Hello, my name is Jen, and I am one of the North Lanarkshire Disability Forum volunteers and committee members. I have been volunteering with NLDF for 18 months now. On the 5th August I qualified with my first guide dog, Snowball.
I was matched with Snowball in May 2021, and I trained with her from June and August. The training involves building up to a good working partnership and a bond of trust between the person and the dog. We were learning different commands and ways to control the dog. We learned different routes as we went along.
The training was very intense, but it has been worth it. Your routine is totally upside down because you have a four-legged friend now and their needs come before yours. It’s a bit like having a new baby.
What’s good about having a Guide Dog?
- Snowball is a big part of my life already.
- My confidence is definitely building up as I get to know her, and she gets to know me.
- We go more places now.
One thing that can be difficult
Sometimes people in the street interrupt Snowball in harness when she is working. It is important to let guide dogs to their job. I know people think she is cute and want to touch her, but it can be dangerous for us.
Snowball is good company for me, and I feel lucky to have been matched with her.