Guide Dogs they do amazing things for their blind or partially sighted handlers, they are smart, driven, lovable dogs. They are a means to independence for so many of us. There are some things that I would like to clear up though. Some misperceptions about guide dogs that exist and some funny comments that people have said to me. 


“That is one of those blind dogs right ?” ………..NO………..I hope he is not blind or we are in big trouble ! He is supposed to be the one with good vision ! He is however a Guide Dog which means that I am the one who is blind and he is guiding me around obstacles. 


“So the dog tells you when you can cross the street ?”  No he does not, I need to know when it is safe to cross the street by listening to the traffic pattern. If I tell him forward and there is a car coming that I did not hear he won’t go. This is called intelligent disobedience. He can not tell you what colour the light is or when it is safe to cross the street, that is left completely up to me. 


“Does your dog just take you where you want to go?” No he gets directions from me, I need to know the route that we are going. So I need to know how many streets I need to cross and when I have to turn and about where the door inside is. I can teach Rick routes so he gets to know where we go on a regular basis and he will try to predict where I am going but I need to be the driver. He will find the doors for me into places that I have taught him like the Starbucks we frequent most, the post office, the grocery store in my town as well as the drug store. 


It is ok to stare, point, and talk about us like we are a part of the circus. We don't deserve to be able to go to the store and do our shopping in peace or quickly like you. I get treated like the three ringed circus when we are out only because we look different and I have a dog with me, I am happy to educate most of the time but sometimes I want to go into the store buy my tampons and not be harassed 8 times on the way. Lets face it, it is bad enough that I need to ask the 17 year old stock boy to help me find the super tampons I don't need to try to educate people on why I don't look blind and what kind of dog I have.  I am a human being and want to live my life and run my errands just like you and some days I am in a hurry and just want to get in and out and people need to respect that. 

Hope this helps some people understand Guide Dogs and what they do a little better. If you have any further questions please leave them in the comments ! 


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Until Next Time ! 

Ashley and Rick

Published by Ashley Nemeth