Alert guide dog buys couple enough time to escape

Watch as O'Neil, an 18 month old labrador retriever, warns his companions of impending doom. Quick thinking by O'Neil's trainer, Todd Jurek, spares him, O'Neil, and a blindfolded Danielle Alvarado from what looks like certain death. The Marin Independent Journal has the details:

"It was just an unbelievable sight to see something going backwards, barreling down the sidewalk," said Todd Jurek, a training supervisor for Guide Dogs for the Blind. He quickly herded the fellow employee and dog out of harm's way when he noticed the dog jerk its head to look behind them.


  1. Wow. What amazing animals. All three of them. The driver of the car, however, was something less than amazing at that time.

  2. Impending doom from what?  The headline and article snippet isn’t exactly clear on what phantom menace was narrowly avoided.

    The next question after reading the actual article is…Why the F*ck does a  93 year old have a valid driver’s license?

    1. “Impending doom from what?  The headline and article snippet isn’t exactly clear on what phantom menace was narrowly avoided.”

      From getting run the fuck over. Did you notice there’s a video up there?

      “The next question after reading the actual article is…Why the F*ck does a  93 year old have a valid driver’s license?”

      To be fair, she probably doesn’t anymore.

      1. Perhaps the video simply wouldn’t run for MikeKStar.  It doesn’t run for me, however many times I click on it.

        Other videos on Boing Boing run fine for me.  This one doesn’t.  I don’t know what the difference is. 

    2. I personally know a woman in her 90s that has excellent eyesight and reflexes and drives and walks as well as any normal 40 year old.  I also know people in their 20s that I would seriously stay off the roads if I knew they were driving, and I will NOT ride with them.

      I think EVERYONE should have to requalify with a driving test periodically, with increasing frequency over the age of 50 or so.  Maybe every 10 years until then, then every 5, then 2 then maybe every year over the age of 70.  Or even better, when they pass, the instructor can decide when they need to be tested again.  Someone in their 20s that’s a mediocre driver maybe should be tested again next year, or in 6 months after being given a provisional license and told to take a course.

      1.  The issue isn’t so much eyesight and reflexes as mental sharpness.

        Clearly what happened in this case is she thought “I’m in drive so push the accelerator to go forward. Oh no, I’m going back, I want to go forward so I’ll push the accelerator harder”. This kind of confusion seems to be very much a symptom of dementia, rather than re-qualifying with a driving instructor a better idea might be a 6 month re-certification by a doctor.

      2.  My 99 year old grand-aunt who lives in Illinois does take a driver’s test every year.  The state requires anyone over the age of 87 to renew annually, and drivers over 75 have to take a road test when they renew.

    3. Prince Philip is 92 and not only drives just fine, but does competitive carriage racing. Annual road testing for older drivers is a reasonable precaution, though.

      1.  I like how you’re using Phil the Greek as an exemplar of ‘not dangerously crazy’.

      2. He also had an awesome quote related to guide dogs!! He famously joked to a blind girl and her dog, “Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?”

  3. So, that particular stretch of street in San Rafael has three cameras trained on it at all times?  Jesus, I though the UK was creepy.

    1. I don’t really care if my bank has a camera every two feet.  What I don’t want is so many cameras that I can be under continuous observation as I go three miles from the bank to the hardware store.

    1. As much as I love to drive – this ^ – along with a shit load of other reasons on the road is why I want self driving vehicles.

    2. See my comment above.  Anyone incapable of driving at any age should be illegal.  Plenty of people of any age have stomped on the accelerator when they thought it was the brake and plowed through buildings and such.  I was almost killed by a 40 year old woman driving through the front window of a supermarket when I was a kid.

      I know a 90 year old that I would happily ride with, and 20 year olds that I actually have declined a ride from because I’ve seen them drive.

  4. Someday someone will discover a way to transfer digital video from one computer to another without needing to film a monitor. That man will be received as a god.

  5. Consider googling up local guide dog training charities (and doxing them so you can be sure they aren’t scams) and perhaps donating if you think this is amazing.

    1. guide dog charities get ludicrous amounts of donations compared to every other visual impairment related charity. 
      you put a cute puppy on an ad and people just throw money at it, a sad looking blind guy? not so much

  6. I don’t know that I see any warning of impending doom so much as a dog and a human turning around at the sound of a car hitting a building. 

    1. There’s a little more to it. If you look closely, the dog freezes when it hears the noise. This is actually what guide dogs are supposed to do: if the shit goes down, sit tight. If you teach a guide dog to run when it hears crashing, it will drag the blind person down the street, and possibly into more trouble. So in the crazy case of a car careening down the sidewalk the freezing behavior wasn’t ideal, but as a general rule it is the safest thing to do if the guidee can’t see.

    1. @тнєσνєη му ηєιgнвσя’ѕ мσтнєя-ιη-ℓαω мαкєѕ $68 єνєяу нσυя ση тнє ιηтєяηєт. ѕнє нαѕ вєєη ωιтнσυт α נσв ƒσя 7 мσηтнѕ вυт ℓαѕт мσηтн нєя ραу ωαѕ $13159 נυѕт ωσякιηg ση тнє ιηтєяηєт ƒσя α ƒєω нσυяѕ. нєяє’ѕ тнє ѕιтє тσ яєα∂ мσяє­ ­http://makesuptosixtyfivedollarsperho&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    2. Lassie was nothing but a shill for canned soup. Don’t believe the propaganda.

  7. Good dog and all that, but really, it was the guy that noticed and acted on the dog’s behavior that’s the hero here.

    (If my dog looked backwards like that when I was walking it I’d just assume squirrel.)

  8. This is why you should bring along additional poopy bags.

    (I almost wrote extra poopy bags, but that just sounded gross.)

  9.  To some of the above commenters:

    (1)  The guide dog trainer says he turned around after noticing the dog look behind him.
    (2)  The trainer also says the dog turned back around and helped guide the person away.

  10. Does anyone else think the video looks sped-up? Even when they’re not running, the people are doing a jerky quick-step like an old Charlie Chaplin tape. Maybe somebody didn’t realize the surveillance cams had a low framerate when they transferred it…

    1. There are three videos from different cameras. The first is at normal speed, the others are sped up. Rather, they only save half of the frames to disk because it costs money to save that much video.

    2. Security cams typically film at a lower framerate (10/15 fps), which is then played back at a more typical 30fps. So yes it is sped up. But for such tapes it has some nice benefits..  you halve the storage, and you can cover time twice as fast when reviewing it.

    1. No, it’s gotta be a new Transporter movie.  “Transporter: 2060” where Jason Statham plays a very old transportsman who comes out of retirement for one last job.  The big difference is that he’s more like Mr. Magoo than his previous self, due to his severe age.  This film will MOVE you…  to uncontrollable laughter!

  11. See! for all of you complaining about the rise of the surveillance state, this is an example of what kind of amazing infotainment we will all get much less of if you get your way.

  12. i work not too far from that intersection and see this dog training happen around San Rafael regularly. it’s pretty surreal to see something like this happen in an area i frequent. glad everyone is ok1

  13. the dog did a great job… but the guy responded just as much to the car whacking the tree if not more. remove the benny hill effect and the car is not going nearly as fast as it appears in the video. plus… nice way to keep walking rather than checking up on the car.

  14. Speaking as a former driving instructor, you are absolutely correct, and I’ve seen it happen, and done it myself (though I realized I had the wrong petal as soon as pressing harder didn’t do what I expected). 

  15. Given all the videos I’ve seen of people backing in to things at high speed, why not limit a car’s ability to reverse to, say, 5kph? Oh, wait, lawsuit fears from some rare case where it might be useful.

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