After a long day of training with my Guide Dog we are both tucked up in bed early and I thought this would be the perfect time to write a blog post! I knew it would be tiring but not this tiring! Today we have been through an obstacle course and have done some traffic awareness walks. Over three days I think I have walked at least 14 miles! I haven’t walked for any length of time for about a year so my legs do not like me at the moment. Overall I am on course to pass training and get our certificate in just over a week if all goes well! Getting a dog has really got my day into a routine and has given me a harsh reality check, I not only have myself to get up in the morning but I also have a little puppy to think about who wants feeding and loving in return for her guiding. I think once training is over and it’s just me and Olga getting around together it will be so worth everything, all the learning and frustration will equal a great partnership. People don’t realise how much effort it takes to train a Guide Dog. There are so many instructors that take time to make sure they are stopping at every curb, being obedient, moving out of the way of obstacles, enforcing commands such as no sniffing, making them wait for their food until you blow a whistle and much more! All this costs £50,000 pounds and there are some people I know that don’t work their dog so they forget every bit of their training, there are owners that let them on sofas and forget to blow the whistle for food time and then blame the naughty behaviour on the dog, but it’s not the dogs fault, it’s theirs. If anyone is reading and considering having a guide dog, they are the most rewarding things ever but only in return for your input. If you aren’t prepared to work it at least 5 days a week, to feed it, to let it out 5 times a day and to enforce commands then it isn’t right for you.
Dog V.S. cane? I have been a cane user for 5 years, not a consistent one until last year but nevertheless a cane user. In my opinion there is no question that I would choose a dog over my cane as it’s just so much faster to get around. The down sides of a cane include snagging on pavements and concrete, this causes the cane to get stuck in the flooring and hit you in the stomach which is unexpectedly painful if you don’t know when it’s coming. I personally feel a little more vulnerable with a cane as it’s just you and a stick at the end of the day and you have to rely on knowing what the texture of different floorings feel like. It takes more brain power to think about what you are passing and what you are passing next at the same time. It gives me a massive headache! With a dog they lead you around all the obstacles of the pavement and get you to every curb so you can plan routes by counting the number of curbs you pass therefore it’s very quick. I may be biased now as I have a dog but this is just my opinion on independent travel, the dog takes more work but you get everywhere quicker without having to think about bumping into obstacles as well as getting to your destination. My Guide Dog leads me through busy train stations and on trains reducing my anxiety. I would never go to a busy area with my cane as in my mind there are too many things to go wrong!
Other exciting news!! I cannot believe that I am on 1000 subscribers! Thank you guys so much for watching and listening! I really appreciate it. I am reading all your comments on my videos but I can’t reply as quickly because I am training all week. I will film a vlog answering the questions so I will let you know when that’s up 🙂
Thanks so much for reading, I will now go and feed my snoring dog!