A Piece of Work, Or, Follow Your Dog

In ordinary circumstances, Seeing Eye® dogs are trained to walk straight down a sidewalk and stop when they encounter an intersection. Recently, Jim, Quan, and I went for a walk around Bar Harbor. Towards the end of the walk, I felt Quan veer away from the sidewalk and into the adjacent park.

Quan veers into the park from the sidewalk.

Sue follows Quan with faith.

We learn a lot when we train with our dogs. But the most important lesson we learn is, “Follow your dog.” So I followed. The park slopes downhill and ends at a street, across which is the town pier where we had parked the truck. Quan zigged and zagged. And I followed.

Then he stopped.

Quan and Sue approach the crosswalk at the bottom of the hill.

Ah, there’s the crosswalk. Good boy, Quan.

There is more than one crosswalk on the street between the park and the pier. But which one was this? As it turned out, it was the one closest to the truck. I waited for a car to pass and then commanded, “Quan, forward.”

Quan guides Sue across the crosswalk.

Crossing the street on the crosswalk Quan so handily found.

He crossed the street and went up onto a sidewalk.

And we continued.

Then, Quan angled his body left and stopped. “Quan, forward.” He stepped off the sidewalk, marchd right up to “his” door of the truck, and halted.

Sue and Quan back at the truck.

Sue waves her glove in celebration.

Good boy, Quan! That was one fine piece of work.

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