LETTER – Fast food restaurant is no place for a bath or a dog wash

(Image: Jason Gillman,

The homeless and mental health problem just keeps getting worse.

Today we decided to go for an early lunch at a fast food restaurant which I am not naming or locating because I don’t blame the restaurant or the staff involved.

While waiting for my food a disheveled woman decided to start bathing in the water fountain attached to the pop machine. Copious amounts of water and serviettes were used and slopped all over the floor.

Staff were busy and didn’t notice what was going on but she was there for a few minutes. Eventually she returned to her table which I then noted was piled high with stuff… even under the table and all over the floor. Her possessions I assume.

About this time management noticed what was going on and two of them went over and asked her to leave. Then a disheveled looking man came in with a small dog in his arms.. management said hey you can’t bring that dog in here and he replied it’s a service dog.

So they let him; in he went to the counter and got something and then went over to the pop machine were he proceeded to wash the dog. Then over the counter where all of the napkins, lids and ketchup is located he started brushing the dirt and who knows what else off onto the white counter surface.

I went over and told the management what was going on, they immediately attended and told him to get out saying that you cannot do that on a surface where people are expecting clean utensils, ketchup etc.

He told management to f off and then a lot of words were said back and forth. He kept saying it’s his right to clean his dog! We decided it was time to leave so we cleaned up our table and exited.

On the way out I said to the manager I’m very sorry for you that you have to deal with this situation and he said it happens every day and he hates the situation.

Things certainly have not gotten better in Kamloops and other communities. Years ago I had a relative who was in an institution at the coast and they decided to close that institution and send them back to Kamloops. There were no supports and that person was essentially left to their own devices to recover and make a better life.

And that’s what I see when I drive up and down the streets of Kamloops, literally hundreds of people who are left to their own devices to try and recover from mental illness, economic issues and homelessness. It’s not working and we need to do something different.

Perhaps some should be institutionalized again and help to learn skills that may get them on the road to recovery. Certainly in this situation who would take a chance on hiring these two individuals so they could get some job experience under their belt. That’s not going to happen. But the situation cannot keep getting worse so there needs to be something else done.

I don’t have the answers… Just the questions.


About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on LETTER – Fast food restaurant is no place for a bath or a dog wash

  1. Andrena Blair // January 16, 2023 at 8:19 PM // Reply

    I agree, some people should be should be institutionalized . It is not safe for them to be on the streets! Not for us or them.

  2. Thanks, Tony. It seems that more and more of us are experiencing similar situations.
    The other morning, I met some guys for morning coffee. I had seen a fellow, carting in several things, a while earlier. He sat down but then disappeared.

    When I was ready to leave the coffee time, I went into the washroom and saw the fellow, stuff all over the place and it looked like he was snorting “something” at the bathroom sink. He had been going between the sink and the toilet……his stuff was spread everywhere. As I was leaving the coffee place, I notified the two young women who were staff members.

    It’s the sign of a deep, deep social problem that isn’t being addressed for the good of the folks who need help and for the rest of us who are trying to carry on from day to day.

    Councillor Concentration Camp seems to have the solution by helping to build a strong team.

    A new Mayor was elected who believes that change is necessary and possible. It almost seems that the Sanhedrin and Pilate are getting ready to deal with our new mayor even before he gets a chance to find his footing.

    Thanks for your letter, Tony.

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