Category: Guide dogs

Blind Man And Guide Dog

Blind Man Survive Being Run over By Subway Train

 

 

It wasn’t a miracle on 34th Street, but something very amazing happened about 100 blocks away this morning.

Cecil Williams, who is blind, fell off a platform at the subway station at West 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem around 10 a.m.

His seeing-eye dog, a 10-year-old black Lab named Orlando, then jumped onto the tracks to join him.

Witnesses told CBS New York that Williams had been walking too close to the subway tracks, and his dog was trying to lead him farther away.

“He was all the way at the edge, backwards, and the dog was trying to pull him in,” Ana Quinones said. “I tried to scream at him to come in, because he was near the tracks, and then he fell.”

Another witness, Ashley Prenza, told Gothamist, “He was just walking toward the yellow line and all of a sudden and we heard him say, ‘Oh no!’ and slip and fall onto the tracks.”

After the seeing-eye dog jumped off the platform, he “just sat there with the man,” Quinones told the New York Post. “He just licked the man’s face trying to get him to move.”

Onlookers immediately sought help for the two. “Someone ran upstairs to find an MTA employee, and others were looking to see if any trains were approaching,” Prenza told Gothamist. “We heard the train coming and everyone started screaming to try and stop the train, but it didn’t slow down.”

Several of the train’s cars ran over Williams and his dog.

“Everyone was screaming, everyone was shaking in horror,” Prenza told the New York Post.

But then a miracle seemed to happen. Someone yelled, “He’s fine, he’s alive!”

“[Williams] stayed down between the tracks with his dog,” Prenza told Gothamist. “His face was injured but he survived.”

First responders were able to rescue the dog first, and then pulled Williams from underneath the train.

“He’s okay, he’s okay,” Capt. John Coates of the NYPD told CBS New York.

Williams was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition. Coates said the dog is “fine.”

How to travel hassle-free with your dog

How to travel hassle-free with your dog

With dogs increasingly becoming members of the family, it’s not too surprising that they are accompanying their humans on vacations. While packing up your dog for a road trip seems like fun, sometimes destinations are a little too far and they have to board an airplane like other family members.

Because taking to the friendly skies is a new experience for most dogs (not to mention their owners), the following tips can help make the trip a little easier and stress-free for everyone involved.

  1. Share your travel plans with your veterinarian and see if you need to bring your pup in for a checkup, which might be especially helpful for very young or senior dogs. Your vet might have some suggestions for keeping your individual dog comfortable and happy for the journey. Chances are, the airline you selected will require health certificates anyway prior to boarding.
  2. Shop around when it comes to selecting an airline and see which company’s regulations make you feel most comfortable. This is not a place to choose your tickets based on price — go with the company you believe will keep your dog safe. Don’t be afraid to go beyond Internet research and call the airline if you have specific questions.
  3. Once you select an airline, read its requirements for kennels. More than likely there are strict guidelines regarding every aspect of a carrier. Some airlines cater specifically to pets, and provide their own doggie seating systems.
  4. Ask airlines about their restrictions regarding heat and weather. Find out if they have a way to check a plane’s temperature before boarding to ensure your dog’s safety. An unexpected heat wave or unseasonably cold weather along the journey may change your travel plans.
  5. Find out where in the airport your dog will need to check in prior to arrival. If she’s traveling on the plane, she’ll likely stay with you. If she’s traveling as cargo, she may have to board somewhere else.
  6. Arrive a little early to avoid confusion, which can lead to excitement or panic. If your dog sees you upset, you can bet she’ll get upset, too. Also, any unforeseen issues can be resolved without rushing.
  7. Make sure your dog is wearing a sturdy collar and up-to-date identification tags. Include your name and complete contact information. You may also want to consider including the contact information of your destination. It is very important to have a well behaved and controlled dog, you can use an invisible dog fence to keep your dog around you the whole time.
  8. Keep a leash handy so you can take your pup for a walk before boarding and for right after arrival. The more stretching and potty time she can get in, the better — just like us!
  9. Prior to boarding the airplane, keep your dog quiet and mellow. Take her for a walk if possible. No need to get her worked up with running or toys before having to enter a crate for a few hours. She’ll probably be excitable anyway because she’s in a new place and surrounded by strange people.
  10. Bring along a bowl with a top for water or a travel bowl and water bottle to keep your dog hydrated along the journey.

Airline information and specific policies regarding dogs

Every airline is a little different in its policies, but here are some basic pet policies for a few of the major airlines.

  • Delta allows dogs in the plane’s cabin and as checked baggage. Pets traveling to Hawaii are not permitted in the cabin.
    Contact Delta for more specific guidelines.
  • Continental allows dogs to ride in the cabin (flights to Hawaii excepted.) For brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs, the airline also has special recommendations, such as a crate that’s one size larger than normally required and a crate with ventilation on all four sides.
  • Virgin Atlantic flies pets all over the world regularly. The airline also automatically enrolls pet passengers in its Flying Paws Club, which entitles them to gifts (it changes each year). If human companions are also members of the Flying Club, they are entitled to mileage every time pets fly, too.
  • American Airlines accepts dogs and they must check in at the counter. Curbside and self-check-ins are not currently permitted. Pets are not accepted in flights longer than 12 hours or to the United Kingdom, nor are they permitted on non-stop flights Maui, the Big Island, or Kauai.
  • United Airlines allows dogs to travel as carry-on or checked baggage. There are also restrictions for brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs as checked baggage or cargo during the summer months. Unaccompanied pets travel as cargo.
  • U.S. Airways permits one domestic dog to travel as carry-on per flight. Carry-on pets are not permitted on transatlantic flights or flights to/from Barbados and Hawaii.

Requirements for international travel vary on the country and have more to do with that particular government’s policies than an airline’s rules. For instance, countries belonging to the European Union require a microchip, whose identification number will then be logged onto all paperwork pertaining to the animal. Generally, taking your animal to these countries requires a six-month head start to work out all the procedures.

In the United States, Hawaii has strict quarantine laws.

It’s a lot to remember, but the airlines keep track of government regulations as well as their own policies so they can handle specifics when booking a flight for your dog.

How Does a Blind Person Get a Guide Dog

Best Practices before getting your own guide dog

There are lots of questions raised about guide dogs for the blind, but one of the more common is “How do people go about getting guide dogs for the blind?” If you or someone you know is visually impaired, you recognize the value that guide dogs for the blind provide for their human partner. Guide dogs for the blind are subject to intensive training in order to be efficient and reliable partners with their future handlers, and there is a step-by-step application process provided by the guide dogs for the blind organization which helps people take that first step towards independence through improved mobility.

Filling out an online application, dictating information using cassette tapes, typing or Braille on a paper to be mailed, using email or calling the Admissions department of the guide dogs for the blind program that you are interested in is the first step in the application process.

Next, the applicants need to present medical and other required documentation like an ophthalmologist’s report and the like. It is required by law that applicants pass a current TB or chest X-ray test since the guide dogs for the blind training is a residential training program.

Upon submission of the application form, representatives from the guide dogs organization will keep in touch by phone to conduct interviews and schedule a home visit. This step is to assess the environment as well as the mobility level of the blind recipient. They can also discuss some common travel routes, domestic concerns, social needs and even the type of guide dog preferred by the applicant. Queries and clarifications about the program are best asked and answered during this phase of the process.

After a thorough interview and assessment to see the applicant’s readiness and qualifications for the guide dogs for the blind training program, potential guide dog users will then undergo training with their new dog at the guide dogs for the blind training center. This requires an intensive 4-week training program to establish an effective guide dog and owner partnership.

At the start of the training, a partnership connection is not yet established between the guide dog and the blind owner, so the guide dogs for the blind instructor helps them to bond. He does this by connecting the leash to the dog with the handle held by the blind person.

Within the 4-week training period, guide dog clients are oriented and trained in practical skills which they can use in various environments such as their home, neighborhood workplace and in airports while traveling. As soon as respect and rapport develops in the guide dog team, the guide dog is ready to provide safety and mobility to their blind handlers since they are trained to follow their users as leaders. There is also a series of lectures to further enhance the new owner’s skills and confidence in guide dog handling.

To culminate the guide dogs for the blind training program, the instructor will accompany the client to his or her home and facilitate the transition from the center to the home setting. They will then familiarize themselves with important daily routines of the handler to help them coordinate with their new guide dog.

The blind handler can now enjoy their new-found sense of freedom and independence attained by working in partnership with a loving and well-trained companion for many years to come.