Sunday, August 21, 2011

My New Roles

Sometimes kids are fascinated by my brace. I can see the gears turning: is her leg real? Can she take her leg off? Does it hurt?

"This is a brace," I tell the kids, if I have enough energy to talk. "It helps me to walk. It doesn't hurt, but my leg doesn't work very well right now."

The other day I was walking without my brace, but very slowly and leaning on my cane. I saw a woman with a dog coming down the road on the other side. As I approached, the dog--who looked young--started to bark loudly at me.

"Hi Pooch!" I said, in a friendly voice. 

The dog immediately stopped barking, and started to wag his tail. The relieved owner crossed the street to my side, and apologized to me.

"You know about canes!" said the woman to the dog, gently scolding him. "It's nothing to be afraid about!" The dog licked my cane and me.

I guess that one of my new roles is being an ambassador from the disabled world to the young, including dogs. I don't mind.


  1. A friend's cats are freaked out by my cane. I learned to stand still until they dart past me. Having a dog lick my cane sounds so much friendlier. We are ambassadors who can change people's minds about stroke.

  2. My own dog doesn't like my recalcitrant leg/foot even though it's all he's ever known for me (he is a post-stroke dog, so doesn't know me from before). Sometimes as I'm walking by him, he gets into his pre-pounce crouch and stares at my leg, but he has never once lunged at me, which would certainly teach him to fear canes. It happens more with my brace on than without. I rarely know what's going on in that little brain of his, except when we're taking a walk and he sniffs, then turns around and grazes on a bunny-poop snack. THEN I know he's thinking,"bunny poop, bunny poop, bunny poop!"

  3. My friend uses a wheelchair and she owns a little poodle. The dog goes for walks between the back wheels of her chair. It is really amazing how well trained and safe and out of the way he is.

    This does NOT work when Boomer comes along if we go on a little longer walk. I try to push her on longer walks. (easier on her arms and a good balanced sub for my walker) Boomer the dog thinks I am taking his place. Boomer also does not approve of my cane and he gets all protective of his owner when he sees me using it.