After a very busy Wednesday for International Guide Dog Day Wiley and I had a fairly quiet Thursday. We started the day listening to a dawn service on the TV to commemorate ANZAC Day then went on a lovely long bush walk with my friend and her dog.
Later a dear friend dropped in to visit, she is from Northern NSW so we don’t get to catch up in person very often. We had a chat about lots of things including alpacas. I really miss having alpacas and llamas so it was lovely to have a chance to talk about my old life on the farm. It was the first time she had met Wiley who turned on the charm as usual.
As we stayed home Wiley didn’t need to do any work which is what I had planned as I knew the day before had been very tiring for him.
The next day it was back to being filmed, this time for an education video for young children. We had previously done one session of filming but needed to finish off a few things.
In the first session we filmed some of the adaptive technology and equipment I use around my home, including screen readers on my computer and phone, applications that scan bank notes and barcodes to tell me what something is.
We also chatted a lot about Wiley and how Guide Dogs help their handlers. We made it clear that if a child sees a Guide Dog out in public wearing a harness they should not pat it.
We then filmed Wiley guiding me to the local bus stop and into Joey’s Kitchen a cafe at the Watson Shops. We wanted to show that Guide Dogs are permitted in public places like shopping centers, cafes and restaurants. We also filmed Wiley finding things for me like the pole at the bus stop and an empty seat at the cafe.
On Friday we filmed me getting on and off the bus and how Wiley lies quietly under my seat for the duration of the trip. Once again we reinforced the don’t pat message and that Guide Dogs can go on public transport.
We finished off the filming back at home where Wiley was taken out of harness, given a treat and some playtime with me and his toys. I think it is important for people to know that a Guide Dog gets lots of time off duty and they are allowed to be a normal dog.
During the first session of filming Wiley was a little distracted by having a camera person following us, but he was much better and more focused on Friday. It doesn’t take long for Wiley to become familiar and comfortable with new things.
I really enjoyed the whole process – I love the idea of educating young children about Guide Dogs and the interviewer and camera men were really lovely and fun to work with. I am looking forward to listening to the finished product once it has been edited.