Travelling with a guide dog http://www.guidedogs.com.au 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?