Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great things about being blind. That dog is working.

The public continued to amuse me yesterday.  A little bit of our interactions were infuriating but mostly amusing.  I can't believe this happened three times in one day.  Since it did, I figured it worthy of a blog post.  Tulia and I were walking along the sidewalk when a dog on our right (not too close to the sidewalk) started barking excitedly and jumping.  I could hear the nails clicking and the collar rattling.  Tulia looked over.  I told her to continue and she did.  All the time, the man is saying, "Now Jasper.  That dog is working.  You can't go up to that dog."
I always wonder in these cases, how does you dog understand you telling him/her that the dog is working?
And how does the dog know what to do when encountering a working dog?
Not sure why people say this.
Maybe to tell me there's a dog there.
Anyway, Jasper didn't get the concept.  He strained on his leash, made choking noises, barked and bounced.  We were carrying on getting further from him.  The man kept saying,  "Now Jasper.  That dog is working.  You need to stay here."
Okay.  He did stay there but didn't seem happy about it.
Next, there was a dog tied to a post.  It jumped forward and barked at Tulia.  A more aggressive bark.  The man with the dog said,  "Don't bark like that.  That dog has an important job to do."  The dog was running forward and was about a foot away.  Tulia was distracted.
She too is a dog by the way.
I stopped her and got her to sit.   Then I asked if the man could hold onto his dog and maybe get it to sit.
"I'll try," he said sounding a bit doubtful.
Then, he proceeded to explain to his still barking dog, that my dog was special and working and not to be bothered.
A simple, "No.  Quiet.  Sit." or something would have done better I think.
I decided Tulia was focused and we proceeded on.  She looked at the dog a little but was good.
Then, last night, just as it was starting to rain and when we were coming back from our last walk, this man approached with a dog.
He says to me.
"Now I have a dog here."
I knew he did.  You could hear it huffing and pulling and bouncing.
"I have a dog here and my dog doesn't know a seeing eye dog from a hole in the ground.  Can they say hi."
I explained not when my dog was working in  her harness.
So then he says to his dog,
"That dog is working.  Be good.  That dog is working.  We are going to walk past that dog."
Again, the dog had not read the memo on how to deal with working dogs.
The man had to pull his dog up the street.
Tulia does not like rain and was more focused on getting us home all dry than on the last dog we met.
So, any thoughts as to why these people tell their dogs, "That's a working dog?"
Maybe I should start saying to Tulia, "Oh Tulia that's a non-working dog.  It isn't as well behaved as you?"
Bet that would earn me a few enemies.

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