aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Homeless folks with dogs + Guide dogs = Bad combo

I'm particularly interested in guide dogs, because my character, Cheyenne Wilder, owns a guide dog named Shadow. While Shadow doesn't actually make an appearance in Girl, Stolen (due out in October), I still did a lot of research into guide dogs. I even spent a day at the campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Near the end, they blindfolded me and brought out a harness and a dog. You try putting a harness you have never seen on a dog you've never seen. You have to clip it on pretty tight, and I was afraid of hurting the dog. Finally I got everything on just right. I patted the dog.

And connected with her tail. Yes, I had put the harness on her hind end.

We’ve all seen the homeless folks with dogs. Some like the dogs for protection, others for companionship, and some probably are able to panhandle a little more successfully.

Guide Dogs for the Blind recently opened a satellite office in Portland to train guide dogs. After all, many dogs will have owners who live in cities, and the dogs will need to learn how to navigate a crowded environment.

But the trainers have run into an unexpected problem: homeless people with unleashed aggressive dogs. In a worst-case scenario, these dogs could make it so that the guidedog can’t be one - a cost that amounts to thousands of dollars.

Read more about this issue here.

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Tags: girl stolen

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