This is Addison Taylor Rich’s response to the question ‘Have you ever been in the presence of a celebrity but didn’t know who they were at the time?’ as published on Quora.
My mum and brother left me to wander the convention floor at my own leisure, so I set off in search of cool merchandise. I wandered into a booth selling T-shirts and began to browse.
I hadn’t been in there for more than a minute when an older lady with grey hair and glasses came in. A little grey French bulldog was trotting beside her, tongue lolling out of its mouth.
I glanced around, but nobody seemed to have an issue with the dog, and I wanted to pet it (it was awfully cute), but just to be sure, I went over to the woman to ask.
“Excuse me,” I said, and the woman turned around. “I was just wondering—is your dog a service animal? I’d like to pet him, but I wasn’t sure…”
“He’s my emotional support,” the woman said, smiling, “but he’s not really on duty at the moment. Say hello, Gary.”
Gary looked up at me, gave the biggest doggy grin, and promptly rolled over onto his back, exposing his belly. I crouched beside him and began rubbing his belly.
“Awww, such a good boy,” I said, making little kissy noises.
“Do you have any dogs yourself?” the woman asked, smiling.
“We used to have a Dalmatian named Dollar, but she died a long time ago,” I said, still giving Gary belly rubs. “I miss her, but… yeah.” I coughed; I didn’t really know how to make small talk with strangers.
“Dalmatians are very sweet,” the woman said. “How long did you have yours?”
“Fourteen years,” I said, smiling. “I called her my big sister, and she slept in my room to protect me from the dark when I was a little kid.”
“She sounds like she was a good dog,” the woman said, nodding. “So are you enjoying the convention?”
“Oh, yeah!” I said, my eyes lighting up. “I’m gonna be meeting up with my family for a Star Wars panel in…” I checked my phone’s clock. “Oh, jeez, ten minutes! I should go find them in line, I’m really sorry, ma’am.”