Heard an interesting story by Bruce Gellerman on NPR's "Living on Earth" about "blind-birding." Bill Gette, Santuary Director of Massachusetts Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center, leads a group of vision-impaired people on a walk through the Parker River National Wildlife refuge in search of birds. (Click here to hear the story "Birding by Ear.")
I never thought about "birding by ear," but it certainly makes sense, as so often birds are heard before (or if ever) they are seen! Take a listen to the broadcast, and enjoy. I was surprised that none of the hikers used a guide dog, though. Perhaps if any had dogs, they left them home so as not to disturb the birds?
SATURDAY AT THE MT. CLEMENS FARMER'S MARKET
FLD Mike and I got to the Mt. Clemens Farmer's Market just as the farmers were packing things up to leave. Rats, but I did manage to buy some potatoes and cabbage. As this last stand closed up, Mike and I met a woman who had many questions about raising Leader Dog puppies. She is a recently-retired school-teacher looking for a volunteer career. I suggested she check out the Leader Dogs for the Blind website for opportunities when it seemed that she was not yet ready to take on the commitment to be a puppy-raiser.
While speaking with the retired-teacher, another woman approached with a two-year-old mutt she had rescued this past spring. FLD Mike, who had been sitting calmly at my side, leaped up to play. She stopped about 10 feet away from us. I got Mike under control and said, "This is great training for him." She said, "Tell me how to help." I asked her to stay where she was until I got Mike under control and while the three of us chatted. After the retired-teacher left, I asked her to take a few steps closer because FLD Mike had settled down. She approached. Mike stood up; he did not get crazy; he reached out with his nose to sniff. Eventually, the woman was able to come right up to us and the dogs met nose-to-nose. Very nice.
I was sorry to have missed shopping the market, but pleased to have the opportunity to work with FLD Mike on a "dog" meet-and-greet.