Friday, May 6, 2011

Great things about being blind. Do guide dogs work all of the time?

People often assume that my guide dogs work 24 hours a day. So, let me clear this up. They do not. People often think my guides guide me around my house. No they don't. When they are home, they are dogs. They sleep and play and wander around. Tulia is snoring on her bean bag bed beside me in my home office. She doesn't have to be here. She could be lying in the sun in the livingroom or anywhere she wants to be. But, she tends to stay in the room with me mostly. When we first bring guide dogs home, it is recommended that we keep them with us on leash for a while. This is so they don't get into bad house behaviours. Yesterday, when I was writing about the sounds of my various guides, I thought about where they like to be in the house. Gwenny liked her own space. She did not usually follow me around except when it was dinner time. Margaret stuck to me like glue and always had to be right with me. We have low windows in the livingroom and she enjoyed looking out of those windows a lot. Tulia seems to like this very much too. Gia liked to lie at one end of the couch or stretched out near the stairs. As she got older, she liked to lie at the bottom of the stairs going to our home office. She didn't always come up here although when Tulia came, she climbed the stairs more often so both dogs could be with me. Tulia likes to lie in front of our couch. She likes to lie by the livingroom window and look out. She loves to lie in any patch of sun she can find. She tends to curl up. Gia would sprawl out. Sometimes the dogs move out of my way. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they wag or move their collars so I know they are there. I just walk carefully and slide my feet so I don't trip on them. They're pretty good about letting me know where they are. So, don't feel sorry for those working dogs. They get lots of down time too. One of the doctors who had patients in our nursing home where I used to work said that she wanted to be reincarnated as one of my guide dogs in her next life.

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