Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Glitter Graphics
Which dog will it be? Lab, Goldie, or?
(I know, no Labs or Goldies in this graphic, but it seemed so perfect!!)

My fellow Usherite has started chronicling her first day at a guide dog school. It's so interesting to see what goes on there and how you learn to be a team.

I am so excited for her.

I can't wait to see what kind of dog they have for her. They just know which dog is right for a handler (blind/low vision person) by their needs and personality and where they live.
First you have to give a guiding school personal information, medical records about your eyes, and a video showing the walk around the neighborhood with your cane. Yes, that's another requirement-to know how to use the white cane. (Something I still have to do yet. Yikes. A post for another day. See my old post My Skeleton.) Anyway, after the school evaluates the needs of a blind/low vision person, they already have a dog in mind for that person. Isn't that neat?

Get this, they will see if the dog can be trained to help her wake up to her alarm or hear one of the kids cry. I thought that it would be too much for a guide dog to do double duty. It needs to rest some of the time. Maybe not.

Go over to Kacie's place and share in her excitement.

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At Wed Jan 16, 06:55:00 AM , Blogger lime said...

i remember the excitement for the sister of a friend of mine in trinidad. she had the first guide dog on the island, that was back in the early 90s.

At Wed Jan 16, 09:54:00 AM , Blogger Amrita said...

That 's good. my Sheeba is a good care dog.She informs me of things i can 't hear.

Maybe i need a hearing dog.I will visit your friend

At Wed Jan 16, 12:09:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shari,
Anne, here. Yes, the guide-dog schools do insist that you have already had O and M before you show up for dog training. The dog only follows commands (forward, left, right, stay, etc.) so it is up to the owner to be oriented in space and know what commands to give.
I've often wondered why German Shepherds and black and yellow labs are the current dogs of choice for guiding. Yes, they are good-natured and easy to train, but they both shed tons of fur (real fun for a blind person to clean house after, right?) I've heard that poodles (the large, or standard breed) are the smartest canines out there AND that they do NOT SHED!!Plus, they are good-natured. So there must be some well-founded but mysterious reason why we don't see poodle guides--
Now to see if I can access Kacie's blog. Sounds interesting!


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