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Guide Dog Lesson to Drivers

  • Published: 2008-06-06 (Revised/Updated 2009-01-06) : Robin Kettle.
  • Synopsis: I saw a lady with a guide dog pass my window and before she had managed to disappear from view she stopped.

Main Document

I saw a lady with a guide dog pass my window. Before she had managed to disappear from view she stopped.

I saw a lady with a guide dog pass my window. Before she had managed to disappear from view she stopped.

After a minute or so I watched as she signaled her dog to walk forward, the dog however remained sitting and refused to budge.

This continued for another minute or so until. I was so puzzled by it that I went out to see what was happening.

Sure enough the woman was still standing and trying in vain to get the dog to move forward.

I approached and asked what the problem was.

She explained that a car a few yards ahead had its tires on the kerb and its motor running. In a situation like this the dog is trained not to proceed but will wait for the car to either move on or have its engine turned off.

As I looked at the car I was able to tell the blind lady that in fact there was no one in it (the driver had mounted the kerb, left the engine running and popped into a shop for something, I waited another 2 or 3 minutes until the driver (I wont say whether a man or woman driver) returned and hopped into the car totally oblivious to the inconvenience she had caused.

I pointed out what had happened to the driver who seemed a little embarrassed and shot off in the car.

Only a week or so later I saw the same thing only this time I had the answer.

Some yards from my office is a dirt track crossed by a footpath Once again the same blind lady and her dog were on one side of the path, the dog sat on the pavement and the lady signaling for it to move forward.

This time a van driver was parked at the side of the dirt track reading a newspaper with his engine running. As this is a dirt track there is no kerb or pavement so once again the dogs training meant it would not take its owner in front of a car with its engine running whilst not entirely on the road.

I was able to explain to the van driver what was happening and he immediately switched the engine off and the dog got up and crossed the dirt track.

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