[nagdu] Questions About Guide Dogs
dcwein at dcwein.cnc.net
Wed Aug 31 20:52:28 UTC 2011
Nicely written, Gary.
This proves though that we all are different.
I don't take my dog on long walks only with him on leash and using a cane.
If we go on long walks he is guiding me, but he enjoys the walk I am sure.
I'm pretty sure he loves walking by how ecstatic he is when I pick up a
leash and bring out the harness.
For his toileting needs we either pull over to the grass or curb during our
walks or he parks out in the back yard--smile.
If I wee the cat's miao with a cane I probably wouldn't have gotten a dog in
the first place--lol.
I help him by going on the walk and he helps me by guiding me.
I did take walks with the cane healing my dog when my dogs got older because
they really couldn't work much and I wanted them to get out for walking.
And to combine two points, I am impressed with your O and M. Wayne, but I
certainly was never that good at traffic reading, it is a real struggle for
me a lot of the time and if I don't concentrate, I wouldn't do it well.
Whether this is my hearing, ability, training, or all or none of the above
reasons I honestly can't tell you--smile.
I'm only pointing out these things to show Tatyana and whomever that we all
have had different experiences, skills, and problems and do things
It is working out for all of us with our dogs, though--smile.
Dan the man, Carter the nut
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of GARY STEEVES
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:44 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Questions About Guide Dogs
Another thing I was thinking about with regartds to getting a dog is about
time. As I walked to our rapid transit train and thenwalked from another
stop to Subway and then to band practice, I was sort of laughing to myself
since, when I had a cane, I wouldn't have done at least half of this
walking. So much of my walking with Bogart guiding me is things like our
walks after work which are really done to get him some exercise and work
guiding me. Yes he guides me when I'm off to do things but I just find it
funny that I'm off to go to do things more often because he needs to go out
anyways, might as well go to the grocery store or whatever.
I'm not sure what others time frames are with their dog but Bogart and I do
a walk around a couple of blocks in the morning with him on leash and me
using my cane where he gets to sniff and do his business. Around lunch time
we go for another walk with some in harness and then about a block on leash
for him to do hsi business. If I'm at work we do a walk after work. The
shortest length is about 15 to 20 blocks (about half an hour) and then we do
our around the block walk again before going to bed. I also try to get
bogart to the off leash park at least a couple of times a week for a good
run and playing with other dogs. If not an off leash park then fid a
walk/hike where he can be safely off leash enjoying the trails like we do.
I can almost guarantee that everyone on the list deals with their dogs
needs differently but this is certainly to be considered when thinking about
getting a dog. People told me I'd get used to it and fit it around my life
and that is mostly true. Sometimes I do wish Bogart would just go and walk
himself but I think also wishes sometimes I would just take is pee and oops
outside and not bother him withthe wind and the rain. :)
However, no matter what my rational mind says, my girlfirend says she can
see how much Bogart has brought into my life (as well as hers) and how much
I have grown to love him over the past year. We have our moments when I
think he is an idiot and when he thinks I am as well but generally we trust
each others decisions and keep moving forward.
----- Original Message -----
From: Buddy Brannan <buddy at brannan.name>
Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:56 pm
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Questions About Guide Dogs
To: "NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users"
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> There are times when I use a cane, or use a cane and heel my dog, but
> really, it's more than 90% dog by now for me. I remember having the
> same misgivings though. And, really, coordinating six legs and two
> brains does work, and I haven't fallen off a curb or down a flight of
> stairs yet. Your dog will stop at curbs and steps until you find them,
> and will then continue upon your direction to do so. I hesitate to use
> the word "command", because, even though we call them "commands"
> (forward, left, right, and so on), they're really requests. The
> "Forward" isn't really a command, as in, "Forward, let's go, no
> arguments". Rather, it's "Forward, assuming it is safe to go forward".
> So it's sort of more like a request than a command.
> It's one of the things that separates a guide dog's training from lots
> of other training, the so-called "intelligent disobedience". In our
> work, the dog has a certain amount of autonomy, a certain amount of
> latitude to make decisions that just isn't the case with a lot of
> training where"Sit" really means "Sit".
> Yes, it really is a big adjustment, and a lot of adjustments.
> Not only do you have to learn a whole new way to look at landmarks and
> clues and orienting yourself, but you have to learn to give up a
> little bit of control, and to trust. Easy to say, hard to do, and it's
> something that I, certainly, struggle with, especially at first with a
> new dog. Fortunately, dogs are flexible. Also fortunately, the dog is
> also learning to trust you, so it's not all just you adjusting.
> Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
> Phone: (814) 860-3194 or 888-75-BUDDY
> On Aug 30, 2011, at 10:38 PM, Tatyana wrote:
> > Do you use a cane and a dog? A cane for me now is
> like a part of me so I can't think to leave it and have a dog as the
> only helper. How to deal with curbs and bumps, not stumble?
> >> Hi Larry,
> >> Yeah, these guys are great in what they can be taught. Given
> patience, time, and some training tricks you're likely to learn at
> guide dog school and pick up along the way here and elsewhere, a dog's
> ability to learn new skills is amazing.
> >> I do think it's important to discuss the differences in
> orientation with a dog versus with a cane. While you will use many of
> the same skills, such as finding landmarks and using environmental
> clues to determine where you are in space, the landmarks and clues you
> use with a dog will of necessity often be very different from the ones
> you use with a cane. A cane will give you a lot of tactile landmarks,
> and you get a very in-depth idea of your very immediate surroundings.
> This way, you can know that you turn into the second driveway after
> the third mailbox on your right. Or, you can know that just past the
> bench at shin level, there is a trash can, and just past that you'll
> find a bus stop pole. These kinds of things aren't as easy to do with
> a dog. Since your dog will treat things in your path as obstacles, you
> can't very well use them as landmarks, so you have to use other
> things, such as the change in acoustics (for instance, are you under
> an overhanging roof or not), changing in pavement texture, and the
> like, not to mention estimating distances to things. As time goes on,
> you'll even learn to use things like your dog's reaction as
> environmental clues unfamiliar routes. Strange but true. I think
> someone said that with a dog, you've got more of a macro view of your
> surroundings, where using a cane gives you a micro view, or a more
> detailed view. Some people don't care about that, while others may
> well feel very lost without all of the very immediate tactile
> information one gets from a cane. I say there's a place for both.
> Sometimes the close-in tactile world is a great tool for teaching your
> dog something new, but sometimes that same view gets in the way and
> slows you down. I'm sure I'm not explaining this well at all.
> >> --
> >> Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
> >> Phone: (814) 860-3194 or 888-75-BUDDY
> >> On Aug 30, 2011, at 9:48 PM, Larry D. Keeler wrote:
> >>> My neighborhood is very walkable as well. My mobility
> is pretty good. I like working with my Holly for a few reasons. We
> can move really fast and not have to worry about bumping into
> anything. For instance, I have to transfer busses often. I try to
> run to catch the next bus and bump, bump, bump!! I would have to have
> a head like a musk ox to survive all of those posts I bump into. And
> a 30 foot cane to hit them in time to stop! I haven't hit 1 post with
> Holly! Also, Holly is just a great companion! I forgot, she also
> will go around those cars who insist on sticking out in stopped
> traffic and finding those curb cuts quickly. And she also finds the
> push button lights and now, the sheltered bus stops! I'm trying to
> think of a way she can find the bus stops that are not sheltered.
> >>> Intelligence is always claimed but rarely proven!
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