This video pretty much sums up so many things I have said over the years about having a guide dog. The one question she didn’t answer, which I get a lot is “how do you pick up after the dog?” Totally legitimate question which I swear I answered here somewhere, but I can’t find it. Basically, you stand out with the dog on leash. Then the dog stops moving, you touch their back to see if they’re just standing and sniffing, sitting with back straight, or sort of squatted. At least that’s the way it goes for female dogs. Males squat to poop but don’t sit to pee, they just stand there. If they’re squatted, you line up behind them, wait for them to finish, then bend down with a bag on your hand and pick up what they left you. Then you turn the bag the other way, and woohoo, you have a bag o poop! It’s trickier in the winter but it’s still the same thing.
Her talking about French commands made me think of an old story which I’ve never written down, so why not write it now? This happened almost 20 years ago, woe! I was a camp counselor at a camp for blind teenagers to learn about computers and other fun stuff. I had been a camper, so it was fun to come back. This time, we had someone there who had a dog from the same school as the dog in the video, so the handler gave his commands in French. But there was also another teenager at the camp who spoke French fluently, and picked up on the whole French commands thing. Let’s just call him a prankster to put it mildly.
I was paying attention to the French commands too, and every night after we had finished up, I would hear the handler saying something about “besoin.” Being an uninformed person, I could not figure out what “besoin” could possibly mean. I didn’t get the pattern that this always happened after we finished up and were coming in for the evening.
Later on in the camp, we were trying to get pictures taken, and the prankster decided to have fun with this poor handler’s dog by giving alternate commands. So the handler would say “debout” (stand up), and the prankster would immediately say “assis” (sit). After a few repetitions of this, the dog just flopped over.
I should have reprimanded Prankster a little more for this interference, but I was young and kind of dumb. Then one fine afternoon, I went to come out into the lobby and was loudly told to stop, because there was a large quantity of dog pee all over the lobby floor. Just then, I heard it, “Carin, he told my dog to besoin!” Of course, the he was Prankster, and now I knew exactly what “besoin” meant. I should have made Prankster clean it all up and stay behind from something fun, but I was young and dumb.
But it made me wonder if dogs that learn commands in another language hear that language so infrequently that they respond a little too readily to it.
Anyway, enjoy the video. I don’t know if I agree with the answering text messages bit, but everything else makes sense.