Ithaca College will have a new addition to the campus this spring -- its first resident guide dog.
While it's always tempting to pet and call to a dog, there are some very important guidelines to follow when in the presence of a guide dog for the safety of the dog and its handler:
Please don't touch, pet, feed, or call out to a guide dog when it is wearing its working harness. A guide dog in harness is "on duty" even when sitting or lying down.
Speak to the person, not the dog.
Always ask permission to pet the dog. Stroke the dog on the shoulder area, not on the head.
When walking with the person, place yourself next to the individual rather than the dog. Your presence otherwise can be confusing and distracting for the guide dog.
Sometimes a guide dog will make a mistake. If you see that the person may need help, please don't touch the harness. Ask if assistance is needed and, if so, offer your left arm.
If in doubt about what to do, just ask the owner.
Guide dog teams are allowed just about everywhere so expect to see our newest IC resident on a regular basis.
Contributed by Linda Uhll