My human sister Mandy took me to the dog park last week. While she was waiting by the fence, two boys approached her and began pointing their fingers and calling her names.
Mandy has Tourette Syndrome, which causes her hands to jerk and causes her to make chirping sounds. When she has a Tourette fit, there is nothing she can do to stop it. When I saw what was going on, I ran to the fence and began growling and showing my teeth. Those boys knew I meant business and took off.
What upsets me is that those boys had no idea that Mandy is so much more than jerking hands and chirping sounds. Mandy is not only kind, funny, and smart, she is also a fantastic artist. Last year two of the children’s books she illustrated for my mom’s friend were published, and she’s only 12.
I can’t understand why anyone would feel they had the right to be mean to anyone they don’t know and who had a problem.
I cringe when I see what humans say and do to one another. It amuses me when I hear them say that someone was “treated like a dog,” meaning that the person was treated with disrespect and contempt.
I can tell you I have never seen a dog treat another dog with a disability disrespectfully. Some humans have problems with anyone that doesn’t look, think, or act like them. They feel they have the right to call these people out and make fun of them. You can understand why boys who have never seen a person with Tourette might be curious. But this doesn’t give them a license to be mean and cruel.
I think the incident with Mandy shows how important it is to teach young children about people with disabilities and their right to be treated with respect. They should also be taught that you can’t tell a book by its cover.
© 2022 Geneva Woodruff
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