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Monday, August 2, 2010

Random Thoughts


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?


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.

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