Editor’s Note: As we end the month of September and National Guide Dog Awareness Month, we have one more post to share about guide dogs. Earlier this month, Gail Handler a visually impaired writer and blogger, shared excerpts from her training at guide dog school. Now Audrey Demmitt, a seasoned guide dog user, will share about how her years of using a guide dog have assisted her with having a more independent life.
As the birthday of my guide dog, Sophie, approaches next month, I reflect on the numerous ways that she has assisted me over the nearly 5 years I have had her. I came up with a list of the top ten ways to share with you.
10. My guide dog helps me to live a healthy walking lifestyle.
9. With my Guide dog, I am more engaged in my community with organizations like Lions Clubs and local school groups.
8. My Guide dog helps break the ice and start conversations socially.
7. I feel confident and eager to go places with my Guide dog.
6. My Guide dog gets me from here to there with style, grace, and efficiency.
5. My Guide dog keeps me on a schedule and encourages me to play.
4. My Guide dog helps me walk in a straight line, maintaining my balance, pace, and route.
3. My Guide dog assists me to stay safe while walking, avoiding obstacles like curbs, signs, and people.
2. With my Guide dog, I am able to walk with my head up and enjoy my surroundings.
…and the #1 way my guide dog assists me is she provides unlimited love, adoration and devotion which lifts my spirit and enriches my life…what is not great about being adored?!
So, for you who are guide dog handlers, what ways has your dog enriched your life? How has your independence increased? For those who don’t have a guide dog, would you consider getting one? Why or why not. Do you think a guide dog would benefit your life and help you with your independence as a blind or visually impaired person? Share your thoughts and comments.