My friends, the other day, at the Trader Joe’s (grocery), I prevented a mass collision of all kinds of dramatic sorts.
Let me explain.
This past Sunday morning I was guiding my mom into the store. At the same time, a clerk was pushing in a line of stacked back-to-back carts. My mom was oblivious to them. I however, was not. I remembered my training from Guide Dogs for the Blind. I came to a sudden stop when I concluded there would not be enough time for me to guide my mom further forward without us being run down.
My coming to a sudden stop was a que to my mom that we had an obstacle of some kind in our way. She saw with her peripheral vision (her central vision is impaired) a red line and heard the sound of the carts. Mom realized what I had just done for her— that this Bug came to her rescue once again, wags.
The clerk stopped at the same time I did. He was thoroughly impressed with my guide dog skills.
Are you impressed, too?
After that, I went on to guide my mom to shop for her groceries. We were shopping with a store clerk. My moms visual impairment prevents her from being able to see to read print. I do a lot of things for my mom, but I leave the reading up to her human assistants. I guided mom to the stores customer service desk where she requested help shopping. The clerk helped her by reading to her the prices of items, ingredients, and etc.
I listened to my mom as I guided her through the store and she gave me directions to “follow,” “Junebug, left,” and “Junebug, right.” I guided her around poles and other peoples carts. The cool thing is with me as her transportation, unless she sees these things in her peripheral vision, she doesn’t even know they are there. You got it, I guide her right around them. Safely, of course. How cool is that? My mom says it makes for a smooth ride, wags.
My favorite isle at the grocery, paws down, is the dog food/treat/toy isle. I always make a premeditated effort to take a trip down this section.
Lastly I guided my mom to the checkout counter. She used her knowledge of the stores layout and her ears to direct me to the general area. She then gave me the command to “find the checkout.” And, I found it for her, wags!
My mom said she is so grateful and thankful for the extra independence having me as her guide gives her.
This Bug has skills. If I’m guiding and it’s not safe to continue, I’ll stop in the name of love. Admittedly, part of that might be a little self-preservation. 😉
When we got home, mom put up the groceries and proceeded to give me a great big tummy rub. They are the BEST, ever. While she was rubbing my tummy, I couldn’t keep my tail from wagging (see video). I was a proud Bug.
Oh oh oh, and guess what? That evening, my mom bought me a new toy. She bought me a stuffing free bunny rabbit. It’s soft, crinkly, and squeaks. I LOVE it!
Here’s the truth. The truth is, I love my mom. We are one PAWsome team. I love doing a good job and I am proud to be a guide dog for the blind.
* Note from my mom, Margeaux: Thank you for following my guide dog, Junebug’s adventures. I am an advocate, motivational speaker and artist. I also happen to be partially blind/visually impaired. Please feel free to visit my site margeauxgray.com If interested in contacting me and or booking me (and Junebug of course, too!) for your event, please click here and fill out the contact form. I will reply to your email in which I’ll attach a speakers request form and an honorarium and travel guidelines document.
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