Blind Man Records Daily Commute With GoPro Attached To Guide Dog
This is Amit Patel, a 37-year-old former doctor that lives with his wife and son in London.
In 2012, he was diagnosed with Keratoconus, a disorder that thins the cornea and leads to blurry vision, double vision, nearsightedness, and even complete blindness.
Over the next three years, Patel's condition worsened, prompting the need for a service dog. Enter Kika, a loyal lab that helps him navigate the city's byzantine network of buses and trains.
While most of his trips go without incident, he says that some people brush rudely by, knock Kika with bags and umbrellas, or make snarky or mean-spirited comments. Worse yet: Staff at the assorted stations occasionally ignore his requests for help.
Frustrated with these incidents of antagonism and discrimination (which he describes as being limited to the "1 percent"), he started fixing a camera on Kika to capture some of the abuse the duo endures.
People are so rude and arrogant and assume they can do whatever they want. One lady even said I should apologise to the people behind her for holding them up. I asked her if I should apologise for being blind and she said 'yes'.
Upon their return home at the end of the day, Patel's wife, Seema, edits the footage into short videos which are then uploaded to Twitter, where they have 2500+ (and growing!) followers. His hope is that the clips will raise awareness for the issues vision-challenged people encounter as they move through public spaces.
While Kika is often traumatized by the experience of traveling through central London, he tells The Daily Mirror that she's always there for him.
"It really scares Kika sometimes, I can feel how upset she gets and when I get upset she senses it as well and she won't go on the escalators for a few days."
Because dogs are literally the best, Kika's protectiveness also extends to Patel's infant son, a fact not lost on the family.
To offset some of the nastiness, the couple ensures that Kika is afforded the opportunity to frolic with other doggos.
And run free in open park space.
Ultimately, Patel stresses that the vast majority of folks are good and altruistic—it's the 1% that needs to show more patience and empathy.
Watch more of the Kika's video in the tweet embedded below: