How do visually impaired owners and guide dogs have fun? We’re in the summer, that’s why we asked this question to our clients.
Each respondent has a different idea of where and how they feel best. But it is essential for all guide dog owners that their dogs feel comfortable and safe when they have fun.
In general, clients of our foundation prefer to go to smaller, quieter concerts, theatres, cinemas, exhibitions, dances and even performances together with their guide dogs. Several people mentioned that they prefer outdoor events and concerts to indoor ones, because they protect their four-legged companion from too loud music, and it is more difficult to walk with dogs indoors due to limited space, among other things. Typically, they prefer to go to outdoor and closed large events with a sighted helper, because the circumstances strongly hinder the usual communication with their dog: when people cannot hear each other’s voices, it is almost impossible to notice the dog’s signals.
It is worth mentioning that every dog is different, for example, we have a guide dog who, according to his owner, is disturbed by loud music, so they do not go to such places.
So it depends on a lot of things where we can have fun together with guide dog owners. Here are some examples.
Iram most often occurs at “alter concerts”
“I take Iram with me to many places where I know the environment or most of the people. He usually goes with me to alter concerts or small places where I feel safe because there are corners where we can pull away a bit if he needs it.
He’s a busybody and communicative at the same time, but at a major event, for example at a festival, I wouldn’t even try to make him work or lead him on a leash. I can’t even hear the voice of my sighted companion, the dog’s signals are almost impossible to notice. At normal alterpub concerts, we have the opportunity to stay in body contact, this is a good way for communication between us, and there is also a way to get in touch with others, because we both feel quite safe both ourselves and each other. In my experience, this is not feasible at a larger event, outdoor space or festival” – said Antónia Kállai, Iram’s owner.
Körte is a skilled sailor and doesn’t disdain rock concerts
“I’ve been to rock concerts with her several times, but I only take her outdoors, we go far away from the speakers, I don’t want her hearing to be damaged. By the way, we have also been to exhibitions and theatres several times. Of course, I don’t put her in situations that might be uncomfortable for her, but since the dog resembles its owner, we like pretty much the same things” – replied Mihály Dombai, Körte’s owner.
Vacak has already been at big noise events, but he’d rather skip them
“I think I’ve been to loud events with all three of my guide dogs so far, and all three have tolerated it well. It is important that I could only move safely only relying on my dog’s help, either along the whole way to the event or for part of the way.
But basically I think it is better to leave them out of such a situation, because we can’t expect accurate work from them in such a place, and if they are not there for work, we just torment their nervous system with it” – said Vacak’s owner, Ágota Lukács.
Demi does not like loud events, so he does not even go to such events
“I don’t usually take him to mass events with much noise, I usually go with a sighted helper. I take him to smaller piano evenings and quieter concerts, where there are few people, where we can be together, or maybe we can linger somewhere.
Demi is very disturbed by loud noise, otherwise he has no problem with crowds, in a quiet crowd, in the market, he is perfectly well away. He doesn’t like louder events, and I don’t take him there because I don’t want to torture him” – said Demi’s owner, Barbara Bartus.
In closed concert venues, the grandstands are so narrow that even a person’s legs can barely fit,
let alone Dolly’s
“Dolly and I have been together at quieter events, there was no problem there and there is no problem with the crowds, but I don’t take her with me to loud and long-lasting concerts, I go there with a helper. I prefer her to stay at home, because at such concerts there are large crowds, people do not pay attention, and they can easily step on him, which she has no problem with, but why expose her to a situation that is not necessary. And in closed concert venues, the stands are so narrow that even a person’s leg can barely fit, let alone a dog’s” – said Írisz Sáfrány, Dolly’s owner.
He can handle his owner’s piano playing well, but Dandzsi is hard to dance with because he always wants to lead…
“Dandzsi and I went to a lot of places. We were everywhere from dance houses to concerts and music camps, as performers and as audience too. In a six-day camp, he usually gets tired by the end of the third day, so he always gets one day off, and then he comes with me for the last days and the closing concert. He can curl up beautifully on stage wherever I play.
We also attended open-air concerts and worship services in many places. He never had a problem with anything, although when we practiced rhythm in one camp, and we used clapping and foot-pounding, he didn’t really understand who I was applauding to.
And one more thing, I’m involved in various dance projects, and he has difficulties with interpreting my dabcing, because he always wants to come to my left side: he wants to lead me, he wants to help, he wants to come with me, he wants to be there for me. This applies to any training session where he is released, but dancing is the one he tolerates the least” – said Dandzsi’s owner, Annamária Kardon.
While her owner goes to a big party, Mokka is waiting for her in her comfortable place at home
“Mokka accompanies me almost everywhere. I always make sure that she feels good: she has drink, food, a comfortable bed near me. She tolerated the concert well and was trying to positioning well in the crowd. We went together to theater and the cinema too.
Of course, if I go to a big party or want to rave, she will wait for me in her comfortable place at home. I think every now and then they can perform at any festival or concert.
Mokka is the type of dog who is buzzing, loves performing and generally enjoys everything we can do together” – said Zsófia Lengyel, Mokka’s owner.
Morse usually can be found on the waterfront
“I never take my dog to a place where there is a lot of noise and crowds. When we go to an organized program, we always try to come up with something where he can really feel good. Usually in summer it always ends with water, that’s the best party” – replied Brigitta Berta, Morse’s owner.
We wish all our couples a beautiful and safe summer!