More often than not, people know I’m blind by the fact that I have Marley with me, hard at work in his adorable (I think) harness and uniform. Most are understanding and don’t bother him when he’s busy helping me navigate, but considering his cuteness, it’s no surprise when passersby want to stop for a chat and a visit with Marley.
I’d like to stress that MOST people recognize I’m blind. Most, but not all.
Recently I was staying at the Sylvia Hotel, sipping a beer at the bar while I worked on some homework for a course I’m taking. I sat at a quiet table away from the bustle of the lounge, Marley obedient and snoring at my feet.
“Excuse me,” said a woman who approached. “Your dog is adorable!”
“Thank you,” I replied. I didn’t tell her I had no idea if Marley was adorable. He gets me from point A to point B, so that makes him cute as a button in my non-working eyes.
“You know,” said the woman, “He’s a mirror image of my Golden Retriever, who is so handsome I called him Clooney! You know, like George!”
I laughed along, pretended I had a darn clue what George Clooney looked like but hey, I hear enough women lamenting about his looks so it made sense.
“Look!” says the woman, who had introduced herself as Joan. I imagine she was thrusting a phone at me, or some other device to showcase impish photos of Clooney and his handsome jowls. “Don’t they look so much alike?”
As you can imagine, there’s no way to break this news gently. I reminded her, pointing at Marley in his working uniform and told her I couldn’t see Clooney or anything else, for that matter. She was embarrassed, of course, giggling and muttering how stupid she was. She shuffled away still muttering to herself while Marley and I shared a laugh under the table. She may have felt bad but hey, if Marley and I just look like two chill cats in a lounge, then maybe we’re fooling the whole city!
Keen to be rewarded for his apparent attractiveness, Marley and I decided to head off to our room. It seems that the Sylvia Hotel runs an excellent room service business, and while Marley is a working dog he’s not immune to leftovers. She could have been leading me into a maze for all I knew as we zipped back and forth across the hallways, snacking on room service trays left outside hotel room doors.
I should clarify, Marley was doing the snacking and plate licking. I was busy trying not to get motion sick. Just another day in the life of Marley and me.