An Army veteran was just left stunned and humiliated when he was thrown out of a restaurant for bringing in his service dog.
Major Diggs Brown spent 30 years serving his country in the United States Army, and he even did a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Like many veterans, Brown suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, and he relies on a service dog named Arthur to get him through the day.
“He does a lot of things,” Brown said of Arthur, who accompanies him everywhere. “He wakes me up from nightmares when I have them. When I have anxiety attacks, he calms me down. He saved my life and I’m even off the drugs.”
When the Colorado veteran recently visited Chicago, he decided to go to a French bistro called Cochon Volant for breakfast. Just as he was getting ready to order, something happened that he was not expecting.
The hostess approached his table and told him that he could not have a dog in the restaurant. She was clearly unaware of the law allowing service dogs in such establishments, so Brown informed her that it was indeed legal. Brown went on to order his breakfast, but minutes later, the hostess returned and told him to leave.
“This is my service dog, he can go wherever I go, it’s the law,” Brown told the hostess, to which she replied, “I don’t care, you need to leave, we don’t have dogs in the restaurant.”
Brown left the restaurant humiliated, and he took to Facebook to post about his experience when he got home.
“When I got home, I posted to my Facebook page, this is what happened to me and it went viral,” he said. “Guess this would be a case of ‘No thanks for your service.’”
The owners of the restaurant soon responded with the following statement:
“The Cochon Volant family is both saddened and disappointed to hear this account of a veteran’s experience. Yesterday’s circumstance was not a true representation of our company policy and we have begun immediate internal review of protocol, training of staff and ADA regulations to ensure this will never happen again.”
The restaurant then promised to make a donation to Puppies Behind Bars, where Arthur was trained, in the hopes of making things right.
Brown was satisfied with this and said that he had no hard feelings against the restaurant.
“It’s not my intent to destroy a restaurant but it is my intent to make them aware that they have violated a law that not only affects veterans with dogs, but other people with disabilities with service laws and that they need to be aware that it’s discrimination,” the veteran said. “They’ve stepped up to the plate and they are going to make some changes at the restaurant so I’m happy in my mind that it is resolved.”
We’re glad that this story had a happy ending and that this veteran and his service dog are now being given the respect that they deserve!