|Barked: Fri Aug 3, '12 6:19pm PST |
|I know legally churches can say no to a SD, but I never expected they would.
Many of you have read my recent thread about finally getting my SD. I've been very excited to have her, so that I can be more able to get out and about.
I imagined that I would meet up with people ignorant of the law who would try to deny me access. I can handle that.
The rejection came from a most unexpected place. My church, where I was baptized, has said I cannot come if I bring my SD. Unfortunately the law states that churches are one of the few places that can legally deny me access. However, I never, ever imagined they would do that.
The priest used every excuse that the law refutes, saying people might have allergies, people might be afraid of dogs etc. If the church fell under the ADA, these reasons would be completely invalid because the law addresses them specifically and says they cannot be used as reasons to exclude a SD. Sadly the church can say no to me for any reason at all if they want to, and he still made all these excuses.
Then, later, he calls me. He say's he'll think about it, but then...he says can your dog be muzzled? I almost lost it. MUZZLED? Muzzles are for vicious dogs, biters. Not 2 year old professionally trained golden retriever service dog puppies who might lick you to death but would not bite a flea. He's never met my dog, and he wants to muzzle her to bring her to church. He wants to punish a dog who's never, ever done a bad thing, that he's never met. As if muzzling her for no reason wasn't absurd enough, one of her primary duties for me is retrieval. How the heck is she supposed to do her job if her mouth is held shut? With her opposable thumbs? Oh wait, she's a dog, and doesn't HAVE ANY! She uses her mouth to do her job, for pete's sake!
What rubs salt in the wound is that when I told my classmates (the other recipients who just graduated with their SDs too) three of them told me not only did their church welcome them, but the priest is going to bless the dog. They are getting blessings, I am getting rejected.
I'm really hurt.
To further complicate matters, there is no other Orthodox church in a reasonable driving distance. So to change churches means changing to a whole different branch of Christianity, which I don't really want to do. So it's not even a simple, "Fine, I'll go to a different church." I did call a church close to my home and they said, without question, we (Pip and I) would certainly be welcome. They don't even know me, and they'll welcome me. My church, not so much.
So like I said, of all the places I expected rejection, church wasn't one of them.
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