The Calming of the Storm

I moved back to New York City from Florida in 2000 when my vision started to take a turn for the worse. After all, with NYC’s public transportation system, I like to say New York City is a blind man’s paradise. You can go where ever you want when ever you want, and don’t have to rely on other people to get there. I have lived in Los Angeles and dealt with earthquakes, Florida you get to deal with the hurricanes, and well, NYC you have to deal with the terrorists, but now NYC you get to deal with the hurricanes to. Not Fair. I thought I left Florida to get away from the hurricanes.

The storm blew in on Monday. We have all seen the damage it has done to NYC, Jersey, and the Northeast. Being a blind guy and living through a hurricane can be very scary. The wind is so strong and the noise it makes is quite chilling. You can’t tell how bad it is outside, and you have no clue if something can blow through your apartment.

Three years ago when I was at guide dog school, and I could still see fairly decently, I found it very funny when another totally blind student talked about her fear of tree branches. As sighted people, when you hear someone has a fear of tree branches, I’m sorry, but its funny. How in the world can someone be afraid of tree branches. Well, now I get it. I do not have a fear of tree branches, but lets just say I am not a fan of them. Hey, you try walking around with your eyes closed, and trust me after you take one tree branch to the head, you will get it. During Hurricane Sandy, my biggest fear was going outside having to walk Nash, and not knowing if something would be blowing down the street towards us. There are a lot of trees in our area, and last year when Hurricane Irene hit, a tree fell two apartments over and crushed a car. So yeah, walking Nash in Hurricane winds would not rank in my top ten favorite things to do. We did survive that bitch Hurricane Sandy without any incidents.

We all know that guide dogs are unbelievably trained to lead blind people around, but it is not Nash’s training that impressed me during the storm, it was his temperament. To Nash, Monday and Hurricane Sandy was just another day. We woke up, he ate breakfast, went for his walk. The winds got stronger during the afternoon, Nash began to get pushy at 4pm as he does every day. Yes, Nash’s dinner time is 6pm, and every day he starts to want to get fed at 4pm. On Monday, the news was reporting that the storm was going to be at its worst between 5 and 10pm, so Nash did get to eat early at 445pm. The storm picked up at 5pm, and Nash didn’t have a care in the world, and it was a typical evening for him. He spent part of the evening in my bedroom in my bed of course. He periodically came out in to the main room, spent time under my desk sitting on my feet. He wanted his belly rubbed and to play, and he wasn’t affected in the slightest by the howling winds outside. Nash was as calm as could be, almost a calming influence. That’s Nash.

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