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Topic: anyone ever had a guidedog that didn't work out?
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Post 1 of 42pisces_dreamer
Veteran Zoner
66 posts
Thursday, 17-Dec-2009 20:24:13

hi all,
i did have a dog, zonta, as some of you may have seen on other boards, but sadly and regretably, she was only with me for about six weeks, and i'm just wondering, has this happened to anyone else, and did you get another dog after?
there were three main reasons why i feel it didn't work out.
I do feel it was a bad match, as when we were on class, she was the perfect dog, at least when she was indoors, meaning, she was quite content with her own company, and wouldn't look for attention, but gladly received it when it was given to her, which of course it was! However, after we got home, she became, extremely needy, i couldn't do anything, and i mean anything, without her wanting attention! this didn't suit me, i couldn't play music, as in guitar either, she would bark at that two, and also at important times, for example, i was somewhere that a very important speech was been given, and she had to be taken out because she was barking and howling!
secondly, i believe the fact that i was living at home at the time did play a part two, some family members took to her, some didn't, and some wanted to be two involved also, and i was given a lot of wrong advice at the start, for example, let the dog off the lead, it's her house two! She ate things out of rubbish bins and everything before i got this sorted out! Also, because of being off the lead, it got to the stage where she didn't want to follow me or be near me or anything, bear in mind i was doing obedience sessions and everything regularly! We did get this sorted to a degree and then the final straw came when i got sold the wrong food for her, and she was hyper for that week, and just never got back to herself, it was like she decided, in that week, that she just didn't want to work anymore! the work went very quickly down hill after that, and i made the very tough decision to give her back.
all i want to know is, because i definitely believe in a different set of circumstances and in a different time and place it will go differently, has anyone here ever had anything similar, like for any reason had a guidedog partnership not work out, and then have another one with success?
Responses appreciated,
Kerie

Post 2 of 42PinaColada
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1612 posts
Friday, 18-Dec-2009 0:03:03

hi there,

i know it is not something that is absolutely incommon for the partnership didn't work out as it expected. may i know, what school your dog guide from, and do you have any after class follow up with the trainer? it might be a good idea to talk those problems with the trainer...
first few weeks is very important, i don't know about your school, but, as when i did my training, the instructor have a very strick restriction on other interaction with my dog guide beside me, etc etc.

regarding the success rate with another dog guide, it will be depends with the next match.

still, i do think it is a good try to talk this thru with your trainer to start with, and get the ball balling from there.

good luck

cheers

Post 3 of 42Lupinsgirl
I can't call it a day til I enter the zone BBS
224 posts
Tuesday, 22-Dec-2009 18:38:34

I did have a guidedog that didn't work out, granted it happened in class. Still, it was tarible nun the less. I went to gdb in auggist, and was given a pup named Myra. She did great for the first week and a half, then she started to act....funny. She would walk me into people and objects, she would overshoot the curb, and she would not pay atenchen to me. It got to the point ware I would have to corect her so hard her frunt feet would leve the ground, and even then, she would pay atenchen for like 2 minuts and go back to what ever she was doing. After alot of talks with my trainers, we desided that I should give it a shot with another dog. So in the 3rd week of class, I got my guidedog Pria. Couldn't have been a better switch. She's more outgoing, and as long as the treats and love keep comeing, she's happy to work for me, and will sometimes love on me until I have to push her off. Lol
I hope and pray that you will be able to find the rite dog for you.
Please take care,
Tracey and Pria

Post 4 of 42turricane
happiness and change are choices
1176 posts
Wednesday, 23-Dec-2009 11:13:37

well i just returned from gdb in oregon. the program was wonderful, the instructures were superb, but after all that, i decided that a guide dog was not for me. in july, i lost a pet dog with whom i was very close. somehow i got the two roles confused. after going through the training, i decided that as much as I loved my fess, the partnership wasn't for me. when we have a pet, they aren't with us 24/i7. additionally, i had been a cane user for 40 years. the way i had to interact with tne environment was completely different. i couldn't make the transition easily. the school was relatively satisfied with me, but I wasn't with myself. remember, that you are the owner of the dog as well as your destiny. whatever others think or feel is immaterial.

Post 5 of 42turricane
happiness and change are choices
1176 posts
Wednesday, 23-Dec-2009 11:14:24

oh i forgot the most important thing, after I returned, we got a wonderful labradoodle puppy. i couldn't be hapier.

Post 6 of 42SisterDawn
The Zone's Morning Star
2526 posts
Wednesday, 23-Dec-2009 12:06:50

Hi, Kerie. Yes, I had a guide dog that didn't work out. I got Dusty, who was a Yelow Lab, from Leader in 1998. I truly believe he was a good match for me in every way: his walking style, his personality and mine, etc. He was well-trained, and I had very few behavioral issues with him.

I had two problems. One is that I've had a cane in my hand since I was about four years old. I had not realized just how different traveling with a dog would be. I trusted Dusty, and yet I was too used to receiving tactile feedback about my environment, too used to being able to explore with my cane when lost as opposed to moving my feet around, etc. I just could not get used to such a different mode of travel.

Second, I was just starting college at the time, and I think I was trying to make too many adjustments at once. Moving away from home, college, a new guide dog, and so on. I think I took on too much too quickly. My instructor at Leader had hinted at this during my training, but of course didn't come out so far as to tell me not to get my dog. But in the end, he was right.

I returned Dusty to Leader after about five months of having him. I tried to give it a chance, thinking that maybe I was being hasty, but when it all came down, I'm far more comfortable traveling with my cane. There are times I wonder about getting another dog. Now that circumstances are different, would a dog work for me this time? However, I think if I really examine myself, I am still far more comfortable with my cane, and getting a second dog would likely not work again.

Anyway, just my story.

Post 7 of 42pisces_dreamer
Veteran Zoner
66 posts
Wednesday, 23-Dec-2009 18:15:30

thanks for replies so far guys, sister dawn, great to hear your story, you are so brave for being able to make that decision, it was hard for me when i decided it wasn't going to work, as i'm sure it was hard for you also.

Post 8 of 42PinaColada
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1612 posts
Wednesday, 23-Dec-2009 18:36:13

to have a guide dog involve lots of decision making and stuff.
as i'm a guide dog user myself, i do understand the dificulty involve on having a dog, specially when i live by myself. it require lots of tention, and, what i will call "after work care".
lots of people mistaken the role of guide dog and pet dog. even though they are out of work, they shold always keep in a good behavior, so that it making sure both the master and the dog won't gets detrain, specially so with the dog. this means, the guide dog user itself needs to keep good respondsibility on all the dog's behavior, a dog can be easily detrain in a blink of an eye and it can take a while for them to retrain.

having a guide dog involve lots of commitment, some of those commitment is huge. it is not as scarry as 24/7, but it is a respondsibility to make sure the dog is well care for.

at the point of writing, i'm not having my guide dog with me because i'm traveling around for a bit. i'm using cane, and i must say, i'm quite happy to be dogless for a little while, and enjoy the freedom of having cane. although it have the advantage and disadvantages of having a guide dog, but yet, for me, Yasmin, my dog guide has become my faithful companion more than anything else. she's great when she's working, she's a princess when she's not.
however, not everyone are suitable to have a guide dog for a loads of different recent, and any pertential guide dog user should think carefully before deciding either to have a guide dog or not.
it is not as easy as when you get home, you can just put it a part, and forgot about it till the next time you need the dog again, it is a life companion that involve strong commitment, respondsibility, and strong companionship

Post 9 of 42Persevere Warrior
Account disabled
123 posts
Tuesday, 18-May-2010 19:05:36

I've had two different guide dogs and they just don't work for me. The first guide dog was a yellow Labrador named Boomer that liked stopping in the middle of the street and I couldn't get him to start walking again. He also ran me into a pole. When I asked if they could match me with another dog Southeastern said no that I just had to give him time. I gave the training nine days but nothing changed. I felt safer with my cane, so I left. A year later, I went to the Seeing Eye and they matched me with a golden retriever named Harold but the same things happened. They didn't want to switch the dog but this time I decided to give it time and I went through the month training and brought him home but nothing really changed. He liked taking me to my friends even when I didn't want to go over to them. He would also get up and leave me if I was sitting. The last thing that he did was that he saw my friends car, pulled on me so hard that I let the leash go, he ran to my friendís car, got in, leaving me, and when I called him to come back and get me, he wouldn't. When I called the Seeing Eye for them to come out and help me, they said that I socialized too much and that guide dogs work well when I was alone and didn't socialize. I told them that it was hard to socialize. They told me that if I was still going to keep socializing to send the dog cargo back to the Seeing Eye. I said no that they would have to come get him because I wouldn't send him cargo. They came to get him a month later. I wanted to keep him as a pet but they wouldn't let me.

Post 10 of 42SisterDawn
The Zone's Morning Star
2526 posts
Tuesday, 18-May-2010 20:30:52

I don't blame you for not being willing to ship the dog back as Cargo. Thankfully Leader did not ask that of me, but even if they had, I would not have done it. I would have told them the same thing: that they'd have to come and get him. But as I said, they had someone who was going to be in my area anyway, so that person picked Dusty up and took him back to Leader.

No school is going to let you just keep a guide dog as a pet. Not when they can refresh the dog's training and match him/her with a different owner. and if not that, then the school will retire the dog from the program, and find a permanent owner for it.

Post 11 of 42Persevere Warrior
Account disabled
123 posts
Tuesday, 18-May-2010 23:58:15

Yeah I know. I just grew attached to him. I did call a few months later and he was retrained and with a man. Ever since then I've tried having a sheltie puppy and a chihuahua but they wouldn't listen and kept peeing all over the house and biting me so I had to sell them.

Post 12 of 42SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Sunday, 06-Jun-2010 16:28:42

I don't have any words. If two different dogs were peaing everywhere and biting you, and you flunked out with two guide dogs, I must come to the conclusion that you are not a good dog handler. I can't believe that you would honestly expect TSE to let you keep a perfectly retrainable guide dog. I just can't believe that a reputable school like TSE would suggest that you send a dog back cargo. That is insane, and I just can't believe that they would ever do that with one of their dogs, not in a million years. Why would you sell dogs, take money for dogs who were biting you, and agressive? That is not fair to the people who baught them from you. Wow, I am just agast over here.

Post 13 of 42faithful angel
I'll have the last word, thank you!
974 posts
Monday, 07-Jun-2010 3:24:35

I know that GDF, which is the school that I got Whitney from, it would depend on how old the dog was as to whether or not I'd be able to keep her as a pet. I mean, if Whitney was old, I could, but I think if the school felt like she could work a few more years, they'd place her with someone else. I have heard of stories where the dog didn't work out. I have 2 friends that that happened to, and it was tough on them. I have to agree that traveling with a dog was sort of hard in the beginning. I had to rely on my ears a whole lot more, but as my O and M instructor pointed out, I had the skills. I took in this information all the time, I just had to really focus on it.
I'll be honest, I've also seen guide dogs who quit working or started acting up because their owners, in my opinion, didn't care about them like they should. It may sound crazy, but I believe that dogs can sense they are loved and that can play a part on whether or not the match works. I'm not saying that anyone who has posted didn't love their dogs, because I do not know any of you.I'm just discussing what I've seen out of some dogs and their owners.To me, if you are going to have a guide dog partnership, you really really have to love the dog, and love it enough to discipline and whatever else. I mean, having a dog can be tough. Some days, I feel like I have to correct Whitney all day long. I mean, we have good and bad days, but the thing is to be consistent. LOL, sorry for the speech. Again, that was not directed toward anyone.

Post 14 of 42faithful angel
I'll have the last word, thank you!
974 posts
Monday, 07-Jun-2010 3:33:07

To poster 12, I knew of someone who had had 5 dogs and 4 out of the five had had IBS, which means that she had stressed them out severely, and she was allowed to get a 6th dog but only because she threatened to take the guide dog school to court. I'm not sure where or how poster 9 became a bad dog owner. I mean, I don't know all of the details, but...yeah. I will say this though, you have to be really careful in the first few months after you've brought the dog home. I know I didn't let anyone hardly even play with Whitney for the first few months until I knew we had bonded. It's very important to insure that you and your dog have bonded before you start really being social. As for having the 2 dogs that peed all over the house and would bite, couldn't that just be temperment, and maybe poster 9 didn't know how to work w/them? I'm just saying!

Post 15 of 42RissBits
Zone BBS is my Life
292 posts
Monday, 07-Jun-2010 13:40:27

there's no way that can be true. when you leave seeing eye. the day you walk out you own the dog. They can't ever take it, not even if you are abusing it because they gave you all ownership. but if they here about that they will get your local animal control involved and if you are hurting it they will get them to take it away, then take it back from them and retrain it if it is posible. I'm at seeing eye right now and its working out great!
So there's deffenetly a part of the story you are leaving out. if you ruin a dog but are still taking care of it then they will offer you training, if you refuse then they will simpley take the harness which they still own and you keep it as a pet. they won't allow you to come back, of course.

Post 16 of 42SisterDawn
The Zone's Morning Star
2526 posts
Monday, 07-Jun-2010 18:43:13

SensuallyNaturally, way to go for having the guts to say what I wanted to, but didn't. Anyone who is having the problems describe by PersevereWarrior is clearly not a good guide dog handler, or dog owner, for that matter. I'd say those are definitely problems on the part of the human, not the dogs.

Post 17 of 42jen91_09
Zone BBS is my Life
256 posts
Tuesday, 08-Jun-2010 10:11:42

I agree with poster 12 and 16, but thats ok. Some people just arent good with dogs and do better with a cane. I knew somebody in my GDB class who sent his dog back after a week of being at home because after he left his dog at home when going out his brother fed him waaaay to much food and the dog got really sick. He made the decision to not keep him because he realized that the environment was not good for the dog. Many people choose dogs, but a lot more choose canes. I love my dog and would not volintarily go back to a cane unless I absolutely had to, but I respect those who have tried with a dog and it doesn't work out.

Post 18 of 42sugarbaby
The voice of reason
2426 posts
Wednesday, 09-Jun-2010 8:40:26

They say that it takes between a year and eighteen months for a proper partnership to develop. So if one felt after a matter of just weeks that it wasn't working out then I would say that guide dog ownership wasn't for you rather than that the dog was flawed in some way.

As for the poster whose dog walked her into a post on one occasion and she then sent it back, while obviously it's not ideal that a dog might walk you into a post, I think people do forget sometimes that these are dogs we're dealing with and they are not infallible.

I know people that have had multiple dogs retired for behavioral issues, but when you know the people it's not hard to see that they are the ones that have caused the issue.

Having said all that, it does also happen that a dog's training breaks down for some reason, or that associations do put out dogs that essentially should never have been qualified.

My second guide dog was retired in February due to perceived agression towards other dogs. When I was matched with him four years ago the trainer informed me that one of his issues was that he had a very signifficant dog distraction problem. This didn't really come out so much in training, presumably because he was still devleoping the relationship with me and didn't have the confidence to behave in this manner. But as months ticked by his issue became more and more pronounced and he would bark and even growl at other dogs. He's not agressive, off lead (we free run our dogs here which I am aware does not happen in the states) he is absolutely fine with other dogs, it's only when he's restrained. But obviously the owners of the dogs he barked at don't know that he doesn't mean them harm.

Guide dogs had very little intrest in this issue, until a member of the public rang them and complained. Then suddenly their public image was at steak and he was retired.

To say that I am bitter about it is somewhat of an understatement. They knew full well of the dog's issue with other dogs when he was training, and yet they chose to ignore it, so they let me build up a relationship with the dog only to whip it away as a guide once their image was on the line.

I have since retrained with another dog and have kept Tizzy as a pet.

Post 19 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Thursday, 10-Jun-2010 15:30:30

I think it does definitely behoove one to be honest about how you'll be with a dog, for sure. I'll never have one for the simple reason that I wouldn't bond with it, would always remain somewhat detached and that from what they say these animals are highly emotional and dare I say needy creatures for whom plenty of food, a warm place to stay, plenty of exercise, good vet care, good hygiene is far from enough.
Now if I lived in an area where a dog was needed to perform some outside tasks or something, I could probably support such a creature and it would fare quite well. But naturally the expectations of a creature like this are far greater. I say all this because being honest with yourself about how you are going to look at it is important. Note I'm not claiming animals have no feelings and the like, and the animals physical and even some emotional needs would be well met, but measuring myself against what these particular ones need is a no go. If that's how it is for you, there's no shame in it no matter what some people think, you're just kinder to the creature by acknowledging it and not taking them on.
I have never gotten the 'humans and the animals who keep them' business you see from so many dog people; I am paying for it, so it's mine. The partnership could not possibly be equal, because it isn't an equal to me.
You just have to know yourself well enough to figure it out, then you won't blame anyone else nor be ashamed, just be honest and move on.

Post 20 of 42The Elemental Dragon
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1993 posts
Friday, 11-Jun-2010 15:30:42

just because they bite and peed all over the place, doesn't make it Warrior's fault... dogs, expecially the two she had as pets are like that. they're tiny, and hyper and sometimes out of control. so don't say it's her, when it might just be the dogs... i tried a dog once, TSE said i wasn't ready, and almost 4 years later, i want to try again, i am getting mobility lessons to get to that point, i would love to have a dog again. mom wants me to go back to TSE, but i don't, but i do like them. so maybe i will go back...

Post 21 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Friday, 11-Jun-2010 16:46:46

Ah but that's just it: nobody's blaming here. It's simply important to self-evaluate, and measure oneself against the requirements. There's no shame in that, in fact there's honor in it. If she finds out why the dogs bit and peed, what the situation was, she can then either fix it (if possible) or move on.
And to you and anyone else best of success with this: there appear to be quite a few places now that provide dog guides even horse guides which I find rather fascinating, but anyway your options don't consist of one or two establishments.

Post 22 of 42Persevere Warrior
Account disabled
123 posts
Friday, 11-Jun-2010 16:54:06

SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today I never had a dog as a pet when I was a kid so the guide dog was my first experience with a dog and Iíve come to the conclusion after all of these dogs that Iím just not good with being authoritative with dogs and Iím to nice. I didnít expect to keep the guide dog I expected for the Seeing Eye to help me and not just stay that the only way that guide dog works is by being alone and not socializing. I called the place for help with the guide dog. I could have just as easily lied and said that I wouldnít socialize or just not have asked the Seeing Eye for help. You bashing me is so wrong and disrespectful. However, I forget that there are people online that donít care that there are people behind the computers with feelings. Oh and yes, the Seeing Eye did say I should send the guide dog cargo and I thought that was cruel. You can believe or not that is your choice. As for the sheltie puppy and a Chihuahua, I stated clearly that they were puppies. They were only six months old. Any dogs at that age will bite. So your being aghast makes no sense what so ever unless your just posting all of this bashing for attention.

Hell's_Angel it is all true and if you really donít believe it well thatís your choice or you can even ask the seeing eye. Oh and I never abused any dog. In fact, when the Seeing Eye got the dog back, they told me that they were very surprised that I had taking care of the dog very well. Oh, they would allow me to come back if I ever wanted to but I donít want a guide dog.

SisterDawn I was surprised that you agree and encourage the bashing of poster twelve and you say that youíre a counselor. What happened to considering that people have feelings?

Post 23 of 42Miss M
move over school!
359 posts
Friday, 11-Jun-2010 17:25:52

I'm still in the thought process about whether to get a guide dog or not. I had a science teacher who worked for the puppy training program and have gotten to see the earliest stages of what makes a good worker.

Dogs were bred to be tools for humans. First it was hunting, then it was protection, then it was sport, and now it's companionship. It doesn't matter if you're a cattle rancher, a farmer, a policeman, a blind person, or a lonely kid - your dog is a tool, and they know it.

If you're going to own a dog in any capacity, be prepared to maintain your tool as you would any other tool you own - you have to respect it, keep it safe, keep it well-maintained and never abuse the privilege. Just like you wouldn't go around juggling hammers or knives, you cannot be lax on a dog, whether they're your guide or your pet. Period.

Post 24 of 42The Elemental Dragon
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1993 posts
Friday, 11-Jun-2010 22:54:05

hmm, well, puppies, will be puppies... even older dogs will do that at times. my dog still, at least nozes into the garbage, but he learned his lesson when he had to spend the night in the hospitle after eating two corn cobs. that he puked up, i don't want to deal with that again. cuz i found the puke.. by stepping in it. that was a very bad day... hurl. did i mention i was in bare feet cuz you don't expect that sort of thing, ewwww! and my dog is 7 years old...

Post 25 of 42chelslicious
I lead a very sad existance
29168 posts
Saturday, 12-Jun-2010 10:44:05

pw, if you can't handle what people dish out, you have no right to criticize others. if you're offended by something someone said online who you don't even know, I shutter to see what you're like in real life. walk away if it bothers you that much, or in this case, don't read what's said.

Post 26 of 42jen91_09
Zone BBS is my Life
256 posts
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 1:01:30

O yuck! stepping in dog (or any) puke sucks! eew!
O man do I know how puppies can be with peeing and biting, my causin has a little pomaranian and she loves to try to chew fingers.

Post 27 of 42FaithinGod4ever
Zone BBS is my Life
266 posts
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 3:20:32

To the poster whose dog jumped into a friend's car and wouldn't come back, maybe he just wanted a driving lesson! GOL! I'm just kidding.

While I haven't had a seeing eye dog, I did have a dog that was a God send. She even acted as a seeing eye dog, even though she wasn't trained. Her name was Lady and she was a Brittney Spaniel.

Post 28 of 42Lisa's Girl forever
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
507 posts
Sunday, 03-Apr-2011 8:32:20

Hhelloto all. i'm also a guidedog user. and my dog is great. smile. well. i will go.

Post 29 of 42mar2011
Generic Zoner
26 posts
Friday, 22-Apr-2011 9:57:28

The first dog I got from gdb i had for about six months. It didn't work out because of my lifestyle at that time. The dog was wonderful still i, sent him back for his sake. My second dog i got from pilot. She did good work but, didn't like small children and was very aggressive. She was sent back about three weeks after i got back home to kansas. Whatever happens don't give up.A

Post 30 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Friday, 22-Apr-2011 16:06:58

This is clearly why I think a guide robot will far exceed any lower life-form-based guide.
Then, you want a guide dog because you like dogs? Great. But you just want a guide, have a lifestyle that may be ill-suited for the health and well-being of the animal, or just don't bond that well with animals? Use a robot which no doubt would have far superior intelligence and capabilities than any animal, and would function as your vacuum cleaner, or cane, or car, does.
Dogs, as a biproduct of human engineering via selective breeding, are a testament to human abilities in the biological space. But they by definition are not uniform or predictable. So if your guide situation didn't work out, that's likely not your fault.You adapt to your lifestyle, your schedule, your location or whatever. But you, not they, are the top of the food chain and infinitely more intelligent than they could ever even hope to be. Your best hope is a machine crafted by one of your own species, not the biproduct of genetic alterations over the past five thousand years, replete with trials and mishaps, as biology so often is.
Even the U.S. government, instead of using canines to guard weapons or other secret materials, is now using robots. 24/7, can communicate learned experiences across networks to one another instantly, the list goes on.
Can you imagine going to sleep at night in your new area of town, to wake up and find your guide has downloaded and integrated all known data on the web about your area, either from other guides or even Google Maps? In the same way that electricity does a better job turning drive shafts consistently than a horse does, a robot will more consistently and efficiently guide you.
This is not an argument against animal wellfare. If it were, the state of modern non-working animals would be improved, not worsened. Look at horses now.

Post 31 of 42SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Thursday, 02-Jun-2011 16:54:25

To Buttercup, two statements you've made concern me greatly. A. Having a guide dog isn't as scary as 24-7? Caring for a guide dog is absolutely 24-7, just like being a parent, if one does not care for their dog dirrectly or through careful planning and attention 24-7, then perhaps they are not suited to have a guide dog. Additionally, B. You said that using your cane gives you a sense of freedom. That's backwards. I'm not invalidating your feelings, if it makes you feel free to walk with a white cane, than that is how you feel, not how I feel, but it is true for you. However, the cane travelers are the ones who should feel freer with a cane and the guide dog handlers should be the ones who feel more free when working their guides. If you are a guide dog handler, feeling freer with a cane, and you are fine with traveling without her, then perhaps, again, a guide dog isn't the best tool for you. Those who have guide dogs, really use them, love them and need them are the ones who have a strong passion for the freedom and independence they feel while working their guides, those who could take it or leave it, who are happy with their guide as guide or as pet, whatever, interchangeable, are those who should stick with canes, or at least seriously evaluate themselves, their preferences and lifestyle and situation. To Turricane, you are one of those people I might not always agree with or understand, but I respect you and your opinion. I love using a guide, only feel really free when I do, so I don't get, on an emotional or spiritual level how you think and operate, but on a logical level I can understand how the descrepency between tactual feedback available when using a cane vs. working with a dog, becomes an issue. Furthermore, although it would never be my choice or personal preference, I respect and applaud your degree of self knowledge and the responsible and intrespective decision you made regarding deciding not to work with a guide dog. To Darkwing. If you want to try again, then do so, if you don't, be honest with your self and do both yourself and the dog a favor. Either way, be true to yourself. You are talking about my mom wants, but I want... Hello? You are the guide dog handler, not her. You go if and only if you want to, and you go to whatever school you want, it is none, and I mean, none. of. your. mom's. business. If you are still so concerned with what your mother thinks, then you are deffinitly not ready for a guide dog. If you only mentioned it in passing, then think hard, be true to what you think and feel and know about yourself and make a decision from that point. Finally, to Leo Guardian. Ok, you obviously have replaced your heart with a michanical one. Holy god, and you, and people like you are why it is so hard for organic farmers, traditional living, green living, attachment parents, etc to live the quality lives they seek. Thinking like yours is the reasoning behind factory farms, disposable diapers, mass produced clothing and dishes with no personality, formula instead of breastmilk for babies, high fructos corn syrup, global warming with masses of people feeling entitled to huge gas guzzling cars. No one knows how to cook anymore, how to sew, how to make anything of real usable value with their own hands anymore. Sure, robotic guides would be great for those who can't handle, don't like or could not situationally accomidate a guide dog, but they are not, will never be better than real, thinking, living, breathing, loyal, loving, natural creatures that form that amazing bond with their handler. I hope you can find a great house cleaning robot, automated house and cooking aparatis, a great sex toy and some good gagets for other duties and tasks, so your spouse won't have to compete with machines that are far "better". Hopefully they will have your guiding robot, so no guide dog will have to live up to unfeeling expectations, and for children, perhaps some advanced tomagatchi pets would be more in order for your way of thinking? I'm not objecting to technology, or to guiding technology, simply to the assertion that this would be unquestionably better than guide dogs for everyone, end of story. Have a nice staral, cold, mechanical day. Oh and to Persevere Warrior, puppies at 6 months should not be biting, biting at any age is unacceptable, and selling, actually taking people's money for agressive dogs is dishonest and neglegent. Now, if they were simply mouthing, then that can be corrected easily, and any reasonable pet owner could fix this or get a pet trainer to help them. Shelties are encredibly intelligent and easy to housebreak, so that's just crap. Look, 10 and 12 year old boys and girls raise guide dog puppies, most with little to no help from their parents, and if they can do it, than you can, if you were one of those meant to have pets. Obviously you were not. A ghinney pig, rabbit or goldfish might be more your speed. Now, I do not want to believe that Seeing Eye told you to send your dog cargo, however, I do not know you well enough to go so far as to call you a lier so I must believe you. If this is true, thhat is very upsetting and I'm sad to hear it. I will check in with some TSE grads and if I find that this is common practice, then I will see what we can do about it. As for socializing I think the trainer meant that your dog should not be socializing at all, not that you should not. Or they meant that you should not be socializing so much in the crucial first 3 to 6 months after getting your guide. I'm not judging you, I don't know you, I am judging the situation described in your writing, nothing more, nothing less. Please try to keep your head and your perspective.

Post 32 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Friday, 03-Jun-2011 18:30:41

@Last poster honestly you made me laugh a bit.
I never even implied a robot would be better as a companion animal. Only a companion animal could be a companion animal. I simply stated it would be a superior guide, e.g. get you from point A to point B more readily because of its hardware. Nobody can fault an animal for not having what it doesn't have.
Have you ever seen a modern pet horse nowadays? They are far better off than what you read about in Black Beauty: maybe people aren't calling them pets but basically they act like it: run up to you, behave like a big dog wanting to be patted, all sleek and well-fed. Not tasked with pulling carts for endless hours on little food.
Horses feel and think like dogs do, but no longer have too drive.
And anyone who wanted a dog guide, e.g. a dog who could guide, would still be able to get one. Instead of everyone who wanted to use a guide other than just themselves, now having to select a dog even though they may not be the best owner or provide well for all its emotional needs. If I had to be a horse, I'd rather be one in 2011 than to be one in 1811.
As to Attachment Parenting, technology makes it again very possible where if you are doing nothing but hard labor you cannot pay the level of attention to the young as we do now. There have always been people who did, and didn't, do right by their offspring, with and without resources.
I don't think anyone has said a robot, car, vacuum cleaner, or even, since you like paleo, a set of flint tools, can be anything other than a tool.
We would then simply separate living beings which are animate / have emotion from tools which are not.

Post 33 of 42chelslicious
I lead a very sad existance
29168 posts
Friday, 03-Jun-2011 19:22:51

to SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today: I can't believe I can officially say I've heard someone comment that feeling freer with a cane is backwards. what a damn shame.
if anything, having a guide dog gives you less freedom. that's simply my opinion, though. I don't need a disurtation about how it isn't true.

Post 34 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Saturday, 04-Jun-2011 0:26:04

Oh and @sensually when I can afford it I tend to pay for organic things. I don't know if they are actually better, but frankly, you're helping out the little guy when you do it. To me that has been award enough, though certainly fresher fruits and things taste better.
But they are beyond the cost for most of us most of the time, precisely because it takes more to grow it.

Post 35 of 42SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Saturday, 04-Jun-2011 0:31:18

To the last poster, you obviously didn't read carefully at all. I said that for someone to feel freer with a white cane than with a guide dog, but still choose to work one is backwords. Those who feel more independent working dogs should work dogs, not use canes, conversely, those who feel more independent utalizing white canes should use white canes, not work guide dogs. I was commenting on how someone's feelings of nutrality towards their guide dog, coupled with the freedom they described traveling not having the dog with them, was backwards for someone who is in fact a guide dog handler. Make better sence? People should use what they are most comfortable with and no one, not me, not you, not NFB or ACB should condemn them or tell them to do otherwise. The point is say one thing and do another makes for a very unproductive life. If the poster who wrote about feeling more free traveling without her dog, and who was happy with their dog as a pet or as a guide dog, either way, really feels this way, then they should not get another dog or return their dog who was not intended at $60000.00 to be a pet or a mere companion animal, get a cane and move on. One should do whatever works for them best and feels right to them, but nutrality and ambivolence towards a living creature who cost thousands and thousands of dollars to train that took thousands of hours, countless resources of patience, love and energy to raise and train is not acceptable. If you love a cane, use it. If you love a guide, work with that. If you couldn't care less either way, are in the middle, stick with the cane. It would seem that you and I are actually of the same mind, in that I do not feel that a person should be forced or bullied into using a particular mobility aid that they are not comfortable with, simply because that agency or this organization or that group thinks they are wrong, so please read more carefully and try to see what I'm really saying.

Post 36 of 42SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Saturday, 04-Jun-2011 1:11:40

To LeoGuardian. Actually no, horses, cows, dogs were treated much better in the past. Yes some were neglected and horribly abused, but the same thing happens today with pitt-bull fighting rings, crazy old cat ladies, sicko teens and kids practicing to become cereal killers, chronic animal horders, and yes, ignorant and plentiful pet owners. We now breed dogs that would never have existed in the olden days such as some types of bull dog that have such a body shape and length of leg that they can not naturally mate, and the only way to breed them is to artificially inseminate them. We breed dogs with no purpose and we continue to breed well-established working breeds and then complain that they distroy our houses. Let's look at cows, ok? They used to be born of parents who mated naturally, were not artificially inseminated, allowed to stay with their mothers for a reasonable period of time and drink her milk. They grew up eating grass, they one day were slaughtered, quickly, on the farm they grew up on, no suffering in crowded transports and being dragged, literally dragged through horrifying slaughter houses. Females had adiquate rest between breedings and births, were milked in such a way that they remained healthy. Now cows are breed as soon as they come back into a remotely firtile state, they are over milked, they are fed corn to fatten them, something that is so acidic that it kills them, and the millions of pounds of antibiotics put right into the corn feed by default is the only thing keeping them alive on the feed lot. Females are given hormones to cause them to be able to be breed more often, to produce bigger calves and to produce more milk. The corn they eat is genetically modified and covered in pestacides, it's called Liberty corn and it's ingeneared to be impervious to a highly dangerous chemical herbacide and pestacide created spacifically to work only on Liberty corn, it would kill anything else, including us. The corn isn't even fit for humans to eat and is turned into grain feed for cows, grain alcohol for factory and cosmetic industries and into HFC, high fructose corn syrup, and that is all the cows get. Veal calves are held perfectly still so they will grow faster and are feed on corn and human baby formula, a highly processed and detremental substance. and those hormones, antibiotics and pestacides all wind up in our milk and meat. Chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, goats, etc all suffer in factory farms. They were killed for meat then, they are now, but their quality of life now sucks and they provide substandard, dangerous, nutritionally lacking food. Without jobs to do millions of dogs are lonely, hyper, frustrated, overweight, depressed, can become agressive or lethargic. When dogs had jobs to do they ate healthy raw diets, what dogs should eat, or had human table food, something that was safe and actually good for them, when human table scraps were egg shels, left over home made bread, fat and trimmings from meat, route vegetables, oatmeal, scraps of skin and meat, etc. Now of course owners who feed table food are pumping their dogs full of canola oil, soy bean oil, corn and wheat glutin, preservatives, dies, collarants, etc. The commercial dog foods are glorified cereals, it's mostly grain, poor quality grain, dogs in the wild should not eat any grain, neither should our pet dogs. Many dog foods contain animal biproduct or animal fat which means that it comes from a rendering plant where euthanized pets and livestock go, full of the leathal dose of anesthetic used to kill them, 4d animals, dead, dying, diseased and deformed are taken, ground up, mixed up and rendered into products used in pet food products. Most pet dogs do not recieve adiquate medical care and eat cancer causing food, have serious behavioral issues due to no real training, excersize or purpose. When people relyed on dogs to heard their sheep, pull their sleds, guard their homes, etc, they kept them up much better. Guide dogs, police dogs, sled dogs, hearding dogs are some of the best cared for dogs out there, but most dogs are not working dogs of any kind. If you're still reading this, congradulations. If that means nothing to you, and does not convince you that animals are far worse off today, then consider these three factors. 1. Cost, most blind people, on fixed incomes could not afford the guiding robot technology. Guide dog schools have a tradition of being filinthropic, and provide dogs free of cost or for a low cost and people are always willing to donate to cute puppies helping blind people. These theoretical robots would be just like JFW and Braillenotes, a monopoly. They'd not give them away for free, most people couldn't afford them, blind individuals do not make up a large enough group to warrent much competition in the market, and only rich blind people or those able to get the government to pay for such a machine could have them, and they would be astronomically expensive, just compare the 3 to 6 thousand dollar braillenote with even the most high end 1000 dollar sighted person laptop, even comparing a 400 dollar laptop and 1500 dollar JFW to that mainstream laptop is cost prohibitiv for a population on average making far less needing technology that costs far more. 2. This technology could not be produced and used as simply as a GPS. Any cane or dog user can use one of those, it would have to sense drops in elevation, it would have to sense overhanging obstickles, which would have to involve lazer eyes, very sensative inferid technology or something else highly sensative, easily confused and it would have to respond very quickly and or work from a long distance away. A guide dog stops at a curb on a dime, this would have to pick it up in time or the user would trip over it as a beep or click or whatever is sounded. It would have to sense cars, not just traffic passing in front of you, but your parallel trafic, and some how have noise pick ups or image recognition software that could pick up a left hand turner four lanes away cutting across and coming for you, or the crazy drunk speeding the wrong way down the road, etc. Guide dogs also sense, somehow things you could not plan for. One woman's guide dog stopped her because an alagator was across the sidewalk in florida. Another stopped her master because of downed power lines. No programer can think of every eventuality, but dogs are highly adaptable. Guide dogs also do fine tuned building work a robot could not, they can identify an office by the scent of the person who works there that they've met, they can work indoors where most GPS systems do not, hell, they don't even work in parking garages. Biological response to a tension in a harness handle is far faster interms of nervous system processing than a person can be to a spoken or other audible indication from the robot. If it were to be large enough and heavy enough to stop suddenly and not have the user over step it or over balance it, it would have to be at least 30 or 40 lb, and it would either have to be carried up and down stairs or be able to climb stairs, something that only a few complex robots can do. If it gave auditory feedback or voice recognize verbal commands it would be useless during a firedrill, near construction, during a thunderstorm. A braille display or other interface could fix this, but you'd have to stop moving and consult it. No robot will respond as fast to a speeding car as a dog or a human. Very few people try to steal guide dogs because they are purebreed, but fixed, so can't be bred, and can not be sold or traded as they have microchips, tatoos and won't usually go with a stranger, but this Robot would be infinately valuable for parts, for software, even too be corrupted and used as a weapon or to be stolen, poorly coppied and put out on the bootleg market. I'm too tired to keep going on, but hopefully you get the point.

Post 37 of 42LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5487 posts
Saturday, 04-Jun-2011 15:03:54

Hm I did read your post completely. I agree a robotic guide should not be commercial but done under a grant similar to the Mozilla foundation, paying off dog schools so they don't lose the revenues as, after all, every person who has had a dog or trained a dog as a guide has contributed to the expansive body of knowledge only human beings could possess. Truth be told, said technology would benefit other major research areas, such as the Google automobiles who have driven the streets of San Francisco unmanned.
You're more the animal expert than am I. I will admit I've done no more than try and make the animals I've been charged with comfortable in all ways I knew how.
I only thought of that since being on here and hearing people say there are so many that may not be good dog handlers but need something other than a cane to assist them.
I doubt any of us loves the cane: of course people love their animals and even go through all stages of grief when the animal dies. Using an inanimate tool and having a companion creature are radically two different things altogether. And, no doubt, serve two different purposes.
You're right about their treatment: the guides I have seen are better fed, better cared for, than average pet dogs. I have never argued machines at all would replace sentience.

Post 38 of 42SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Sunday, 05-Jun-2011 22:57:35

That's good to hear. I'm really not out to pick fights. It's just that every ignorant, idiotic sighted person who hears of any new navigation technology imediately jumps all over that saying how it will "Be the answer for all of those poor blind people and then they won't have to use those dogs." With the NFB extremest variation being "Oh, these technologies will free blind people from the dependence of using guide dogs." or the PETA extremest variation "Blind people can now stop enslaving those poor dogs." PETA after all believes we should be lead around by sighted people all day. PETA, of course, can kiss my shepherd's furry ass. rofl These views are so disturbing and I'm seeing them more and more that when anything even hints that there is something "better" than guide dogs, that they are not enough or that technology can solve every problem, I tend to get a bit worked up. Technology has done some amazing, outstanding things, it has also done some horrible, detremental things. Technology is destroying our planet, and it may be different technology that may save it. It all depends on which technologies one is talking about, how they are used and who controls them. I can get behind robotic guide research if it is understood that guide dogs will always be superior to them in some ways, just as they will have clear advantages to guide dogs, and just so long as the rights of blind individuals to choose freely between and have access to white canes, guide dogs and the new robotic guides is protected. You have to imagine that business owners not thrilled with guide dogs in their shops and restaurants will start arguing that as those robot guides are "cleaner" and more "controlable" they should no longer have to allow guide dogs, if blind customers could just use the guiding robots and make the sighted people's lives easier. I also have been a very low technology sensative individual since I got pregnant with my first child, and I also just finished a course in the psychology of food and eating and we touched a lot upon industrializations effects on eating and food in our culture and around the world, so I'm on an activism high I guess. I hope I merely came across as passionate, opinionated, wordy, assertive, or confrontational, all of which I admitedly am and not bitchy, vindictive or cruel. Have a nice day.

Post 39 of 42Songbird83
the Zone BBS remains forever my home page
161 posts
Sunday, 24-Jul-2011 19:24:47

Well, I had a dog that didn't work out. She was my second dog that I got from The Seeing Eye back in June of 2009 after my golden cross had to be retired. I gave him up to my family which was hard. Then I got this shepherd, and I felt like she hated me. But it took us 6 months to bond, and I kept thinking we could make it work. But she had bad behavioral problems with having accidents in the house sometimes. Plus she was sick a lot. My vet told me once when I went there, that she was on the borderline of having pancreatic insuficiency. And with taking her to the vet so much, plus not being use to a shepherd, it just wasn't going to get any better, she was just going to keep getting sicker probably if I kept working her. Now she was an awesome worker, and i'd gladly take another shepherd, now that I've had one, and know what their all about if I had one given to me. But I went back to Seeing Eye in July of last year. I retired Chelsea in May, and they called me in June and said they had a match for me. I was so excited. But the problem was, what was I going to do with my shepherd girl? So I tried to find someone here in Minnesota to take care of her, because I sure couldn't. I just didn't know if she'd have to keep going to the vet or not, plus having a new dog would be just too stressful. So I met a lady and she was use to taking care of dogs who weren't healthy all the time, so I thought ok, I got a home for her. But she backed out at the last minute, and I had to take Chelsea back to school with me. God it was so hard. It was hard because, here I am with this new dog, and I knew Chelsea was in the kennels, and there wasn't anything i could do to make it better. But it all worked out in the end. I got Verona, and she's been great for the year I've had her, and Chelsea got adopted. So yes, things do work out the next time around. The only advice I will give you, is if things don't work out, don't just go looking for another school to cure your problem. I have a friend who went to 3 different schools, because he wanted a dog just like one he had before. All dogs are different, and sometimes you have to give things a chance to work. So I'm glad I went back to Seeing Eye and I'm glad it worked. If it didn't, i probably would've gone somewhere else, but no school or dog is perfect, and I just had to realize that.

Post 40 of 42wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Wednesday, 30-May-2012 14:39:29

I had my first dog for two months. There were a few reasons why it didn't work. First, I was to inmiture. Second, I let my family and mobility instructor talk me in to getting one. I love animals, and thought having a dog would be great, because it could help me get around. GDA wanted to give me a chance, but I think they new it wasn't going to work. Two months after bringing Doron home, I gave him back because it just wasn't working out. He was to much of a dog for me, and I just wasn't ready. Three years later, after gaining some independence and growing up, I reapplied to GDA. I had my second dog for six years, and just receved my third dog from GDA. We've been together seven months now, and I love him a lot. Just because I had a bad experence the first time, didn't mean I was going to give up. I'm glad I didn't, because I couldn't imagine myself without a dog now.

Post 41 of 42jewel389
Veteran Zoner
64 posts
Saturday, 20-Oct-2012 0:39:03

i am going through the same thing. i have a guide dog who would like to eat and sleep then do anything else. She disobeys me but i love her so i am torn about letting her go my advice to you would be get good advice and see if maybe it wasn't a good match between you guys.
by the way form what organization did you get the dog from?
mabe you should talk to the trainer too see what he says

Post 42 of 42Reyami
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4622 posts
Sunday, 28-Oct-2012 23:49:16

To the last poster, if your dog is disobedient, that's putting your life in jeopardy when she's in harness. Not good. What have you done to try to resolve her obedience problem?

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