Saturday, February 20, 2010

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The Reality of Bingo

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Bingo was on exceptionally good behavior. I had a student come into my office to practice with him to see if he would jump and he remained seated (good boy!). So he got some loving, which made everyone happy.

I also got some great news while I was tutoring a fellow faculty member on how to use Twitter (I'm cdmclean on Twitter, the SEGD trainers are DogguideTrainer). I was going through all the ins and outs of Twitter and was showing her the replies I had received when I noticed a reply I hadn't noticed before, it said: "I love you. You describe the pics. Esp since I'm blind. It's really nice." For all of you who don't know about Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters. So you have to be brief and to the point. (Note: I added punctuation to her reply and spelled out you. Stuff you leave out in Twitter! 8-) That made me feel really good. But I have to give credit where credit is due. When we started this blog, we didn't have captions. I only put captions on after reading Rebecca's blog Journey of a Southeastern Guide Dog Puppy. That's when I realized that we needed to be thinking differently, that we had a different audience than what I was used to writing for in my regular blog. So I started adding figure captions.

Fred came up with a way to make them smaller and connected with the photo. After I told him about Twitter comment, he started thinking about the software that the blind and visually impaired use to read web pages, so he went and looked up the proper way to do the captions.

So, if anyone else is doing a blog and you want everyone to be able to read your blog and know what is going on, here is the official way to put in captions:

In the code for your photo there will be an alt tag that looks like this: alt="" change it to title="" and in between the quotes type in the description on the photo. That is your caption. It will float over your photo and whenever anyone mouses over the photo, the caption will appear.

Now you might be wondering about the photo at the bottom of the blog. I've learned that with Bingo you have to be willing to open yourself up to lots of new experiences. Being ok picking up poo in public places, having long conversations with total strangers, it is all par for the course when you are raising a puppy for SEGDs. But yesterday was one of those moments when I thought, "Oh, what the hell. Sure. Take the photo."

Here's what happened. I stepped into the ladies faculty restroom at school and could hear Amparo and Katya (administrative assistant and French teacher/school counselor) talking in the hallway outside the restroom. Still talking, one of them opens the door, a big gasp follows, immediately followed by laughter and a closing door. Then the door opens again. A very sweet voice with a French accent asks, "May I please take a photo?"

Katya explained that until that moment when she saw Bingo poking his head out of the stall that she hadn't realized that he would be with his blind person every minute of the day, in every situation. (If it were any other bathroom, Bingo would be standing, but our bathrooms are spotless.)

What's a little dignity worth in the face of my coworker's epiphany?


  1. Thanks for telling about how to add the words over the picture. Now I just have to figure out how to do it! That picture is too funny! Puppy raisers do stuff others would never dream of doing! I guess it is good training for when I have kids!

  2. Rebecca, When you adda photo, click on the html tag. you will see all the html code. Then look for the alt="" tag and change it to title="" and put your title in between the "". for example: title="Photo of Rocky facing right." Just click on the compose tab to get back to where you usually write your blog.

  3. That is a lot easier then I thought! Thanks!