Sunday, July 3, 2011

Great things about being blind. the cell phone.

When I first became aware of cell phones, I thought I would never get one.  After all, I have to concentrate when I'm traveling around.  Why would I walk and talk and be guided by my dog all at the same time.  When I am out with friends and we want to talk, I often hold their arm and heel my dog.  If my dog is working, for one thing, they need to be either ahead or behind people I am walking with.  This is because if my friend is walking right beside me, the dog perceives him/her as an obstacle to be avoided.  Makes sense really and stresses the dog.  So, if my friend is walking behind me or ahead, we can't really have a conversation.  So, I didn't think cell phones would be useful.  My mom urged me to get one just for emergencies.  I soon saw its uses.  First, I could call the bus stop numbers to know when the next bus would arrive.  Since, I couldn't see the printed schedule at the bus stop, this was useful.  If I got lost or turned around, I could call someone.  If I was going to a new place and needed someone to look out their window and give me directions, I could call.  But, I never thought of cell phones as useful in quite this way.
Several years ago, I had arranged to meet a friend and her guide dog for coffee.  we were sure the guides would spot each other.  They knew each other well.
I got to the coffee shop, ordered, found a table, and waited.  My dog was lying by my feet on the floor.  My friend was almost never late.  I too am pretty punctual and so I was surprised.  I waited.  I began to get a little agitated.  Where was she?
I decided to call her cell phone.
I dialed and heard a phone ring near by and then a voice say, "Hello hello."
I'll say in our defense that the coffee shop was very crowded and noisy.  She was sitting maybe 50 feet from me.
We laughed so hard.  There was a gentleman also sitting near by.  Once he understood the situation, he told us that our guides had been lying there gazing at each other.
That would have been one instance when it would have been useful to have a somewhat dog distracted guide dog.

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