What year is it again?

October 10, 2011

Welcome back to a regular feature we call, “What Year is it Again?” in which we relate true events that make us question whether we’ve gone back in time for decades, maybe even centuries.

For instance, I was looking at a very nice photo series about guide dogs in Peru, but I noticed the captions said that shops, banks and buses don’t allow blind people to enter with their guide dogs.

Thinking this must be some mistake, because my smart phone tells me we’re living in the year 2011, I checked further.

Our photographer told me that indeed, guide dogs are a new phenomenon in Peru. So naturally, instead of checking in with other countries that have used these amazing animals forever, the locals just made rules against them. I guess that’s a lot easier.

Our photographer saw blind people mistreated and denied service a number of times.

One woman with a guide dog had to take a bus to the Andes to give a workshop for the blind, but the ticket seller said her dog would have to be stowed in the luggage compartment, underneath.

I will pause here for a moment while you let that sink in.

Please keep in mind that guide dogs are an established and respected institution around the world. Heck, most of the ones I’ve seen are a lot smarter and cleaner than I am.

One of the people in our photos calls her guide dog, Cubbe, “my eyes, my furry little angel.”

She says that if she gets lost, she tells Cubbe, “Find home,” and Cubbe takes her back home.

I wonder what Cubbe would do if she said, “Find sanity…”

Guide dog slideshow

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Top: Juan Perez accompanied by his guide dog Isac wait for a medical exam to participate in a race in Lima, October 6, 2011.

Left: Jane Cosar and her guide dog walk in front of the conductor of a bus who refused to let her board in Lima, September 29, 2011. Cosar is a blind lawyer and former congressional candidate who fights for the rights of blind people using guide dogs in Peru, where shops, banks, buses and others do not allow the blind to enter with their guide dogs.

Right: A security guard prevents Cosar and her guide dog from entering the Lince Mayor building in Lima, September 29, 2011.

Bottom left: Cosar and her guide dog Cubbe stand next to another dog who wants to play with him at a park in Lima, September 29, 2011.

REUTERS photos by Mariana Bazo

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Guide dogs not allowed
in Peru’s public places,
This is just absurd!

Guide dogs are friendly,
Smarter and cleaner than Bob?
They should start blogging!

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

that last picture was staged. Golden retrievers never want to play…well almost never…well, not so much when they are sleeping (although our boy has been known to wag his tail when he’s sound asleep).

😛 Love me, love my dog…Join the OE Blog Network! 😛

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Georgia, you should have truncated the “network” element of your latest tagline suggestion. Would have sounded better in my view!

“Love me, love my dog…Join the OE blog!”

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

While were in New York, it seemed that everywhere we tried to go, Amish buggies were hogging the road. What year was that? Around 1850?

Oh Peachy One, around here, I am known as ‘Yoga Bob!’ Not too bad, except my first name is ‘Tim.’

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

Blog Guy,
What are the chances that Basler Air could air freight a load of the Spanish & Quechuan translation of “Follow My Leader”, (an excellent book about guide dogs) down to Lima and surrounding cities?

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

We could try, Frisco, but my guess is our pilot would land in Lima, Ohio or Peru, Indiana…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Peru’s anti GuideDog policy is probably what kept his owner out of congress.
…BUt then, what do you expect from a country whose national animal is the Vicuna anad the national bird is the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock? There’s also a store in Lima called Animal’s Planet that offers a “hairdressing salon and reproductive service for all kinds of dogs.”

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

I humbly offer two haiku:

Against disabled people
Is sad policy

Against guide dogs for the blind
Is quite short-sighted

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

@Spin – That second one is the best haiku yet, I think!

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

@Moonshine: Thanks! I’ll throw in another, although no wordplay in this one:

It is inhuman
to treat both disabled folks
and their dogs badly

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Good luck to Ms Cosar…

I used to have an acquaintance who pretended that his dog was a Hearing Dog, and he was deaf. The consequences were very wrong, but very funny. I will never forget the dimwit waitress patiently reading the menu to the dog…

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Okay, Crow, is that really true? Because it’s my new favorite story if it is…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Crow: Love the story.

BG: Love that you brought this story to our attention.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

@Crowgirl, I think you should get to be guest OE blogger and expand on that story!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Thanks, Crow. Your story stirred a great memory that had been buried for years….
…an ex-Army Ranger friend who came into a little East Tennessee mountain bar with his Service Dog, playing “Blind Man w/ Seeing-Eye Dog.” The dog was snarling and slavering, looking for all the world like Cujo’s rabid cousin. As the saying goes, it was a**holes and elbows with drunks and rednecks scrambling for the door….
Aaah, those were the days….

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive


Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

The deaf “hearing dog” story brought back memories of a particular stand up comedy by Rowan Atkinson, featuring “Tom, Dick and Harry”. Won’t go into the details, but a youtube search will return this great piece of standup. Otherwise, read the transcript here:

http://deohsan.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/ tom-dick-and-harry/

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive