Dog Guide Diary: Weekend Roundup
by AFB Staff
In this new series, guest blogger and Center on Vision Loss volunteer Holly will chronicle her experience in attaining a new dog guide.
Stepping Out Saturday
Saturday was full of adventures. After another great breakfast, and a dog distraction on the way to the van, we headed into Portland. I'm happy to report that, for the first time, I was not cold! I didn’t even have to wear a jacket, and for this Texan, that was a welcome change. Normally, because our lounge is downtown, parking is at a premium. But today we only had to park a block away. I was able to exit the van without help from my instructor, which made things feel real.
Our objective was to go to the mall and ride the escalator. We practiced the process on a stuffed dog wearing a harness, so I could get comfortable with things like body positioning before bringing Tyra into the mix. We rode up and down several levels with my instructor playing the role of Tyra, who was back at the lounge in a crate. Leaving Tyra was the worst part of the whole process. When we ride an escalator, Tyra will work her way to the metal plate at the bottom, and I will indicate with words when I am ready to get on. While riding, I hold her harness handle in one hand and her collar in the other. When the stair starts to flatten out, I calmly walk her off. This is a change from the old way, because we used to have the dog jump off and it seemed like she was going to yank her harness out of my hand. This new way is much less rushed. I really think it’s going to be good. Obviously, after a good ride, Tyra will receive kibble.
When we arrived back on campus, we had two more major events to deal with. The first was a short route outside, where some objects had been set up to simulate overhead clearance obstacles. My instructor kept preparing me to have to rework mistakes she thought Tyra would make, but being the perfect little girl that she is, Tyra showed me everything. I was very proud.
Our last adventure was off-leash play. Because it had begun raining buckets again, we took Tyra into the music room and closed the doors. We had a great game of tug, and played with her toys. I hid from her and she had to find me so I could throw her toys. She tugs very hard, but she doesn't make any noise other than the occasional snort. She is very quick to give me toys, or stop playing when asked. Today was great, but I am glad for the day off tomorrow. I am going to church, Tyra can’t go because we have not yet graduated.
Today was calm. I didn't have any training, but asked the school if there would be a way for me to go to church. They found a couple who are members of a neat little church called Sandy Baptist who volunteered to take me. The woman told me she was reading Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson. It's the story of the author and his guide dog (also from Guide Dogs for the Blind), Roselle, who were at work on the 78th floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They were able to make it to safety. Roselle kept working until 2007, and passed away in July 2011. The woman who took me to church said she thought because she is reading that book right now, and then met me, that God was really working in her life. I agree. I invited them to my graduation, and I think they will be there.
Before church, I took Tyra into the music room, and she and I had a great game of Kong. She can really run, and I love watching. She is really happy and makes me laugh.
When I left to go to church, I turned some music and a light on. Tyra is not allowed to be free in my room at all. Even if I am there, she must either be on leash or "tie down." She enjoys her time on tie down, because that is her private time. She can sleep or chew on her bone, and that is exactly what she did. She was asleep when I returned, and was very happy to see me. We went to the dining room, where we found a classmate who is also from Texas. His brother and niece had come for a visit. We talked with them for a time and decided that Sunday afternoons are made for naps.
Sunday was otherwise uneventful. Tomorrow evening, we'll be working our first night route. Work-wise, this may not be much different from working during the day, but Tyra will think things look different and as a result she may walk faster than normal. I'm anxious to see how she feels about working at night, and if she notices that I am night blind. I have some usable vision during the day, but that disappears at night. It is also amazing to think that I met her exactly one week ago tomorrow!
- Getting Around
Re: Dog Guide Diary: Weekend RoundupPosted by londy ncora [http://usatermpapers.com/Term_Paper_Topics.htm] on 2/20/2013 at 2:32 AM
We talker with them for a time and cider that Sunday after noons are make for naps.
Re: Dog Guide Diary: Weekend RoundupPosted by kaylesrome [http://www.drberg.com/ebooks/kaleshakediet] on 2/22/2013 at 2:21 AM
How lovely i miss my Diki at home ..sob!
Re: Dog Guide Diary: Weekend RoundupPosted by yepi-yepi [http://yepi-yepi.com] on 2/27/2013 at 3:53 AM
I totally gonna be admired this person
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