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February 22, 2017

Ok, so today we came across a chap, a chap who, frankly made my blood boil. He said he had a guide dog. He went on to say that he wasn’t working her today. I asked him’ how he coped, how he’ successfuly negotiated a long journey without his dog. He told me that it was fine because he didn’t even need a cane. This guy is, to all intense” of purpose, fully sighted. He can read and write print, travel and shop independantly, use IT without access technology. But, when it’s dark, his eyesight fails. So, if I was being very generous, I might be able to understand why he might need a dog if he had a nocturnal lifestyle; if he worked at night, and that work involved travel. But that is not the case. His dog will get very little work, and in the Summer months, next to no work. I think it scanelous that GDBO give guide dogs to people with such high levels of eyesight. It must confuse the public no end, when on one day they come across a totally blind person who may need assistance, and on another day a guide dog owner who virtually has a driving license. Guide dogs used to be given to people with little or no eyesight, but now they are given to anyone who may have the vaguest of vague visual impairments. Having a guide dog is a honour, a previlage and a huge responsability. But this life enhanceing commodity is now akin to a disposable symbol cane. If you can see perfectly well most of the time, don’t have a valuable dog that can go to someone who can’t see, get some cane training instead. In my opinion, GDBO are changing the very notion and perception of visual impairment to the point where totals are even more marginalised than ever. 

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