she is walking with a pink bandage on her foot.  She tore her nail last Saturday evening and had a minor surgery to take care of the problem.  She is recovering and doing very well.  Thanks for your love for her, too.  She is an incredible soul and guide dog.

Tonight we went out to dinner.  After taking our orders, the waiter said the manager will be over.  For a minute, I experienced panic uh oh, would I be asked to leave!  Of course not!  He didn't even make a comment about my guide dog.  No big deal, she was lying under the table. The manager was coming over to scratch off our card to learn how much savings we would get on our dinner :).  I smiled as I enjoyed my strawberry lemonade!  I also recognized it will take some time for me to settle back in and remember that indeed Cricket and I have the right to follow our dreams in so many ways including entering any stores that we choose.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you again.  I hope there is more good to share soon.


la pequeña cris... said...

Hi! I found your blog via DOGSTER. Its really good to find such a great site.
I'm sorry for your bad experience at that store, but I do hope it will make them see their mistake.

Greetings for Costa Rica! :)

Ellen said...

Becky, thank you for being a voice even though it was uncomfortable. You have impacted so many and hopefully educated even more! :)

I am so grateful to hear that Ann Taylor has finally reached out to you. I am still so disappointed in the way they handled the situation. And appalled that you had to experience the treatment and disrespect you did. :(

I for one cannot understand how anyone could be rude to YOU! You are so sweet, kind and gentle. Thank you for the shining example you have been to us in such a painful situation. You rock!

Now I hope that Ann Taylor will make a public apology to you and Cricket. It is totally deserved!

Ellen said...

And I am so glad to know that Cricket's foot is healing and will be okay. :))

Anonymous said...

What an amazing person you are to take this opportunity to educate people. That is the only way incidents like this won't happen again. The thing that really bothers me is the fact that the other customers in the store stood by and did nothing. What does it say about people that stand by and just watch discrimination.

Becky said...

Anon - Yes, you are so right. I had all these voices coming at me and I know one of the associates was helping a customer and so I wasn't getting any feedback in support so it did become more overwhelming. Sigh :)! Important reminder to step up and support each other!

Myrna R. said...

I'm so glad things are working out. You took a stand and you got results. Congratulations and thank you on behalf of all who will benefit from your experience.

Too bad with happened to Cricket. But glad she's okay. Have a good weekend.

Reddunappy said...

So glad things are coming out better!!! Glad you shared your experience so that you can experience all the support out there!!

GOOSE said...

So happy to hear the "lemonade" is starting to flow. And thank you for what you did, doing and AI know will do in the future to make this a more beautiful world.
Give Cricket a nose poke for me.

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

I am just sooooo proud to know you, Becky. The way you handled all of this is truly an inspiration. I'm sure it has been more difficult than most of us can imagine. Wishing you lots more scratch off coupons in the near future!

Lydia Criss Mays said...

Simply put, you continue to remain an inspiration. Always seeing beautiful. Positive moves on their part, consistent hope for more beautiful in the world always on your part. Beautiful.

Retired Duo said...

I saw the clip at KSL's internet site and was concerned about Cricket's foot. I'm glad she's OK. The experience with Ann Taylor has turned out for the good, though it was a rough time earlier. Thanks for speaking out and for turning a negative incident into a positive one. Lemonade all around!
Pat & Bob
Troy, OH

Raiser Erin said...

I was wondering what was wrong with Cricket's foot.

I'm glad that they've reached out to you and that you've been able to talk it over with them. I'm so glad that you took on the job of being the voice for ADA in this situation. I hope that this experience was educating for everyone. :)

Glad things are looking brighter!

Lacey said...

My girls watched the news clip and that was the first thing they noticed was Crickets bandage and were so concerned. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been following your story, and as a guide dog user myself, I know what it's like to deal with this kind of thing. I've never been put in a situation like yours, but I am glad you are educating people about this situation through the news stories and your blog. It seems slow sometimes, but we have to keep educating these places as well as the general public. I am now sort of tempted to go to Ann Taylor with my dog and see what they do. :)

Janice from Milwaukee said...

Nice to see something good can come out of the bad situation, it just takes time and effort. Thanks for replying to my email message this week - it was so quick!! I will continue to read and support this blog. :)

LuAnn Lukenbach, Park City said...

I was so saddened to hear your story. As I have done further research, I was even more upset. I am glad that Ann Taylor FINALLY has attempted to handle this more professionally than they did in the beginning. I have written a letter to the CEO, Kay Krill. I feel it's important for her to know my thoughts. Thanks for being such a positive example.

Fran said...

Dear Ann Taylor,
I am MRS. Booker, NOT MR. Booker.
Oh well ... at least you responded -- perhaps because SO MANY people contacted you about your incorrect (and disappointing) response. I'm still NOT ever shopping at your store again.

Here's what they sent me after I contacted them:

Dear Mr. Booker:

As a follow up to our previous response, please see the below statement released to the press by ANN INC. regarding this concern.

“We at Ann Taylor sincerely apologize to Mrs. Andrews for her experience at the City Creek store. Service animals are always welcome in our stores and this incident is not representative of how we approach customer service. In our previous statement we had said that her guide dog was unharnessed. This was not the case. We were misinformed and we are sorry that this incorrect information was released. We strive for 100 percent customer satisfaction. In this case we fell short. We are reaching out to Mrs. Andrews and her family to make this situation right.”

Again, we appreciate the efforts you have made to share your feedback with us.


Corporate Client Contact
Ann Taylor

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your guest post on Beth Finke's blog. Then, reading the Huffington Post, I saw the article about a guide dog user's troubles at Ann Taylor. Wow Becky, weird that you "made" my computer screen twice in a few days. This morning some friends and I met to ride our horses. Marvin, who's a big donor to Canine Companions for Independence, mentioned access issues and CCI dogs. (Horse-people are ALL dog lovers!) I shared your Ann Taylor story. I just wanted to let you know that some of us in Nashville are quite proud of you for taking the high road, offering to educate rather than suing. We decided AT owes you a huge shopping spree. Kim Holly

Anonymous said...

You know, it shouldn't have mattered at all if your dog had a harness on. There are more kinds of service dogs that just have plain old leashes than have distinctive harnesses. It's amazing how few stores really have any information on disability issues. I've had people hang up on me for using relay and threaten to call the police on me for using it as well.