Contributor Linda – Adventure for a Chinese Guide Dog: Part 1

Hi, I’m a guide dog called Ersi. My name means “thinking with my ears”. My master is Linda, a blind person living in Shanghai. I’m most honored to accompany her on her unusual trip to the US, a trip of a lifetime for both Linda and me!

Linda’s adventure began in San Francisco. She arrived just in time for Christmas. She stayed with her friend, Joyce, a retired bank executive. Being a Chinese American, Joyce was very enthusiastic about helping visually impaired people in China. On Christmas Eve, they had a big party, enjoying delicious turkey, Californian crabs, roast steak, mashed potato and cookies. Linda met a lot of people and among them was Tieno, another student of Joyce’s, who spent the whole day driving all the way from Texas!

The following days Linda explored the city with me. She strolled on streets and went to shops, restaurants, supermarkets and other public places without any trouble. What impressed her most was that every time she and I reached an intersection, all the cars moving in different directions stopped and waited until we crossed the street. It was really a new experience for us and everything seemed to be barrier free!

Murreta is a new city between Los Angeles and San Diego. Accompanied by her student Tieno and other American friends, Linda and I went there to attend a New Year’s reception. Towards evening, after a seven-hour car ride from San Francisco, we arrived in the city hailed as “the future of Southern California.”

The reception was held by the Murreta government in the banquet hall of a luxury hotel. In the hall, a large variety of wines were on display with a scent of wine wafting from corner to corner. People of different ethnicities stood or sat chatting and sipping wine. They gave Linda warm greetings when she entered the hall with me. Actually, it turned out that we were the stars of the reception!

It is true that California is well-known for its wine, but Linda and I were more impressed with the friendliness and hospitality of the people there!


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