Have you ever wondered what it’s like to navigate the world without little or no vision?
Having raised six puppies for Guide Dogs Tasmania, Sue McConnell has given the matter a lot of thought. So she was glad to have the chance to try walking under blindfold with Grady, the recently-graduated Guide Dog she raised as a pup.
Accompanied by our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, Kim and Sean, Sue experienced what it’s like to put your trust in a dog to walk safely down a street.
“It was actually a little scary,” she said afterwards. “I always imagined it must be really hard – but when you actually do it, you’ve got no idea where you are, and even when Sean says something like ‘get up to Grady’s shoulder,’ you can’t see his shoulder so you have to put your leg in close to feel.”
But Sue was left in no doubt of the difference a Guide Dog makes:
“It must give vision-impaired people so much freedom having a dog and knowing they can walk along a footpath,”
“ It must be so much better than having a white cane. You are totally on your own with a cane but with a dog, you’ve got someone by your side.”