Yes, I heard you…I was “the dog lady…”
To the woman who openly mocked my family’s current mission,
I heard you, as I passed by the various vendor tents set up at a family fun day event; You and your other friend. You even had your daughter standing behind you- This was what plucked my nerves the most I think. You were so self involved in your opinionated rant that you had no clue I was, “The dog lady.” The lady that you were speaking of that very moment. Derogatory comments followed by the harsh judging of something that I am sure, you know nothing about. “THAT much money!? For a DOG? Really! The accommodations that people expect now a days for “those” kids are ridiculous”- I was there participating as a fundraiser for 4 Paws for Ability. Our family’s efforts will honor our personal mission “Service Paws 4 Summer” in securing an autism service dog for Summer. I recently blogged about the reasoning and importance behind our mission What’s all the “woof” about!?.
I almost stopped to introduce myself, spread some good ol’ autism acceptance, awareness and service dog knowledge whether they cared to hear about it or not. However, I did not. I looked you both dead in the eyes, flashed the most fake, obnoxious and toothy smile I could muster through my buried rage towards your ignorance and strolled right back to my table. Mine was further up than your tent so as I said, I doubt you knew I was “the dog lady.”
I’m not one to care about what people think of me. As the saying goes, “you can please some of the people some of the time but, you cannot please all of the people all the time.”
I get that. Everyone has their own opinions, that’s the beautiful thing about being a human being; we are all different and we all have the ability of making our own choices. I’m sure that sometime in your life time autism will touch your life, whether it be a family member, friend’s family, an encounter at the grocery store, I could go on..By your comments I hope you were simply judging something you know nothing about.
I get that too. I can handle you, I can handle your harsh judgements, I can handle your comments; but should your daughter have to?
Human acceptance has a trickle down effect that starts at home. I say “Human acceptance” became I’m not just talking about autism, I’m talking about the general acceptance of ALL people.
If I were speaking autism, as an example, you may have no clue. I get it. You may not have ever had a single reason to read about it, Google it, or research its broad, complex spectrum.
You maybe consumed with car pooling her daughter’s friends to school, to dance classes, or cheerleading, redecorating your kitchen, planning a night out with your husband who knows…
You know nothing about the terms; ASD, SP, OT, delayed milestones, low muscle tone, ABA therapy, Floor time therapy, meltdowns, sensory struggles, elopement risks, education transitions, or IEP’S.
I get it. We live two completely different lives.
You may not understand what I am doing, you may not support what I am doing or care to try. However, as another person, as another mom, and as another adult you should think twice about condemning what I am doing if it is a beneficial cause. If your opinion is that you disagree, you can make the choice to simply say nothing.
Our children see us, they hear us, they model our behavior and many times decide to share the opinions of what they have been taught, or not taught.
Show your kids how to be accepting, how to be aware, teach your kids to be KIND. You never know someone’s journey until you have walked their path. Human acceptance starts with not only you; but with me, with other parents, adults, and supposed role models.
Xo-“The dog lady”