You can take that to the Bank

Guide dog asleep
Arrow the guide dog taking a well-earned rest

Travelling with a guide dog is a great way to get around- it removes some of the stress of travel, and can have other advantages. Many is the time I have walked into a room or lift and heard – “Aw, look, beautiful,” or “Sooo cute”. To which I usually reply: “Yes, and the dog doesn’t look bad either”.

I had completed a meeting with some senior bank officials in Brisbane. Walking with my guide dog, I got into the elevator on the 30th floor of their building at the same time as another person. The lift buttons were not marked with raised letters or Braille, so I didn’t know which one to press. Turning to the other man in the lift I said: “Could you press the button for ground please?” I got no response.

Thinking that he may have a hearing impairment – I am the disability Discrimination Commissioner after all – I looked directly at him, so he could read my lips, and said a little more loudly “Could you press ground please?” Still no response.

Puzzled, I reached over and tapped him on the shoulder, and repeated my request.
“Oh,” he said, “Are you talking to me. I thought you were asking the guide dog.”

My dog’s good, but she hasn’t learned to read lift buttons yet!

Graeme Innes travels with a black labrador guide dog called Arrow, and spends some of his spare time thinking up funny responses to such questions as- “What’s your dogs name?”
“Can your dog read bus numbers?” and
“Does your dog have its own mobile phone?”

What funny guide dog questions have you asked or heard? Have you ever said something embarrassing to a guide dog user? Please tell me about it?

4 thoughts on “You can take that to the Bank

  1. As a long time partner of a guide dog this article made me laugh out loud! Yes my dogs have always been gorgeous and smart but really?..
    Your article reminded me of my most humorous experience- I have RP with a very small field of vision remaining. I was waiting on a crowded train station around 3.30pm. This is not a good time for train travel due to the large number of school kids! My dog and I were waiting patiently with my dog being very professional when a group of about 5 teenage students came up to the dog, knelt down in front of him and started rubbing his ears etc. I asked them politely to please leave my dog alone as he was working but they continued so I asked a little more firmly ( I used to be a school teacher) and was still ignored. Whilst trying to determine what to do next the students moved away. Taking a deep breath, I looked around to determine where the students had gone- only to pick them up about 5 feet away communicating with each other via sign language! Yep the ‘blind lady’ had asked the deaf students to please leave her dog alone. I often wonder what people behind me must have thought! I still chuckle when I think of it now.
    Working a guide dog increases my mobility and independence beyond measure but it certainly requires a sense of humour and an ingrained resilience!

  2. Was in the supermarket going to buy a product I always buy and with limited sight, was able to know what it was anyway. It was not there. I clearly made the mistake of talking to the dog, without realising a woman was behind me, and said “it doesn’t look like they have it, well come back another time”. To which I got a reply from the woman behind ” the writing on those labels is quite small and squiggly, it might be hard for the dog to read, would you like some help”!!!

    I can guarantee that the writing is too small and squiggly for the dog, she is after all just a dog! Never ceases to amaze me the stupid questions or comments I seem to get.

  3. I travel with a toy seeing eye dog on my cane because I got so sick of being asked if I was getting a guide dog. I am on the waiting list now, but before I decided to apply for a dog, whenever anyone asked me I would tell them that already have one and point out the toy on my cane. My old one was a guide dog named Henry who sort of looked like he was being hung as the only way I could keep him there was by putting his head through the small loop of elastic right at the end of the cane, but since seeing eye dogs have toys with keyring clips on them, my latest one is a brown labrador named cadbury…after all what else do you call a chocolate labrador! It certainly makes life more entertaining for me and reduces the myriad of questions that follow the usual yes or no answer to the same question.

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