Last Saturday one of my friends came out for some coffee, music and a chat. I walked towards town to meet her, and decided to take the two dogs with me. *I would only recommend this if you know your area and your dogs really well, and you know how to handle them when you meet people coming with loose dogs running in all directions!*
My friend walked Dougal back, so needless to say the walk home was a bit more relaxing for me and O J.
This friend is fascinated by how guide dogs work, and is always impressed by how O J guides me. I wanted to give her a bit of an idea of what its like having to trust a dog, so I blindfolded her in our garden and O J walked her around my house. Well that was the plan anyway!
One of the mobility officers who visited me when I was small used to blindfold my friends as well if they came to visit. They have had to butter bread, tie their laces, write their names and even use a cane while blindfolded. My family members and friends used to play board games with me, and if they won I probably accused them of taking off the blindfold and cheating.
Blindfolding someone whose used to having full sight, and then telling them to relax while a dog leads them doesn’t really work, no matter how many times they’ve been blindfolded before. I walked in front with O J following me, but I really wasn’t expecting my friend to be soo nervous! O J ignored me and tried to lead her out the gate, hoping she might take him to the beach. I called him before she reached the road and he followed me this time. There are steps to the front of our house leading up to a decking. I never use this entrance with O J, but he thought he’d use it with my friend, who started screaming when he started walking up the steps. She had absolutely no idea where she was or what he was doing, and I was laughing so much I couldn’t tell her. She was very surprised to take her blindfold off and discover where she was. Even though she was terrified most of the time, and thought O J walked very fast, it was an interesting experience.
O J probably thought she was nuts, but she played with him for the rest of the afternoon, so I think he forgave her for putting him through a few minutes of trauma!