Guide dog : the full story!


Well by popular demand by Seahorse I am going to tell you the full details of my application for a guide dog and some background…. i am most probably going to bore you all stupid.

Background

Well in case you hadn’t already gathered I’m rather partially sighted, I was born with cataracts, squints and really small pupils lots of surgery later I have Glucoma as a result of the surgery’s and my pupils can’t react to light and dark, meaning I’m night blind and struggle to see when its sunny and glare is definitely an issue. I also live in a hat (you might have seen my entry titled hats and pubs here).

My eye condition is genetic, my mother has it to. The surgery she has was very unsuccessful, as a result my mum is registered blind and can only see light and dark she has a guide dog called Ian. (there both in the pic on the left)

I also have a Blind auntie, who can see more than my mum and a partially sighted cousin… so theirs lots of us in the family.

Guide dog : the journey so far.

On my 18Th birthday I had a conversation with my mum and dad about applying for a guide dog, they where slightly sceptical but said they wouldn’t stop me so on the 31st of October last year I made the call to start the ball rolling.

My first assessment

was all about what its like to own a dog and to give me more information about applying and what the process entails, its just a friendly chat about how the organisation works. Also I received a self declaration medical form, this is to insure that I’m fit and healthy enough to train with a dog, in my case they then wrote to my GP to check they agreed I would be able to train. Also we talk about my lifestyle and my future and start to get an idea of what dog would be suitable, if I get that far.

The mobility assessment

This was the bit I was most worried about. In this assessment the mobility assessor does a quick assessment of vision, field vision and asks lots of questions about what I can see whilst out and about and about the routes I do on a regular basis, and what forms of public transport I use. More lifestyle questions and then the bit I was most worried about, the assessment walk. on this I demonstrated my long cane skills and my pace, straightness, and road safeness. also there was a traffic assessment to see when I can see and hear cars coming and weather I can see cyclists and stuff.

Now

well that’s all I’ve done so far, slightly abbreviated.

I got a letter through on Saturday saying that my final assessment will be on the 1st of august. In that assessment I will travel to the nearest center and meet a GDMI (guide dog mobility instructor) and go on 2 assessment walks, where I will work 2 different dogs. it will be very nerve racking stuff. At the end of the day the decision will be made as to weather I can go on a waiting list for a dog.

I’m both extremely nervous and excited about the prospect, I will be absolutely gutted if they say no at the end of the day, if they say yes I will be smiling from ear to ear.

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6 thoughts on “Guide dog : the full story!

  1. Thanks Seahorse

    Yer its not very far away I’m sorting out train times to get me there as I type!

    it’s really nice I just rang the center to confirm I could make it and they are going to pick me up from the station and drop me back there, I think they where a tad worried by the prospect of me asking directions to get there!

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  2. I hope the next assessment goes well. My assessments were pretty much the same. I was worried about the mobility one as well, because I wasn’t used to walking around town without someone with me, but it went well.
    Working with the dogs was interesting for me. One of the dogs was great, did everything I wanted. Another one was okay, but we didn’t get on the best. There was also a little black Lab who was a rascal, but for some reason I loved him. I told them I wanted a dog like him and they gave me Cindy.
    Good luck with the assessment. Best thing you can do is relax and enjoy working with the dogs.

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  3. I was going through your past blogs and no! this isn’t boring at all! I love hearing about these things! I asume it went well 🙂

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