[nagdu] NFB and Dogs

Cindy Ray cindyray at gmail.com
Mon Aug 15 12:36:42 UTC 2011

I am glad I had the chance to read what you said, Anne. I had grown tired of the discussion and deleted your message; then I realized from later discussion that it had something new to say.

I was trained at the Iowa Commission for the Blind, and in those days there was truly an anti-dog sentiment. In the late 90s there were articles written that were later apologized for, though apologies do not necessarily erase the hurts and the bitterness, but they sometimes open the doors to healing. But when I got my dog in 1989 (first one, of course) people immediately began saying to me that it was wonderful and now I could get out more and be independent. I think some of what has gone down before in the NFB is based on that kind of misconception, so we have created our own about dogs and/or horses. (The horse is indicative of how none of us is totally willing to accept new things no matter how much we deny this.) That would be to a greater or lesser degree. People who are using canes have the need to fight against the public's notion that any eyes, theirs or a dog's or maybe a horse, are better than none. This could create some of the problem.

There have been several people in the NFB who are leaders and who use dogs, and, obviously, as the animal participation at NFB increases, so does that fact. NAGDU is a far different organization/division than it was in 2001 to my way of thinking.

As for how we treat one another, it never fails to amaze me how we treat one another no matter who we are. We may rail against stereotypes and such, yet we inflict that kind of treatment on other groups. It is a human condition, but if all of us work on this issue, we can lessen it.

Thanks for your insights.

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