A person with autism who is training their border collie as a service dog has a difficult encounter with a Karen and her daughter on a train. This situation becomes more tense over time, and the police eventually get involved.
They Were Exposing Their Service Dog to Different Environments
The person explained, “For some context, I’m autistic and really don’t handle confrontation well; however, I’m currently training my border collie (Storm) to be a psychiatric assistance animal; we are so very close to him being fully certified, but for the moment, our trainer and I organize passes for us to both go to buildings, planes, trains, etc., so I can expose him to different environments, sounds, smells, etc.”
They Went On a Train Journey
One day they were boarding a train to the city, a journey of about an hour and fifteen minutes. They entered the train through the front and presented their letter to the guard, confirming that Storm was in training.
The Karens Joined The Train
Everything seemed fine as they boarded, and Storm settled underneath their legs. However, at the first stop, a ‘Karen’, accompanied by her daughter ‘Karen Jr.’, entered the train and sat across the aisle from them.
After a few minutes, Karen Jr. noticed Storm lying peacefully and asked her mother if she could pet him. Karen told them to “just ask.”
It Wasn’t Appropriate
Karen Jr. asked if she could pat the dog, to which they replied that he was in training and couldn’t be petted. Karen Jr. questioned what they meant by this, to which they responded, “He’s training to be an assistance animal, and it’s crucial that no one distracts him.” At this moment, the mom interjected and told her daughter, “Come back, sweetie. Unfortunately, some people don’t know how to share.”
This Upset Them
They attempted to stay calm, but their anxiety began to rise, and Storm sensed it. He got up and comforted them, as per his training. They rewarded Storm with a treat, praised him as a “good boy,” and gave him the “lay” command. Then the Karen approached them.
The Karen Was Angry
The Karen said, “You should be teaching him to interact with children. My daughter just wanted to pat him, and rewarding him for ignoring her is rude.” The person was shocked but explained calmly that the dog was in training and was rewarded for responding to them, not for ignoring her child.
However, Karen then accused them of lying! Stating, “Only Labradors are smart enough to be assistance animals; Border Collies like him are just farm dogs. Stop lying!”
Their anxiety began to rise, and Storm jumped onto their lap to offer further comfort. Desperate to calm themselves down, they reached for their treat pouch. Before they could take one out, Karen reached in and took a treat, giving it to Storm.
This really upset them, and they shouted at the Karen to get away from them before starting to cry.
The Police Intervened
The train unexpectedly stopped at the next station, and a group of police officers boarded. Karen and Karen Jr. were relocated to the next carriage, and an officer stayed with the person and their dog until the next station.
But The Karens Wouldn’t Give Up
However, after they got off the train, Karen Jr. saw them and attempted to touch Storm. They told them again that they couldn’t pet the dog, but Karen Jr. responded by saying, “My mom said I could! Let me!” With that, Karen Jr. tried to pull Storm’s leash from their hand, and in response, they dropped the lead and commanded Storm to stay away by saying “Danger.” He ran and sat under a seat in the middle of the platform.
Things Got Heated
Karen then entered the scene, pushing them on the shoulder. At this point, their fight-or-flight response took over, and they pushed her back, knocking them to the ground.
More Police Intervened
They explained what happened next, “More police were on the platform in what felt like seconds. I called for Storm as they arrived, handed them his paperwork, and told them everything that had happened. The Karen got arrested for assault and interfering with a service animal.”
The Internet Had Their Say
One person said, “The nerve of that woman, and what a terrible example she is to her daughter! Good for you and Storm for handling the situation so well. Hopefully, the legal system can teach her a lesson since she seems to lack common sense.”
Another person said, “I’m just going to be another voice telling you that you handled this very well, and Storm is clearly a very well-trained dog (which also reflects well on you) and did his job very well too. I’m glad the police handled things appropriately for you, and I’m sorry you had to deal with it.”
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