Thursday, June 5, 2008

Guide Dogs for All of Us

Welcome to the first edition of our blog. We hope you’ll enjoy it and we look forward to your feedback. Please feel free to share it with those you know and love so that they can become our new friends…

Guide Dogs for All of Us

Guide Dogs are trained to lead people who are blind around obstacles; they will stop to communicate a change in elevation, such as curbs or steps. And they will even disobey a request to go forward across a street if they notice a car coming.

They’re so remarkable, one wonders what ELSE they could be trained to do!
Animator M.K. Brown imagines that if we lived in a world where dogs could talk, they might guide us in ways we’ve never dreamed possible.

Brown’s illustrations have graced the pages of everything from The New Yorker Magazine to The National Lampoon. She is a supporter of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Enjoy her humorous animated short, Guide Dogs.

The animation is not in an accessible format for screen readers. Descriptions:
Cartoon 1: dog with man driving a car
2. Dog with woman shopping for clothes
3. Dog with race car driver getting a beer
4. Dog with man who’s flirting with a woman
5. Dog with woman at the refrigerator
6. Dog with man at office desk
7. Dog with guy lying on lawn


  1. Yay! I'm so glad there's an official blog for Guide Dogs for the Blind. I'm a puppy raiser, and have been blogging for a year and a half now. It's fun stuff, and an awesome online community.

    I'll add this link to my blog, and help get the word out to other puppy raiser bloggers. :D

  2. Yeah for an official Guide Dog Blog! I am a teen puppy raiser and am raising my first puppy, DeSoto BLM. I have only been blogging for 6 months, but it is really fun!

  3. Yay for the new Guide Dogs blog!! I'm also a teen puppy raiser, although I'm taking a break from raising right now. I've been blogging for a while, and have really enjoyed getting to know the puppy raising blogging community. I've added you to my blogroll!!!

  4. cool welcome to the blog-o-sphere!
    Lani - FBL for GDB

  5. I was so excited to see this blog! I will definatly link to it on my page to spread the word!

  6. Yay for a GDB blog! I'm also a young puppy raiser. I currently have my third puppy, FBL Alana. My second puppy, Holly, is a breeder and was featured in the June Newsletter!

  7. Woot, Woot!!!

    An official Guide Dogs blog!!!!

    Yes, I am also a teen puppy raiser, raising my first puppy, a yellow lab named Eagle. He has a call-back for August 16th, and I am picking up a puppy!

  8. Hi. I think it's great that you guys have a blog. But, can we describe the pictures a little better than "dog at a fridge?" There has got to be more in that picture than a dog at a fridge. What is funny about the dog at the fridge? Is he thinking about the food in the fridge? Does he have a thought bubble over his head? Let's get some description. I have a guide dog from your school, and I was all ready to promote your blog. But I won't if the designers think so little of the people who use guide dogs that they don't describe the pictures enough that we can chuckle along with the rest of the readers. when your users can't understand your humor because it's too visual, it's time to do some thinking.

    apologies if I seem harsh. I'm sure this was just an oversight since this is the first post, but I wanted to be a bit over the top so hopefully it will catch your attention and the descriptions will be better next time. I don't want you guys to shoot yourselves in the foot by angering the very people who have guide dogs from GDB, or maybe people who are thinking about getting a guide dog from you. I want this blog to rock for everyone!

    And, you might want to think about the presence of word verification. I know you have to do it to prevent spam, and most of your users can use the audio solution, but the audio is intentionally garbled, just like the visual version is, so anyone with significant hearing loss will find this impossible to understand. I wish I had a suggestion to solve the problem. Maybe turn it off and see if you get spammed. Not every blog gets spammed. So you might be able to survive without visual word verification.

    I'll be watching this blog with a lot of interest. I hope it reaches lots of new folks.

  9. Carin is absolutely right. the descriptions are awful. it would be like somebody reading a book to you and saying "ok, this page has words on it, and here's a picture. This page has more pictures and less words."

    Descriptions like that are completely useless and don't represent an organization for the blind very well at all. I have nothing against the use of pictures, but please, describe them better so that the blind can laugh along with you. The description dog at a fridge, not funny. If it were to say for example, "dog at the fridge reading labels and telling you what you should eat and giving you a dirty look because of the junkfood," that's funny. I have no idea what's actually in that picture, what I wrote is just an example.

    I'm glad to see that GDB has a blog, I just hope that in future readers of all kinds will be considered when posting.

  10. This is great news! Go GDB! My husband got his guide dog, Zane, on Thanksgiving Day 2007 and, boy, are we grateful for him! Claudia Faubion, Denver

  11. Hi, This is Zane and I am a good looking Black Lab that is a guide for Richard Faubion. I really appreciated hearing my buddies share their thoughts on your blog.
    Boy do I have a LOT to say. Watch for the Zane Train blog!
    Love, Zane

  12. You were the guy in the podcast! Go Richard! Hope Zane is being good.

  13. Thank you all so much for writing and helping us launch our blog. And special thanks to Carin and Steve for their feedback. We probably should have mentioned that the cartoon consisted of drawings with sound. The animation comes from the dog's mouth moving. The sound is what the dog is saying in his speech bubble. So, for example, a woman is reaching into a refrigerator and the dog is "guiding her" by telling her that she just dropped her keys into the vegetable drawer, without noticing it, etc.

    We will try turning off the verification and will keep our fingers crossed that we don't attract spam.

    Again, thanks for all your suggestions and support. -- JR

  14. I never heard any sound. Hmmm. The puzzlers continue. Do I have to have something on or something? I didn't hear a thing.
    If you didn't want to turn off the verf, you could maybe set up an email adresss for people with hearing problems or other troubles with the verification scheme so they could email their comments. You could write it like this, comments(at)guidedogs(dot)com to make it harder for spammers to crack, or you could write it out all funny like comments at the guidedogs domain, so it takes some human thought to write the address. Then someone could put up the comments for the person. I know it would mean more work for you and a middleman for them, but it is another option if you get spammed off the planet. I wish there was a deafblind-friendly captcha. But I sure as heck can't think of one.

  15. Well willl try again. Wanted to comment on the quiet cars. Heard about a car that goes into idle when at a stop. Maybe that is the answer to the quiet car since the car still runs at idle.

  16. Regina, it looks like you got them both to work.
    And thank you for turning off the word verf! Woooo!