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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Questions. Retinitis Pigmentosa. Guide Dogs.

Cricket and I are nearing our six-year anniversary as a team.  More to follow as we celebrate this special month :).  Cricket and I both enjoy celebrating special days and turning them into a month long of celebration and reminiscing.  Oh how I remember this adorable 19-month old pup coming to meet me with Instructor Toby!  She instantly won my heart.

Cricket and I walked home from church today and she walked directly to the garage door opener.  One of many of the joys of having a seasoned guide dog is there are many things she just knows :) one of which is we come home from church and enter through the garage.  As the door begins to go up, she waits until the door clears my head.  There may have been space for her to walk in but she is continually thinking about me and waits until it is opened all the way so I won't bang my head.

We walked out of church today and she recognized that she needed to walk slow carefully stopping at the base of each set of stairs.  They were icy and snowy.
Necklace and earrings from mom and dad (Coldwater Creek), turtleneck from Steve (Ann Taylor),  skirt from J Crew
Recently in a conversation with someone that I had just met - he indicated you don't look blind.  When this occurs, I try to spend a few minutes visiting about blindness.  I know many people that are blind ... there is not a look - we are all individuals. I explained that I had Retinitis Pigmentosa and our retina is like the film (little out of date analogy :) in the camera.  The outside of the eye, camera,  remains looking fairly healthy even while the film inside is destroyed.

He said,  well you are walking around with such confidence.  I shared with him the story of walking into the post office that I often frequented after getting my first guide.  The postmaster asked me if my vision had been corrected because I was now walking in with such confidence.  That is what a guide dog can do!  

As we were standing there, he also asked me why I wasn't hanging on to Cricket's harness.  I had the opportunity to explain that when she is sitting down and not working, I hold onto her leash.  If it had of been warmer and we both had some time, I would have loved to go for a short walk to show him further what a guide can do.    

I recently also had someone tell me that I had waved as they passed by -- did I see them.  If I hear a car pass by - I simply smile and wave.  I hold the hymn book with Steve even though I don't read the words of the music.  Its still fun to enjoy holding the book and singing together.  There are some things that you just do with or without sight but apparently that sometimes creates questions and presents opportunities to answer questions :) from my perspective.  


Karen said...

That is so informative about Cricket's role. It is amazing the training they can give Guides. Hope you family is happy over the Super Bowl results - I watched Downton Abbey instead. Mom

Retired Duo said...

If I'm on the sidewalk and a car honks as it goes by, I assume I should know who it is (often I don't), so I wave. If the drivers aren't really honking at me, they probably think I'm a bit weird. Oh well. We got more snow last night - not a lot, but it messed up my fine driveway clearing job of yesterday. I hope spring comes early (let's hear it for the groundhog). :)
Pat in Ohio

Kelly Jo said...

LOVED this post! I've always thought that Cricket was incredible, but I apparently had no idea just how incredible!!

I think you should write more posts like this - it's so interesting!

Becky said...

Thanks, Kelly Jo. I will write more about what Incredible Cricket :)!
Agree, Pat - ready for spring!
Indeed, mom!