Carnival Post – Walk the Halls

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!


Filed under blog carnival, desert life, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, Jayden, jayden quirks, spoons, twitter me this, weather, working dog

8 Responses to Carnival Post – Walk the Halls

  1. Don’t worry i’ve skipped loads of rounds too.

    The halls must be pretty long! Ushi would get so so bored if we just walked round in circles she’d eventually stop!

    My post isn’t half as exciting as yours.

    Take care, xxx.

  2. Ro

    Jayden never seems bored, no matter what we’re doing. It’s not exceptionally long, but it’s always different. There’s always different people I talk to, guide dogs, smells coming from the kitchen, he just always seems to enjoy himself. But he literally enjoys just laying on the floor with me haha!

  3. BS”D

    You’ve needed to be creative! My dog Hera would also be bored but Jayden sounds like a perfect match for you! It must be difficult to not been able to go outdoors. In Sweden, we’ve had a cloudy and rainy summer so far and it really sucks, we need more sun before the long dark and cold winter arrives. Happy summer to you!


  4. Wonderful post! Yes, you do march to your own drummer and I think the world is better for it! Thanks for posting.

  5. Ah, this is beautiful and so inspiring. I think it is beautiful to march to our own drummer. Someday I want to meet you and thank you in person for your comment that just brightened my day … there have been many but the one last week as you know just did it on a deep level that I will always appreciate. xoxo.

  6. Ro

    Aww, thanks Becky! *hugs*

    I’m glad there haven’t seemed to be any more comments on that post. 😉 I’d go all momma bear again.

  7. This was a fa bulous entry! I live in New Orleans and frequently have to find ways to walk where it is cool also. I’m glad you wrote for this carnival!

  8. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for participating in the carnival.

    Plus, you have answered a question I’ve had for years. One of the first bouvier des Flandres assistance dog teams I met online lived in Arizona. Bouvs don’t do well in the heat, even with severe haircuts, and she kept hers in a show clip, which is very long and thick and shaggy. I couldn’t imagine how they functioned! None of my bouv SDs do much in the heat, and Barnum hates it particularly. He will work at home doing this and that when needed, but if we needed to go somewhere on a hot day, I can’t imagine.

    But if you just go from one air-conditioned vehicle to building to another, I guess that solves the problem! LOL

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