A Guide Dog Goes to School

by Hy Cohen

My guide dog, Greta, and I were invited to visit a group of first and second graders at Maplewood Co-op, a kindergarten through eighth grade public school in Edmonds, Washington, to talk about what it is like to be blind or visually impaired. The moment Carolyn asked if we would go, I said, “Yes!”

My guide dog Greta and I became a team in October 2005, and this was Greta’s first time of performing in front of a large group of children. Greta took on the task with a wagging tail! She happily showed the kids many of her different commands and demonstrated how she performs her job by guiding me around the classroom and showing me obstacles that were in our way.

We explained to the students why it is important not to pet a guide dog while it is working, how a guide dog can go just about anywhere with me, how Greta was trained, and many other things.

One of the most exciting parts of short visit was the many questions the students asked. They wanted to know all about guide dogs, and they wondered what it is like being visually impaired.

At the end of the presentation the students presented us with a big box of Lincoln Logs they had collected for the children at the Louis Braille School.

Greta and I had a wonderful time and we would like to thank our hosts for inviting us!