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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All in a Guide Dog's Day, #3

Cricket's most important job is keeping us safe.  The picture in our header is Cricket at a crossing that we use almost daily.  Before I received my first guide dog, Pantera, I had a long commute on the bus and walking through some busy streets in downtown SLC, so travelling safely to work was an important piece of my choosing to get a guide dog.  Before someone can be trained with a guide dog, they need to have Orientation and Mobility Training and be using a cane.  Thirteen years later, I am so grateful for the freedom and safety that a guide dog has given me. I started out on my walk today with my camera in hand.  What a  fun surprise  to have my parents stop and be able to give them a hug!  They took our picture! In the picture below, Cricket is getting ready to cross this street. She is willing to cross in front of this car (which happens to be my dad's car), because the car is stopped (the engine was off too).
I listen to traffic.  When it is safe to cross, I tell Cricket, Forward.  She checks both ways and if it is not safe, she will intelligently disobey.  If it is safe, she proceeds. 
We celebrate at the other side with a good girl, sometimes a kibble.  Cricket likes a gentle stroke near her ears.  Cricket has crossed simple, quiet streets  as well as extremely busy streets in New York and California.  She is a busy girl during a street crossing  -- focusing on the other side of the street to get us safely there and watching for cars turning that may not see us, upon which she would pull us back if necessary.  This is rare, but when she needs to pull us back it it an amazing experience and cause for much praise and kibble when we are safely out of the street. 

9 comments:

Beth Finke said...

Love this post. A well-written expose on what it takes for our guide dogs to get us safely across streets. Next time someone tries to pet Hanni while she is focusing on traffic at a street crossing, I'll give them the link to this post!

Becky said...

Beth - well said! Love your book. Anyone that hasn't seen Beth's book: Safe and Sound, by Beth Finke. Excellent book for children (and adults).

Pamela and John said...

I love your posts Becky. I learn so much from them!

Jen said...

Loved the posts this week. Great idea. Good girl Cricket!

Clive said...

Great post, Becky!

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

Great description, Becky! You're right, they have so much to think about at a crossing. You can see Cricket takes her responsibility seriously -- what a good girl!

Becky said...

Thanks for your comments!

Lucent Imagery said...

I think it's fantastic that you are doing these posts. I've loved reading your blog for a very long time, but this is my first comment. I think this series is great to raise awareness not only on how Cricket works, but also raise understanding of why trying to get the attention of a working dog can be so potentially dangerous. Love your work!

Becky said...

Lucent Imagery - well said. Yes, these guides are busy and very helpful if they are not distracted.