Guide Dogs Marching

Our friends using a guide dog participated in the spring Rehab Critical Mass march on Sunday. Dóra Pozsgay, who took part in the march with her guide dog Ében, recalls her experiences:

“This day was just as any other days. However, instead of lunch at noon, I set out at 11, since as other times, I became the head of the organizers and had to pick up someone. Our small team met at no other place than Jászai Mari Square. But before this, I had to pop in to the Western Railway Station, where I met Sandor and his dog Henna. It was easy because Éb had already known Henna. After Sandor’s train successfully arrived and we managed to extricate the dogs from each other’s leashes, we could go to the replacement bus. I would not say I’m a quick person, but this time I had to stop a few times to check if I had lost Sandor and his dog or not. However, this happened soon, as we got off at Jászai Mari Square and I tried to explain the way over my shoulder, I realized that we had lost each other. Since I had been familiar with that place, I went back one bus – confectionery – trolley stop, and then back again on the other side, but I did not find them anywhere. I said fine, let’s go back to the square and ask someone for help. There came a man with a dog who finally found them. Having successfully met again, our volunteers and photographers also arrived with Csaba. Then Barbi and her dog Demi, Józsi and his dog Kenobi and Ilona and her dog Szilaj also joined us.

There is a man in the picture with a pink balloon in one hand talking to a bespectacled lady. Behind them there is a man with a black guide dog.
We had a good time

Once our team became complete, we discussed the route and crossed the road to get on tram nr.2. We hardly made ourselves comfortable, when we had to get off. Ilona joined us only for a while with her dog: they did not participate in the march. After we arrived at Chain Bridge with the others, we had to wait a little bit until the march set off. Meanwhile, we were telling stories to each other with Barbi and got a bit of provisions. Finally, the time came and we started out with the crowd.

In the picture there are two visually impaired women marching in the crowd with two black guide dogs. Behind them there are two men also with black guide dogs.
Our team is marching

I was afraid that I would not be able to keep up with the crowd but fortunately I could. In fact, after a while we could speed up a few gears with my dog Éb. As soon as he saw a gap in the crowd, he dodged and marched forward. The others knew the ropes as well: they were usually nearby. As we proceeded, we met old acquaintances here and there. First, a friend of mine in wheelchair with her dog called Margó, then with one of my fellow students from Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Education. Nóri came to the event with her dog Mirna, but unfortunately they dropped behind, because they could not keep up with us. Then I really let Éb go: there was Barna and Gyöngyvér beside us taking care of us. Only a big drumbeat reminded us that it was the end of the march: we arrived at our destination. While we were resting our legs, I could stoke Mangó, since he also worked beside her owner during the march. Meanwhile, two interested ladies came up to us and there was an opportunity for me to show some tricks. Because of the bunch of dogs resting beside us, Éb was certainly not willing to say hello, but after a little pressing it went well. We showed how he can give both his paws separately and even found my bunch of keys dropped in the grass – basically he laid on it. Then I made him jump on his two rear legs for treats, but this time we were really just playing. As we were standing there, it came to the mind of a volunteer that there is a dog run nearby and we could unleash the dogs there. That’s what we did. We were standing around there a little bit talking; then it was time to get started. József and Sandor went with Évi on bus nr. 9 towards the Western Railway Station. We – Csabi, Barbi, the photographers and I – headed towards the underground.”