Opal Goes To The Movies

I  plan to go to a movie this afternoon.  My Guide dog Opal is coming with me.  Some Guide dog training schools suggest leaving the dog at home when one goes to the movies because the sound level is too high. I agree. Cinemas tend to crank out the sound beyond a comfortable level. I don’t enjoy it, so I can just imagine what a dog is experiencing.  Dogs have very  sensitive hearing.  There’s also the problem of popcorn all over the floor area that even a well trained Guide dog would find hard to resist.  I have solved both problems, thereby allowing me to have Opal with me.  The major issue of intolerable sound was dealt with by speaking to the cinema manager.  It is important to restrict movie-going to weekday matinees. That is when they are fewest people going to the cineplex. Often, there are only a half dozen people going to any one movie, especially the non-Hollywood blockbuster films which I prefer to avoid.  The manager is always willing to speak to the projectionist (more of a programmer these days) and have them set the sound down.  I also make sure that I enter AFTER all the promotional claptrap that appears before the feature which is always louder.  The popcorn problem is less of an obstacle.  By going to the first show of the day, chances are that the cinemas are quite clear of food on the floor.  I remain vigilant  none the less, with my harness arm ready to sense Opal attempting to snag a snack on the floor, so that I can tug her head up. My free hand is ready to shove into her mouth and yank out the scavenged food if she has moved too quickly. I’m sure some people are grossed out by the idea of probing a dog’s mouth, but if you are committed to your dog’s health and safety, you must learn to ‘get over it’. Your town’s cinemas may have matinees and hospitable management that would allow you to feel comfortable in bringing your Guide dog with you when you go to the movies. Some movie houses also offer free admission to a companion for disabled people.  This is sometimes an available courtesy provision at theatres and other entertainment venues. Some cinemas and theatres offer ‘descriptive’ options for the blind. This involves wearing a head set to hear a description of non-audible action and sets of the film or play you are attending.  Call first to inquire. 

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3 responses to “Opal Goes To The Movies

  1. Pingback: Opal Goes To The Movies | FlickWatcher.com

  2. As a puppy raiser, it’s really interesting to read about you and your guide’s adventures (or plans for adventures). Let me tell you, the movie theater was always an…..adventure to take your pups in to! The last movie I saw with a dog, I watched less than half of it because of my silly girl.

    Funny story (at least to me). My first guide dog puppy-in-training, Arturo, and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when it first came out. Arturo was a wonderful boy, and he ignored the popcorn, etc. and fell asleep. But when the wolves howled he jumped up, and started doing his “moan” which was basically howling inside his mouth since he knew he wasn’t allowed to do it out loud. It blended right in with the movie. 🙂

    Looking forward to reading more about you and your life and your guide dog (and hopefully not being so wordy in my comments :-|)

    Anna and puppies “Arturo”, “Lawrence”, and “Pomona”

  3. It’s nice to know that dogs have an opinion on just about everything. I went to see Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ with Opal at Neptune Theatre. We had front row balcony seats. Opal settled for a snooze before the show began. When the orchestra started and the tap dancers came out, she popped up in a flash to watch. My companion told me that the people sitting around us, were more interested in watching Opal enjoying herself, than in watching the stage! It’s all about exposure. I really appreciate my puppy raisers in North Carolina who took little Opal EVERYWHERE. God bless the puppy raisers! thanks.

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