Almost all the people are getting into unimportant arguments with strangers in their daily life, but those arguments are not in their heads for a long time, it will be forgotten very soon. However, with the technological advancements most of the people have easy access to the record or take pictures from their smartphones, these slight arguments can rapidly take on a life of their own.


According to BoredPanda, this dispute at a mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a definitive example of this. Inappropriate anger and petty unkindness over a refused request to pet a service dog escalated a simple misinterpretation into a viral video, that has thousands of people weighing in with their own views on the matter.

Furthermore, this video has been initially shared as a Facebook post by Megan Stoff who is a service dog handler. This video has been viewed over 2 million times, with people shaken by the anger of the mother. As we all know, a service dog or assistance dog is a working dog specially trained to help a person or group of people with a disability or specific needs. and shouldn’t be affected with while working. Therefore, a respectful request can be made, but no means certainly not, and this mother didn’t appear to realize that.

The group was on a meet-up at the mall, getting to know each other as fellow service dog handlers. One of the group, Ciarán Williamson, couldn’t understand why being told ‘no’ upset the mom quite as it did, and after being confronted by the mall security that she called on them, decided that enough was enough and went home. Stated in Bored Panda

“ I don’t necessarily mind being asked to pet my dog, though usually, I have to tell people no,” he told us. “I don’t really get upset by having to do this unless it’s a particularly stressful day or environment and I’m having trouble doing what I’ve set out to do in the first place.”

Image credits: ML Leigh

“I’d rather people ask than just lean in and try to grab her, which happens every day… but I don’t always have the energy to explain what she’s doing or why she can’t be petted. I’m autistic and sometimes just can’t speak very efficiently at all so I can’t explain even if I wanted to. I might shake my head no, or indicate in some other short way not to pet her or talk to her, and I just want to have that respected. People also often take pictures of us without asking and that makes me really super uncomfortable, I don’t want people to do that at all.”

“I guess I just don’t want people to assume I am able to divert my attention to interact with them how they want me to, and that if someone has a service dog in the first place it means they’re disabled and probably having a hard time already. Using judgment about whether it’s appropriate to ask to pet helps (does the dog already have a vest on that says not to pet? Is it really loud and busy and chaotic of an atmosphere? Does the service dog handler look uncomfortable or distracted?) I have let people pet her, but in really specific situations where I can focus on making sure I keep her attention and I know I won’t need her to work for me at that moment.”

Image Credits: Ciarán Williamson

“Unfortunately I feel like people don’t consider me at all when they ask to interact with my service dog the majority of the time. Usually, people just lean in and talk to her or try to pet her without even acknowledging me… They also often just assume I’m rude instead of something out of my control (like I can’t hear them, which happens a lot in overstimulating environments). I am concerned about people continuing to do these things because it’s really common.”

“My dog Clover is doing very well in training though, she has a Facebook page I started for her recently so people could see her and ask me questions about her and stuff there if they’re curious. I like talking about my service dog, just not necessarily when I’m trying to go grocery shopping! She deals well with strangers approaching but she is a very friendly and outgoing dog that enjoys people so attention from other people can be a big distraction for her and it’s something we have to work on all the time. I don’t think people consider that when they get upset about not being allowed to pet her.”

Here’s what people had to say about the situation:

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