Becky Andrews claims a Salt Lake City Ann Taylor store wasn't too friendly when she brought her guide dog, Cricket, in to do some shopping, as she told KSL News.
Andrews, who has the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, uses Cricket to navigate since her condition has rendered her legally blind. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Andrews should be able to take Cricket wherever she goes. However, when Andrews' husband dropped her off at a shopping center during a recent incident, she claims she met some difficulty trying to bring Cricket into an Ann Taylor store. As she wrote about the incident on her blog, Cruisin' with Cricket:
Cricket and I navigated into the store. I was so excited. Unfortunately, I was greeted by a clerk with her first words indicating I needed to leave the store with my dog. I politely explained that she was a guide dog and allowed to be here. She indicated again dogs were not allowed and she would need to talk to her store manager... I again explained she was a guide dog and allowed to be here.
At this point, I found myself just wanting to leave and go to another store where I was welcome. I turned and said, Cricket outside. Its not been the easiest of past few weeks and I couldn't do anymore. I walked out feeling pretty sad. One of the clerks came out after me and said she was sorry, she liked dogs. I explained that it isn't about whether one likes or doesn't like dogs. Cricket is my guide dog and thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act she is allowed to enter Ann Taylor and any other public place that we want to go. She is my eyes. I called Steve. As so often is the case, I said where are you and he was walking
Andrews said she left with Cricket in tow and headed to the Limited, where they shopped without incident.
In a statement given to KSL News, an Ann Taylor representative apologized for the confusion but said that Andrews didn't have Cricket in her harness, which violates store policy. Andrews maintains on her blog that Cricket was in fact in her harness.
Be sure to check out Becky's blog to read more of her story (and see more pictures of Cricket, who is an obvious winner.)