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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Inspiring and Amusing Weekend

As always the Annual Fall Luncheon in Portland was delightful. AS I attend the luncheon and hear the journey of a guide dog, I cry with tears of gratitude and joy. I listen to another guide dog handler's story and am Inspired. It is a delightful experience and a great reminder to not take for granted what I enjoy each day with my guide and all the people and puppies involved. We left without a picture of any of the adorable puppies! We did get a picture of this sweet 5 year old puppy, Cricket with dear friends Debi and Peggy.
Travelling with a guide dog is never dull! Our accessibility was smooth both coming and going, Delta was fabulous. I did sit by some rather entertaining people both coming and going and must share with Amusement (and in fun). Flying to Portland a lady sat down next to me and said You don't have to cage that animal? I explained that she was a guide dog and would sit by my feet and no, I didn't have to put her in a cage! I was a little afraid that she was not going to like sitting by a dog but then I spent most of the flight with her petting Cricket and her telling Cricket not to get too excited. I said - she flies great and if you will leave her alone she will do fabulous (okay, I didn't say it quite that direct!)

Flying back home, the woman sat down next to me and said very loud - I am NOT sitting here! I smiled - (what else can you do). After everyone was seated, she told the flight attendant that she could not sit by this dog! (The dog was curled up in a corner with a seat between me and this lady.) The flight attendant asked her if she was sure she wanted to move and give up the extra leg room in bulk head. She said she would need to move. He left to find someone that would trade seats with her. In the meantime, I began to chat with her and explain a little bit about how nice this Cricket girl was. She started asking me questions about guide dogs, and I answered her questions. Somewhere in there the flight attendant came back and she told him - I'm fine this lady is really nice and says her dog is too! Then, her final comment to me: Don't You have Anybody at Home that Can Take Care of your Dog? I said yes but she is my eyes! I need her! Sigh.

Two additional fun notes of actually fun interactions: As I was sitting waiting to board the plane, I began talking with a lady who indicated her son was blind. At this point, neither one of us knew where the other one lived, etc. She began telling me about the awesome teacher her son had, etc. Not long and we had realized that her son and I had the same amazing mentor.

After getting off the plane, Cricket and I were walking quickly off to catch our cab, when I heard someone call out Becky. What a delight to see Dr. Digre from the Moran Eye Center (where I worked until seven years ago). She said they still miss me ... okay, that made my day!


Ro said...

Hahahahaha!!! People. I had a woman on paratransit recently tell the driver she needed the jump seat because she would not sit near my dog. People. LOL!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Oh my, you must have the patience of Job, Becky! But they say it takes at least 3 times for people to learn something. Maybe after two more contacts with guide dogs, those people will finally get it.

Renee said...

hahahaha, I love this story!!

Reddunappy said...

Glad you had a great time!

It always amazes me at how ingnorant people are! And stuck in thier own little bubble!

Myrna R. said...

Educating people constantly must be a little stressful huh? Still, I'm glad you're doing it with such grace.

wendy said...

OH my GOSH....that is hysterical. Some people are sooooo incredibly weird
My first reaction if I saw a dog on a plane would be that I'd KNOW it was there for some "medical" purpose and would indeed be a very well trained dog.

I imagine after all the reactions you get, you'd pretty much have a come back for anything. good for you.

Retired Duo said...

I too am amazed that in this day and age people do not understand what guide dogs do. But some folks are a little slow on the uptake and others were born rude. Thanks for your efforts at education, Becky. For those who resist education ... well, it's their loss.

Kauaiart said...

So sorry to have missed seeing you. I do love and embrace your stories~

Becky said...

Wendy- My husband often has a humorous comeback. I'm not that quick :>
Suzy -- Missed you - next time! Here or in Utah. Where is the next RPSocial?
RD: Yes!

Lucent Imagery said...

I have humourous or clever comebacks usually two hours after the incident! I echo everyone else's sentiments. You are a wonderful example of patience and tolerance. Can I say also that I don't think anyone would blame you if you did snap at someone occasionally. I know personally it is hard sometimes to be positive in every single moment of resistance that we come up against. As I said in your Oct 28 post on the weekend, you support others so much without even knowing it.

Becky said...

LI: Thank you! Agree, I indeed stand up for myself and realize how much I have grown over the years in confidence in these types of situations, thanks heavens! I was more timid with my first guide 13 years ago.

DCHY said...

I always sigh at those kind of people who don't GET it. Like a waitress being told that I'm deaf and she starts talking to me LOUDLY. Doesn't help. Thanks for sharing - I may do a post on the unusual airplane bust I experienced...and not in a bad way. ;)

3 labs 4 me said...

So fun that Peggy could join us for the luncheon. I miss you. Looking forward to the next time we get together.