This morning I was caning it down the hill in my slightly clumsy way, although feeling quite good as it was a pleasant sunny morning, if perhaps a little cold. I was suddenly aware of someone catching me up fairly quickly so moved to one side to let them pass me. It was a man, and as he drew level with me he slowed down and said, “Where’s your dog?” I immediately bristled as I find it difficult that people think that they can just ask me out of nowhere about the dog, not just where it is but why etc. But, it was a nice day and I stopped myself from any sort of retort, considering that he might be trying to be friendly. Also, and this might seem selfish, we were approaching the main road and I thought that if I kept him talking long enough he might help me across!
So I told him that the dog had retired. He then asked if I was getting another. I said I was but that it could take up to a year to find me one. He said, “oh”. I was about to comment on the lovely day but realised he’d sped up and was walking quickly away.
So that was the extent of the conversation. He clearly didn’t particularly want to engage with me and certainly didn’t want to offer any help. He was merely satisfying his curiosity about the dog. A woman cane up to me and again, with no preamble, said, “Where’s the dog?” I said I didn’t have her any more and she almost demanded “Why?” I was less patient and said I didn’t want to talk about it and besides, I had no idea who she was. She sounded very put out when she said she lived on my road.
So I’m known by sight in the area, of course I am, but just because people see me around, is it really OK for them to just come up to me, ask about the dog and then walk away? By doing that, they’re taking of me emotionally
But not actually giving anything back. By this I mean, they’re not saying Good morning, how am I, or even what a lovely/horrible day!
I’ve said this before but I used to wonder how some blind people become so isolated, but I can understand exactly how. I have lots of friends, from work and groups I belong to, but if I didn’t have those, there is no opportunity to engage with random strangers because most of the time, they really don’t want to know.
I felt quite sad when I got to work.
I wouldn’t mind but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me in recent weeks. The other time was a couple of weeks ago in Sainsbury’s.