Cursed at and threatened 3

Tonight after orchestra rehearsal, I was cursed at and threatened by a security guard because of my service dog.

Rehearsal itself went well! I was nervous all day leading up to rehearsal, but managed to get through the anxiety and make it there. My seat-mate Bethany was not there, but I did get to sit next to my new friend Chris again. He is a fun guy to sit next to!

We played a lot of my favorite songs, and then near the end of rehearsal, the conductor told us to pull out Tartini. This is a concerto that I have been too afraid to attempt before tonight as I have to play in 7th position (for non-violin players, this means I have to put my hand up really high on the violin which is hard to do). 21 years ago when I last played violin, 7th position was no big deal for me. So I tried it tonight, and success! My fingers remembered for the most part how to play that high!

I wasn’t perfect, but I was able to sight read the song pretty well. So I was on a little bit of a high as I left the practice room and headed to my car.

Now you may remember that after the first rehearsal on September 9th, a security guard in a golf cart approached me and told me I was not allowed to have pets on campus.  I politely explained she is a service dog.  I thought that interaction was the end of it.

However, after tonight’s rehearsal, I was walking back to my car and the same security guard drove by on his golf cart.  He told me I needed to respect the rules of the campus.  I asked him what rules I was breaking, and he told me that there are no pets allowed.  

I responded by saying that my dog is not a pet, she is a service dog.  He then cursed at me, saying “Bulls**t”.  I repeated again that she was a service dog, and was about to explain what she does to assist me (following the ADA), but he cut me off.  He told me angrily that if I didn’t stop bringing my pet, that he would do everything in his power to ensure the orchestra could not practice there anymore.  Then he drove off. 

What an awful end to a very nice practice! I was rattled to say the least, but after 14 years of working with service dogs, I was able to pull myself together enough to get home safely. I wrote to the two people whose emails I have from the orchestra just to let them know, and to a general email address for the high school where rehearsals are held so they can educate the guard. I am hoping that polite education does the trick for this issue!

Wish me luck!

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3 thoughts on “Cursed at and threatened

  • Kevin Lepow

    Everything is his power? I guess that means he’ll do nothing. He’s a security guard, in a golf cart. You should definitely report him to the head of security. I think he might not be that stable.

  • deborah rubin (aka debandtoby)

    Oh Veronica how horrible!! Do you carry law cards that explain that service dogs are not pets? Although I bet this security guard wouldn’t have taken and read one anyway. Maybe you should file a complaint with the appropriate legal agency?
    I ran into some problems when I first got Toby, but eventually things got worked out because i generally go to the same places. And very little trouble with Eowyn, except there are medical procedures where I have to board her at the vet because she won’t stop barking if she can’t see me. This has only been since her seizures/strokes last year March, so I really can’t blame her. They love her at the ver.

  • Elaine Jordan

    Oh sweetie, I am so sorry, if it is legal, I would definitely start filming, (or at least hit record on my phone) these interactions
    And stay calm
    There is no way he can stop the orchestra from coming in campus!
    You have come a long way in standing up for yourself and you can handle this too!!!!
    Wish I could help!