The unfortunate rewards of having a guide dog. Bree attracts people by just being a dog
Bree never ceases to amaze me…
It’s incredible when I speak to other people living with disability and the fact that they feel invisible in the community. I have experiences that myself, especially when I use the cane.
In one instance, I was walking along in a shopping centre with my cane, and I was nearly bowled over by three different people who actually said “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”
Don’t get me wrong. I like being a little unnoticeable. I have never felt comfortable being the centre of attention. I think a lot of it has to do with confidence. I don’t think I’m the only one who suffers from this, however at times, I would like to be noticed.
One of the biggest things I had to get over when I first got Bree was there was nowhere to hide with a guide dog. It’s a bold statement, telling everyone you’re blind. I have a friend who uses a wheelchair, and he totally understands where I’m coming from.
Despite the obvious image of having a guide dog, people are quite creative about how they approach the subject of me being blind. “What’s your service dog’s name?” they sometimes ask. I understand. They don’t want to appear ignorant, but I would never be insulted if someone came out and said, “What’s your guide dog’s name?”
The best one I ever had was jumping in a taxi and the taxi driver asking, “Is that a blind dog?” I couldn’t resist and said “Yes, she is. I’m her guide.”
An aspect of having Bree was made obvious to me by my wife one day. We went to the local public swimming pool. I tied Bree to a bench under some shade and went in for a swim with my wife and kids.
About five minutes later, we were in the middle of the pool and my wife said, “Have a look at Bree.” I couldn’t, it was too far, so I asked what was happening.
She said, “She has three young women in very skimpy bikini around her, patting her.” My wife was extremely disappointed. Technically, I don’t let anyone just pat Bree without my consent, but in this situation, what was I meant to do? I said to my wife I should talk to the ladies. There was no way my wife was going to allow me to sort this out.
Meanwhile, Bree was lapping up the attention.
So, what did I learn?
If you no longer want to be invisible, get a guide dog. Then again, women notice the dog, not me.