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10th Sep 2021

Meet Josie the guide dog in this gorge TikTok

Fiona Frawley

Obviously, we all love Dog TikTok. It’s 98% of the reason we go on the app.

But yesterday we came across a different type of vid – in this one, the dog wasn’t dressed in a Halloween costume or looking guilty in a corner after reefing a load of food out of the cupboard – she was hard at work as a diligent guide dog.

Josie is the guide dog of Bobbie Hickey who has 5% sight, and the video shows Josie getting Bobbie to work safely, taking commands and reacting to obstacles appropriately. If you were ever curious about how guide dogs do their job, or just want to see 2 and a bit minutes of Josie being the best girl, give the video a watch.

As Bobbie says, she works in the students union at DCU, and in the video we see Josie getting her there by expertly dodging poles, waiting patiently at steps and responding to her specific keywords “good girl” and “find the way”. As Bobbie tells us, every guide dog and human pairing has different phrases and key words they say to stimulate the dog, and we can see Josie waiting at stairs or near other obstacles to be told “good girl” before continuing on her way.

Bobbie also mentions in the video the importance of always assuming a guide dog is at work, as it’s imperative for them not to be distracted while helping someone get from A to Z: “I don’t know why people think I’m training her, maybe its because I’m using a lot of verbal commands… but Josie is a fully qualified guide dog, I have 5% sight, I genuinely can’t see a lot of the time so never assume that they’re being trained, always assume they’re working and give them the benefit of the doubt”.

If you’ve fallen in love with Josie and want to see some vids of her chilling out, having naps and watching movies, or you’d like to learn more about life as a person with vision impairment in Ireland, give Bobbie a follow.

Header image via TikTok/Bobbie Hickey

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