[nagdu] Treatment of People with Guide Dogs

Julie McGinnity kaybaycar at gmail.com
Fri Sep 13 23:30:40 UTC 2013

Hi.  Yes, I have experienced the same thing.  I used to use my cane in
choir performances, and people were absolutely terrified when the cane
would hit them.  It was actually kind of entertaining.  People also
somehow think I am less independent with the cane, which I find very
interesting.  If they pay attention or know some of my blind friends
who are cane users, they learn very quickly that this is not the case.
 But it goes back to that idea that the dogs are somehow smarter than
we are.

I assure you that anyone who thinks that the dogs take care of the
poor blind people really don't spend much time with us or don't pay
any attention when they do.  If my dog took care of me, she would
never get fed, and neither would I!  Lol

On 9/13/13, Larry D. Keeler <lkeeler at comcast.net> wrote:
> 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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Julie McG
National Association of Guide dog Users board member,  National
Federation of the Blind performing arts division secretary,
Missouri Association of Guide dog Users President,
and Guiding Eyes for the Blind graduate 2008
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that
everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal
John 3:16

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