Dog Guide Diary: Fast Moving Friday!
by AFB Staff
In this new series, guest blogger and Center on Vision Loss volunteer Holly chronicles her experience attaining a new dog guide.
Fast Moving Friday!
Happy Friday! Today was fast and furious. It started with the fact that it was raining like crazy when I woke up. It made me nervous because the sound of the rain can block sounds in the environment and make it harder to read traffic. We had another dog distraction along the sidewalk en route to our vans. Tyra had to do a timeout, but afterward she regained her focus very quickly. I was very proud. Everything looked strange as we were driving into the city — it was very foggy.
Tyra did great on our morning route to Starbucks. We did not have any issues along the way with other animals, but we encountered the most people walking yet. It stopped raining, probably because I was wearing a rain jacket and hat.
At lunch, we had a lecture about using a clicker to target new things that we want our dogs to find or other behaviors we want them to duplicate. It was fun to use the clicker — more on this later.
The route in the afternoon was different in several ways. First, we walked from the lounge back to the van, and while that was not necessarily hard, we had to put booties on our dogs’ feet. Tyra was also wearing a head collar. She was pretty clumsy because of the booties, and I am glad that she will only have to wear them on her back feet when we are using escalators. If it is very hot or cold, and we are working outside, she will have to wear all four booties. She did not try to talk me into removing her head collar, as dogs often do. I was probably clumsier than she was, to tell the truth.
I had our instructor take a picture of us while she had on all her equipment. In general, she will not wear everything at the same time, but I thought it would be neat to have a picture of her all decked out.
When we got back, we worked on using the clicker. We started by doing what is called hand targeting. That means that I will get her to touch my closed fist, and when she does, I click and give her a treat. I can use this teaching method to find things like chairs and counters in stores. One of the neatest things about it is that the word that I am using to get her to find a place to sit, is seat, and I am hopeful that she will be able to use it to find everything from chairs to pews in church. Today really made me feel a lot more ready to be in the real world.
- Getting Around
Re: Dog Guide Diary: Fast Moving Friday!Posted by Neva on 2/11/2013 at 12:29 PM
It sounds like you two are really making progress! Keep up the good work.
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