The One Handed Shopper!

When I was at Guiding Eyes For the Blind two years ago, I had several questions for the trainers. One of them was how does a blind guy shop with a guide dog? I recall one of my fellow students saying, the easiest way to shop is to use a backpack. When Nash and I returned to the city two years ago I remember going to Duane Reade with my back pack, thinking, wow what a smart idea. I walked into the store and could still see enough to shop on my own. I went to the aisle to get the first product I needed, probably, diet Dr. Pepper, which I have since learned is the number selling soda in NYC. Which to this day makes me question if it is the number one selling soda in NYC, why not carry more 12 packs than their usual four boxes they put on the shelf each week? It is constantly sold out, yet the shelves are always full of lesser sodas ,and I need my Diet Dr. Pepper fix. Anyway, I picked up the 12 pack, and of course it would not fit in my back pack, so I tucked it under my arm and walked to retrieve the next product I needed. Nash carefully navigated the crowded aisles. For some reason Duane Reade finds it necessary to fill up every open space in the store making it narly impossible for a visually impaired person to navigate the store without knocking over displays of crap people would never buy, and constantly hearing clean up on aisle 4, and so on following them around the store. I got the next product I needed, and honestly, I have no clue what it was, but I do recall picking it up and going to plavce it in my backup, and saying wait a minute isn’t this going to look like stealing? Not sure where that other student lives and ships by walking around the store and placing the items they need in their back pack. I think Guiding Eyes may have placed a clepto in my class.Instead of being a clepto over the past two years, I have had to learn to shop with one hand and arm, as the other is occupied with Nash leaving me around. Not to get off topic, but Nash sure does love the Duane Reade across the street. He is amazed by all of the smells i nthere. He does do a good job of avoiding the candy aisle and not trying to drag me down it. He has gotten very skillful at avoiding all the displays, and getting me through the store without knocking over displays on each visit to Duane Reade. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to do all of my shopping in one visit, as my one available arm can only carry so many things around the store, and I can only carry things in one arm on the walk home. As my vision has gotten to the point it is at now, I now have to go to where I think the product is in the store, and wait for someone else to walk down the aisle then ask for their help finding it. On a good day, I am able to find an employee at the Duane Reade, and they help me pick up everything I need. I do have to give most of the Duane Reade employees credit, as over the last two years, I have gotten to know them, and most of them are pretty helpful, and very friendly. Some of them even know what I am picking up most of the time. I also have to give props to Nash because as far as I can tell he has never tried to eat anything off of one of the lower shelves in Duane Reade. He does have to sniff the entire floor, but who knows how many things have been dropped on a floor in a store that is open 24 hours a day, and I have noticed that the store is dog friendly to non Guide dogs. One of the other amazing things about Nash is we usually walk past another dog on our way back to the pad from Duane Reade, and the other dogs always have to bark at Nash, and Nash just ignores them and keeps going on his way. He is almost like, do you know who I am, and I am not even going to acknowledge your bark!

4 Responses to “The One Handed Shopper!”

  1. Lorraine Says:

    I’m so glad the people at Duane Reade are so friendly. Dog distraction is a huge thing for pups and puppy raisers to overcome. Working on a loose leash and dog distraction are two of the things that take the most time to nail down. So when you talk about how Nash ignores the other barking dog, I get chills. Really. I’m so proud of him! I’m glad he takes such great care of you and you of him. So glad the blog is back. Didn’t Elton John write a song about that?

  2. Kim Says:

    It’s a testament to all the hard work you put in with him Lorraine, that he is so well behaved!!! Kudos to you, and I can only hope my future dogs are all as awesome as Nash sounds 🙂

  3. blindgator Says:

    Yes, Lorraine and Richard did a great job training him, but what’s with having to stick his snoot in to everything? What is he a dog or something?

  4. blindgator Says:

    Nash does do a great job ignoring all other dogs, but he definitely has a thing for people as he does want to say hello to everyone, and when he sees someone he knows, he get crazy excited.

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