I’ve been writing so sporadically I’m shocked I’m writing for the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. It’s time for the 8th Carnival already. Eighth? How did that happen? I must have missed the last several rounds. I thought I’d write something up today since an idea just struck me out of the blue. Nice how that works eh? Be sure to check out this round’s host for details.
The theme for this round is “Marching to Your Own Drum”. This topic really had me stumped and I hadn’t the first clue about what to write. I thought I’d just skip this round like I have the last several but I kept seeing reference to the carnival on Twitter and every time that nagging little voice said, “write something!”
So I thought back on my day. Jayden and I went to the blind center where I worked out and he napped. As Jayden went to walk into the lobby where we wait for our ride I angled my body right and said, “let’s walk.” I felt him move in the direction I indicated and pressure on the harness handle as he took off down the hall. We live in Arizona. It’s late July. It’s hot! So we don’t go walking outdoors right now. Instead, we walk the halls at the blind center. There’s usually at least one person we pass who asks, “doing laps?” I think it’s kind of become a thing to see Jay and I aimlessly walking up and down in the nice cool building after I’ve worked out. “Yep, it’s time for Jayden’s exercise,” I always reply.
Blindness is my secondary disability. The more dangerous disability is multiple sclerosis, which caused my blindness and could cause a whole host of other problems. I purposely don’t read about the possibilities, and hush people when they jump into telling me about so and so relative or friend who has MS. I don’t want to know, thanks. I’ve gotten pretty good at managing my disease and one of the most important things is not getting hot.
Not getting hot? But you live in the desert. Crazy, I know, but it’s really not that hard. You just stay inside and go from air conditioning to air conditioning. The hardest part of this is finding creative ways to exercise my guide dog. I suppose that fits into marching to a different drum, eh?
Aside from walking the halls where it’s air conditioned, Jayden and I are big fans of crazy play. The crazier I can get him the better. To me it hasn’t been a successful play session if he isn’t fast asleep and dreaming five minutes after I sit down. He just thinks it’s fun chasing after the squeaky football or going limp and letting me pull him around. Shhh, don’t tell him, but we’re both getting exercise.
You might think the play is my favorite part of our different ways to exercise, but no, it’s the working. I don’t think there’s ever a time, even two years after our first walk together, that I don’t smile when he pulls into the harness. I love the feel of him slowing down and walking me around something. I love how quickly he responds when I tell him to “leave it” when we encounter another guide dog as we do our laps.
Life with a guide dog and two disabilities means constantly finding new ways of doing something. If that’s not marching to our own distinctive beat, I don’t know what is!