Escaped Guide Dog Reunites With Blind Siblings – An Story Of Strong Companionship
Growing up, you must have come across the famous pictures of a blind person being led by a dog. Such a simple picture has so many different messages put together. On one hand, you have the helplessness of the owner as they cross the road. On the other, you have the loyal friend who takes the will of the human, becomes the guide and pulls him across the street. The picture brings out our dependence on dogs – and their dependence on us, human beings – a perfect companionship.
According to science, dogs weren’t always like this. At first, dogs were the ferocious wolves. But somehow, they started mingling with humans, not as a wild beast but as a hesitant friend. Soon, enough they became part of the human society and the long process of domestication began. We do not know how long it took but dogs soon became our friends. At first, we may have used them for hard tasks like pulling sledges down the mountains, but we have always considered them as companions. Hunting partners – friends to talk to. And we are glad that they truly remained so.
Austin Clark and his sister, Sydney, surely is thankful for this evolutionary feat. For them, their dogs are their eyes.
Austin is legally blind. He has been so for his entire life. Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing a fruitful career. He completed his MBA from Western and is heading a financial planning company. His company employs people with special needs and represents them.
But for Austin, one of his special friends is Almanor, his guide dog. Almanor has stayed with Austin for the past eight years and within that time, she has changed his life completely. Being blind, Austin and his activities were limited – he had no one to walk him around, no one to guide him. He had his currently 23-year-old sister with him but sadly, she is not in the light either. Sydney is studying in grad school. But she is legally blind too – making the entire family disadvantaged on most of the aspects of life.
What came as a light for both these individuals is in the form of animals – two dogs, Almanor and Jefro. The foursome often sets out in the morning and goes to places that they never expected to visit without a proper guide. Almanor stays with Austin all the time. Jefro, on the other hand, is Sydney’s sidekick. Together, they rule the community, their handicap doing nothing to set them back.
According to Austin, he had never really visited so many places as he does with Almanor. Within 8 years, she was able to show Austin his little community – something he wasn’t able to do for 18 years before Almanor. Sydney believes that same thing. She knows how difficult blindness is – she has experienced it. She also knows how many people fear losing their eyesight more than anything else. Losing control of themselves – losing the sight of all the colors that surround us. It’s a terrifying thought – no doubt about that. But Sydney believes that it’s not always that terrifying. If you are blind, you just have to make sure that you have everyone you love around you to support you. Their support is enough to keep your life healthy and happy. Just like it is for Sydney. She has her brother with her, and along with him, there is Jefro and Almanor. Nobody is going to mess around with them now.
For Austin, the dogs are their guardian angels.
Dogs are known for fooling around. Just like human beings, they have their mischief too. Almanor and Jefro are the same. They fool around at times and are quite playful. But they know when its playtime and when its time to get serious. Whenever Sydney and Austin attach the extensions on their necks for guidance, they know its time to stop fooling around. They immediately calm down and take the role of a ‘parent’ guiding their children. No margin for errors. No wonder, they are popular within their society.
When such a disciplined dog suddenly escapes from the house, it strikes fear among the family. When the main door was accidentally left open, Almanor suddenly slipped past and ran away from the house. It was like the light that had dawned upon Austin was suddenly switched off. He was back in the darkness. The family wasn’t aware of what went wrong and why Almanor suddenly decided to leave.
While they became desperate at Almanor’s absence, Almanor ‘parental’ kindness came back. The 10-year-old hurtled back to the house, settling down near Austin’s feet again. They were ecstatic. Even Almanor seemed excited. She must have felt something wrong about her sudden leave and came back to show that she wouldn’t leave her children – ever again.
Unfortunately, she might have to in the end. Austin has decided to take up another guide dog and give Almanor a well-deserved break. Every dog needs a change of scenario like us. However, the separation would be painful, no doubt. It will be a separation similar to that of a mother and a child.
But both of them will have a great story to tell to the future generation: The Story of Austin And Almanor – A Companionship Forged In Darkness And Light’.