Dear Owen Sound Community:

As a blind person with a guide dog I have to rely on friends to put themselves at risk to take me shopping for groceries and personal care items for myself and my guide dog. So my errands are well planned and limiting in our exposure to other people.

Yesterday I found out that grocery and pet stores had recently been raided by hoarding pet owners since our threat of being isolated increased in our region. After traveling to several stores and pet outlets I began to panic as we could not find the particular brand of dog food that my guide dog requires. Now to explain to pet owners, a service animal requires a greater vigilance of care to ensure their weight, health and performance can be maintained. So just switching to another dog food brand is not a simple act of putting another cup of some other kibble in his dish and walking away.

At the fifth store I visited the manager said they did not carry the brand I was looking for. So she offered to phone around and check with her competitors to see if they carried and had in stock the food I was seeking. She was successful in finding a pet store that had my food in stock.

Now what I want to do is express how helpful and generous the store manager was to do the phoning on my behalf while I waited in her store. In these times of selfishness, greed and hoarding she went out of her way to assist me even though I was an infrequent customer to her store.

As a person with a disability I strive to be independent in my travels for shopping, work, social events and volunteer activities in Owen Sound. I rarely ask for assistance and when I do it is usually because an able bodied person has put a barrier to my ability to be independent. Hoarding is not only an inconsiderate, selfish, vulgar and anti-social behaviour to able bodied persons but it is even more disrupting to persons with disabilities in our communities of Bruce – Grey.

So grateful thanks to staff at the Pet Feed Mill of Owen Sound for their enabling me to exercise my independence in caring for my guide dog.


Donald Anderson, Owen Sound