Guiding Eyes grad Arthur Krieck wrote the article below for the New York Times as a Metropolitan Diary item. You can check out the original story here.
I’m a legally blind, native New Yorker, a musician by training and profession. I’ve lived here, gone to school here and worked here all my life. But this was a first!
I traveled here and all over the world on concert tours and vacations using the white cane, from my mid-30s to my early 60s, when my eyesight, deteriorating further, pushed me into getting my first guide dog, sweet, gorgeous cream-colored Labrador retriever named Jillian.
The other night on the subway going to a rehearsal, Jilly guided me to a seat at the end of the car, next to a woman who seemed uncomfortable with our presence. I’m sort of used to this reaction to my dog, but I ignored it. Jillian assumed her “close” position, between my legs, asked for a treat for her good work, which I happily gave her — when the woman suddenly turned to me and announced, “I have a dog in my bag!”
Turns out it was a tiny terrier in the closed purse! We were both anticipating trouble, but the little one was admirably reserved in the bag, moving around but not vocal. Jilly of course was the perfect lady, though she did keep her eyes firmly fixed on the wriggling little bag in the lap to my left.
I guess her Lab nose told her who was in the bag!