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Iris and Seemore Animal Health Fund

About Iris and Seemore

Hi, my name is Iris. I am going to be a teenager soon. Walking through town with my dog Seemore is one of my favorite things to do.

Seemore is my guide dog. Since I'm blind, Seemore makes sure I don't bump into anything while I'm walking. He is specially trained to follow my commands, but only when he has his harness on.

In real life, kids my age aren't old enough to have a guide dog. They have to wait until they are eighteen. They must also be able to orient themselves in an outside environment using a white cane. But since Seemore and I live in a fantasy world, he doesn't have to look like a typical guide dog, and I get to go walking with him as a young person through our silly town.

Even though it's pretend, Seemore had to go to a guide dog school to learn how to service a legally blind person. He was about fifteen months old when he began his training. Prior to going to school, Seemore lived with a volunteer puppy raiser who cared for him from the time he was weaned from his mom. After six months of training, Seemore was ready to be matched up with his human partner.

That's when I came into the picture. I also had to go to the guide dog school for three weeks. I learned to trust Seemore while giving him the proper commands for traveling. It's really cool; he knows his left from his right. Seemore also knows to stop at curbs and take me around barriers in the sidewalk.

After I brought Seemore home, I worked with him every day so we would become a good team. I discovered that some people think guide dogs can read street signs or stop lights. They really can't, you know. I mean these dogs are smart and everything, but after all, dogs are color blind and even in a fantasy world, they can't read. I am the one who has to listen to hear which way the traffic is going before giving Seemore the command to move forward. If the cars sound like they are going across in front of me, then I must wait. If they are moving in the same direction I am planning to walk, then I can safely tell Seemore to go ahead. I also must direct Seemore to where we are going. I have to know how many streets to cross before turning right or left. If I'm going to a particular store or business, I must be on the proper block before I tell Seemore to find the entrance. If it's on the right, I say, Seemore, find the door, right right. If it's on the left, I say, Seemore, find the door, left left.

Seemore will then take me to the very next entrance from the spot I gave the command. If I open the door and it's the right place, I tell him, Good boy! and go in. Sometimes I might sense it's not where I want to be. If that is the case, I simply close the door, apologize to Seemore and give him the same command again.