Wednesday, June 24

protecting your dog from the summer sun

Greetings. The below information comes from an email I received on a guide dog email list. Even though many of these steps are common sense, it's still amazing the number of people you hear of each year that think, "I'll just be gone a minute," and leave their dogs or even kids in a hot car when at the store or other business. Meanwhile, that car that holds your kid or beloved pet is quickly heating to unbearable temps, both for dogs and for humans. Try just sitting in a car that's totally closed up and not running and see how long you last before flinging open a door. Anyway, these are posted for your consideration. Enjoy, and as always, please excuse any formatting errors.


Summer is here and that means outdoor fun-but the heat of the day can be
detrimental to your dog's health. Dogs have a higher internal temperature
than we do and they can get hot very quickly. Outside activities can be
fun to share with your family pet, but remember to protect him from the
summer heat. If you are not careful, your dog can suffer from heat
exhaustion. Follow these steps to learn more:

Step 1
Leave your dog at home
not in the car. More dogs die of heat exhaustion in parked cars than in
other situation. The car gets too hot--even if you leave your dog for only
short time.

Step 2
Exercise in the cooler times of day. People love running with their dogs
often think that a dog has no problem handling the heat. This is not true.
The risk of heat exhaustion can be reduced by running in the cooler times
the morning or evening. Also avoid hot pavement, which can burn the pads
your dog's paws.

Step 3
Hydrate your dog. Always carry dog-dedicated water and a foldable water
on walks and hikes.

Step 4
Wrap that dog! Wrapping a cool pad or wet bandana around your dog's neck
before heading outside can help her stay cooler and avoid heat exhaustion.

Step 5
Brush your dog. Brushing your dog's coat often can help decrease the risk
heat exhaustion, especially if your dog has a heavy coat.

Step 6
Keep it cool. During the hot times of the day, keep your dog in safe, cool
environment. Provide the dog with plenty of water. Make sure there is
a fresh, cool water supply available for your pet

Step 7
Protect his nose. If you are going to be outside in the sun with your dog,
put sunscreen on its nose. It is a part of a dog's body that is not
protected by hair and is so very susceptible to sunburn.

Fictional account of Seeing Eye dog condition

Greetings. I received this from a Seeing Eye email list i'm on. My guide has the same fictional documented condition, except with socks. Read on and enjoy.


Hello everyone,
It's sunny today in Indiana and the temperature is expected to rise to a chilly 90 degrees. So, while I'm in the summer weather, I thought I'd have some fun writing a fictional (again) totally fictional article about Seeing Eye dogs.
Again, this is not true and meant only for fun.

Selective Amnesia in Seeing Eye dogs
Scientists have been carefully studying a vary unique and elite group of dogs known as Seeing Eye dogs, these talented canines have guided their blind handlers steadily onto the pages of history. Every since Moris Frank and his faithful German Shepherd Buddy amazed the public and blazed new trails of freedom and independence for generations of blind people, Seeing Eye dogs are a breed apart.
Now, scientists have discovered that Seeing Eye dogs really are significantly different from their pet peers. Seeing Eye dogs have a special sens organ called a biffle.
Though it is easy to name this organ, it is slightly more difficult to define. The biffle gets its name from bthree words, bark, sniffer and muzzle.
The Seeing Eye dog also has 3 brains.. To be a bit more accurate, there is the main brain located in the knowledge bump and two sub-brains. These sub-brains are located at the tip of the nose and the base of the tail. These sub-brains are driven most powerfully by the biffle rather than the reasoning main brain.
These biffle brains tell the Seeing Eye dog to seek out new people to meet and taisty smells to persue. The tail-base sub-brain keeps the tail ready for maximum overdrive and wagging performance while the nose sub-brain searches for people, food, and children and people with food and children with food and people with children with food and taisty pieces of paper to shred and so on.
The sub-brains are connected to the main brain but, for reasons not fully understood, the neuro transmitter connections are not always strong. This can cause the two sub-brains to override the main brain causing the selective amnesia I will begin to discuss.
Durring training, Seeing Eye dogs learn simple verbal commands. Their understanding of human vocabulary goes further than this. Extra curricular words like no or simple commands like "Stop that!" or "Get out of the trash!" rapidly become crystal clear to these dogs.
However, numerous episodes have been documented where the Seeing Eye dog temporarily forgets simple words.
The most recent episode happened a short while ago.
Watching via the internet, canine researchers and behaviorists observe as Dexter, a cross, carefully removes a shoe from the bed while his handler is in the shower. With infinite care, he places the shoe on the left side of the doorway just inches from its original location.
The handler is seen, shortly after, in her livingroom wearing one shoe and seeking the other. She calls Dexter over and the following dialogue is documented.
"Dexter, where did my other shoe goe?"
"I don't know."
It was together with this one on my bed but now it's gone."
Perhaps it was the *other *dog."
"No, the *other *dog is invisible and could not have taken my shoe."
"Shoe, what's a shoe? Shoo shew? What's a shoe?"
"It's a French term of endearment... Dexter, it's the thing that's missing. It's what is not on my left foot. It's the thing you transported in your biffle while I was in the shower and you've seen shoes all the time."
A short time later, the shoe is found and brought to Dexter.
"See this Dexter? This is a shoe."
"Oh! That's a shoe. Of course. It's the most obvious thing in the universe even horses wear them. Yes, now I recognize it. It really *is a shoe just like you said."
The working Seeing Eye dog is always struggling with grater or lesser degrees of conflict between the biffle sub-brains and the intelectual guiding main brain.
Because these dogs are thrice as smart, they can get away with pretending to be dum. So, next time you praise your dog at the end of the day, put just a little pitty in with the praise. When your dog is feeling his best, pitty makes things even better. Remember the heroic inner struggle your Seeing Eye dog experiences daily. Like Spock's conflict between his human and vulcan halves, your dog has his/her challenges. In the light of these new studies, some selective amnesia is to be expected. The key is to recognize it and go on with your life. Remember that, though your dog may seem foolish, he has more brains than you.

Seeing Eye on Facebook

Greetings. For those interested, here's information about The Seeing Eye's Facebook page taken from an email I received. enjoy.


Just a quick note to let everyone know that The Seeing Eye is now on
Facebook, along with about 300 million people!

If you are a Facebook user, you can find the page at

Tuesday, June 23

Through Our Eyes to feature The Seeign Eye

Greetings. I received the following announcement from a couple of different sources and thought it worth posting here. Enjoy.


Joseph Ruffalo, president of the New Jersey chapter of the NFB, will feature The Seeing Eye and its 80th Anniversary during his Internet radio show scheduled for Wednesday, June 24.

Ruffalo, host of the ThruOurEyes Internet radio show, has invited Jim Kutsch, President and CEO; Rivi Israel, instructor; Roger Woodhour, volunteer puppy raiser; and Vincent Chaney, Seeing Eye Graduate, to appear on the show.

ThruOurEyes airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time and can be accessed by going to
to listen live.

The ThruOurEyes show is also available via an Internet Podcast. Should you miss the show and wish to listen at a later time, the information is available on JAWS friendly links on

Tuesday, June 16

Another JAWS update

Greetings. Freedom Scientific has released another minor update to JAWS version 10. below are the list of things addressed in this update:

  • Resolved an issue where JAWS would not properly read the playlist window in the latest iTunes® 8 automatic update.
  • Resolved a reported issue with how JAWS worked with the Track Changes feature in Word. Speech and braille were not working correctly for any markups once the view was set to Final.

To get the update, either use the Check for Updates item in the Help menu of the JAWS window, or download it from the FS website. If you don't use track changes in Word or iTunes 8, then you can probably skip this update. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 13

Riding lesson

Greetings. I forgot to post something last week, so this time I hope to make up for that. Today was all about balance and feeling the rhythm of the horse. We practiced standing up in the saddle when the horse was standing still and then when moving. Apparently I’m doing pretty good since I was moving ahead to more advanced things before Brenda asked. For instance, after the first time of standing in the saddle when Paint was walking, I was already barely hanging on to the mane, and moving my right hand to my right hip. All this is in preparation for trotting and the 2-point method of riding when trotting, of moving up and down in the saddle according to the movements of the horse.

Last week Brenda had set out a radio to play in one corner of the arena, which really helped out. At one point, when the classical song had stopped and right when the announcer was starting to speak, Paint was right in front of the radio when the man started talking, which really through Paint for a loop and scared him. He jumped slightly and then started speeding up, but not too much before the lead walker got him under control. I really didn’t feel too much of this in the saddle, aside from the slight jump and then lurch forward, but then it was over. Paint was a little wary a few times after that when we had to go by the radio. This week though, Brenda forgot to set the radio out. However, after awhile, there was one of the children of a volunteer in the nearby stands, which was more or less where the radio was positioned. After a few prompts from Brenda, the daughter said, “Hi,” when we passed. The first time Brenda tried prompting her though, the girl waved, which didn’t really do anything for me. It reminded me of when I’m crossing streets sometimes, I’ll wave to the drivers that I pass, who probably wave on reflex before they realize that I’m blind and can’t see them.

I was able to ride Paint back to the barn area instead of walking him back. I had sometime after the lesson and was able to groom First Choice, the large 16.2 hand horse. She’s the same one that I’ve fed peppermints to and who has nearly turned into a large dog for all the licking that she gave me on my hands, arms, and shirt. I’m always amazed at the size of these horses and their strong muscles. There were times when grooming First Choice, when I would stop and examine a part of her body, like her hips, legs, and even hooves. Her hooves looked a little bigger than normal hooves, since I’ve heard that the larger horses have larger hooves. First Choice’s hooves seemed to fit this, from what I could tell. I was careful and slow and methodical when running my hands down her legs and feeling the hooves. She never objected or was nervous when I was doing this. I think that both First Choice and I enjoyed this grooming and bonding time, especially when someone brought me another peppermint to feed her, which I did. Soon after, there she went again licking my arms, hands and shirt. She even rubbed her large head up and down on my front a few times. Brenda said that Choice looked very happy when she was being led back to her stall. Brenda also said that Choice kept looking at me, I suppose expecting another peppermint. She said that the horse kept looking at my tall white cane I had. I then tried to tell her that the cane wasn’t a peppermint and likely didn’t even taste nearly like one. Brenda said that Choice didn’t look too convinced and probably wanted to taste it for herself. I said to First Choice that if she did that, then the vet would likely have to come out and look at her.

Before I left, Brenda, a volunteer and I chatted briefly. The volunteer expressed her concerns with me feeling Choice’s hooves and what if something had happened, and that could be dangerous, etc. I quickly explained to Brenda my thoughts about large horses having large hooves, and that I wanted to check that out. I said that I was careful in my movements and that nothing happened. Brenda told me that it was okay, and she didn’t sound nearly as concerned as the volunteer did. Then I left. Until next time, happy trails.

Cool Metallica shows to download

Greetings. It's always an event whenever Metallic aplays Mexico City, mainly because they don't make it down there all that often. To put things in perspective, they played Dallas last year during Oz Fest 2008 and will be back in Big D again later this year. They dont' make it to Dallas every year either, but the last time they were in Mexico City was when they were recording for their big live box set back in 1993. That album was special and each song had a certain ring to it. Now that you can buy and download a show one to three days after they've been in a city, getting live shows has gotten a little easier. Anyway, they were originally scheduled for two nights in Mexico City, on June 6-7, but they were able to add a third on June 4. Due to some technical issues on a couple of songs on the June 7 performance, the price for that show was discounted a couple of bucks. They're all great shows though. It's really cool listening to a show where the fans are into it, and the fans south of the border are definitely into it. They ought to be since they don't get the regular live dose that we do here in the states. You can really hear the enthusiasm of the crowd from these shows. One of the things I enjoyed from the live album from 93 were the chants that certain parts of the crowd went through at differnt times. These new shows have plenty of those between some of the songs. The song selection was pretty wide too, from way old school to last year's "Death Magnetic" release. There were even some songs that aren't performed that often in their concerts, such as, "Holier Than Thou," and, "Dyer's Eve." The only downside for me was the effects that led into "One." From the 1993 recording of that song, it sounded like the Forth of July. However, these newer recordings didn't sound nearly as explosive. The fan reaction was still just as enthusiastic though, so I suppose it's okay. There's still something special though when listneing to those 1993 recordings. Lars indicated at the end of the June 7 show, and I've read from their email list, that they are putting together a series of shows for a DVD to be released at some point, which will show 12 selected shows, including shots from the 3 in mexico City. We'll see if the new dVD will be as explosive and popular, and hold as much lore, as the Live 1993 box set did. If you're even a remote Metallica fan, go and grab one or more of the shows from Mexico City from Live Metallica. Or hell, grab all three; you won't be sorry!

Thursday, June 11

Updated Stream FAQ from HumanWare

Greetings. I received the following note from the Stream Newswire regarding the updated Frequently Asked Questions documents on the HumanWare site. Read below for more information. Enjoy.


Dear Victor Reader Stream Friends:
We have updated the Stream FAQ (frequently asked questions) document on the Stream documentation page at:

On that page navigate to the English heading to find the list of Stream documentation including the Stream FAQ in both Microsoft Word and html formats. This FAQ has over 100 answers to questions we have received about the Stream and we encourage you to review it.

This updated FAQ will especially interest Stream owners in the United States. New FAQ items have been added to the FAQ sections for NFB (National Federation of the Blind), NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped), and RFB&D (Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic). In these sections of the FAQ you will find answers to questions about:

1. the new NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket service. The FAQ answers questions on how you can now download and transfer your favorite NFB-Newsline publications to the Stream in one simple step

2. NLS: The New FAQ answers questions about registering for the new NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service and how to authorize your Stream to play these protected materials. Also, some Stream users are involved with testing the new NLS book cartridges in some regional libraries. Some of you have asked us about playing and copying these book cartridges on your Stream and the FAQ answers those questions. For general information about NLS service or the NLS digital transition you should contact your local library or visit the NLS home page at:

3. RFB&D: The FAQ answers questions about how to download and transfer their new DAISY download books to your Stream.

Even if you are not using these services we encourage you to download the FAQ or browse it online as there are more than 100 frequently asked questions that are organized into 15 different sections concerning many aspects of using the Stream and managing different types of content. You can easily navigate the FAQ as each section is a level 1 heading and each question is a level 2 heading.

Other useful Stream links:
- For general Stream product information, testimonials, demos, and reviews, visit:
- For Stream software downloads, documentation, and where to find content for your Stream visit:

Thank you,
The HumanWare Team

Sunday, June 7

Original article from forum post

Greetings. Here's a link to the original article from the forum post I put up yesterday. The article is called Dog Fight and it's from the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. This link is for the printer friendly version of the article. Thanks to Ron for the link. I always like to quote sources and authors/papers when putting articles here. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 6

More on Taco Bell guide dog incident

Greetings. The below is another email that I sent to a guide dog email list. Though we don't know the whole story, this definitely sheds more light on the things that happened. I wish I knew the original paper or place where this story first appeared, but I'm sorry to say I don't.


I did a search on Google for the woman's name and among the results
that came back was this series of posts on a forum/newsgroup site.
I've cleaned up the posts for better reading, but for more and to read
comments from others, go to this link:

This is interesting stuff. Several times my eyes widened and I
thought, "Wow." See for yourself. Also, according to the below, Ms.
Ballou, the owner of the Leader Dog, was not using a "traditional"
guide dog breed, which might explain some of the manager's reaction.
It doesn't explain the behavior of the police though.


new resident in Copperas Cove is considering legal action after being
forcefully removed from a local restaurant.

Nanette Ballou lost her sight 11 years ago due to multiple eye
traumas. She is assisted by Rusty, a white Berger De Picard or French
sheepdog, who was trained at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester,

While she does have limited vision in her right eye, similar to
looking through a straw, she can't process depth of field or see
anything other than what she is directly looking at. Also, any change
in lighting like moving from indoors to outdoors causes her total
blindness for five to 10 minutes until her eyes adjust.

"He protects me," Ballou said about Rusty. "He keeps me from bumping
into things and from tripping over curbs. But it's still scary to walk
places like parking lots where not everyone is paying attention and I
don't have any peripheral vision to rely on."

On Thursday, May 7, after picking up Rusty from the dog groomers,
Ballou and Rusty along with her daughter and two grandchildren went to
Taco Bell. The family placed their order, picked up their food and was
about to eat when Cynthia, a night manager, approached their table and
asked, "Is that a Seeing Eye," Ballou recalled.

"No, he's a guide dog, a Leader Dog," Ballou said to correct the manager.

Ballou said not all guide dogs are Seeing Eye's. It depends on what
school they go to and her dog went to the Leader Dog school.

"It's like calling an A&M student a Longhorn," she said. "I was trying
to educate her that there are more kinds of guide dogs, not just
Seeing Eye. But she had no part of it."

The manager told Ballou the health department would shut them down if
they saw the dog in the restaurant and then asked for identification
for the dog as a guide dog.

Ballou showed her the special harness Rusty wears identifying him as a
Leader Dog and stood her ground as she began to feel harassed.

The manager said she was going to call the cops and Ballou said, "Go
ahead, save me the call."

Six Copperas Cove police officers in three patrol cars arrived on the scene.
When the police arrived, Ballou said they did not identify themselves
and the first officer, whose name she was never given, told her "Lady,
you and the dog have to get out."
She told the officer Rusty is a service dog and Texas law allows him
to be with her. She showed him a law book she carries with her with
all the state and federal laws for the blind across the country, but
said the officer would not look at it.
She told the officer she just moved to Copperas Cove and said she
can't believe they don't know what the law is. She said the officer
told her "Welcome to Copperas Cove, if you don't like our laws,
She said the same officer told her, "You don't look blind" because she
was looking at him while he spoke to her. She said it is common
courtesy in the visual world to look at someone when they speak to you
and you don't have to be sighted to do so.
A second officer on scene Cpl. Shane Kieltyka did read her law book,
she said, because she believes he understood she was trying to diffuse
the situation.

"When the first officer approached me, it flustered me," she said.
"But I stood my ground."
Her daughter, Jennifer Warden, said when the police arrived they
crowded around the table
making it difficult for them to leave like they were being told. One
of the officers also followed Warden to her car, speaking in a
confrontational voice while blocking her in the corner of her car's
open door, Ballou said.
"We felt closed in," Warden said. "There was me, a 10 year old and a
nine year old and a blind woman with her dog. How dangerous did we
look? They did everything short of calling in the SWAT and spreading
us out on the ground like an episode of COPS."
Her oldest child, age 10, has cerebral palsy and said the incident has
had a negative impact on her trust in the police and how disabled
people are treated.
Warden, who said the police have been called before because of her
mother's guide dog, said this is the first time they were treated this
way. All the other times the police said they were allowed to stay,
she said.
"They didn't do anything but make us the victim," she said about the police.
Warden said her husband is being stationed at Fort Hood, but after
this incident, said her family will look for a place to live in Belton
or Harker Heights.

"We weren't impressed at all with the attitude the people in Copperas
Cove have, especially the police department," Warden said. "If we're
not living on base we need to know we can rely on the police
department, and that was a big no."
Now Ballou, an advocate for the blind, is searching every avenue
available to her to make sure this does not happen again. She said she
is afraid this incident has labeled her as a troublemaker by everyone
who saw the incident.
"Everyone who drove by and saw me and my very identifiable dog doesn't
know what happened," she said. "In a way, I was slandered across the
community as a troublemaker. I'm very vocal about what happened
because I want the public to know the laws that protect my civil
rights were not protected by the police department or Taco Bell."
Ballou contacted the police department several times to speak with
Police Chief Tim Molnes, but said he wouldn't return phone calls.
Another officer did eventually speak with her and take a report
filling official charges against the Taco Bell manager for non-access.
Ballou said she could have also pressed charges for interfering with a
service animal's job and for harassment, but has not.
She then contacted the district attorney's office where an assistant
told her this is a civil manner and they don't handle those cases. She
told them it is not a civil manner and she said he repeated several
times "we're not going there" and then hung up.
She has also called City Attorney Charles Zech and left a message, but
has not heard back from him.
"Everyone at the city has shut me off," she said. "They are afraid I
might sue. I don't like to fight. If the police chief had made them
apologize, I probably would have dropped all of this."
She said she just wants to see the laws enforced. She also said there
are grants available through the ADA civil rights section of the
United States Justice Department for entities to have someone come in
and teach them ADA laws.
City Manager Andrea Gardner said "The City's policy is not to comment
on ongoing investigative matters" and would not answer questions about
the city's ADA training or this incident.
Lt. Danny Austin said the file on this case is still open and could
not release information without an open records request. The request
was sent to the Copperas Cove Police Department earlier this week. The
file has not yet been received. The May 7 police blotter has no report
of an incident at Taco Bell.
Taco Bell representative Don Barton has also been contacted by the
Leader-Press office about the incident. He said he would send a
prepared statement by e-mail. The statement was not received by press
Texas law on service animals states any violations of a person's right
to use a guide dog is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a
fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000.
"They know they stepped over the line," Ballou said. "They are just
hoping it will go away."

Webinar announcement: NFB Newsline Online and the VR Stream

Greetings. I received the following announcement from HumanWare regarding an upcoming webinar, the new term coined for web based seminar presentations. While many of these so called webinars look interesting to me, I do have an issue with them being offered once, in the middle of the day. I know that there are many blind folk that don't work and likely attend these sessions whenever they're offered. However, what about the working folk? I'm not sure if these sessions are archived, probably so though. If you can attend, then good on you and enjoy.


Dear Victor Reader Stream Friends:

If you are an NFB-Newsline member you may have heard of the recent new service from NFB called NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket. It allows you to automatically download and transfer your favorite NFB-Newsline publications to your Stream everyday by simply clicking the NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket icon on your desktop. EASI is hosting a webinar June 16 where you can learn more.
Those of you who use NFB-Newsline may be interested in this webinar. The announcement follows.

EASI Webinar: Introducing NFB-NEWSLINE® Online June 16 at 2 PM
Using modern-age assistive technology to provide access and create opportunities for the print-disabled.

Presenter: Scott White, Director, Sponsored Technology Programs, National Federation of the Blind

Co-host: Renee West, Marketing and Outreach Manager, Sponsored Technology Programs, National Federation of the Blind

NFB-NEWSLINE®, the largest electronic newspaper service in the world for blind and print-disabled Americans, has recently launched NFB-NEWSLINE® Online ( Through NFB-NEWSLINE® Online's groundbreaking features, subscribers can enjoy both an enhanced experience in reading the news and dramatically increased flexibility in how they choose to access their favorite publication's content. This Webinar will provide information on our two revolutionary new features, Web News on Demand and NFB-NEWSLINE® In Your Pocket, and how these initiatives can serve as valuable tools in the everyday lives of the print-disabled.

Register for the NFB Newsline Webinar

Thank you,
The HumanWare Team

Friday, June 5

Guide dog access hits home

**Taken from an email I sent to an email list of guide dog users.**

Greetings. I saw this story on the local news this morning. I was
concerned about the quote from the Texas Hearing and Service Dogs organization since it seemed confusing to me, and was also left wondering if the woman's guide dog was acting up. There's no information on this or what the dog was doing that was so disruptive, but it is alluded to in the story. When the anchorman came back on, he said that the city supports the decision by Taco Bell's management. Good luck with that in court. Anyway, here's the article with some post comment afterward. Go to this address for the full article and other links, such as the original video of the

(If it helps guide dog access in the grater community, then I'm all for the suit, since I've encountered possible discrimination for entering a restaurant in a nearby town to Austin, and have heard of at least one other instance of possible discrimination in Austin proper.)


Woman with guide dog says civil rights were violated
6/2/2009 1:15 PM
By: Brandi Powell

Rusty, the leader dog.
Texas Hearing and Service Dogs says guide dogs have been helping
people with visual challenges ever since World War I, but those who
use them still face some challenges.

One Central Texas woman who uses what's called a "leader dog" said her
civil rights have been violated.

Though some people may not know, there are certain legal rights and
responsibilities of those who use guide dogs.

Copperas Cove resident Nanette Ballou relies on her leader dog, Rusty,
to help her get around.

Ballou said she has very limited vision so her guide dog's always by her side.

Ballou said she and Rusty have had trouble at some establishments and
said it was no different on May 7.

"[We] went to Taco Bell with my daughter and two grandchildren,"
Ballou said. "Got dinner sat down to eat it. Manager came out. She
asked me if the dog was a seeing eye dog. And of course, my dog is a
leader dog."

A leader dog is a guide dog, just trained at a different school.

"At the end of our discussion, she told me she was going to call the
cops, and I invited her to do so," Ballou said.

Copperas Cove resident Nanette Ballou.
Ballou said when the Copperas Cove Police arrived, "They just walked
over and said, 'Lady, you and the dog gotta leave.'"

Ballou went on to say, "And so I argued with him adamantly, and when I
could see that this man wasn't going anywhere with my comments, I
finally said, 'Here's the law book, do you want to read it?' He

Ballou said one of the officers did eventually read her law book.

Ballou showed News 8 the harness that identifies Rusty as a certified
guide dog, and the identification card that identifies them as a team.

Texas Hearing and Service Dogs said this is not required by law, but
that's why the organization's big goal is education.

"But no matter what kind of credentials any kind of professional dog
has, if it is misbehaving in public, if it's dirty, if it's
interfering with the goods and services that the business is
providing, then no matter what kind of credential it has, it shouldn't
be allowed there," President of Texas Hearing and Service Dogs Sheri
Soltes said.

Ballou said that wasn't the case with her.

"It's very typical that law enforcement is not notified about it
because it is not a law that comes up a lot in their day-to-day
activities," Soltes said.

But, Ballou said she feels her civil rights were violated by Taco Bell
and the City of Copperas Cove.

So she said she is going to sue them both, on the state and federal level.

"The government needs to be involved with this sort of thing because
it does happen around the country," she said.

Ballou said she's already filed a complaint with the Texas ACLU.
She said she's been told the city attorney is not going to pursue any
charges against Taco Bell.

The city has not returned News 8's call to confirm.

The Copperas Cove Police Department also did not return News 8's call
asking for comment.

For more information on rights and responsibilities of guide dog
users, log onto
or call (877) TEX-DOGS.

Taco Bell's Response

"Taco Bell welcomes all customers into our restaurants, including
those with disabilities. This includes customers who require the use
of service animals, and from time to time, we have a customer who is
accompanied by a service animal into the restaurant. Our managers are
instructed to accommodate our customers' needs for a service animal.

In this particular case, the customer's need for a service animal was
not readily apparent, and out of concern for our other patrons, our
store manager asked the customer to provide some confirmation that the
dog was a service animal. Because the disturbance continued even after
the Copperas Cove police arrived, the police officers asked the
customer to leave and eventually escorted her from the premises. We
regret that this disturbance occurred, but Taco Bell firmly believes
that our manager acted reasonably in this situation."

Don Barton
Austaco, Taco Bell Franchisee