Steps for getting a new guide dog: the dreaded short handle walk

Jul 24, 2015, 11:33 AM, Richmond, Greater London, England

My wonderful Vance, who I have been working as a guide dog for the past six years is gradually approaching his retirement. So as to not be left without a dog, at least for too long, it is important that I rejoin the list as soon as possible. All that stands between me and the formal waiting process, as of this morning, was some form filling and the dreaded short handle walk. This most embarrassing of activities involves the mobility instructor pretending to be a guide dog, and the owner-to-be issuing commands and following the handle. The idea is to allow the instructor to assess the applicants walking speed and style, and their ability to follow the handle fluidly.

My walk took place on a rather rainy Friday in July. Thanks must go to guide dogs mobility instructor Becca, for agreeing to be recorded. I hope that this provides an interesting and useful insight for those who will never have to undertake short handle walk themselves.

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