Hettie has been to watch a few test matches now including the famous Ashes win at Edgbaston, while the rest of the ground was in uproar she was snoozing away.

One week before England was due to play South Africa at Headingley I was told that I had a ticket; I was annoyed at first because I like to inform the ground well in advance that I’m deaf and will be arriving with an Assistance Dog, specifically a Hearing Dog. This is done for a number of reasons such as out of courtesy, so they are aware we are coming so no access issues at the entrance and so security staff can keep an eye on us to ensure to ensure the safety of Hettie.

In this case I emailed them over the weekend prior to the game starting on the Friday. I explained the situation and they came back to me saying there were no access issues to the ground, the entrance staff will be aware as well as the staff in the part of the ground where I was to be sitting. The only issue they raised was that we had to walk up stairs to get to the seat and they were concerned as for safety of not just Hettie but of the public as well so they were looking at moving us to the front row on the ground level, I was more than happy to do this as better seats.

I turned up at Headingley on the Friday with a copy of their email in case the entrance did say we weren’t allowed to come in, good job as we were told to wait while they checked to see if we were allowed in, I showed them the email but was told to wait, then a person who was monitoring another queue came up and informed the person that they knew all about us, that Hettie was a Hearing Dog and everything was fine. We were then escorted through separate gates to avoid using turnstiles.

I wasn’t annoyed as this was resolved fairly quickly and I’m much more relaxed about getting into places than before. After, this there was no problems at all, in the end we weren’t moved to the front, damn, but we were in the second row, in the corner of a very quiet stand, also I used my common sense, and we went for lunch 10 minutes before the lunch interval. I couldn’t fault Headingley at all, we had a very pleasant day, I know Hettie did, as she slept all day. The people in the row in front didn’t know there was an Assistance Dog behind them until 6pm when Hettie decided for all of us that it was time to go.

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