My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Friday, September 4, 2009

Freedom of being yourself

I've mentioned before I am not a real good cane traveller and that my preference is my beautiful guides. That being said - I celebrate the freedom that the cane has given me and appreciate it as a great mobility tool.
I started using the cane when I WALKED into a stop sign. I began training outside of my neighborhood and gradually my orientation and mobility specialist worked our way back to my home area. I remember the first time I used it in my hometown grocery store. It was scary, awkward, and empowering all at the same time! It felt like I was establishing a new identity of who I was and for a while the blind attribute felt like such a dominant part of who I was. I still remember one of my neighbors saying - oh, wow I didn't expect to see you here by yourself! Love it. Whether its a cane or something else that we have come to be open about ... don't you think it is freeing to just be ourselves.


Katrin said...

For me it was dog 1st, cane 2nd in terms of learning as I went through O&M training 6 years after I trained James. But I have to agree with you, the cane is Very empowering. I still love and prefer the independence and safety I feel when traveling with my dog, but when I learned to use a cane it was like "ok I can do this, now I have a safety if something ever happens to my dog". Before if something happened to James I was back to the limited skills I'd created on my own years earlier (not very safe skills at that, my crossing a road used to scare the living crud out of my mother). It's interesting how different mobility tools affect ones feeling of freedom and independence.

Pat said...

Hi Becky,

My vision is fine and I once walked into a sign on the sidewalk - simply because my head was turned and I wasn't paying attention! Boy, was I mortified. Knocked my glasses off and gave me a bruise on my face the next day. So, being attention-impaired can lead sometimes to the same consequences as being vision-impaired.

Love your blog. Read it all the time.


Anonymous said...

Awesome blog. I remember my first cane use and, well, it was an adventure between myself and a construction site. For some reason the construction site won that battle, but I've use the cane ever since and its saved my but more times than embarassed me. LOL. I'm thinking about getting a dog-guide, and have always been a bit nervous. one day though, I'll brake down, and get myself a pooch companion. I look forward to the fun. keep up the cool blogging. I'll be back to read more.

Dan and Suzy said...

Took me some time to realize I am not defined by my blindness.
Be safe Sugar plum!