A guide dog has an important job. They’re bred to assist people who are blind. The guide dog gives individuals the opportunity to live independently. Thanks to many of my friends such as Jim Pelfrey, I’ve had the pleasure of watching a few of these amazing, beautiful, four-legged creatures at work. Today, welcome Jim as he serves as guest-blogger sharing his journey with a guide-dog.
It is indeed my pleasure to serve as a Guest blogger as we commemorate International Guide Dog Day held on April 26.
I am the proud handler of Patrick a devoted Golden Retriever trained at the Seeing Eye Inc. in Morristown NJ. Patrick is Dog number seven, and is one of my best Guides.
A person can read all about Service dogs dos and don’ts, and laws and rights pertaining to the human handlers. Having dogs since 1986 many things stand out, but my wife said the thing that always sticks with me is that they really are dogs.
It is not Disney.
Patrick can be naughty sleeping in the chair when no one is watching. Dogs being dogs shed, need grooming, and well they poop.
What I know is walking with my guide gives me a true sense of freedom.
I love how fast we move, and don’t even know how many hurtles he took us past.
Patrick is an absolute joy to work with.
I just know life is better, and I feel confident, and competent when I travel with Patrick on my left arm.
Moments, yes, most of these are because of public interference, and being left by Ride sharing services. A clear violation of the law, but persons are powerless to really do much if the driver leaves you stranded.
Question is….is it worth it, especially now after Covid?
I don’t utilize Patrick the way I did say when I worked on base, attended college, and took public transportation. I work from home, so I really must find things for us to do.
I do question if Patrick will be my last Dog Guide?
I honestly don’t know and choose not to answer that question currently.
Covid has been a game changer, and I am not sure if it is the right thing to do to continue working Dog Guides.
I know my life is enriched, from all seven dogs who have guided me, sometimes brought embarrassment, and opened many doors. I will say that one of the best decisions I ever made was to attend Seeing Eye, and pick up that harness, and take a leap of faith. Life has been better for me with a Dog Guide, and it is difficult to imagine life without Patrick. I am glad he is helping to drive that train.