'A Shocking Situation': Blind College Student With Guide Dog Says She Was Turned Away From Bakery

| by Emily Smith
Gabriella Drago and service dogGabriella Drago and service dog

An Ohio bakery apologized after it accidentally turned away a blind college student and her guide dog.

Gabriella Drago entered Dick’s Bakery in downtown Berea, Ohio, with her service dog Freesia on Oct. 26.

“She is my eyes,” Drago told WKYC. “She just makes everything so much easier and faster.”

When Drago and her friends tried to buy donuts, a shop assistant told Drago to take the dog outside.

“I know it’s happened to other people, but it’s never happened to me,” Drago said, “so it was just kind of a shocking situation.”

After a wave of social media backlash, the owners of Dick’s Bakery apologized on Oct. 27.

"We're truly sorry for making her feel unwanted," Rick Baker, a second-generation owner of the family business, said. "We want her to give us a second chance to make it right. Come in and we'll load her up once a week with some goodies, so she can enjoy herself with her and her friends."

Baker added that the employee who turned Drago away simply hadn't known she was blind. The employee, who has reportedly been with the business for 50 years, was "broken up" over the incident.

Drago said that her intention is not for people to boycott Dick’s Bakery, but she appreciates those who have stood up for her. She added that the event was a teachable moment and that she plans to return to the bakery.

“I definitely don’t want it to reflect incredibly negatively on them as a small business,” she told Fox 8 News. “I just want it to be something they're aware of, with the hope it won’t happen again with their business or any other business.”

Sources: WKYC, Fox 8 News / Photo Credit: Cleveland Live