Saturday, January 24, 2009

Visually impaired was snowbound!

The snow may be melting, but it's still piled up in some areas. All the snow is causing problems for a visually impaired Calgary woman who relies on her seeing-eye dog.

Diane Allard hasn't been able to leave her house by herself for a month because the snow piled on the curb confuses her dog Bracken.

"The problem is the dog is trained to stop at every curb and that's when I have to safely cross the street and right now she cannot even see the curb because all the curbs are covered with snow or ice."

Allard says Bracken gets confused when she can't see the curb and the dog doesn't know where to guide her. To make matters worse, Bracken is a young dog and joined the family two months ago. Allard hasn't been able to keep up the dog's training.

"I'm worried she might possibly forget, she might not work as well, she's no longer with a professional trainer, she's with me so it's a scary thought."

Allard says she has phoned 311, but it wasn't helpful.

"I asked them if they can clear the street which would clean off the curb and they said no, not our job."

Allard says the City of Calgary has been unsympathetic to her situation basically telling her she has to wait until the snow melts. Some melting has taken place, but there's a long way to go.

Ric McIvor is the alderman for the area. He's sympathetic to Allard's situation.

"The problem is when you start with special treatment, and I'm not saying special treatment isn't warranted, it probably is, but then where do you draw the line?"

A spokesperson for the Roads Department told CTV News that crews are now able to target trouble spots and that someone will be looking into the situation.

Allard hopes that means she'll be able to walk safely in her own neighborhood soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home