NEWS FROM LIFE, INC.

Treasure Valley Guide Dog takes “Paws” at Snowy Sidewalks

This January KIVI TV ran a story on how hard the winter has been on pretty much everyone. And it has been tough in the Treasure Valley, especially for anyone trying to get around outside. City crews have their hands full removing snow and sometimes the snow ends up being pushed onto the sidewalks.
While slushy, slippery sidewalks are an inconvenience for most, for some they are an impossibility. Nampa resident Nicole Mandley is legally blind. She has had her guide dog, Nyla, for three years. Nyla does her best to navigate Mandley through the snow and ice, but when it comes to the sidewalk just outside the apartment complex, Nyla comes to a dead halt.
Guide dogs are taught ‘intelligent disobedience’ which is where the service animal will ignore their handler’s command if the dog feels it is unsafe to continue.
There have been times where she was forced to walk in the street, or, sometimes turn around and come home because Nyla refuses to walk on messy sidewalks because they are not safe.
So while most are still getting out and about – slowly and carefully, Mandley has been feeling trapped in her own home.
Since most main roads are kept clear, and it’s the residential sidewalks that remain blocked. This is a reminder to communities to look out for their neighbors and keep sidewalks clear of snow. And for cities to do all they can to not pile the snow onto walkways. For some these are just as important as roadways.

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