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!