A pensioner who was left profoundly deaf after falling down stairs at work says she has been refused entry to several shops in Boston due to her hearing assistance dog. Maggie Turvey was left partially deaf after damaging nerves in her neck and spine after falling down stairs while working in a crisp manufacturing company in 1983.
She was hospitalised for some weeks after the accident left her with nerve damage and her hearing deteriorated leaving her profoundly deaf. Mrs Turvey, 68, from Boston, felt insecure and afraid to go out alone for many years until she was given the gift of confidence from her newly beloved assistance dog Rupert in 2013. Mrs Turvey now has the confidence to go out alone with her beloved spaniel who is almost six.
But she says life isn’t easy for her and claims she has been refused entry to many shops in the town including some major retailers, restaurants and food shops, with staff telling her pets are not allowed. Mrs Turvey said: “It can be scary when you go from hearing everything to hearing hardly anything. I am not going to name the shops as I feel that is unfair.
“Rupert has given me so much confidence to go out. He alerts me to any dangers such as alarms or if a beeping bus is coming along the precinct he will pull me to one side. He comes everywhere with me including into shops and is a special trained assistance dog, no different to a guide dog for the blind.
NOT a fan of dogs for the deaf, we don't feel deaf need assistance animals, obviously as a pet/companion there is no issue. We just feel the deaf are taking advantage of the real need the blind have for one. To put themselves on the same level of recognition of need assistance to the blind, when the comparison isn't really validated, seems basically unfair to blind people.
We don't need animals to know the doorbell/phone/oven is being used, we have flashing/vibratory alerts for this, we don't need a dog to guide us to the shops, our vision is mostly OK etc... Modern technology invalidates the need for a dedicated assistive animal.
(NOTE: The animal in this instance seems a psychological/companion form of support, but better the lady sought counselling as to why she isn't coping with her deafness... from what little we know, dogs are poor speakers or signers.... so pretty poor conversationalists).