The Gift of Vision

Sept 16th, 2015

guide dog
Today I was a witness of unusual scene on subway train while going to work..
Usually I read a book on my commute and hardly notice anything around me, but today on level of my eyes I suddenly saw a dog. I took my eyes from book and saw a Labrador guide dog held by middle age man in office attire.
There was one seat available next to the door, but dog passed it and lead his owner to the next car where was a whole empty bench. When dog stopped, the owner didn’t take a seat and stayed still, didn’t move even when train stopped on the next station. He didn’t even touch the metal post for support. I thought maybe he wasn’t certain where exactly the handle could be and didn’t want any discomfort for others. I had an urge to jump up on my feet and go to help him, but because it was a bit far from me and there were so many people next to him, I hesitated. I also was a bit ashamed to stare to this man like a curious child.
Besides in few minutes it was already my stop and I left the train.

I noticed this man with guide dog also got off the train at the same station. They started to walk along the way towards escalator passing the staircases. I wasn’t sure if man was aware that there is escalator and said “there is escalator sir!”. He remained silent and confidently stepped on the metal moving platform.
When the step he was staying on was going to be aligned with top floor, he jerked the dog up, so it will not trip over and headed towards the exit. I realized that this couple know exactly what to do and learned their route. Though there always could be unexpected complications.

There was a story In Manhattan a couple of years ago about 61 year old blind man who was rescued by his guide dog. The man approaching the train suddenly lost consciousness and leaped with dog to the tracks.
The dog tried to stop him while the man was losing balance and still tried to do something while they both fell. He licked the man’s face and loudly barked. Luckily someone saw it and called the operator, the train slowed down while moving on top of them, probably not be able to do complete stop.
Miraculously man and dog survived!

Story like that brings tears to my eyes. How much we under appreciate animals first off all and how much we take for granted the precious gift of life – our vision.

Here is a link to the article about rescued man.


Julia S.

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