[nagdu] guide dog responsibilities

Pickrell, Rebecca M (IS) REBECCA.PICKRELL at ngc.com
Tue Dec 1 14:55:28 UTC 2009

You must share, you and a woman nearly got into a fight over a broken
Please share!

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Albert J Rizzi
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 9:56 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: Re: [nagdu] guide dog responsibilities

Hello Chris,

Welcome.  I would like to commend you on investigating your options for
mobility. First and foremost we all must be fully aware of our options
all things and how those options impact our life.

I am a recent entrant into the blind community and moved quickly from
cane to the guide.  I was surprised to find how many blind people feel
negatively about guide dogs and the perception that there is a level of
responsibility which comes with having a guide dog that all to often
precludes one from even investigating  the guide dog as an option.

I must tell you up front that I always have been around animals, which I
think may be an influencing facto in my sense that the level of
responsibility is not overwhelming or insurmountable.  I find the ease
swiftness with which I move thru the streets, whether they be in the
or in the busy streets of Manhattan, allow me to get anywhere and
in half the time it might take by cane. My guide dog allows for a sense
freedom and security which I never felt with the cane.  All to often  I
heard of people getting their canes stepped on and broken, it happened
to me
3 times within the first 3 months of using a cane.  One of those
almost turned into a fight due to the level of embarrassment that the
who did not see me felt when it all happened.  

I have not had any incidents as difficult as that with my dog Doxology.
takes me all over by plane, train, subway, bus, you name it and does it
gusto and pride.  I never thought I would have the level of independence
security I do have with him by my side.
 Most of the guides are trained so wonderfully, but much of the success
realizes with a guide dog has everything to do with your ability to
reinforce the skill set and level of discipline that these dogs crave
need.  They also love to play and if you and your dog bond as my dog and
have, they are so in tune to you emotionally, physically  and in ways I
cannot even begin to number.  I would however suggest that you ask,
you decide to go that route, for one of the ugliest dogs possible as
everyone will want to be petting your puppy otherwise. LOL.  No matter
ugly or beautiful your dog might be I would hole heartedly suggest you
one.  It is hard to believe that there are only 10k guide dog users in
states  in comparison to the 110k cane users.  I guess if half of those
with usable vision move freely and independently  without the need of a
or a guide dog, that might leave 6-7 million others without an option at
all?  Makes my heart so heavy to think about those others sitting at
waiting and waiting, when they could have a four legged companion to get
them where they want to go and I have not even mentioned the emotionally
uplifting support they lend to every day of your life.  It is not all
peaches and cream by no means, but I think the cane is the pits.  I do
my cane skills every week at least 5 or 6 times as if doxy were to ever
ill, I would not be stuck in the house. So I see the value in both as an
option in my life and that's how I like it, a life full of choices and
options. peace.
Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York  10004
PH: 917-553-0347
Fax: 212-858-5759
"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who
doing it."

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Of Chris Jones
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 8:23 PM
To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nagdu] guide dog responsibilities

My name is Chris Jones, and I am new to the list.  I expect to learn
from this list.  
I am a lifelong user of the cane for mobility, but I have always been
attracted to the guide dog.  I always held back because I felt that the
responsibility required was too much for what I was willing and capable
maintaining.  I would like those on the list to perhaps give reasons why
they finally made that plunge into the guide dog lifestyle.  
On a side note, those of you with guide dogs, have you found the general
public to give you more respect?  I have the assumption that cane users
not looked at the same as far as traveling independently in relation to
general public.  
Thank you for any response.
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