Embarrassing Moments with Our Dog Guides

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on our new theme of Laughter is Often the Best Medicine. We often find it difficult to laugh at situations when we blunder if we are struggling to find our equilibrium of adjusting to life’s demands along with vision loss. In time, we realize one of the best therapies for learning to accept and value our visually impaired selves is to laugh at our faux pas. Read, enjoy, share….

Asking for Assistance

Audrey Demmitt and her dog guide

By Audrey Demmitt, R.N.

If you are a newly visually impaired person, you may feel like life has become one embarrassing moment after another. These awkward situations can actually be quite funny if you look for the humor in them. For example, one day my husband dropped me off at a local department store. As I entered the store, I was bombarded with a kaleidoscope of glass, chrome, colors, and shapes. I meandered for a while and then decided to ask for assistance. Just as I rounded a large pillar, I spotted someone. “Excuse me,” I said. The person did not respond. I repeated myself a bit louder, “Excuse me, Ma’am.” Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of a dog. It was my dog guide, and I was talking to myself in a mirror! Yes, I looked around quickly to see if anyone noticed my “crazy woman” behavior. I guess not. No one came to haul me away!

By Sue Wiygul Martin, LVT, VRT

Beverly Who?

Sue Martin with her guide dog

Over my adult life, I’ve used many Seeing Eye dogs to get around. My German Shepherd, Beverly, was pretty vocal. It’s a shepherd thing. One day, after working out at the health club I put her in a changing room while I took a shower. I heard her barking so I whipped back the shower curtain and said, quite sternly, “Beverly, be quiet!” A very startled woman begged my pardon and asked if we knew each other. Turns out, her name was…yes, Beverly.


By Lynda Jones, CVRT

black labrador

You may be the only blind person you know and may be surprised to learn that blind people will take advantage of another person’s blindness when the opportunity arises to pull a prank. This happened to me when I got my second Seeing Eye dog.

One of the major rules at the Seeing Eye is “keep your dog under control at all times and always know where it is.” The first evening of training all 24 of us along with our 24 dogs gathered in the common lounge for a lecture. My friend Vickie asked if she could see my dog. I passed my dog’s leash to her, and she marveled at what a small Labrador he was. Vickie had a giant shepherd. She handed back the leash, and we all settled for the lecture. When the trainer came in for the lecture, he said in surprise, “Lynda, what are you doing with Vickie’s dog?” “What!” I said startled. I reached down and found a big, furry Shepherd at my feet, not a petite black Lab. My friend Vickie burst out laughing hysterically and said, “Gotcha!”

If you have an amusing experience you associate with your vision loss, please share it.