Tag Archives: guide og

A Trip to the Pool

If you listen to this podcast for the chatter, this may not be the podcast for you. Zeke and I put BlindSquare to the test by tagging the entrance to the Cascade Swim Center. I tagged the entrance as opposed to just the address because in order to get to the entrance itself, I knew we’d have to cross a parking lot, a small park area, and who knew what else? Just asking for a blind guy and his guide dog to get lost. Not only that, but this was our first attempt at walking to the center. Consequently, there’s a lot more ambience in this podcast, as I was thinking on my feet and trying to cope not only with a new route, but with a rather irritated Zeke. He was forced to wear dog boots. It’s a condition of the folks who run the center. I’m not sure why, but they said if he was going to come in and hang out where the pool was, he had to wear boots of some kind. For all I know, they may have very good reasons for this. Chemicals on the ground, slippery surfaces, etc.. However, he hates these boots, and let me know it during our walk through obstinate behavior at nearly every turn. Still, we came across some fun people in our journey, so I still think it makes for enjoyable listening.

A note about sidewalkless travel with a guide dog: It’s slow going, annoying, and neither Zeke nor I like it much. You’ll hear me say “Left-left,” or “Right-right,” followed by “Follow the shoulder” a lot. The essence of this command means get as close to the shoulder of the road as possible, and follow it. Guide dogs generally tend to want to stay in the middle of a sidewalk, and so, they tend to drift away from the shoulder if not kept in check. So every twenty to thirty steps, we stop and turn back toward the shoulder, walking up to it, and then turning back on-course for another twenty to thirty steps. LIke I said, it’s slow going. But in an area like Redmond, it’s necessary.

Okay, enough babbling from me. Grab some headphones, download, and enjoy.