Service dog leads to rejection from perspective employers

When prospective employers see me walk with a cane ... they don’t hire.

It was with interest that your front page was devoted to the struggle by Tessa Hawkins to find work, suffering from epilepsy and graced with a service dog. I have a progressive rare disease illness, that affects my waist down.

I have two degrees. I was a former pilot, and director of sales and marketing for a very well-known hotel in this city. Now, I can’t get a job. Employers are thrilled to get my resume, delighted to talk to me on the phone, but as soon as I go to be interviewed, with or without my dog, but walking with the assistance of a cane, strangely, there is no job. Polite excuses are made. I am clear that I have this rare illness prior to my interview and that I have a service dog that is with me 24/7  but, when prospective employers see me walk with a cane…they don’t hire.

After five years of searching for a job unsuccessfully, and finally getting my wonderful service dog, I’ve given up searching. One can only take so much rejection.

My dog is loved by many. It is as if he knows that it is important for me. He is welcomed everywhere I go, and indeed I have only had two people that questioned him in all the time he has been with me. He opens/closes doors, he fetches things for me, he turns on and off lights, and he braces for me to get up if and when I fall, but most importantly, he is my best friend and constant companion.

He too was trained by the Lions Foundation. I’ve come to the conclusion that he is more important to my well-being than working for a discriminatory employer who is frightened of a disability. We both lose.

D. Ann Moxley



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