Nyle Does A Lift Birthday Party Trick
David Griffith finds further evidence that Guide Dogs are not dumb animals.
Nyle had his 8th Birthday celebrations this week. As I write this, he is chewing noisily away on his new Birthday toy.
Only this week he demonstrated further evidence of a Guide Dog’s remarkable awareness.
For several years Nyle has taken me to Bart’s Hospital for injections to control my Asthma.
The last part of this journey involves him finding a lift to convey us to the 6th floor.
My procedure in the lift was to drop the harness, hold Nyle by his lead, until I heard the lift announce we were at level 6. I would then take up the harness and ask him to lead me out.
A few weeks ago, I was pre-occupied and distracted by Family issues. I was not properly concentrating.
I was startled to find that Nyle pulled me to the door as the lift announced we were at level 6.
I thought “Blow Me!” Nyle is listening to the lift as well.
This is especially remarkable As, according to sighted passengers, apart from the ground floor, each floor looks identical.
Over subsequent weeks I put this to the test. I found that, sure enough, Nyle was listening and guiding me to the door with no intervention from me.
This week, however, he took things a stage further.
As Nyle guided me into the lift we were joined by a crowd of staff who told me that they were going to level 7.
They helpfully said that they would make sure I got out on level 6.
I said thanks but thought my dog would know.
Consequently, Nyle was the centre of attention as the lift ascended. They quietly observed as we approached level 6.
First however, the lift stopped at level 5.
This is what then happened.
The lift announced, “level 5, doors closing, lift going up”.
After this announcement, as soon as the lift said “level”, and before it announced the number “6” Nyle firmly pulled me towards the door in anticipation of the doors opening on floor 6.
So, he was not only listening for floor 6, he obviously knew level 6 came after level 5. He pulled me forward before even the number 6 was announced.
I was surprised myself.
The effect on those observing was remarkable. An astonished ohh resonated around the lift.
“He knows” somebody exclaimed.
It was as if Nyle had done a magic trick.
A magic trick somehow seems appropriate for a dog enjoying a Birthday treat this week.
He certainly seems magic to me.