[nagdu] National Convention--my opinion

Larry D. Keeler lkeeler at comcast.net
Tue Jul 9 23:36:30 UTC 2013

Yah, Buddy! I usually learn more than one way to the places I'm going during 
conventions. I've been to a few state conventions and also a few other 
conventions with mostly sighted folks. Most convention behavior is similar. 
Although I also notice that some cane folks swing that thing around like 
they are on a mission to destroy whatever is in front of them including 
other blind folks and also dogs! I've been smacked with canes as well as 
Holly and had my feet stompped on and have been shoved around by other blind 
folks just so they can get there first and clear everything out of there 
way! Also, you have those that don't clean up after there dogs or can't 
handle them. Or, take up 10 times more space than anyone else in the room!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Buddy Brannan" <buddy at brannan.name>
To: "NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users" 
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] National Convention--my opinion


Yep, sounds about par for the course for conventions. You forgot to mention 
the mad rush for elevators though and how people turn into stampeding wild 

As for shock at bad behavior, I reckon you shouldn’t be too shocked, really. 
Guide dog handlers generally, NFB guide dog handlers in particular, are no 
better and no worse than any other kind of people. This means you’re bound 
to see some who are irresponsible, careless, lazy, thoughtless, wonderful, 
caring, compassionate, heartless, cruel, giving, in control, out of control, 
and any other sort of adjective you’d care to use to describe some person or 
group. So there you have it. Now mind your step.
Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
Phone: (814) 860-3194 or 888-75-BUDDY

On Jul 9, 2013, at 3:47 PM, Danielle A. Creapeau <dcreapeau at gmail.com> 

> Hi everyone,
> It was awesome meeting some of you at convention last week. Valla and
> I didn't attend Monday night's NAGDU meeting because she got snapped
> at by not 1 but 2 dogs. I'm the first to admit that she did distract
> on these other dogs but I corrected and we were almost past them when
> they jumped out from under their handlers' chairs and tried to come at
> her. Needless to say, she was way too wound up to go anywhere after
> that.
> Anyway, I noticed a lot of things during the week that shocked me,
> made me think and made me very happy. First of all, I'll say that this
> was my first convention so I don't know if some of these things are
> commonplace at convention or not. I was sort of shocked by the size of
> the park area for the dogs. It was about the size of a single parking
> space and from what I understand, there were a couple hundred dogs in
> attendance. I felt that this was way too small of a space for all
> those dogs. Not to mention that it's filled with sand which gets
> pretty sludgy with waste and rain water. Valla wouldn't set foot in
> the box and I didn't blame her. As I understand it, the White Cane
> fund takes care of the park areas and I also am aware that it costs
> money to set up these relief areas. Is there anything that we as a
> division can be doing to make the area bigger or cleaner? Furthermore,
> as the week went on, I noticed a lot of accidents near the escalators
> that were just left behind for someone else to clean up. Valla had her
> accidents as well; I'm not saying that they don't happen but I thought
> we were supposed to try to clean them up and tell someone from the
> hotel staff about it. I know that these were near escalators but I
> feel like that's no excuse. If you're at the bottom of the escalator
> when it happens, step aside and let people through but don't just walk
> away.
> That being said, I'm sure there were plenty of handlers who did stand
> by the messes and did their best to clean them up.
> I was really surprised by the amount of people who were on phones,
> eating, talking or goofing off while working their dogs too. again,
> not trying to imply that these things don't happen but it was
> frustrating when someone else was too busy doing something else while
> his or her dog distracted on other people or dogs.
> I did, however, meet a whole bunch of people who genuinely inspired me
> with the bonds they have with their dogs and the way they worked as a
> team. Valla and I just met in October of 2012 so we're still feeling
> each other out. It was just amazing to see teams that flow together so
> beautifully.
> anyway, that's just my take on the week. Hope everyone's having a good 
> Tuesday.
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