Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about animals in stores:
“Recently at a store, I noticed a woman with a small dog being carried in her arms. I asked to speak to a manager about the health issues of an animal being allowed in a store, and he said if a person says he or she needs one for medical reasons, store personnel cannot question the person about it. I can understand a Seeing Eye dog or a dog for which there is some kind of identification that it is trained for medical reasons. I have metal in my knees, and I have to carry a card. -- A Reader, Little Rock, Ark.”
You never know what the situation may be. Just because you don’t see a physical reason for someone to have a service animal doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need one. There are dogs that are specifically trained to detect seizures or help with post-traumatic stress disorder and many other issues.
According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, if it is not obvious what a service animal is trained to do, store staff may ask only two questions of the person: Is the service dog required because of a disability? And what work or task is the animal trained to do (such as guide someone who is blind or help in another way)? A medical card or letter is not required.
Some people might take advantage of the situation. Also, the service animal should be on a leash or tether, or be harnessed. So the lady carrying her dog around might not have been in compliance. That said, it’s not a good idea to tote your pet dog, cat or bird around just because you want to. -- Heloise
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Readers: Here are other uses for popcorn tins that you might have lying around:
* Store your Christmas decorations in them.
* Use as a small trash or recycling can.
* Use to place umbrellas in by the front door.
* Use as a pet-food storage container.
* Store rolls of wrapping paper in them.
Dear Heloise: I have a solution to the problem in ladies’ restrooms when there is no hook to hang our handbags. I take two clean toilet-seat covers and place them on the floor in the corner and put my handbag on the covers. Problem solved! -- Georgene D., via e-mail
Very clever, Georgene! I travel a lot, and too many times I have had the problem of no hook for my purse in the stall, just recently in a brand-new medical facility! What were they thinking? Talk about germ city! Architects and builders, please take note. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love tomatoes and buy many at a time. If I have some that are about to go bad, instead of throwing them away, I make them into soup. Saves money by not wasting, and makes a delicious meal. -- A Reader, via e-mail