Major Diggs Brown spent more than 30 years in the army, fighting for the country he loves. However, after he finished his tour in Afghanistan, he was diagnosed with PTSD and he got a service dog to help him cope.
While visiting Chicago, the major walked into Cochon Volant restaurant on West Monroe Street, hoping to treat himself to a lovely breakfast. He recalled the experience: “When my service dog and I walked in, the hostess took us to the table, and the young lady named Hannah, she said you can’t have a dog in the restaurant.”
Understanding the stipulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Brown was sure that the waitress was wrong. He politely informed her that, “This is my service dog, he can go wherever I go, it’s the law.”
Brown then went ahead and made his order, convinced that his rights would be upheld. However, he saw Hannah approaching him again, and she informed him that he had to leave the establishment. He explained again that Arthur was his service dog, and that kicking him out would be a violation of the law.
Hannah responded; “I don’t care, you need to leave, we don’t have dogs in the restaurant.”
Brown left the restaurant humiliated. He then went to the airport, and flew back to his home in Fort Collins.
Thinking about Arthur’s role in his life, Brown was unable to forget the incident in Chicago. He decided to tell his story.
“When I got home, I posted on my Facebook page, this is what happened to me and it went viral,” Brown stated. He described the things Arthur does for him; “He does a lot of things. He wakes me up from nightmares when I have them. When I have anxiety attacks, he calms me down. He saved my life and I’m even off the drugs.”
He wrote about the incident, and stated “Guess this would be a case of ‘No thanks for your service.’”
After Brown’s post went viral, the restaurant did it very best to make amends to Brown. The manager called to apologize, and the restaurant posted their apology on Facebook; “The Cochon Volant family is both saddened and disappointed to hear this account of a veteran’s experience.”
The owners of the restaurant added; “Not only are we 100% aware of and in compliance with all ADA regulations regarding service dogs, we also have an acute appreciation for the service of veterans and we are happy to welcome staff members and employees who have honorably served this country.”
The restaurant also stated that it was making donations to Puppies Behind Bars, where Arthur’s training took place.
Referring to the employee, Brown stated, “I really hope this young lady isn’t fired for this, she just needs to be educated.”