"All I wanted to do was go in, get a soup and eat it,"
Lola is trained to do many things, primary among them to sense my reactions to the environment and calm me in order to help prevent bad episodes associated with post-traumatic stress…disorder and DSM.
Lola was under control at all times in the restaurant and when we were inside the restaurant and when I was force to go out side by the manager both times the dog was calm and in a dog bag and was not bothering anyone or making any noise.
We where first ask by the manager that when I entered the restaurant, is the dog a service dog. I explain yes and was told to show her ID to then the manager then asked what does the dog do and I explained it's for my needs of DSM. When I sat down at a table and after I placed my order 10 min later still from the time I sat down the dog bag on a chair not causing any harm. The owner explain the dog needs to be on the floor since that is the law. We said we never had this problem before since we have been to the restaurant before and with the same dog bag on a chair with no issues. The manager told me we would need to put the dog on the floor and the dog bag with Lola in it would need to be on the floor. As both me and my partner didn't want to have any issue we told the server we would sit outside to not cause any issue. We told the owner the ADA law that protects those requiring service dogs from being discriminated against, but the manager remained firm and said the dog bag and dog would need to be on the floor. We then informed the manager we would be informing an filing a complaint with the ADA.
So both me and my boy friend told the manager we can just sit out the restaurant. We know the law and don't want to cause and issue we would be ok to dine outside on the sidewalk. After a few minutes the server came back after we just started to eat as Lola in her dog bag on a lawn chair laying quietly in the bag next to me. The server came over with his phone with an a snap shoot of what the manger told him to show me that all service dog must sit on the floor and that we would need to leave. All of us got up from sitting outside and left the restaurant's sidewalk.
I've never been asked to leave anywhere because of my dog. "It was really embarrassing to be discriminated against this way."
Don't want anything bad to happen to the restaurant or the manager but are just sharing story to bring awareness to the issue. I want veterans, all other service dog owners and business operators to better educate themselves on the laws to stop these instances of discrimination.