[nagdu] Treatment of People with Guide Dogs

Larry D. Keeler lkeeler at comcast.net
Fri Sep 13 16:11:49 UTC 2013

Tami, I should learn to throw my voice so it sounds like Holly is talking so 
that I could throw folks off! That would be sort of fun!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tami Jarvis" <tami at poodlemutt.com>
To: "NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users" 
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Treatment of People with Guide Dogs

> Nicole,
> Interesting observations. Human interactions are very different for me 
> with the dog than with the cane... I was still getting used to different 
> interactions from the presence of the cane when I started going around 
> with dog, so I feel like I've been in a crazy sociology experiment. /lol/
> With the dog, people will call her and give her directions, but I have 
> trained her to ignore them (mostly). With the cane, people give me 
> directions that are often silly and may be more likely to try to take my 
> arm or something when I don't want them to. The dog has learned to help me 
> out when the directions involve the phrase "over there." Whichever tool I 
> am using, people still seem to think they need to tell me about every curb 
> and step. People are more likely to talk to me at random when I'm using 
> the guide dog, but they will often talk to or about the dog. I've kind of 
> learned some techniques to then guide conversation into non-dog topics and 
> get the focus away from her if I want to. If I'm lazy and not that 
> interested in connecting, then a nice chat about the dog is fine. /smile/
> It used to bug me that people seemed horrified that the dog might make a 
> mistake because that would be awful somehow. Then I noticed that people 
> are terrified I will make a mistake with the cane because that will be 
> awful somehow. The annoying thing when I'm using the cane is when there 
> are people around who are terrified the cane might touch something, 
> especially if they are the type to insist that I watch where I'm going and 
> where I'm swinging that thing! This doesn't happen often, but sometimes 
> there will be gasps of terror or shock when my cane taps a pole or 
> something. OMG! I ran into it! /lol/ I guess there have been a few times 
> when I've missed a bit stepping up a curb with my dog and heard the gasps. 
> But in general, with the dog, I do not appear to be running into things by 
> tapping them with her.
> Hm... Standing at street corners with the dog often means discussing how 
> she knows how to cross the street since dogs are color blind or something 
> like that. I'm trying to remember if I've ever stood at a street corner 
> trying to explain how I cross with the cane. Seems I have at one time or 
> another. Maybe it's that Portland friendliness? If you don't say something 
> weird to someone standing at the same corner, you're just not with it in 
> Portland! Refreshingly, people seem as likely to say something outlandish 
> and controversial about politics, religion or even the weather as they are 
> about the dog or the cane. /lol/
> Tami
> On 09/12/2013 05:42 PM, Nicole Torcolini wrote:
>> Some of the recent threads have made me think of something kind of
>> interesting. No, you don't interact with someone who has a guide dog the
>> same way that you interact with someone who has a cane, but, if people 
>> would
>> treat us more like we were using canes instead of dogs, we would not have 
>> as
>> many problems. For example, some people have problems with people trying 
>> to
>> give their dog directions. When someone has a cane instead of a dog, this
>> problem does not happen. The same goes for interacting with the dog. You
>> don't hear about people messing with canes as often as you hear about 
>> people
>> messing with dogs. What do people think of this?
>> Nicole
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