People get into petty arguments with strangers all the time. They are usually brief and quickly forgotten about, and everyone just gets on with their lives. However these days, with pretty much everyone wielding easy access to a camera phone, these minor altercations can suddenly take on a life of their own.
This argument at a mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a classic example of this. Misplaced anger and petty vindictiveness over a refused request to pet a service dog escalated a simple misunderstanding into a viral video, that has thousands of people weighing in with their own opinions on the matter. The video was originally shared to Facebook by service dog handler Megan Stoff and has been viewed over 2 million times, with people shocked by the aggression of the mother. It is (or at least should be) a well-known fact that service dogs are there to assist people with special circumstances or requirements, and shouldn’t be interfered with while working. Sure, a polite request can be made, but no means no, and this mom didn’t seem to understand that.
Had this crazy experience yesterday at the mall where some lady asked if she could pet the dogs. People ask us all the time so I just said, “no.” All the dogs are working so it’s my go to answer. And they walked away. No big deal right? This lady went out of her way to come back with her child and yell at us for saying “no” and for not saying, “nO iM sOrRy ThEy’Re TrAiNiNg.” And we should “have a sign or something.” You mean the 20 patches on my dog that say don’t pet?