Baaaaad Baaaaad Innkeeper!


As you might imagine, I get a lot of reader feedback; but to be honest it?s hard to pass on any comment that mentions sheep. OK, it?s more than just sheep, it?s a service animal issue. And throw in an innkeeper with an attitude, and you have my undivided attention. Such was the case with Kristen, who merely wanted to get away with her husband to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary.

Kristen has a service dog (Clifford), and like most service animals he travels everywhere with her. Heck, he wouldn?t be much of a service animal if she had to board him every time she took a trip, now would he? But I digress.

Kristen found the perfect (or so she thought) place to celebrate her anniversary — the Juniper Lane Guest House near Friday Harbor, Washington. The property met her access needs, was a green property (important to her) and was within driving distance of her home. Sounds perfect, right? Well, not exactly.

When Kristen called up to make a reservation, innkeeper Juniper Maas told Kristen that Clifford wasn?t welcome. Why? Because, of course, they have a “no pets” policy. Kristen explained that Clifford wasn?t a pet and that she was required to accommodate her under Title III of the ADA. All to no avail. According to Kristen, Juniper became very condescending and pulled out the old sheep defense. Yes, that?s right, I said sheep. Juniper claimed that since there?s a sheep ranch next door, she didn?t have to accommodate Kristen because Clifford would chase the sheep.

OK, I don?t even want to go there. File it under ignorant. The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

But here?s the cool thing — Kristen chose a unique course of action. Sure, she could have fought the whole issue and taken it to court; after all the innkeeper is clearly wrong and hey, that just happens to be what Kristen does for a living. But Kristen just wanted to celebrate her anniversary.

Instead she chose to let her pocketbook do the talking and opted to take her money elsewhere. I mean, think about it, do you really want to fight someone just to force them to take your money? Of course not!! Instead, why not give it to someone who truly wants your business. In this day and age there are a lot of folks out there who truly welcome everyone. And if we give those folks the business, then the Junipers of the world will either learn how the real world works or fold up shop and move along. Personally I?m hoping for the latter, but hey, that?s just me.

So next time you run into a ignorant person, fight back with the most effective weapon — your money!! It?s a pretty effective weapon in a very competitive market.

Happy anniversary Kristen!