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February 4, 2014

Picture the scene – I’m in my local post office/convenience store. It has taken a while, but the Indian proprietors are finally getting used to my large, hairy, black Labrador guide dog, Oliver. That said, every visit is fairly amusing, as the chap who runs the post office is very friendly, but lacks some basic communication skills.

“Hello! Mate, hello Ollie!” he exclaims cheerfully from behind the glass.
“Hi,” I reply. “How are you?”
“Oh…” he trails off and sings along to the music that plays behind him.
“Just a couple of boxes.” I say, “Braille books, they don’t need weighing or paying for.”
“Ok good.”
“Where shall I put them?” I ask, taken them out of my rucksack.
“Over here, to your right… no, right…”
“That is my right,”
“That is my right!”
“That’s your right, you mean my left?”
“My left…”
“Your left or my left?”
“My left…”
“Where do you want me to put the boxes?” I should say at this point that it would have made life a great deal easier if he had jjust taken the boxes off me. But, through fear of Oliver, OCD, or some other issue, he has never physically taken anything out of my hands.

Eventually, after a bizarre exchange of confused directions I located the precise spot where he wanted the parcels to go. I smiled, said thank you, bought a KitKat and a Star bar and left.

On leaving this is what I did:

“Find the door… find the steps… find right…” in fact, my dog was asked to go right three times and left four times before we got home. Now, whilst I appreciate that English isn’t necessarily everybody’s first language, there is no excuse not to know your left from your right. Oliver doesn’t speak a word of English, he’s a sodding Labrador, but at least he knows his left and right!

One Comment
  1. amybovai permalink

    BJ, I enjoy the anecdotal aspect of your writing! I can see how the situation must have been exasperating, but it’s rather humorous as well. These kinds of things happen to me, too.
    I see that you’ve written a book … Chasing the Shadows … is that about coping with your sudden vision loss? I’d like to know a little more about it.
    If you get a chance, check out my site:

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