July 28, 2004
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Several runners pass me each morning in Central Park. Two men seated in low wheelchairs passed me. One had a strongly developed upper body. He worked two pedals with his arms and passed me easily. The second man caught me on a hill. He was not as strong. His arms were working hard and he looked tired. I looked over at him. He stayed even with me going up a hill then rolled past on the way down. The back of the chair had a small pole on it with an orange triangular flag on top to alert cars to the presence of the rider down below.
Later on a street corner I stood next to a blind man with crutches. He was with a guide dog and the guide dog was carrying a plastic bag in his mouth. The man could not see and had great difficulty walking. He swung from side to side with two metal crutches locked around his forearms. He was talking earnestly to the dog, repeating one command over and over. I wasn't sure what he was telling the dog, but the dog had a lot on his plate. He had to guide the man through traffic plus carry the bag in his mouth. And mouths are important to dogs — they use them for so much. So there were all these humans around, but the man, with his eyes closed tightly, about to swing into traffic, was repeating a command over and over to a dog.
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.