one step at a time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

guide dogs for the blind


Tonight at Brownies we had a man in to talk to us who looks after a retired Guide Dog . He brought the dog and the kids learnt about how guide dogs are trained etc.

They start off their training as puppies. Some dogs are bred specifically to be Guide Dogs but not all. When they are 18 months old they are allocated to a blind person. The blind person gives a donation of 50p to Guide Dogs for the Blind - not sure why... The dogs work for 10 years after which they go to someone to be looked after for the rest of their lives. The person who gets the retired Guide Dog does not pay for the dog, but must be in during the day to look after him/her.

The girls were told it takes £10 per day to keep a Guide Dog. They managed the maths to work out how much it would cost then over 10 years.... and they learnt that we can collect money by bringing in old mobile phones, or by recycling printer ink cartridges or toner.

They were told what types of dog are usually used as Guide Dogs. They got to pet the dog (who was GORGEOUS!).

We then did some Brownie stuff - points collation etc and then played a quick game before home time.

All in all - I thought it was good. If anyone wants to sponsor a puppy the Guide Dogs for the Blind website is: http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/.

15 comments:

Bond said...

very cool...those animals are so special

Julie said...

OH wonderful outing for the girls! You are a great person for wanting to do stuff with the girls!

Travis said...

That's an excellent lesson for young kids.

Sniz said...

I think it is so cool that you lead a Brownies troop. We read a story in school this year about a boy who lost his sight and got a guide dog so I knew a little bit about them, but I learned a lot by reading this. Thanks for posting...

Akelamalu said...

What a great idea getting the Brownies involved in such a worthy cause. :)

TopChamp said...

Bond - They are - and the dog (Mungo) was sooo good looking. Beautiful brown eyes and golden coat & so friendly and well behaved.

The girls were FAIRLY well behaved...and they joined in the 'close your eyes and let your partner lead you as if you were blind' game....

but I think they all cheated as they didn't bump into ANYTHING!

Julie - thanks. We didn't have to go out though - the guide dog man came to us.

Travis - Being a brownie guider is more work than they tell you it will be... but the longer I do it the easier it gets (or maybe the more used to it I get so I stop noticing the work...?). It is also rewarding! I think our pack are all fab - and we had 2 new ones last night. Not sure where they'll fit as we were already oversubscribed.

Akelamalu - I'm a big cheat. I am really really really really busy as christmas is coming. It's an easy night for me if the guide dog man comes in!

TopChamp said...

Hi Sniz! Missed you earlier... Hope the boy's adjusting ok to the guide dog. They are amazing.

TopChamp said...

oh - just realised it was a story.... doh!

Gattina said...

That must have been a wonderful evening. It's so amazing how these trained dogs help blind peoples. I have met once a whole group of trainers with young labradors to be trained, they behaved like all puppies at the first glance but then I noticed a difference. What a big help they are !

TopChamp said...

Gattina - the man explained that the dogs are trained to behave so well when they are in harness... avoiding other dogs etc. but when they are out of harness they are just normal dogs.

the108 said...

Those dogs fascinate me. I read a book about one as a child called Follow My Leader and became enamoured...LOL.

TopChamp said...

108 - you'd have loved Mungo the dog anyway - he was beautiful.

kailani said...

We sometimes get guide dogs on the plane and I never know quite what to do about them. They are so well behaved, though!

Kailani
An Island Life

CountryDew said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening for the young ones! Excellent lesson in compassion ... and math!

Queenie said...

We support a dog at our local school, It works with disabled people, it was fantastic watching the jobs it can do. Great your passing on the word.