Making Friends and Influencing People

Greetings one and all.

Craig proudly cuddling CommandoAs the weeks have gone by since returning to university Commando has, naturally, impressed me with his ability to remember routes and use his initiative to get us around some very crowded areas.

One of the best examples of this was when I asked him to find a door that was surrounded by a large crowd. Instead of trying to pick his way through that crowd, Commando veered off and headed for a second door further along, which would bring us out at the exact same point as if we had used the door I indicated. Needless to say I heaped praise on him for that one.

As regular readers will know, Commando has a knack of attracting people to us. He clearly still has it, as I have had a number of conversations with people who have been drawn over to say hello to Commando. I never have a problem with this, as long as we are not working. If the handle is down, and people ask first if they can say hello to Commando then I’m happy to oblige them. I am quite surprised at how many of the students from overseas are keen to say hello to Commando. I had one gentlemen comment when I told him Commandos name, that it was “a very strong name!”  

I find that in most cases these encounters give me a chance to talk to people about Guide Dogs as an organisation and so raise awareness of what they do and, more importantly, how people can help. I feel that as a Guide Dog owner I am in a way an ambassador for the organisation. With this in mind I always aim to ensure that any encounter someone has with Commando and I will be as positive as possible and hopefully leave a good impression of Guide Dogs in their minds.

At university, this approach seems to be having a very desirable affect. Recently I have been able to sell a number of Guide Dogs raffle tickets to university staff, all of whom have made friends with Commando. Additionally, some staff members have signed up to Sponsor a Puppy following a few long conversations with plenty of fussing over Commando! One of these staff members in fact announced this proudly to me a couple of days ago when Commando and I were waiting for our taxi home.

Speaking of taxis, that same week I had a driver who was brimming with questions about Commando and Guide Dogs. Always happy to provide information, I spent the journey explaining many things in response to the Guide Dogs related questions being asked, including the lack of any government support for the Guide Dogs service. Since I am a speaker for Guide Dogs I never find it any kind of imposition to provide information. I see every such conversation as an excellent opportunity to spread knowledge of the work of the organisation, which has given me so much and asked for so little in return. I was still extremely surprised though when at the end of our journey the taxi driver refused part of his fare, asking me instead to put it into a Guide Dogs collection box. I promptly did this on a visit to our local bakers.


JC, 12:26am Wed 19 Nov 2014:

Lovely photo - you both look extremely happy!

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Craig And Commando

Craig is in his early thirties and he is completely blind. His blog details the day-to-day adventures he experiences with his first guide dog, Commando.

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