Guide Dogs For The Blind Association as well as the Royal National Institute Of Blind People are currently pushing a a national campaign to see cars banned from parking on pavements.
This campaign is currently making its way through parliament, and would be beneficial to more people than just the percentage that these charities represent.
Today I was on my way to aqua tone at my local swimming pool, I took my usual route which is roughly around a seven minute walk from the bus stop.
I was almost at the turning to the leisure centre, when my guide dog Tara steadily and confidently stopped in front of a car that was parked on the footpath.
At that point I had to make a decision on how best to proceed, should I let Tara take us in to the road, potentially putting us in more danger, or should I walk in the dirt bed beside the pavement?
I chose the latter, on the basis that it was the lesser of two evils, and we would just have to push a few branches out of the way in order to get round.
As I stepped in to the dirt bed my foot caught on the edge of the ledge, and I’ve fallen over, spraining my ankle in the process.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how upsetting this experience was, my dog was only trying to do her job, and I’ve ended up hurting myself rather badly.
I just about managed to pull myself up out of the dirt, and leaning on the car for support I raided my contacts app to see who could help.
As I was frantically phoning people I lady walked past me, and I asked her rather tearfully for some help as I suspected I’d sprained my ankle.
I’m honestly not sure what I would’ve done if she hadn’t been going to the gym, but she ran to get her car so she could drive me home.
I’m ridiculously grateful to her for helping me like she did, but this obviously shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place.
It was embarrassing, extremely painful, and completely avoidable, I think thats what annoys me the most about it.
I also worry that one day Tara will be put off of her work if something like this happens again, she is a wonderful natured dog, and very sensitive to my moods, and another accident like this could really knock her confidence.
It was a silly accident, and I’m now laying on the sofa with an ice pack on, and its safe to say a little shaken up.
Please think twice, and even a third time about parking on the pavement, because its not just visually impaired people this affects, its a huge problem for everyone.
Footpaths are for the public only, and cars should stay where they belong, and thats on the road.
Please visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/campaigns to find out more about their current campaigns, and see how you can help in your area.
I’d love to hear any of your experiences of this issue, and you can do this by commenting below.