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Paws for empowerment

Updated: 2024-04-24 07:55 ( China Daily )
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Every year, the last Wednesday of April, which falls on April 24 this year, is celebrated as International Guide Dog Day, a commemoration that reminds us how traveling with a guide dog remains challenging.

Even though Chinese law has allowed guide dogs in public places since 2008, and despite continuous improvements in public transportation over the years, Xu Jian, who is visually impaired and living in Shenzhen, Guangdong, still faces resistance from establishments like restaurants and hotels with her guide dog.

"Every time I go out, it takes a lot of communication to make sure I'm treated fairly," she said.

Xu, 43, has been battling a degenerative retinal disease since primary school. Despite losing her eyesight, she pursued education and now works as a senior operations specialist at a coworking space. However, she's always wanted greater independence.

So, in 2016, Xu applied for a guide dog at the China Guide Dog Training Center in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province. After waiting for over a year, she welcomed Daimeng into her life.

For the past seven years, Xu's guide dog Daimeng has faithfully accompanied her to work and throughout her daily activities.

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