Today, Paddington & I ventured downtown because I had a couple of appointments. Unlike most days I have appointments downtown, today was sweltering! It was easily over 30C(86F) and there was no way I was going to be able to tolerate the heat waiting for public transit nor was I going to make a Paddington walk on the hot sidewalks. I decided then and there we would take Uber to and from my appointments.
Having a service dog and using services like taxis and Uber can always go one of two ways.. it can go really well OR you could be denied service and while it is illegal to deny someone service, because they have a service animal, it does happen.
Being denied service because of your service animal, no matter how experienced of a handler you are, kinda shakes you to your core. This often leads to apprehension when using the services again, but on days like today, desperate times, call for desperate measures— apprehension be damned!
The trip to my appointments was uneventful; HOWEVER on the way back... we had the absolute best Uber experience to date! The driver was so welcoming to not just me, but to Paddington as well! He even got out of the car to shut the door so I wouldn’t have to lean out of the car once Paddington was loaded onto the floor between my legs. He pushed the front passenger seat right up and tilted it forward so Paddington would have plenty of room AND he made sure the Vents in the back of the SUV were open and Paddington got to have AC blowing on him too!
To have an experience like this means more than most people realise.. it’s not just getting from A to B. If I didn’t have a service dog, I wouldn’t be even able to leave my house, I wouldn’t have the independence I have gained and I definitely wouldn’t be able to go in an Uber alone!
So, to have someone be so welcoming and go above and beyond(or as they say “going the extra mile”(kilometre here lol) to care that Paddington isn’t squished and has AC to cool him down after being outside means A LOT to me. This experience has proven that a little kindness can bring a lot of happiness!