Tag Archive for mobility aid

Splashing in puddles

There are very few instances where I would say my long cane is better than my living, breathing, thinking guide dog; however puddles would most certainly be on the list.

Why you may be asking? Well, it comes down to feedback.

Despite being a Labrador-Retriever Cross, my guide dog Fizz DID NOT like walking in puddles when she is in harness. Which you may think is brilliant for me, however that isn’t the case; as she has no issue with walking me through the puddle as long as she can keep her own paws dry.

So generally the first I know there is a puddle is when I find myself walking in it. The only time I get a heads up that it may be there is because Fizz will walk be either to the left or right of the path so she doesn’t have to walk in it.

This is where a cane is very different. And it can actually give me additional information too on how deep the puddle may be, or how much of the path it covers.

How? I hear you ask….

As a long cane works by sweeping the ground before you, roughly by one and a half steps ahead of me based on the sweeping motion, it can give not just feedback on the objects that may be in the in my path, but the texture and changes of the ground itself.

And when that comes to water, the sound and feel of the sweep is altered.

A shallow covering of water gives very little resistances; yet a deep puddle is like moving a spoon through thick custard.

And as I sweep wirh my cane around a puddle the sound also helps to give feedback on the depth; so that I can try and walk through the shallower parts or even avoid the puddle all together.

Fabulous Five Years

An image of Tee and Vicky (Tees Guide Dog)

Today marks Five Fabulous Years since I was signed off as having qualified with Vicky, my guide dog.  In that time, she has given me so very much, at a time of sadness, sorrow and increasing darkness, she has given me love, support, companionship and above all else….. Independance.

Without her guid are readding ing me, protecting me, showing me the way, I honestly feel that the darkness would have taken over, and it is propable that I may not even be here today to tell you these tales.

I know you, you are reading this thinking “she has sightloss, its not terminal.”  Which yes is true, but with my sightloss, came depression.  And if not treated, it can become all consuming and that can be a terminal illness.

I’m not here to talk of that though, I am here to talk about how much I have gotten from my gorgeous guiding girl.

She is a dog, YES.  But actually, she is a walking, breathing, living mobility aid.

Without her by my side, I wouldn’t be leaving the house.  I wuldn’t be able to take the kids to the park, I most deinately wouldn’t be contemplating returning to Uni next year.

As my guideing star, a friend has nominated Vicky for an award with Guide Dogs.  She is in the final 3 for the ‘life changing award’ to be decided at the annal Guide Dog Gala Dinner, to be held in December in London.

Me and Vicky have been invited to the awards ceremony, which if she wins her catagory, she will also be put forward to be crowed as Guide Dog of the Year.

I am very excited, to win this award wold be fabulous recognition of all that she has done for me.  I already know all of this, so if the judges don’t pick her, it won’t change my ove for her and my appreciation for having her by my side for the past five years.

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