I had a bus driver say something to me the other day that, no matter how many times I hear it, makes me raise my eyebrows. I was getting on the bus, and the driver said, “Wow, you do pretty well without that stick.” At first I just thanked him and sat down, wondering if he didn’t see the dog, or what. that has happened before. I remember when I got off a greyhound bus and the driver gasped because this was apparently the first glimpse he got of Trixie. How people miss a dog I don’t know.
Then I got off the bus, and he said the same thing. Then he added, “well I guess you have the dog, but still…”
And I sighed. People still don’t know what the dog is for. People think I just got the dog to feel safer or better. There are still people I encounter who say “Oh…you’re going to bring the dog? Oh…hmmm.” Well of course I’m going to bring the dog. She serves a purpose.
The other day, I went to a meeting and the lady who ran it said “And of course Trixie is welcome.” I must add that this was at a meeting of folks who are trying to remove accessibility barriers. I should hope she’s welcome. I would be appalled if she was anything but welcome. Whenever I think about this statement, I’m at war with myself. Part of me just thinks she was joking or trying to say “You won’t have any problems here since sometimes guide dog handlers run into denials of access.” But part of me thinks she had to ponder this question herself and had to make the decision that the dog could come. I’ll never know which one it was.
I am very happy that we’ve come a long way since the first guide dogs were used. But oh my, it amazes me how many people somehow never learn this stuff.