Megan Taylor is a 22-year-old blind woman who relies on her loyal guide dog, a black Labrador named Rowley, to get around the town safely.
One day, however, Megan found herself in a tricky position as another commuter approached her and told her to “get her fu*king dog off” the bus.
According to Taylor from St. Helens, Merseyside, the unnamed woman who verbally attacked her said: “Why is there a fucking dog on the bus? Get it off.”
Allegedly, the 22-year-old tried to explain that Rowley was a service dog, but the woman accused her of lying and said that “guide dogs are yellow Labradors and your dog is black.”
“I tried to explain to her that guide and assistance dogs can be any color and don’t have to be Labradors, although Rowley is. She told me I was wrong,” Megan told Liverpool Echo.
“I decided at this point there was nothing I could say to educate this woman and that it wasn’t worth my time. I instead chose to ignore her while she continued to talk nonsense.”
The 22-year-old has been suffering from “episodic blindness” ever since she sustained a severe head injury when she was 15 years old.
“I suffered multiple fractures to my skull in the incident which left me with multiple disabilities. I can temporarily lose my sight without warning at any time, which is truly terrifying.
“Even when I can see I become so dizzy and disoriented when walking that I bump into obstacles and trip over things,” Megan revealed.
Allegedly, Rowley is Megan’s second guide dog and he assists her with everything. Besides helping her untie her shoes, get undressed, and empty the washing machine, Rowley even knows how to call emergency services when Megan loses consciousness.
“People should know assistance dogs come in many shapes and sizes and are trained to support people with a range of disabilities.
“Just like a wheelchair, walking stick, or pair of glasses, they are important and vital auxiliary aids and as such are legally permitted to accompany their disabled owner in all public places,” Megan said.
As the 22-year-old added, similar incidents sadly occur more often than one would imagine.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a stress-free trip on public transport, that’s why I’m so nervous when using it now.
“On other occasions I have been spat at, stepped over, pushed out of the way and accused of being ‘another drunk youth’ when losing consciousness due to my heart condition and neurological disorder.
“I try to stay positive and not let incidents such as what happened get me down because I am not ashamed of my disability. Despite having so many negative experiences, I know that these people are the minority. Most people are good and kind.”
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