The other day Wiley and I went to a local school to have a chat to the students about Guide Dogs and living with vision loss. In particular I wanted to talk to them about how I use my sense of touch, hearing, taste and smell to compensate for my lack of vision.
I love doing school talks, children ask such interesting questions.
Wiley was very good although he did try to sniff at the ground a couple of times on the school grounds – I suspect there might have been some food dropped around the place.
Getting there was a bit of challenge. When I got on the bus I asked the driver to tell me when we are at the closest bus stop to the school. Unfortunately he forgot and we went past my stop. Fortunately I only went one stop past. I asked the driver how to get back to where I needed to be. He told me I had to back track, that there was a path to follow and no obstacles between that bus stop and the previous one.
As happens quite often when given directions by a sighted person things were not that straight forward. The path ended after about 50m, then there was just dirt. There was also a very tricky road crossing to navigate before I got back to the bus stop I originally wanted. I was so thankful I had Wiley as he guided me flawlessly along the non existent path and helped me safely get across the road. I would have been completely lost and disorientated if I was using my long cane. He really saved the day as without him I might not have made it to the school.
Thankfully the return trip was uneventful although Wiley and I were both tired when we got home. As a reward I gave Wiley a pigs ear and I treated myself to some delicious dark chocolate.