My guide dog has given me so much independence and confidence to do things in the 4 1/2 yeas we have been working together, she has also listened to all my woes and never told a soul.
She is now in a stage in her working glide where she is slowing down and her ‘stubborn retriever’ personality is overpowering her guide dog training. But she is still working, I have had to allow myself time to adjust to this slower pace, but a slower guide dog is still a much better option than a long cane. Definitely for me, although I am aware that isn’t the case for everyone.
When she was trained, Vicky also recovered additional ‘target training’ from her handler. This means I can say key words and she will find these for me, for me, this is key when out and about, she is trained for crossing buttons, bins, postboxes, doors, counters and lifts. Since being with me, she has picked up a few extras from the ‘usual’ places we go to. She can now find cash points, she can also find a costa coffee house, even in towns we have never visited before.
But tonight she surprised me totally with her target. Arriving in town we popped to the cashpoint, then leaving there I said “let’s go to the pub then” to which her posture stiffened and she was off, passed the ‘local’ pub that we were stood near into the nicer pub, which was the one we haven’t been in for months and months. But she knew!
The costa coffee I could put down to being a ‘far too regular a route’ but the pub? She didn’t just go to the one we were stood by.
Tonight, after what has been a challenging time with her has just affirmed how much more than a mobility aid she is. She has a memory, she can think on her paws and she does so much more for me than get me from A to B. She keeps me independant.
Oh and tonight she got me a free drink from a stranger while I waited for my friend!!! BONUS