Kika the guide dog has become something of a celebrity in New Eltham. She has over 10,000 followers on Twitter and has appeared on ITV news in the last week.

Her rise to stardom came after her owner Amit Patel shared a video of some of the problems he ran into when trying to travel on the Tube in London.

The video, which was retweeted over 11,000 times, showed a rude commuter demanding Amit and Kika move out of the way on the escalator, ignoring the fact Kika was a guide dog and needed to stay by Amit’s side.

It’s not the only negative experience Amit has had being a guide dog user when travelling around London. Speaking to News Shopper, he said people seem to forget he can still hear them as they talk about him openly.

He said: “They would say ‘how does he dress himself, how does he shave his face’. I think ‘is this your inside voice – I am blind not deaf, I can hear you’. I can’t interact with them as I can’t see their facial expressions.

“It comes as part of having a guide dog, it’s not a nice experience. I’m very fortunate that she is escalator trained because if she was not we would have to ask staff to shut off the escalator or find a train station with step free access which is a nightmare in London.

“I get people saying poor you, you’re your so brave. I don’t want pity - it’s life. It took me a long time to get over that I lost my sight but when you hear things like that, it doesn’t help.”

Amit lost his eyesight five years ago after a brain haemorrhage, going from perfect vision to being able to see nothing at all.

Just over two years ago he was paired with Kika, and after being initially reluctant, he has found it gave him a new lease on life.

He said: “My feeling was I could barely look after myself, forget a dog. I had never owned a dog in my life either.

“However it might give me that freedom that I lost when I lost my sight. It was a struggle to get my confidence to even leave the front door.

“For me the world is like a very greyish, misty, cloudy day. I can tell you if the lights are on or off but that’s all I can tell. I am completely reliant on Kika.”

Amit and his wife Seema moved to New Eltham in January two years ago and they said most everyone there is wonderful and understanding, in part because by pure fluke there are five other guide dog owners in the town.

However not everything is plain sailing and they can still run into people who can’t accept guide dogs. Speaking to News Shopper, Amit recalled an incident earlier this year while trying to visit a café in town.

He said: “It was a horrible day, it was absolutely chucking it down. I normally take off the harness from Kika before going inside so she can have a shake.

“We were let in and as we sat down we were told by the manager we weren’t allowed inside with a dog. I told her it was a guide dog but she told us she knew what the dog was but that she had never let a dog into her café and she wasn’t going to start now.

“My friends we were with were more shocked than me. I gave her the card that says she’s a guide dog and she told me I could stay if I want but your dog has to go outside and tie her to a lamppost in the rain.

“She kept saying she that the dog was unhygienic. She absolutely refused to have us in there.”

However that negative experience aside, Amit has found that generally people in New Eltham are very welcoming to him and Kika – especially children.

He said: “Children say to their parents don’t interrupt that dog because it’s working. All the local kids know Kita by name, they all say hi.

“It was a struggle losing my sight but now I love my life. Life is absolutely amazing for me now.”