To Boldly Go Where No Dog Has Gone Before…


I finished my research paper an entire day early, so the family and I headed for the movie theatre on Mother’s Day. Hubby and I have always been Star Trek fans, although the past couple of movies almost had me hangin’ my “fan hat” up for good!

Bottom line?   TWO THUMBS UP

What a great movie! There was a great deal of scifi action, and some pretty funny moments as well! Word of caution to those with hearing loss… wait for it to come out on open caption if you’ve any hope of understanding 17-year-old Chekov. Our own local theater has open captioned films, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for when it might include Star Trek.

There’s a Dog in Here

Chloe is quite accustomed to going to the movies. I go about once a month, although sometimes it stretches to two months if there isn’t anything decent showing. Occasionally, I’ll hear someone say, “there’s a dog in here!” Many times a parent will take the opportunity to discuss “helper dogs” to a child, and occasionally people ask to pet Chloe. I always say “sorry, but no… catch me outside and I’ll take her vest off and you can pet her”. No one ever “catches me” outside. The hardest part about taking her to the movies is actually my own fear, not hers. When you have balance problems, it is very difficult to go –

Up stairs

in the dark

with “runway lights”

in a cavernous room.

Chloe is use to my shuffle step going up and down steps. She patiently plods along and adjusts her proximity to whether or not she feels me wobbling. I suppose I get a little aggravated when someone seated along the aisle tries to get her attention. Perhaps I shouldn’t blame folks because Chloe is beautiful and friendly and it’s hard to ignore her. But if the person on the other end of the leash has a death grip on the handrail, a worried husband with his hand on her back, and a 6′ 3″ son clearing the path in front, would YOU bother the assistance dog? Her vest says, “Do not Pet”, and in case people miss the meaning, she also wears a large tag on the side that says “Do not Distract”. Actually, I’ve learned a great tip.

When Chloe is being distracted by someone who just doesn’t know better, I carry on a dialogue with Chloe. I usually say something like, “Oh Chloe, please stay close! I’m really dizzy and if I fall, I’ll break my neck!” I say all of this in a really pleasant voice, and Chloe just wags her tail and continues up the stairs. Well “normally” whatever hand was trying to call her over to be petted, drops as fast as their jaw does. Most people get the fact they could be the cause of a “fall down and go BOOM“. Chloe doesn’t care at all that I’m fussin’, because I’m doing so in a pleasant voice. If she doesn’t hear a word she recognizes, she thinks I’m just babbling along to her like I usually do.(Yeah… I babble – sue me!)

I then put down her blanket and she is usually out for the duration of the movie. I try very hard not to drop popcorn on her head, as this will very likely cause her to stir. She rarely moves around during a movie, so I was surprised when she sat up to look at the screen at one point. The young Kirk was being chased by some kind of growling snow beast. She had to check out if it was a dog I guess. The theater was really crowded. Right as the movie was starting a lady came over and said, “is that seat taken?” It was dark and the movie was already loud. She couldn’t see Chloe at my feet.

I said loudly, “SERVICE DOG”.

She said, “Oh! It’s broken?” and went to find another vacant seat. I think even folks with normal hearing have trouble hearing in the dark with a lot of background noise.

Hey? Have you ever seen a dog on Star Trek? (Scratchin’ my head and ponderin’ on it…) I saw a cat once that belonged to Data. Went by the name of “Spot”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog, however! Not even when the crew was hangin’ out on Earth. Are dogs extinct in the future? Perish the thought!

(yeah… the southern comes out once in awhile)

live long

Denise Portis

© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal

7 thoughts on “To Boldly Go Where No Dog Has Gone Before…

  1. Denise, I learned alot from this post. More people should learn to be tactful and speak kindly and directly from you. Chloe seems like the perfect match for you and your family!

    I, too, have trouble walking in the dark and need a light and wall or handrail to guide me. Wonder if there will come a time when I will need a service dog….

    Are you going to the HLAA Convention in June? I’d love to see you!

  2. Dogs on Star Trek…
    Captain Archer on “Enterprise”, played by the lovely Scott Bakula, had a (dumb) beagle by the name Porthos. He liked to eat Capt Archer’s cheese, which isn’t very good for him, and the doctor fussed at Capt Archer for giving it to him.
    You’d think it would be easier to have a dog on a show than it would be a cat (like Spot) since dogs are a bit easier to train.

    1. Great to find another Trekkie. I am hoping to see the new movie soon. Glad tohear it is a good one.

  3. I just found out about It can provide information about captioned films in your area up to 7 days from today, so I found out that there’ll be quite a few theaters showing “Star Trek” with open captions. Glad you liked the movie—I’ll try to make a point of seeing it!

    It’s good to hear about your need for Chloe to focus on assisting you with your balance and how important it is not to distract her. Keep up the good work sharing your insights!

  4. Glad your back! Missed you and Chloe’s adventures. Congrats on the research paper, too. Hate those things.

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