Volume 95, Issue 69

Tuesday, February 5, 2002
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Please stop petting me while I work

Doing lines at the Charity Ball

Please stop petting me while I work

To the Editor:

I never thought I would complain about being drop-dead gorgeous or being so irresistible that people can't keep their hands off me, but quite frankly these distractions are affecting my job performance.

My boss, Alexandra, expects me to do a great job and I don't like to be in the dog house. You may have seen me around campus – I am a white poodle employed as a guide dog and my name is Vanilla.

My job is to get my boss to her classes safely and on time. However, when you talk to me or pet me (you should never touch a guide dog), I become distracted and forget that I am supposed to avoid walls, puddles, snow banks, stairs and other people.

I endanger Alexandra and then she has to scold me for my mistakes because she totally relies on me to guide her and she trusts me to do my job well. Lately, between classes, students have been crowding us and I am forced to stop because I have no room to go forward, which causes frustration and delays.

Alexandra shouldn't be jostled and bumped around – after all, I am a highly-trained professional guide dog. Please make lots of room for us so we can get to class without delays.

I notice at the front of the buildings smokers discard lit cigarettes on the ground, which is a real hazard for me. If I step on a lit cigarette, it could burn my paws and could keep me off the job for a few days.

Besides the pain, I don't have employment or medical insurance, so please, put out cigarettes. White Cane week is Feb. 4-9, so, on behalf of all guide dogs, I thank you for making room for us in crowded areas, not talking to us when we are on the job and for putting out cigarettes before you discard them.

Let's keep this a secret from Alexandra – she doesn't need to know that all the students at Western are helping me do my job.


Poodle, Guide Dog

Jo Anne Carpenter

Arts III

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Copyright The Gazette 2002