White Cane for a Black Dog

Um, wow. Trixie is making me famous. One thing that the school in San Rafael does is send press releases to local media about people coming home with their new woofs. I guess it caught the attention of the Guelph Tribune, so they asked me if they could get a photo and do a little story about us. I said sure, and here it is. I thought she did a pretty cool job. They apparently wanted to put my photo on the front. Um, eek. I don’t know if I need that much fame. But people are seeing us and commenting, so I guess the story did its job. Here it is, in case it ever disappears out of Tribune-land.

Guelph Tribune, Canada
Friday, May 11, 2007

White Cane For a Black Dog

Tribune photo by Paige Hilton

For Carin Headrick, a guide dog brought welcome freedom and a lot of adjustments to daily life. Headrick, 28, was born blind and until now used a white cane to get around. Enter Trixie, a two-year-old black lab. “Everything’s a bit of an art form,” she said, like making sure Trixie is seated properly on a bus so her tail doesn’t get stepped on. Headrick spent a month at the California school Guide Dogs for the Blind where she and Trixie trained together to learn how to navigate such things as escalators, busy public areas, stairways and overhead obstacles. Headrick said getting around with a white cane was slow going, and now she can’t believe how quickly she goes places with Trixie. The dog also attracts a lot of attention, but is learning to do her job and ignore the coos from passersby. “When you have a cane, people look at you but they don’t say anything. With a dog, everyone wants to talk to you,” she said. The process to apply for Trixie was a long one, and Headrick said one of the funniest moments was when people from the school came to interview her and they went for a walk to practise with a dog harness. “Except on the other end was a man holding the harness, and we were walking downtown. He was saying ‘hello’ to people. People must have been staring, and he said ‘Yup, everybody’s looking.'”

Wanna know something freaky? There’s this mailing list called blind news, where it’s some poor person’s job to hunt up all stories related to all things blinky, and they found me! And someone got me in a google news alert! Um, wow. I didn’t know I’d be this famous.

I tried to move the photo into the story, here’s hopin’ I didn’t break it. People tell me it’s cute. Hope it is, or I’ve just humiliated myself. Anyway, hope the people who come looking for things about Trixie enjoy it. I know I haven’t written too many Trixie things lately.

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