Many times I have walked by the guide dogs centre on Morphett street in Adelaide CBD wondering how it actually worked, how dogs were trained, what was going on ect… I was curious about it but felt too shy to push the door and ask some questions about it… but when I have read in the newspaper that there were actually guide dogs discovery centre open days in October, I took my chance and booked me in!
I have really enjoyed this experience and I am really happy I could take part in such event. It is a unique opportunity to learn about guide dogs, their training, their mission, how they can make a huge difference in someone’s life but it is also interesting to experiment and to understand what it is like to live with vision loss and have to develop and rely on other senses.
Actually, there were some activities such as: playing basketball with glasses simulating a vision loss, walk with your eyes closed with a white cane on a fake street, test sounds and develop an understanding of safe listening levels, learn braille…
In my opinion walking with a white cane with my eyes shut down was the most interesting experience because I have realized how different (and scary) the world could be when you can not possibly see and have to rely on your ears and touch. I mean crossing a street is something we are doing everyday without even thinking about it but when you can not see it becomes totally different and dangerous… and it feels comforting to know that there are ways to cope with it and for those who do not wish to use a cane, they can be helped by a guide dog and go on with their everyday lives!
These dogs (Labrador) are amazing, they are doing a great job, they are very intelligent animals, they are heroes and they simply are adorable and lovable! I know it can be tempting to pet them because they are cute and helpful but today I have learnt that when they are wearing a yellow coat (meaning they are being trained) or wearing their harness (meaning that they are guiding their owner) it is forbidden to interact with them because they are working and focus on their task and you don’t want them or their owner to be put in danger because they have been distracted by you!
It is one of the many things I have learnt thanks to the friendly volunteers working at the Guide dogs centre. Tours are organized during school holidays period and it is definitely worth the visit!
Adelaide Guide Dogs Centre
251 Morphett St
Adelaide SA 5000
P: 08 8203 8333
F: 08 8203 8332
Toll free: 1800 484 333