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Mom Irate After Disabled Person At Store Yells At Her Kids To Stop Petting Their Service Dog


No means no.

No matter where or how the word is said.

Still to this day it seems as though too many people have a problem comprehending this TWO letter word.

And that always leads to chaos.

Case in point…

A deleted Redditor wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for yelling at kids after I said they couldn’t pet my service dog?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“For a little background I am on the spectrum, have PTSD (including severe panic attacks) and seizures so to even think about leaving the house I always have my service dog Atom.”

“Atom usually has a harness on.”

“But today I was already feeling quite anxious so I made sure and left her harness off so In case of a panic attack she can work better.”

“I’ve been pretty lucky that if people come up and ask if they can pat her and I’ve said no they’ve left without saying anything or being rude.”

“However today I went to the bookshop to kill some time while waiting for a meeting and there were some kids pointing at Atom and aasking their mum if they could pat her.”

“At first I was hoping she would say no and explain that the dog is working and you can’t pat a working dog etc…”

“But nope the mum and kids comes over to us and starting patting Atom.”

“I tried to explain to the kids nicely that she was working and that you can’t pat a working dog and to please leave us alone.”

“But the mum replied back that they just want to pat her because they aren’t allowed a dog where they live because the landlord won’t allow it.”

“I tried to explain that wasn’t my problem and that Atom is working.”

“And I and Atom could feel me getting extremely anxious and they wouldn’t leave.”

“So I left the book I was looking at and went to the next aisle but the kids followed and kept trying to pat her.”

“At this point I was about to go full blown anxiety attack and just yelled ‘please just leave me alone’ to the kids.”

“The mum came around the corner and was yelling at me for yelling at her kids saying they just wanted to pat the dog and I was being rude for not allowing them to do so.”

“I tried to explain again that it’s a working dog and she rolled her eyes at me and said they don’t care they just see it as a dog.”

“At this point the staff got involved and told her to leave me alone as I was struggling to breathe on the ground.”

“But as she was leaving she made comments about how I don’t look disabled and don’t need a dog and I was being rude.”

“And a couple of other customers told me I should have just let the kids pat the dog and my panic attack wouldn’t have happened.”

“Atom had her service dog jacket on so there was no way they didn’t know she was a service dog.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. Even if it wasn’t a service dog, you said not to touch it.”

“Kids absolutely have to learn not to touch a dog if the owner says no.”

“This time it was a friendly, trained service dog.”

‘Next time, the dog may be untrained and aggressive and remove a few of their fingers.”  ~ Mundane-Solution5657

“My 2 year old knows she has to ask me and the owner before she can pet a dog.”

“She’s still gets a little squealy so I may not let her ask if she’s too hyper.”

“She also knows what a service dog is (we have one) and knows to not even ask to pet a working service dog.”

“My 5 and 6 year old have great meeting dog manners.”

“Though the 6 year old likes to give every dog she sees a new name lol.”

“Kids need to he trained to interact with dogs as much as dogs need to be trained to interact with kids.”   ~ Fairykinn

“If I, as the owner says no, you cannot touch my cat.”

“If my cat says no, you cannot touch her.”

“She doesn’t have to be working or even a working pet.”

“You don’t need to be disabled or have any conditions. No means no. NTA.

“I’m thankful that most people in the community here ask permission.”

“Young larger dogs, while meaning no harm tend to be excitable and can accidentally knock you down.”

“My own cat has large and sharp claws.”  ~ tango421

“What a nightmare!”

“My dog can be reactive on leash (rescue, appears to have been hit and abandoned as a puppy).”

“Telling kids not to pet her and having them pet her anyway could be a non-event, or could really press her buttons, depending on where her head is at on a given day. NTA 100%.”

“An aside to folks who bring their kids to dog parks to run around with packs of dogs because they can’t have a dog at home: This is so not a good idea.”

“Please don’t do this.”

“Even if the dogs are happy and stay that way, being hit by something twice your weight that’s careening around at 15 mph isn’t good for the little ones.” ~ AZSKP

“NTA, one never ever ever pet anyone else’s dog without permission. Ever.”

“It’s not a difficult concept to teach or learn, and kids understand this easily even if some people (the mother in this case) showed off her shoe size equivalent IQ.”  ~ Majestic-Seesaw9362

“NTA, NTA, NTA and anyone who says differently is 100% wrong.”

“That mother needs to teach her children to respect boundaries.”

“Even if the dog isn’t a service animal, if the owner says ‘no you cannot pet my dog’ it is not okay to pet the dog.”

“And for service animals those boundaries are even more important.”

“It’s like asking to hug a firefighter when they’re trying to get to a fire.”

“That dog has an important job and they are interfering with it.”

“Yell at those kids. Yell at the mother.”

“They all need to learn what is okay behavior, because what they did is not that.” ~ FemmeFataleFire

“Seriously I would be filing harassment charges on that woman.”

“If I was store staff I would most assuredly have been trying to take that ladies info down so OP could take legal action.”

“NTA OP, this woman is a menace.”  ~ Throwawayhater3343

“NTA. You politely told the kids not to pet your dog, but the mother completely ignored you.”

“She didn’t stop her kids from behaving inappropriately, and escalate the situation to the point you had an anxiety attack.”

“The other customers were completely wrong as well.”

“You were not rude. You were protecting yourself.”

“I don’t care if you, or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t ‘look’ disabled.”

“You don’t interfere with a service dog when it’s working.”

“I’m glad the staff at the store got involved and made her leave.”  ~ MerryMoose923

“NTA. Doesn’t matter if it’s a service animal or not.”

“If someone says No you can’t pet my dog’ then they cannot pet your dog.”

“Dog could be a service animal, nippy, not like people, whatever.”

“This woman was rude and obnoxious and she’s raising rude and obnoxious kids.”  ~ abackupforthebackup

“Absolutely NTA, people need to learn boundaries and what the word ‘no’ means.”

“You explained to them why they couldn’t and even walked away.”

“That mom and her children are the epitome of rude, selfish, entitled sh**s.”

“Also, you don’t have to provide a reason to others why you need a service dog.”

“Just because your illness isn’t visible, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real and valid.”

“Good on the workers for kicking out the mom and her children.”

“it’s too bad that the other people in the store didn’t understand the complexities of having a service dog and what that all entails.”  ~ numberjen

“Even if Atom hadn’t been a service dog, that was ridiculously rude for that woman to think her kids were entitled to pet her.”

“Given that she IS a service dog, it’s absolutely horrible.”

“Add in her comments about your disability, and she may just win AH of the week for me.”

“Of course you are NTA.”

“I’m so sorry this happened to you and Atom.”  ~ DoodleLover20

“NTA. Kids shouldn’t touch dog unless the owner have said ‘yes,’ you said the exactly opposite.”

“Nobody care as to why the kids want to pet him, if she so adamant that they get to touch a dog she can move and take them a dog, she can’t harass people.”

“The other people were all jerks, do not listen to them.”  ~ Ahsoka88

“NTA at all. So sorry you had to deal with this.”

“What makes it even worse, is that it is obvious the mother and children did not even learn a lesson from this.” ~ YeeHawMiMaw

Reddit understands the issue OP.

Your dog, your rules.

So many people seem to lack an understanding regarding service dog—actually any dog—safety.

Stay safe.

Good luck.