Steven, my boyfriend, and I went to De Rice because we had been about a year ago and loved the food. I kind of had a feeling before we even walked into the restaurant that we might have a little difficulty because I knew their culture didn’t view dogs the same way we did. We walked in and the waiter and waitress approached us very fast and told us we were going to sit outside. Well, there weren’t any seats outside so I guess they were going to pull out a table but we didn’t want to sit outside, it was hot. So we talked to them further and we were very nice. We told them she was a guide dog for me because I couldn’t see very well. They still insisted we sit outside or leave. We insisted that we wanted to eat there. So they went in the back, after more debate, to call their owner. Took 10 minutes before they came out and said “sorry, but no you can’t,” we argued a little bit and then they went back in the back to call their owner again. I had showed them the cards with the laws on it and everything. Well after taking over 25 minutes or so with us just standing there, I said if I needed to I could call the police. They didn’t say anything so I did. The police operator was very supportive and understanding and an officer showed up really quickly. We went outside to talk to him and he went back inside to talk to them while we waited outside. He came back out a few minutes later and said that he thinks it’s a language thing and they didn’t understand, and that they were going to serve us now. Apparently the same time the police officer showed up the owner showed up as well. When we went inside he apologized to us profusely and told us he asked the staff if it was a “handicapped dog,” to which the staff replied “no.” Well afterward the waiter came up to us and apologized and we had a full conversation about the menu and food, in English. So I’m really not sure what was going on there. A friend thinks they just were probably not wanting or trying to understand. We ended up having great food and great service, but man that first 30 minutes or so sure got my blood boiling.
This was my first time calling the police. I really want to help educate the public and not have to resort to this but after trying all my strategies and they still don’t understand? That is when I will feel like it’s okay too. I am way more patient with people who deny us service than I am with people who have their dogs come attack or play with us while Makiko is working, but those are both situations that get me going.