SPRING HILL, TN (WSMV) - Wherever Jessica Paulsen goes, her 3-year-old dog Henry is by her side.
Paulsen has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, also known as POTS.
“It’s basically my heart rate is incredibly high when I’m not doing anything,” Paulsen explained. “I have a lot of blacking out, so Henry has not only a response, he can retrieve my husband, he can retrieve people both at home and in stores. He also has a natural alert to my blood pressure dropping and my heart rate spiking.”
It’s why she takes Henry everywhere. One recent experience at Hacienda restaurant in Goshen, NY, still has her upset.
“The woman at the front desk, the hostess, said that he needed ID,” Paulsen said.
According to the American Disabilities Act, the owners of a service dog are not required to show an ID for their service animals.
“It was just so embarrassing. We felt like a spectacle and I don’t like to feel like a spectacle,” she said.
News4 reached out to the restaurant on Friday, but the manager was not available. The Call 4 Action team reached the manager on Monday and received an answer.
“You can bring him anytime,” the working on the phone said.
News4 asked why Paulsen and Henry were not admitted when they visited in December.
“At that time, we didn’t have the right information,” the worker said.
The worker on the phone stated that after double-checking with the health department, they now know that service dogs are permitted.
“I don’t have all the information for you. Now everybody has been told that if anybody comes in with a service dog, they’re allowed to come in,” the worker said.
The updated from the restaurant made Paulsen smile.
“When I left there, I thought that like, I wanted it to change and thought it never would,” Paulsen said. “I’m so happy that hopefully every service dog that walks in after us will have the exact same treatment as everyone else, and that’s how it should be.”