About a year after I got Ms. Pup, I asked some people if they’d noticed a difference in me or my life now that I had a guide dog, since I figured I was too close to the situation to be able to tell for sure. I got a number of answers in the affirmative, but I think the most telling one was, “Well, you have fewer bruises now.”
I was constantly bumping into things, enough so I didn’t even notice. I had bruises whose origins I couldn’t begin to guess. My instructor at guide dog school would chide me for not correcting my dog when she brushed me against something. If you don’t have the dog rework that obstacle, it will think that you actually are narrow enough to have gotten through without hitting anything. I can still hear my instructor saying, “A brush today is a bump tomorrow, and a bump tomorrow is a broken nose next week!” I had to explain to him that I hadn’t even realized I’d brushed against anything, because up until then, it’d been so common, it just didn’t register. Now I actually do notice, because Ms. Pup keeps me safe and steers me clear of obstacles, even overhead ones. And I really do have a lot fewer bruises.
Sorry this post is a little late. There was quiche.