• Golden Dog
They have always been a little, and now almost gone. And it is not because the urban environment has become friendly to the blind or the miracle appeared electronic devices, allowing them to move freely around the city.
In the 600 years since the first mention of a guide dog, they invented anything better and it was not. In England, they have a one in ten blind in America - one of the twelve. We have the same ... But we do not even no one really knows how many in Russia the blind and visually impaired people. It is believed that three hundred thousand, embarked on the record in the blind community.
Now try to understand the figure: the only two schools in Russia, where trained dogs for the visually impaired. In total, they can prepare about 80 dogs a year. And it's all over the country!
The first school - All-Russian Society for the Blind, commissioned by the state produces 60 guide dogs. By the actual demand is not irrelevant.
In the field, running the whole system failure. From the obligatory presence of a disabled person in "destination guide dog as a technical means of rehabilitation" received from health officials. Before excuses with the requirement to bring the agreement to a dog from everyone living in the stairwell neighbors and their inquiries about the absence of allergic diseases.
And though these excuses and seem absurd - the usual a dog anything that is not required, but the right to win and otrugivat - very energy consuming, and we are talking about blind people, trips to government agencies for whom the collection "certificates to the certificate" virtually impossible.
I was told about a woman in the province, which is fifteen years wore paper. They were received, saying that put in place, and did not find an application or asked something dosobrat next year.
But even if someone turns it all go, then later they will turn "two years" and sometimes calls with offers to "speed money".
Fortunately, where the state is in no hurry to help and the problem becomes blatant, there are people who care.
Training and Dog Training Center "Dogs helpers disabled" - a charitable non-profit organization. This is the second and last place in Russia, where a blind person can get a free guide dog.
The Center was established 15 years ago. There is no state bureaucracy, but the waiting list will have to stand in the same year.
All the dogs are brought up here - Labradors or Golden Retrievers. Puppy Center selects and acquires himself. Some of them transferred to breeders for free, but it is not a representative of the species suitable for the nature of this, it requires incredible attention and responsibility, work.
During the training of a dog live in "foster care" and know what the apartment and how to behave in it.
First of all, a future guide dog must have a stable nervous system, which allows her to train and use effectively.
Be balanced, easy to relate to people and animals, do not show any aggression.
Do not react to loud sounds, not to be afraid of transport, do not suffer from motion sickness while traveling. To be healthy and in good physical shape.
Guide dogs, knowing the width and height of a person can safely lead him among the people, transport and even notice hanging branches that may offend the host.
They are taught to memorize dozens of routes, know them by names such as "Station" or "Shop", "right-left" understand and may even lead to a specific apartment in the house over the years, if one day it were.
The dogs are working in very difficult urban environment - are forced together with a host of walking on roads with salt, where conventional pets prefer not to drive.
They do not shy away from the direction of, and may decide if the road was suddenly dug. If the guide sees that it is possible to get around - begin to crawl. If not - "tell" about the owner and he will have to decide which way to go, or ask for help from others.
By the way, help others. If a blind man stands at a crossroads, then no need to grab the arm and drag to the other side. Perhaps he is resting or decide where to go.
Ask: "How do you do to help?". A moving across the road, not to drag it to the side (so as not pushed) and do not leave without saying a word. All he is disoriented and does not know where he was. Leave it at the end of zebra, and do not forget to say goodbye.
Guide dogs always stay in "control points" - the main places of the route to the blind do not lose control in space. It is very important. They lead the host on the left side of the road to the main stream going forward - back passers-by can not see what is before them blind.
And here specifically to make stops on the tactile tile they do not teach. They themselves understand it as an obstacle and represent the owner.
Please do not ironed and were treated to a guide dog. When she was in the harness - it works, it focuses on the safe conduct of the person. This can distract her and she makes a mistake, dangerous for a blind owner. And he himself will be calmer - he does not see that his friend, pop.
Education guide takes six to eight months. In total, her upbringing before the exam takes a year. Part of the dogs during their studies is eliminated, the Center attaches them in good hands.
The most recent phase - a two-week training future owner together with the four-legged friend.
In total, preparing a guide dog costs about 250 thousand rubles. Indeed gold dog! Blind people they are transmitted free of charge.
All dogs Center officially get a guide dog passport, are entitled to 17 thousand rubles a year on food and free veterinary care in public clinics.
According to Russian legislation, guide dogs are allowed free travel by any mode of public transport, trains, on ships and in the passenger compartment of the aircraft.
guide dogs are obliged to let in all public places, including shops, restaurants, theaters, hotels and public institutions.
And now the bad news. About us. After all, we make up a society in which people with disabilities live. You can hate dogs. But seeing guide dog in harness with red crosses and a host of dark glasses and white cane, you can not go anywhere is not empty. You work as a security guard at a pharmacy, supermarket or the director of a police officer in the Ministry of reception, you have no right to mock the visually impaired, asking them to bring any paper to "issue an order for admission." Guide dogs can pass everywhere at once. It's the law. Just remember, and take it for granted.
I'm sorry, was distracted. We return to our dogs. To marvel at the work of a guide dog, I do not even have to "get into the skin of" blind and experiment for yourself. Suffice it to look the part, spent the day with Oksana - the owner of a wonderful Gerda from the center of "the disabled Dogs-mates." At work is a charming cutie - the favorite of all employees.
On the street - a responsible and helpful assistant. I think on the previous street photographer you have already understood.
I will dwell on one point. Not only are able to raise the guides of a fallen white cane, but also their blind owners are forced to wear a dog when coming off the escalator, just blindly identifying dangerous place. Otherwise fur paw sucked into the brush. In Gerda there is a special harness with handle.
Preparation of the dogs - not only business training and dog training center "Dogs helpers disabled." Equally important is their work with blind people with disabilities. Here the blind are taught to develop new routes, to overcome the fear of exit to the street, to use a white cane, and not be afraid to communicate with sighted people - such problems are found in almost all. Special coach spatial orientation of teaching to explore the world, avoiding obstacles, to resolve conflicts with other people. After such a course with a trainer blind acquire new skills, learn to deal with fears. There was even a case where a girl with a disability, having such training, decided to abandon the queue at the dog and try to move independently around the city.