Submitted by GDB alumna Tiffany Jolliff
My Guide Dog, Railey, has become quite the celebrity at a local restaurant here on the Illinois State University campus. Every day between classes, we walk over to Einstein Brothers Bagels for lunch. Railey has become quite enamored with a particular table there. If "his" table is occupied, he goes so far as to stand nearby and stare at the occupants until they inevitably pick up their food and depart with a comment like "I was finished anyway."
One particular day, we found that someone was sitting at the favorite table, and were going nowhere fast. Railey and I reluctantly sat in a different spot, but it didn't feel right for either of us. The manager noticed and came over, questioning why we were sitting somewhere new. I replied that it did feel kind of awkward.
"Why don't I reserve that table for you?" the manager asked. I thought she was joking, so I went along with it.
"Yeah! A Reserved For Railey sign would be hysterical!"
"Well then, that's what we'll do."
I was shocked! A table just for us? She proved that she really was serious when she brought out a digital camera and posed Railey next to the table. After some expert shooting, she got the perfect picture.
By the time Railey and I returned to Einstein Brothers on our next visit, sure enough, a sign with Railey's picture was prominently placed in the middle of "his" table, secured in a thick glass case. Since then, Railey has become quite the star with everyone who comes in the restaurant, and is enjoying all of the attention and extra pats.