Monday, 10 March 2014

"Please do not touch or distract me. I am working."

A chap got off the Tube this morning accompanied by a guide dog. The dog had a large notice attached to its harness bearing the message "Please do not touch or distract me. I am working."

After one awkward incident years ago*, I always leave them in peace to get on with it (I think that the chap was perfectly sighted and was training the dog rather than being blind himself, but the dog isn't supposed to know that) but I was sorely tempted to congratulate him for the most excellent sign.

* I was walking along the pavement towards a lady who was waiting patiently for her guide dog to make up its mind to cross a road. Only it wasn't a road, it was just somebody's driveway that was wide enough to look like a road.

"You'll be all right," I said helpfully, "It's not a road, it's just somebody's driveway."

The lady looked up at me and gave me a very black look. She was of course a sighted guide dog trainer and the last thing she wanted was for her careful training schedule to be ruined by well-meaning members of the public.


Mark In Mayenne said...

I knew a blind lady who told me of a time when she asked a guy for directions, and couldn't work out why he moved away from her to reply, when she realised he was giving the directions to her dog.

PJH said...

"...waiting patiently for her guide dog to make up its mind to cross a road..."

The dog doesn't make the decision; the handler does - all the dog is supposed to do is stop at kerbs until told to move forward.

Mark Wadsworth said...

MIM, brilliant thanks.

PJH, quite probably so.

Which is why I told the "blind" lady that it was safe to move on, so that she could communicate this to her dog.

Unlike MIM's example, I was talking to the lady, not the dog.

(Also, in my defence, how would I know that the "blind" lady hadn't already told the dog to keep moving but it was doing "better safe than sorry".)

Perhaps I could have phrased it "the dog was waiting patiently for a command to continue walking" to avoid such silly nitpickery.

PJH said...

Ah - OK :)