Woof and waggy tail from me, guide dog Fletcher! I’ve some pawsome news to share. I passed my MOT (also known as aftercare). I had my annual test for safe guiding, kerbworthiness and satisfactory emissions and I was pawtastic.
As a guide dog, I’m responsible for keeping my human safe when we’re out and about. This is easier said than done. So the charity Guide Dogs want to make sure I’m good enough and put me to the test. They do this annually with most guide dogs.
First up, obeying commands. Fiona, my wooftastic human, told me to go forward. But where exactly did she mean for me to go?
The pavement had split into two levels. The raised pavement to the left of me went nowhere. If I went straight on, there wasn’t much room. There was a car parked in the way and I didn’t want Fiona to hit her hand on it. I could veer in between the poles (you’d say the poles were red and white, but I’m colour blind and can’t make out the colour red). Yep, that’s the best route. Oh but wait, there’s a metal chain connecting the poles. I can go under but Fiona can’t. She’s bigger than me.
Time to go slow.
Phew, we made it. I judged the gap pawfectly.
If the gap was too narrow, I’d have to take Fiona onto the road and round the outside right of the parked car. Dangerous, I know. That’s why the charity Guide Dogs is campaigning against pavement parking.
Next up, road crossings. Yep, here I am. Paws at the kerb.
I’m good at finding the button for pedestrian crossings too.
That’s the easy bit. We have to weave in and out all the other humans crossing the road.
Time to turn right. Oh no, bin in the way and more humans in our path.
Hang on, Fiona, I’ll get you to where you want to go.
And so we continue.
At last, we’re on the final straight. I recognise where we are. Now gently does it, there are two children ahead playing on the pavement.
Finally, we make it back to the Guide Dogs offices and here’s the door, Fiona. Reckon I deserve a treat. Lots of treats.
Of course, it’s not all work and no play. Here am I playing with fellow guide dog Bertie, a Labradoodle, in a country park with cows and a river. Bit different to the city streets…
Woof and paw, guide dog Fletcher.
P.S. For those of you who’ve been following this blog, my health is much better. Allergies under control. I get to see a consultant next month to make sure that niggle in my back isn’t anything serious. Paws crossed. And because of all my earlier stopping, I’ll have another MOT at the end of the year.
P.P.S. As always, grateful for all your pawsome comments. Drop me a line…
(c) pawsatthekerb™, September 2017.