Shopping trip to funding embarrassment

Not so long ago I decided that me and my guide dog Tara would take a Saturday shopping trip in to Reading town centre.

Now surprisingly I’m not such a girlie girl when it comes to shopping, especially on a Saturday, I hate battling the crowds just to get to where I want to be.

So in preparation for this on coming shopping slaughter I took a small detour in to Starbucks, where I treated myself to a tall chai tea latte.

This simple act of fuelling up on caffeine was interrupted by a very polite man cautiously saying “Hello”.
This extremely well meaning man saw me drinking my lovely hot beverage, standing outside of Starbucks, holding the harness of a somewhat charming guide dog, and he proceeded to offer me money.

Now there are only two responses in this sort of situation… laugh or cry! I had no Guide Dogs branded clothing on, or a strategically placed bucket for collecting coins, so I was a little confused as to why he was handing over his money.

I should probably add at this point that this sort of situation had already happened to me a few months earlier, accept I was on my phone making a call when a lady hesitantly approached offering me money for guide dogs.

Of course such generosity is to be applauded, after all I wouldn’t have my wonderful guide dog with out people parting with their cash, but its a little embarrassing when they offer it to you in the street.

As I had done with the first lady, I explained that I was actually a guide dog owner, and that it wasn’t me directly that they needed to donate too, instead they should do it online or over the phone.

This bit of information didn’t seem to deter the man, and he persistently offered me a ten pound note.

At this point I really started to wonder whether there was something wrong with either him, or me. Did I look like such a sorry sight that even the useful bit of information I’d passed on didn’t stop him from throwing his money away, or did I look so harassed at the thought of shopping that he thought he’d donate to my caffeine fund?

Unfortunately readers I can’t give you an answer to this question either way, because after waving the tenner at me for a while with me protesting, he wondered off muttering something like “I was only trying to help”.

This is a mystery I’ll never solve, but it tickled my funny bone so I thought I’d share it with you.

I’ll leave you on one bit of advice, if the person isn’t holding a bucket, or said person isn’t wearing a t-shirt, chances are there probably not collecting for Guide Dogs. So however well meaning, don’t just hand over your money because that person might not be quite as honest next time, and that money will go towards funding their caffeine habit instead of cute little guide dogs to be.

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