Thursday, August 21, 2014
A Dog's Valued Life: I'm Envious
It was only after this picture appeared that something happened that jarred my focus back on to the disability aspect of this whole thing. Someone, a few months back 'slipped,' and made the 'rather be dead than in a wheelchair' statement in front of me about someone else. There were the requisite apologies and the 'I didn't mean that.' Like words don't mean what they say when they are in front of me, but mean what they say when I'm not there. Without question it changed the nature of our relationship. A cooling down of affection I suppose.
So, when I heard her voice on the phone, I was surprised, not that she called, but at the burst of energy that came through the phone. She was calling to ask me if I'd seen the picture of the dog with the 3D wheelchair and how cool it was, and isn't it great that the dog has been given so much freedom. Yada. Yada. Yada. I said that I loved the idea too but that she didn't need to call about it, I had already accepted her apology and she didn't have to demonstrate that 'she didn't mean it.' She was startled. She blurted out, 'this is about a dog, not a person.'
It's cool that a dog has a wheelchair. It's tragic that a human has one.
Then I reread the articles about the dog. Not one. Not one. That's NOT ONE of the stories referred to the dog being 'wheelchair bound.' All the stories talked about the dog having a new lease on life and freedom to move. Look at this headline:B.C. Man Makes Boating Accessible To the Wheelchair Bound. Nice huh.
The Dog Is Free.
We Are Bound.
I can't understand why, when we, as disabled people, have made it clear that the term 'wheelchair bound' is prejudicial and just plain freaking inaccurate, that it persists so strongly in the media. It's like they like how readers without disabilities react to these words so fuck the concerns of those who actually experience wheelchair use.
So everyone is pleased that a dog with a significant disability is using a wheelchair getting a chance at freedom and a quality life, while parents who kill children with disabilities are 'doing the right thing' or 'doing the understandable thing.'
That's all I can say.