Someone Whose Dream Job is Working With Guide Dogs

Szilveszter Mádli chose Baráthegyi Guide Dog School, as his dream is to train guide dogs, so on a day called „WORK for you, DREAM for me” he switched role with the school’s trainers. The dream day of people living with disabilities started on the 30th of May.

In the picture Szilveszter is putting a collar on Bobita, a black Labrador

Szilveszter makes ceramics and when coming to Baráthegyi Guide Dog School’s central office in Miskolc he surprised us with a wall ornament as a nice gift. He got into the swing of the conversation when talking about his own dog and proved to be just as persistent when he started to do the tasks trainers are supposed to do.

Emese Királyné Barkóczi showed Szilveszter how to put the harness and leash on the guide dogs. Then the young man had to follow a guide dog blindfoldedly with whom he could go through the slalom track after some practice.

The aim of the slalom exercise is that owners and dogs can learn to turn right and left together, or if a dog who is turning very uncertainly, weakly, trainers can also practice more with them on this track. This is a very straightforward exercise for dogs, because they only have to concentrate on the turnings. After some practice here, dogs gain enough confidence to indicate changes of direction more confidentially.

In the picture Szilveszter is fastens the guide dog harness on Bobita

For Szilveszter it was an experience of a lifetime to meet Bóbita. The three-year-old lab knows such tricks as giving a 5-forint coin or pen from the ground to the owner and this is not all why Bóbita is a core membe of Baráthegyir. Bóbita is a demonstrator dog with whom visually impaired people can meet when they are uncertain of getting a guide dog or not. Bóbita knows the duties of a guide dog and can show the feeling of having one, the freedom they can give and also the responsibilities that come with them. Bóbita also has some extra s: in programs aimed to combat exclusionary attitudes organized by the foundation sighted people can try how it feels to be guided by a dog. Szilveszter got an insight of this, as well.

In the picture Szilveszter is sitting on a chair, Bobita is sitting in fron of him in guide dog harness. Bobita is smelling Szilbeszter’s right hand, which is grasping a treat.

Not only for understudies

„The program WORK for you, DREAM for me is an important initiative because of equal opportunities.” We know that many people are able to help. One of our friends, who is physically impaired, comes and helps us with the daily chores around the dogs. We also have a young man in our team who assesses the abilities of dogs before their exams – he is very adequate for this task as being visually impaired. Dogs move in with him for two weeks and after this period we can see how responsible they are for their decisions.”, said Katalin Lékáné Viszokai, a trainer of  Baráthegyi Guide Dog School.

In the picture Szilveszter is scratching the belly of Lego, a black Labrador

Szilveszter was curious and nice, he did everything he was asked by the trainers and there was also some time for playing with and stroking the dogs.

Picture: Dorottya Hagyacki