[nagdu] NFB and Dogs

Gary rainshadowmusic at shaw.ca
Mon Aug 15 15:01:33 UTC 2011

Hi Lynn:

You certainly are right that there ar many things that make a person a bad
handler. I think the idea of lifestyle that you mentioned is a good one. I
am in my mid forties and now only got a dog. Maybe it's because my sight is
getting worse, maybe it's because my girlfriend loves dogs and wanted a dog,
maybe it's because I've been at the same job for four years now and have a
steady in come ... I certainly wouldn't have been able to manage the
responsibility of a dog when I was younger. In my 20's I was playing in lots
of bands and having too many late nights. Even now, as much as L love
bogart, there are times when it is inconvenient to have to get him out for
his walk  but once I get my tired butt out of the apartment it is always
nice. I have a pretty mellow dog. When I go to take him out on his evening
walk he just lies there and I'm sure he's thinking "oh you can just take my
business out in a bucket tonight for me can't you?"

All being said, if I was speaking to a person who was thinking about getting
a dog, I would certainly highlight all the good things but I would be honest
about some of the real responsibilities that come along with that. When my
school did the home visit they wer honest with me and said sometimes, in
some places, I'd get around faster with my cane than the dog and visa versa.
It was interesting the other day walking somewhere that I hadn't really
walked except with my dog. I hadn't realized how narrow the sidewalk was, I
didn't realize there were bushes, a fire hhydrant and a few other things.
Bogart had kept me away from all those obstacles. Helps appreciate what the
dog does. 

Usually when I'm in a great hurry Bogart is in a real doddling mood.
However, I'm starting to think that maybe he is getting my anxious hurrying
energy and that is wy he walks so slowly at those times. Like everyone says,
a dog is not a cane so sometime smight be having an off day whereas the cane
will just tap as much as you make it tap. I'm learning that if bogart is in
one of those moods I work to speed him up but if it doesn't work that day
then I just relax and go with his speed. Usually it picks up after awhile.

Regardless, the pros certainly out weigh the cons but what I think makes me
a good handler is being at a place in my life and my own maturity  to
reflect on what is happening between me and my dog and try not just to react
emotionally. From that I think bogart likes working and likes his life and I
like my life too. <chuckle>


-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Lyn Gwizdak
Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2011 10:43 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] NFB and Dogs

Hey Dan,
Put your dog in a clear plastic ziploc bag - then he can see! LOL!  He may 
get heatstroke due to greenhouse effect inside the bag! Hahahaha!

Yeah, there was alot to goive the impression that NFB disliked guide dogs 
but alot has changed now.

My impressions of guide dogs were neither positive nor negative while 
growing up.  I didn't even know they existed.  I lived in a small town where

the only blind people I saw were kids like me - never an adult blind person 
until I moved to Boston and we were all adults by then. That is until I saw 
"Atta Girl, Kelly" on Walt Disney which we watched at our grandparents 
because they had a color TV at the time.  I never knew that I was to get one

of those dogs from TSE in the future.  I did get a copy of the comic book, 
"Bonnie, the Seeing Eye Dog" from somewhere and enjoyed that. But these 
things didn't give me a realistic view on what the guide dogs were in 
reality or how they were used or trained or puppy raised.

While in college in Boston, I met a guide dog for the very first time. 
Sinse I was familiar with police dogs, I kneew not to pet them.  The guide 
dog belonged to this lady and I remember walking with her and her dog would 
lift his leg on every pole and post and tree that we passed.  I thought, 
"What a pain!  I get there faster on my own."  At that time, I had enough 
vision to get around without any mobility aid during the daytime but used a 
cane at night when I had no vision.

As I met more and more guide dogs and my college roommate got a guide dog, I

learned the reality of how they were used and what they could do.  And the 
dogs were NOT supposed to mark along the way!  It was a bad habit that the 
woman allowed her dog to get into.  Then my vision deteriorated quite a bit 
and I had to use a cane full time even during the daytime.  Knowing several 
good dog handlers, I decided I wanted one as well.

I did go for several years between dogs as my life wasn't condusive to 
having one at the time. I worked in a coffee shop where there was no place 
to put a dog and I went to clubs to dance all the time with my girlfriend. 
Eventually, I did have a lifestyle change - broke up with my girlfriend and 
moved to California - and got a guide dog again and have had them ever 

Lyn and Landon
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan Weiner" <dcwein at dcwein.cnc.net>
To: "'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'" 
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2011 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] NFB and Dogs

>I know, what I'll do to respect other people is I'll put a big zip lock bag
> over my dog so they won't have to touch him, be licked or anything else.
> That way  I can be totally respectful and all the dog guide-haters will 
> just
> love me for being such a good sport.
> I'll punch some holes in the front part so my dog can breath, and woops,
> I'll need some way for him to actually see so he can guide me.
> The proceeding was sarcasm.
> If you want an example of the reasons for concern among dog users of the 
> try to find and read the October 1995 Monitor which was dedicated solely 
> to
> guide dog bashing.
> Fortunately, either more tolerance is abroad in the land or those who feel
> that dog guides are abhorrent have toned their public remonstrations down 
> or
> changed their mind.
> I have never been happy with how the NFB centers deal with guide dog 
> issues,
> and especially with the case of Stephanie Doman, (spelling)?  In the Iowa
> Center.
> I know that just the average Federationist like me is not intolerant and I
> like my Greater Orlando chapter and I have been in the Federation since I
> was a kid-smile.
> I believe that, at the risk of flattering Marion, that his leadership of
> NAGDU has done a lot to change the situation and I applaud him, plus I've
> known the guy for 20 years and if he can put up with me then he must be a
> great guy--lol.
> Now, here's an interesting question.
> Thos e of us who have dogs now, what was our impression of guide dogs 
> before
> we got a dog?
> I always loved dogs and thought a guide dog was a wonderful idea.
> My thing was that I met a few people over the years who seemed to be 
> control
> freaks and I felt sorry for the dogs.
> I'd meet people who were correcting or shouting "phooey" at the dog and I
> said to myself "poor dog, why do I want to get a dog if I need to scold it
> all the time".
> Then I met other people like Sherri Brun from Orlando who were great to
> their dogs and the dogs themselves were adorable.
> Now, as a guide dog user I know things happen, people need to correct, and
> so on, butt's interesting to think back on that.
> Dan W. and the Carter Nut
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