It was a hot sticky day in Sydney as I walked along the leafy suburban street with my first guide dog Jordie. I was wearing shorts and t-shirt, so put my phone and keys in the little backpack she wears – it’s usually filled with plastic bags for when I go on poop patrol.
As I walked past an outdoor cafe my phone rang.
“Hey Jordie,” I said “your phone’s ringing,” as I stopped to unzip the backpack and take the call.
I laughed out loud when I heard one of the latte sippers say to another – “oh look, that guide dog has its own mobile phone.”
Guide dogs often draw attention to the user. This can sometimes be positive – they are an excellent “chick magnet” – but sometimes the attention is not preferred. And sometimes the questions asked range from funny to bizarre.
Here are some I have experienced. I’d love to hear your stories as a build-up to International Guide Dog Day on 30 April.
As I arrive (usually from a female) “Awww, isn’t he cute!”
My response, “Thanks, and the dog’s not bad looking either.”
As I get off the train, from an amazed schoolboy: “Wow, how does the dog know which station to get off?” My reply “She listens to the announcements, just like I do.”
Question to me “Is this the first time you have been here. How did the dog know the way?” My reply: “I let her borrow my GPS.”
I walk into the supermarket, and ask for some assistance to locate the items I need. Response “But can’t the dog find them for you?”
As I get into a taxi: “Does your dog bite?”
My response: “Only when she’s hungry. That reminds me, I haven’t fed her today.”
All of these stories are true. Please share your experiences with me and readers.
Graeme Innes is a man with a smart mouth, who constantly shares what amuses him with the rest of the world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook ágraemeinnes.