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  • Chris McMillan

Best friends of the blind but guide dogs still suffer social misunderstanding


20th March 2021

Best friends of the blind but guide dogs still suffer social misunderstanding

by Ke Jiayun

For a blind woman named Liu Taomei, her dog is more than just man’s best friend. He is the vital link in her ability to enjoy some semblance of a normal life.

This month, a short video clip about Liu, 50, shows her taking her guide dog Cha De out for a wee at a corner near her home in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area. She falls on the pavement and momentarily loses the dog leash.

The dog realizes the problem and rushes to her side.

The clip has made the rounds of online platforms, touching many hearts and calling attention once more to the barriers facing the disabled.

Liu’s problem revolved around where her guide dog was allowed to urinate. Unlike ordinary household pets, guide dogs are trained to use designated spots. In the case of male dogs, that means nearby paved lanes or roadsides. (The dog poop problem is more easily resolved with plastic bags attached to the dogs’ tails.)

Liu has some trouble coping with passing cycle and car traffic when her dog is urinating, so she has fallen several times. She has been forced to a street-side spot because some of her neighbors in Lancheng Community in Pudong complained about the smell from a urinal spot in a lane in the compound.

Now, however, there is some good news for Liu.

A site for a “toilet” for Cha De has been confirmed and residents will be raising funds for the construction. The property management company said it will send sanitation workers to wash the area regularly.

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