Closeup of a hands reading Braille.

Why can't I play with that dog?

WHY CAN’T I PLAY WITH THAT DOG?

Because he’s working. Doing one of the hardest jobs a dog can do. Seeing for his owner who can’t.

To a kid, the world is a playground, a happy-go-lucky place where you leap over streams, and scramble down hills.

But to a blind person, the world is a lot less friendly. Walk down a sidewalk with your eyes closed. There are people to scurry around, bicycles to avoid. And what do you do when you reach the corner?

We all need our eyes to get around. For a blind person, those eyes are often his dog.

And not just any dog. A guide dog is special. It takes him almost six months to learn his job. And another month of just working with his new master. There are curbs and revolving doors, sidewalk hazards and traffic signals to deal with. He even has to judge whether his master can fit through a narrow doorway or underneath a low bridge.

With all those things to worry about, it’s no wonder that even a friendly pat on the head can be distracting.

Instead, you might say hello to his master, just as you would to anyone. And if the blind person appears lost, simply ask if he or she needs help. Never grab an arm or take hold of the dog’s harness. If the person needs help, he’ll ask for it, just as anyone would.

…………….Written by Health-tex. Handy answers to hard questions asked by children in the Heath-tex years.

 
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