Some time back, for reasons only known to the Chief, Chief Seeing Eye Dog Blue developed a rather strong fear of the ramps on the city busses here. Today, I decided we must try and get him over it and since nothing else I’d done thus far was working, I went to the last result and decided, bribery would maybe get us back aboard. So, armed with treats and my cane so I could show him exactly what I wanted from him, we sat off for parts unknown.
That was true because I had no destination in mind. In fact, we didn’t really go anywhere. All I worked on today was getting him to board at our stop here at our apartment complex and then getting him to transfer to another bus at the station and riding back round to a transfer point so I could get us back home.
This took an hour but with the help of treats, of which I only had one, which I broke into pieces at each boarding point and a lot of encouragement and praise from me we made it all the way through the training trip with no mishap.
Though Blue was still quite hesitant, his stomach won out and by the time we got home though we were starting to get hot as the temps rose both outside and inside the bus, he was feeling quite proud.
I’m hopeful to work with him again on Friday, at which time we will actually have a destination.
As usual, the drivers had no idea how to correctly help because as described to me by our planning manager "drivers are instructed not to help at all and are given no other training." But with some kind instruction from me and their willingness to learn despite the stupidity of their management everyone worked well together.
To say I’m completely disgusted with our city management or lack thereof as well as the management or lack thereof of the city bus company would be a gross understatement. I have spoken to other bus companies in the area as well as persons who live in other cities and the responses, I get are so different it is quite amazing.
I challenge all bus and city management to ride the bus blindfolded with no help other than a cane. I’ll be happy to give you enough instruction to keep you from killing yourselves.
I’ve written as much to all of them but as of, yet I’ve gotten no response. (Cowardly cusses they are to be sure)
Yes, I suppose what I say is a bit disrespectful but so has their lack of response been disrespectful to me and all other disabled persons who ride the bus. The only response I got about the subject of riding blindfolded was to be told that they rode in a wheelchair. I’d just like to know; do they think that has anything whatsoever to do with being blind.
Oh, ye city of Kingsport, never fear I’m not going away I’m always going to be a thorn in your side, foot, and ass as well as anywhere else I can think to put it. So, either give in and meet me halfway or keep putting up with me and what I write.
I suppose in the end I’ll have to do what I did before when reclaiming a certain bus stop and believe me and you I am not afraid! I will do whatever I must do to see that disabled persons of all types are not ignored! One more thing dear Kingsport City, none of us are above disability, Karma is a real bitch. I am a real witch so keep that in mind, for one day it could be you who goes blind and finds yourself in the grasp of the lack you have created.
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
Follow her at: https://pattysworlds.com/ for stories, book updates and more.