Being handicapped in order to be aware (to listen, see, understand)
This is Ben, my 5-year old border collie. As much as I love him, he is a challenge when it comes to training him. Most of the time he is very obedient and listens well. However, when there are sheep involved, it is a different story.
This past weekend, I took Ben to get more training. He tends to pull on the leash, especially around sheep. The trainer suggested that we put his foot in his collar, to essentially handicap him. This was to get him to listen. When his foot was in his collar, he was still fast but did not pull on the leash. His listening and seeing skills were more fine-tuned in this state. As much as I hated doing this, and seeing it when the trainer did it, I knew it was necessary. The goal is to get him to listen and see so that the foot in the collar is no longer necessary and he no longer pulls on the leash, even around sheep.
I have been thinking a lot about accessibility lately. Having been a family caregiver for 10 years, I noticed when we were treated with respect, when there were accessible options, and when we weren't. This is not just for hotels, restaurants, and other patrons, but also for passersby. How do we want to be treated? Are we aware when there is not a wheelchair option? Are there sensory issues (such as odors, and lights)? What does it take for us to pay attention to these options? I know that in some countries and cities, there may be better options than others. It is time for us to take notice. Do we need to put our foot or hand in our "collars" for us to wake-up and pay attention to accessibilty issues?