It has been on my mind a lot lately, guide dogs. Now at less than 10 degrees, I realize that time is ticking and vision is dimming and have to make another decision , an important one. I will not make this decision lightly. I have been searching on websites, chatting with friends online, reading posts and tweets. It seems, the more I learn about it the more scared I get to making that step. I do know about having dogs, about the care and commitment of owning one, I've had dogs all my life. But this is different. I have the application bookmarked on my computer, just waiting for me to start . Last year, I said to myself 'next year, I will apply', and here I am still no further than last year. Why does it scare me to do this? It sure has taken me years to succumb to the white cane, and even then, still not using it to its full potential. Again, it is a symbol and the statement everyone sees me as 'the blind woman' . I detest that, I really do!
So I have to tell you about a recent experience with some friends who is a puppy raiser for guide dogs. A couple weeks ago, Chris and I went out for dinner with another couple and her puppy in training. We chose to eat at an Indian restaurant. Chris and I have been here before a few times and enjoyed the food and services. We were all standing by the door waiting to be seated. The waitress immediately said, 'Dogs are not allowed in here,'. Right away the puppy raiser explained that her dog was a guide dog in training and can not be denied access. She handed the waitress the identification card and she briskly walked to the kitchen to show her manager. We sat ourselves down as if nothing really happened. The waitress came back and said okay. You know the puppy raiser handled the situation beautifully. Not giving in and not making a scene. I have to admit, I know it happens to so many guide dog handlers being refused service but it still shocks me. I ask myself, is this what it is going to be like, having a guide dog? I know it won't be like that all the time, and I won't allow it even if it does.
For those that have guide dogs, what was your fears when you first applied? Any advice for me? Many thanks, leave comment below xx