David explains: “Why I applied for a Guide Dog when I did”?

Sunday July 21, 2019:

Cliffe, my running partner, asked me why I applied for a Guide Dog when I did? Some of my former work colleagues would say: “David doesn’t make a long story short but does make a short story long!”  Well, here goes! 

When I retired in 2013, I was aware of the limitations caused by my visual impairment.   I would mistake people’s identity which was immediately noticeable when I said “Hello” to a  life-size replica of Father Christmas sitting by the reception window in a day centre.  The staff behind the window laughed and I did see the funny side of it too.  I had a similar response from my colleagues after I told them that I greeted a very realistic-looking manikin in a local superstore.

On a more serious note, I did have a few mishaps bumping into obstacles on the pavement and  stumbling on and off high kerbs.  I found that shopping was becoming increasingly upsetting and humiliating as I couldn’t see the items on the shelves and had to keep asking staff or other customers for help to locate them. I felt that I was increasingly losing my self-confidence and independence. 

When I realised how Guide Dogs were helping  some of my newly found friends at Dorset Blind Association (DBA), I thought this might be the answer for me too. It would help me focus on the things I could do rather than on the things I couldn’t.  With my wife, Jo’s support, I decided to apply for a Guide Dog and two years later, my Spencer arrived!

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