Posted by: Luigi | January 21, 2009

We love it when people know about Assistance Dogs!

Mum says public education is the best when we don’t have to be the educators!

Mum and I had so much on today, and we are so glad that we did not have an access challenge today – we had the opposite. We had 2 fantastic experinances of members of the public educating others on our behalf. 

Standing at the counter in the post office we could hear a little girl (about 5 years old?) and her mum behind us having the following conversation:
G: “Ohhh a doggie!”
M: “Yes it is a dog”
G: “Are dogs allowed in here?”
M: “Well, I shouldn’t see why not – but do you see the vest that dog is wearing?”
G: “AhhHuhh?”
M: “Well that means its a very special dog.”
G: “Really!?”
M: “Yes, you know those big dogs that help blind people?”
G: “AhhhHuhh” 
M: “Well, he is a bit like that. He helps that lady.”
We did not over hear the rest of the conversation as we were finally served and on our way.  

 

Then we went to the chemist.  The pharamicist’s 2 children were in the store standing at the front counter. They were older girls – maybe at a guess around 10/12 years old. Anyways mum and I have been there once before and the young woman who works in there is lovely. As soon as we walked in she smiled and said Hi.  One of the children exclaimed “Awww, cute puppy!” and made a move to head towards us but the chemist’s assistant instantly said “Yes, but you can’t touch him. He is on duty.” 

 

While we were waiting for the medication the girls asked mum a barrage of questions all about me, one after the other!!!
  • “What do you mean on duty?” 
  • “What does he do?”  
  • “Has he ever let you know your going to get sick before?” 
  • “How does he know?” 
  • “How long does training take?” 
  • “Is his training over yet?” 
  • “How does he tell you?” 
  • “What do you do when he tells you?” 
  • “Where do you get a dog like that?” 
  • “How long have you had him?” 
  • “Hold old is he?” 
  • “Is he fully grown?” 
  • “He is very skinny!”

 

As they asked so nicely mum did answer them and every now and again the chemist’s assistant jumped in with an answer or explanation for us. Like when they asked why they could not pat me – the chemist’s assistant explained about how its distracting to a dog who has a job to do, and if they patted a guide dog it might get distracted and put it’s handler in danger by walking them into a pole or something and that its the same thing even for a little dog. I need to concentrate on my job not being petted by people, but seeing as the girls were so polite mum told me I could visit and say hello. 🙂  

 

Once we had mum’s medication we were on our way to the next appointment and we stopped into the bakery for mum to get a pie, as we were coming out the little girl and her mum from the post office were walking past and asked if they may say hello. I don’t much like little kids – except for my little buddy Corey, but mum lets me off duty when we visit Corey’s house and we chase each other all around the house. But most little kids are too lungy, excited and have no idea how scary it is when they shoot their little hands right into my face to pat me !!! Mum taught this little girl how to kneel down and hold out her hand to be sniffed and so I said hello to her too. 
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