ID Card — A First

Yesterday, my mother, half-brother and I went out to a local Chinese restaurant to celebrate Li’l Bro’s birthday and I was quite shocked when the owner came over to me asking for my “dog card.” Through some amazing stroke of luck foresight, I had taken the card out of the depths of my wallet and stuck it in my jacket pocket back at home. The woman took one quick glance at it, thanked me and walked off, leaving me sitting there quite shocked at the entire set of events.

In the eight years I had worked Dolly I had never once been asked for any form of ID to prove she was a guide dog. Granted, I can count on one hand the number of access issues we had had over the years, but even of those her status as a guide dog was never contested. Ironically, it’s probably a good thing I was never asked to produce the card GEB had made for me as I’d lost it sometime rather soon after training what with all the moving a college student does.

Admittedly I’m not an expert on the intricacies of access laws, but I didn’t think it was legal to require that one produced “certification” of a service animal’s status. Then again, this was told to me years ago and I’m certainly not saying I recall all the chatter I’d heard about the subject correctly nor that it wouldn’t have changed. Either way, I’m quite glad I thought to bring my card with me and more that the restaurant owner didn’t make a big fuss about Yara.


  1. Actually, it’s a violation of the ADA for them to ask for your card. Not that you’d want to necessarily call them on it, but keep in mind that many people don’t have or don’t carry ID cards for their dogs and that we often run into trouble going in somewhere that others have previously shown ID for their dogs. Businesses come to expect that from service dog users and assume people that can’t/don’t produce an ID card are fraudulent.

    I’m not trying to criticize your actions at all, in fact, I carry an ID for my dog for those times I’m in a rush or just don’t feel like arguing. It’s still something to keep in mind though.

  2. Yeah, that was what I was trying to touch upon in the last part of the post. Like I said it’s been a few years and I’m more than a little fuzzy on the intricacies of access laws having had been without a dog for about two years in-between Dolly and Yara.

    But regardless, I wouldn’t have done much differently at the restaurant the other day because (a) it was my half-brother’s birthday and it’s just a bit too much drama to have over his day, (b) my mother was also there and she’s a bit twitchy about Yara for some reason, and most importantly (c) the owner was a Chinese woman who wasn’t exactly fluent in English to begin with. Times like that would have involved police if I’d pressed the issue and nine times out of ten they don’t know the laws any better than I do.

Speak your piece!


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