Some of my visually impaired friends have guide dogs to help them get around. My mobility problems mean that owning such an animal has never been a viable option for me, but I enjoy hearing from others what mischief their guide dogs have been getting up to. I even sometimes have my own close encounters with these larcenous canines.
I have learned over the years that a guide dog doesn’t have to have failed its training to be badly behaved. When I was on the committee for the Chorleywood College Old Girls’ Association, we held some of our meetings at the flat of one of our members who had a guide dog. After we had finished the business of the day, we would have tea. I vividly recall a sandwich disappearing from my hand somewhere between the plate and my mouth. The theft was so professionally carried out that I can’t believe it was the dog’s first offence!
Other guide dogs of my acquaintance have been slightly eccentric. One friend’s large Labrador, for example, is under the impression that she is a lapdog. When I visited, she attempted to climb onto my lap, thus pinning me to the back of the sofa behind her not inconsiderable bulk. She then attempted to quietly eat the biscuits off my plate. Perhaps she thought that I must be deaf as well as blind. As it was, I could hear perfectly well what she was about. In any case, when I found them gone, who else would I have imagined could have eaten them?
Out of deference to my brother-in-law, who edits this blog and manages my website, I won’t mention his dopey dog Jack*, who never got the hang of the fact that I couldn’t see where he was and let me bump into him rather than move out of the way. However, if I was going to mention him, I might also say that my brother-in-law wrote a rather good song about said dog and, if you are lucky, he might put a link to it here.
* Editor’s note: Judith is clearly referring to that deeply wise and erudite canine, Jack the Dog, who, during her visits, bravely used to protect her with his furious barking from all sorts of threats and imminent dangers, like the postman coming up the drive outside or that elderly woman closing the door of her car three houses away.