Hi there, Glob Readers! This is Jessica. You might remember me from a previous glob about my guide dog, Bristol the Super Dog. That one was written by Gigi's dog Merle (um, kinda). I am now adding my own thoughts on what it is like to have Bristol as my guide dog.
Bristol has given me a great gift. He has given me the gift of moving independently while out in public since I cannot see on my own. He is always there when I need him. With Bristol by my side, I have the confidence to move without the assistance of another person. For me, there is no greater feeling than being able to move independently without relying on another person to guide me. With Bristol, I can go places whenever I want to.
While we are at college or wherever else we might be, Bristol is always watching out for me. He has been taught to look for curbs so that I don’t fall off of them, to avoid obstacles that could harm me if I run into them, and much more.
On a few occasions, Bristol has even saved my life. I have come close to being hit by a car, but thanks to Bristol’s quick reaction I did not get hurt. Bristol was taught to back up when I am in danger of being hit by a car. He has done that twice in the four years I have had him. If it wasn’t for Bristol’s watchfulness I may have gotten hurt.
Bristol has also been taught to disobey a command if it is to put us in danger. For example, if I tell him to walk forward and there is an object in the way that could hurt us, he will refuse to walk forward. It is then up to both of us to figure out the best way to get out of the situation.
Bristol is also able to learn different paths that we walk on a regular basis. Once he learns a path, he will walk it with little command from me. His ability to remember paths has helped me several times. For instance, once while on my school’s campus, I got a little confused as to where I was at. Without any assistance from me, Bristol was able to lead me back to a familiar building that we had spent a lot of time in.
Bristol and I have been on many adventures with each other. We just graduated from Pensacola Junior College and are starting a new adventure at the University of West Florida in August! I am looking forward to that and all of the other things that Bristol and I will do together as a team.