[nagdu] Dogs and traffic lights

Tami Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Mon Aug 22 19:03:16 UTC 2011


Teaching yourself and practicing O&M in a small town when you're the
only blind person anyone ever sees out and about with a white cane is a
trip, isn't it? /lol/ Well, when I moved to the city, there was a bit
less in terms of percentage of population, but I still got plenty of
funny stuff like that only with a city flavor. 

So with the dog, you just get different stuff. Also, everyone knows your
dog real quick and will call greetings to her out the window. /lol/
Sometimes they will then remember to call a greeting to you, to. As for
the helpful stranger syndrome... It's just different, and you get to
hear a whole ot of silly things people will just say for no reason to a
blind person with a guide dog. Once you get used to all of this and have
your responses down pat, you can either just keep getting mad or notice
that it really is pretty hysterically funny. I just imagine that I'm
living a Seinfeld skit, only not in New York, or something like that. It
is about that surreal and random and ridiculous sometimes. /smile/

So a guide dog user from here recently moved to my old small town. I
want to look her up when we get out to visit my dad again to see what
it's like being the only guide dog user in town that anyone has ever
seen... I don't know her well, but I hope she has a sense of humor. You
know how it is to stand out in a place where everybody knows everybody
or their cousins, literally. Which means it doesn't take much to stand
out by being different. /lol/ When we moved out to Bend, I enjoyed a
little more anonymity, but in the city, I can just happily be another
stranger among strangers... Somewhat. I became part of an entire
neighborhood just by walking through there from my actual neighborhood
adjoining theirs on the way to the dog park. /lol/ Everybody just knew
me and who I was (Mitzi's Mom!) and assumed I was one of them. Which was
pretty cool, really, while being kinda funny. /smile/

On Mon, 2011-08-22 at 11:40 -0400, Brenda wrote: 
> I thought about this topic when I was out walking with my cane the other 
> day and here it is on the list...
> So when I use a guide dog instead of a cane will people quit calling out 
> their windows it is okay to cross a street and wait until I cross and/or 
> worse yet, like an older gentleman did, get out of his car and tell me 
> it was okay to cross.   (Educating each person is just not practicle so 
> I just smile and wave and try to find another corner to cross/practice at).
> I know it is annoying for guide dog users when people assume the dog 
> understands traffic lights, but does that misconception keep people from 
> being too helpful? Or maybe it is just my town where people don't see 
> many cane or guide dog travelers and want to be nice?
> Brenda
> brenda
> On 8/22/2011 10:53 AM, Tracy Carcione wrote:
> > Dan, it beats the heck out of me that people ask me if I need help
> > crossing a fairly quiet street, but not when I'm trying to cross some
> > noisy monster with a bus idling  a few yards away.  Maybe the people on
> > the busy street are too busy chatting and looking around, and the ones on
> > the quiet street are paying more attention to other people.  Like I said,
> > beats me.
> > Tracy
> >
> >> As usual, Tommy, a very entertaining and pleasant post.
> >> The misconception about guide dogs reading traffic lights seems to be the
> >> most persistent one.
> >> I don't get as  many comments on it  these days and that's  either because
> >> I'm doing better or people just don't give a darn--smile.
> >>
> >> It used to happen all the damned time.
> >> I have explained that I hear only out of one ear.
> >> It goes in one ear and not out the other?--lol.
> >> So, telling whether the cars are in front or to the side of me has always
> >> been an interesting proposition.
> >> I remember when I was a kid and made my first ventures in to independent
> >> mobility.
> >> I'm not going to mince words, I'd just stand at the curb with tears in my
> >> eyes because I just couldn't tell.  I just figured out that you do the
> >> best
> >> you can and that's it.
> >>
> >> I've developed my own techniques, but you know sooner or later something
> >> happens.
> >> And of course everyone's there to tell me that my dog crossed me against
> >> the
> >> light or something like that, why did the dog do that, isn't he/she
> >> trained?
> >> I think what irks me is not the question, but that half the time when I
> >> explain it they keep arguing?
> >> Oh, but aren't they supposed to tell you when it's red?
> >> I just explained that. Oh, but isn't it dangerous? Well, I explain that
> >> one
> >> too.
> >>
> >> Once a guy debated with me, yes argued about it. He said he had a
> >> professor
> >> in college who told him that guide dogs cross when the light is the right
> >> color and so "I don't know who trained that dog, but those dogs do know".
> >>
> >> Oy vay, as my Dad would have said.
> >>
> >> And what's more, people who can't remember what they had for breakfast
> >> will
> >> remember for weeks that they saw you cross against the light.
> >>
> >> Of course, they wouldn't ever consider, let's see..asking you if you
> >> needed
> >> assistance when it actually happened?
> >>
> >> Go figure.
> >>
> >> And where are they when I do it right? They are there probably saying "you
> >> see, that dog did know when the light's red".--lol
> >>
> >>
> >> Dan the man, Carter the nut
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
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