guide dogs; disability awareness
Once upon a time, many years ago when I was still working with my now retired guide dog, Eccles, we were walking home from the train station. I suddenly became aware that a car was crawling along behind me – matching my pace as I gradually approached home. Now, I am not one to leap to assumptions of evil intent, but it did start to worry me that some unidentified person was stalking me… if stalking is a word that can be applied to a car… and I stopped some distance away from my home and confronted the driver.
“I’m so sorry,” a male voice said, “It’s only just occurred to me that you might be worried. I’m with the local security company and just wanted to make sure you got home safely.”
I could have ranted at him for not considering the implications of his actions, but instead I smiled and thanked him for checking we were okay… though I admit I did wait for him to drive off before completing my walk home.
As some of you know, I started working with my new guide dog, Fiji, last month. Generally I am proud of how well she is working. However, last week we had a… shall we say less than great walk back from the station and I ended up becoming very lost, and very panicked.
Then a car stopped and the driver asked if I needed help.
With the driver’s help I worked out where we were and Fiji and I started to make our way home. I was aware that a car was crawling along behind me – matching my pace as I gradually approached home. Eventually, as I drew up alongside my home, I attracted the driver’s attention to thank him for his help, and he explained why he had stopped.
It turned out to be the same guy who had followed me and Eccles all those years ago
Imagine how he might have responded last week had I ranted at him all those years ago, rather than smiling and thanking him for his help? Would he have bothered to stop and offer assistance this time round?
Maybe yes, maybe no – but I’m really glad I smiled and thanked him all those years ago!