Henna — Guide / Hearing

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

I am Deaf and Blind. Henna, my amazing guide dog, has given me the freedom of travel and saves my life on a daily basis. She is an extension of my body, becoming my eyes and ears.

Last year, while simply crossing a familiar intersection, I was nearly crushed by the trailer of an 18 wheeler.

It was a sunny warm spring day and I was waiting with Henna to cross the road.

After a few moments, Henna’s ear flick indicated it was our turn. I gave the forward command and we started crossing towards the opposite corner.

We had reached the midway point when Henna suddenly backed up. She reversed so fast I knew instantly something was wrong. Her movement was strong, sure and deliberate while ensuring I was not going to trip or fall.

When Henna slowed enough for me to take in my surroundings, I could see a large truck was now completing a left turn in front of us. No more than five feet away, the trailer wheels rumbled where Henna and I were only moments ago.

After the trailer passed, she guided me safely across to the opposite curb without me prompting her. Despite me being in shock from almost being hit Henna continued to perform her job perfectly. To this day, I can still see the trailer’s reflective strips in front of me and know that this was only one of many times she saved my life while allowing me freedom.

She continues to confidently guide me and acting as if it had never happened. I can almost see in her face and hear in her voice, “I got you mom! Just follow me.”