[nagdu] process of getting a guide dog from leader dog

Danielle Burton danielleburton94 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 15:45:02 UTC 2015

Hi Debby, 
This is interesting since I am aSpecial Needs Graduate of GEB. I honestly think the only exceptions that were made for me was that I was not required to independently judge all traffic as is typical of guide dog schools. I can judge some traffic with my hearing but some is completely unsafe for me to try. They taught me that if I couldn't judge the traffic I should stay standing with the harness in my hand and ask for assistance. When I get someone to help me across I can drop the harness handle and take the person's arm and have them guide me across. When I get across the street I simply pick up the harness handle and go on. I also knowthey train people with special needs dogs who have balance and mobility probles and because of those cannot walk for long distances. The other Srecial Needs student in my class used a support cane on her left and worked a dog on her right. She walks bdoesn't do a ton of walking due to her additional disabilities she does very well with a dog. I also think the dog provides some balance support as does mine whenever I trip over my own feet. My balance isn't great due to hearing loss and a tiny bit of Cerebral Palsy and also I have brittle bones so it is essential that my dog can prevent me from falling down. That's just some of the things the Special Needs program works with. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 22, 2015, at 10:42 PM, Debby Phillips via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Rox, although mostly I agree with you, I know for me having my first dogs with me as I went out and about gave me a lot more confidence.  When we first moved here in the winter of 2013, I learned a lot by walking with my cane, but I had just graduated from the Colorado Center a few months before, and I felt more confident about traveling around with my cane.  Plus I didn't want to be in a totally new neighborhood with a new dog.  So I did walk around a lot.
> But I remember when I moved to Portland in 1992.  I came home from Seeing Eye with Nat.  I did not know my neighborhood at all.  But I walked around and got lost and got found again all with my third dog Nat.  It actually helped us bond, I think.  But there has to be a certain confidence and determination to do that.  You have to be very motivated to get out by yourself.  If you're not, then forget about getting a dog.  Work toward finding that motivation within you.
> I know a gentleman who has a dog from GEB.  He lives here in Spokane.  He was at my house recently for a meeting.  My husband commented afterward: "I kept waiting for that dog to bite him".  The reason was that he just kept calling the dog's name and not giving him a command.  I'd have wanted to yell at him, "Shut up!" It would be like somebody saying, Debby, Debby, Debby? Debby! The guy adores the dog, but I think it's more like the dog has trained the guy.  Does the dog bring him happiness? Yeah, I suppose so.  But does the dog guide him? I don't think he does too much.  The guy uses Paratransit or a cab.  It's not my place to question GEB, but I just don't exactly understand what the dog does for him, other than provide companionship.  He's a nice dog, too.  I rode in a van with him and his dog for like five hours once, we were all scrunched together and he refused to take the dog's harness off, even though the dog would have been much more comfortable and taken up less space.  His reasoning? "My school wouldn't like it".  So I haven't exactly figured out why he has the dog, and what he does with the dog when he isn't taking Paratransit somewhere.  Perhaps someone could explain GEB's Special Meeds program to me, then I would understand a little more, perhaps.    Debby
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