"He stated, 'you're not blind,'" Baer told a local ABC affiliate. "It was in your face, loud and bold. I got really nervous. I was shaking because I was being confronted... I explained what all [Verbena] does, and his next comment was, 'Why can't you do that yourself?'"
After explaining his situation to another employee, Baer and his canine companion were both welcomed into the store and served. The confrontational employee later apologized to Baer, and Starbucks issued a statement affirming their commitment to allowing service dogs in stores:
Starbucks always welcomes service animals to our stores, and this customer's experience is not consistent with the welcoming and friendly environment we strive to create for everyone. We have spoken with this customer to apologize for his experience, and we hope to have the opportunity to serve him again. We have also spoken with our store partner about this situation and used this as a coaching opportunity for the future.
Baer told KVUE that he hopes the incident will be a learning experience for everyone -- including onlookers -- and that it will remind people how many different ways service dogs can be of help. "People with disabilities, you can't always see those disabilities," he said. "You never know what a service dog is for."