Category Archives: desert life

Doggy Diaries – Mentally sharp

Now that it’s gotten hot here in the desert, I’ve gotta get creative in finding ways to keep Jayden occupied since getting out doesn’t happen as much.

Luckily he is a very cerebral dog and doesn’t mind being lazy. We are peas in a pod! As long as his mind is being challenged, he is happy and fulfilled. He is also very good at letting me know when he’s bored. He’ll bring me a toy or a bone or just get hyper when I walk by. One of the things I absolutely love about him is when he behaves like a total goof.

I’ll kneel down on the floor with him and he goes to his favorite place under the breakfast bar where his crochet mat is. His tail thumps agains the wall so hard you’d swear it must hurt.

He starts breathing all hard and makes little playful snarly noises and then he puts his head on the floor, butt in the air and nips at my hands before summersaulting over on his back for a belly rub.

It is just impossible to ever be in a bad mood around this dog.

The normal obedience routine has long been abandoned. He started to anticipate each request and when I’d call him to me, he’d just amble over. With this dog, I’ve gotta constantly switch it up and now, since he never knows what I’m gonna ask for, he comes bounding to me when I call him.

Every afternoon, I put any leftover kibble from working into his Kong Wobbler. Rather than running through a few sits and downs before letting him have it, I decided to make it more interesting about two weeks ago.

I had him sit stay in the kitchen, and I walked into the foyer. I set the Wobbler down and the rattling made him come running. I playfully told him no and put him back in a sit stay in the kitchen.

I set the Wobbler down and he didn’t budge. I called him to heel but he went right for the Wobbler. Nope, Jayden, heel. All this while trying not to laugh.

I set the Wobbler between my feet and told him to stay, then backed away from the Wobbler.

He waited for the release command before attacking it. Now I do some variation to this when I give it to him and he’s so bouncy when it comes out I swear he’s part kangaroo.

Another awesome thing I taught him about a month ago was to find the Wobbler. Since I have no idea where it ends up when he’s done with it, I need his help finding it. He picked up on it pretty fast, but was rather unreliable about doing it when I asked.

Until he understood that I would get that last piece of kibble out for him if he found it. That last piece of kibble is like getting that 27th out for him. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes it’s elusive.

So now when he’s done with it, he finds me. I asked if he finished it. He wags. I say, show me, and he goes right to it, batting it with his paw so I hear it and he gets that last kibble. On days where he’s gotten it all, he just gets extra love. 🙂

I’m so grateful that he likes to be mentally challenged. On days where it’s too hot to go out, every day for now until the monsoons come, unless we’re going out in a vehicle, these little games keep him challenged and happy.

I haven’t written many diaries posts because life with Jayden is so routine and easy, there just hasn’t been much to report. He’s still just perfect and that’s really all there is to say!

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Filed under desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, jayden quirks, weather

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 33 – Shopping and exercise addict

Last year I left Jayden at home when I did laundry and felt terrible about it, and then later in the day we went out with Kevin and Jayden disobeyed to keep me safe. Sounds like it was a good day, aside from leaving Jay at home to do laundry haha!

Today was pretty busy. We went shopping with georgie and her daughter. I was in need of a new swimsuit and wanted to see if I could find some shorts and tank tops. I don’t remember the last time I wore shorts. I’ve always hated my legs above the knee, so I’ll do capris, but not shorts. Well, I got shorts. Yay me! The clothes I fit into today just fueled my motivation to keep working hard on my body. It’s not just the way it looks these days, but my strength is just incredible and now that Aunt Flo has gone back home until next month, I feel great again. I even found a way to do some strengthening here at home with no kind of equipment. It’s amazing what a huge water jug and a brick can do.

I actually bought juniors shorts. Juniors!! And a tankini swimsuit with boy short bottoms. And the tank tops I got are medium. Medium!! At my heaviest, I was wearing double extra large and like size twenty two pants. And now I’m in medium tops and juniors shorts. Wow!!!!!! How could that not encourage me to keep working hard? I love it! I’m addicted!

I think Jayden got a little too hot today. He also started off just terrible, refusing to follow Georgie in the store, saying hi to everyone, so out came the GL. He hates the thing and so do I but it turns him into the perfect guide dog he can be when he wants to haha. After that there was absolutely no issue. I know some guide dog school’s won’t accept a dog who needs the GL. I can’t imagine if GDB had not accepted Jay because he needs the GL to straighten him out now and then. Anyway, back to what happened. After shopping we went to Sauce for lunch. Yummmmmmy salads. It was absolutely freezing in there. Ok, it’s like eighty here in AZ. We’re wearing tank tops and sandals. So why, Sauce, was your restaurant like sixty degrees? We shoveled food and couldn’t wait to get outside. Georgie’s daughter wanted Frost, I think it’s called. It’s a gelato place. So we went there and sat outside and I had Jayden lay down. My stupid ice cream was melting and all of the sudden Georgie’s like, Jayden just puked. What!!! Georgie said it was only like a table spoon and looked like he barfed up the few pieces of kibble I had given him while we were at Sauce. Georgie had gotten him some ice right before that, so I’m wondering if the extreme temp change maybe affected him or something. I also didn’t realize that the pavement was warm. It’s gotten warm so fast here. It wasn’t terribly warm, but I think he just got hot. Once we got home and he had his frozen Kong, he was fine, but it really freaked me out.

Aside from that it was a great day. The Rays game was on not long after I got home and we beat the Red Sox. Wooo hoooo! It was like a freaking home run derby against Wakefield. Great game.

I exercised during the game and then B got home and we ate and I almost forgot to write today. Not sure how much longer I’ll keep up on the recap posts. Probably as long as last year’s posts are still fun for me with interesting firsts.

I think that’s about it for today. I can’t believe the energy I have, wow. Jayden doesn’t second that. He’s pretty pooped. I wonder if he hates shopping?


Filed under accomplishment, baseball, desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, on this date, treat for me, weather, workouts

Doggy Diaries – The MS Walk and Jayden’s hidden talent

*The above image is a thumbnail of the pink spaghetti strap tank top I had specially made from L^2. She designed the shirt for me after I mentioned on Twitter that I needed a top for the MS walk. On the light pink shirt is bold black print that reads: MS blinded me and all I got was this awesome guide dog. You can find a link to L^2’s shop on the above link. thanks, L^2!*

I didn’t write on the twelfth last year, so today’s post is dedicated strictly to the MS walk Jayden and I participated in today with my good friend L. She picked us up at 8:30 this morning so we’d have plenty of time to arrive at the park and begin the walk at 9:30.

I had a backpack laden with water for Jayden and Gatorade for me, along with some peanuts in case I got to feeling weak and the usual guide dog supplies. I also limited myself to one cup of coffee that I saved from the day before to keep us from encountering mafia guy bladder halfway through the two mile walk. 😉

It was a rough start when we arrived, since many walkers were there with their pet dogs. I’m pretty sure Jayden was the only guide dog, but only because the people I was with didn’t mention any others.

Just trying to walk from the car to the registration area was next to impossible. Jayden just would not concentrate. Obedience didn’t work, so on went the Gentle Leader, which L laughed at, watching Jayden’s demeanor change haha! After that, he was whipped into shape and did great.

While we were registering, one of the people at the desk must have read my shirt because he asked when I was diagnosed. We had a brief chat and then joined L’s friends from work, who had come to walk it with us. They were really cool and totally fawned over Jayden while asking me questions about how I stay healthy and keep my balance and such. I explained that exercise has done wonders for me.

We stood and chatted for a bit and then things were getting underway. There was talking over a loud speaker, but I’m not sure what they were saying. Lots of people were cheering and a band started playing to send us off.

At first we were in quite the cluster of people, but eventually it thinned out and we were able to pick up our pace. Though there were tons of things to see, Jayden showed me every curb and step until we were on level ground. L’s friends got a kick out of watching him and I kept hearing them exclaim from behind us.

Once we really had a clear path, I put on my excited voice and slapped my leg, giving the high pitched hop up command. Jayden started literally trotting. It was so awesome! We kept having to slow up and go around people, but once we had the all clear again, Jayden began trotting happily. I’m not sure I’ve ever really felt that much spring in his step, at least not for long periods of time. Thinking back on it, this is definitely the longest we’ve walked just out and about, not stopping to shop, or out on a lesson with Dave. It was so incredible. I really got to just walk with my dog.

The weather was beautiful until we hit a patch that was in direct sun with no breeze. It was probably a little over halfway through the walk. I decided we needed a water break and Jayden agreed, lapping it up and then rubbing my leg with his face. I decided to take the GL off since he’d gotten into his rhythm. It had really been awhile since we’d done anything other than our usual walks and Saavi trips, so I wasn’t angry that he had been hard to control in the beginning.

As I watered myself and Jayden, L explained to her friends about how important it is that I not get overheated or too fatigued. We set off again and I tried pushing Jayden but he disobeyed me.

One of the things I have gotten out of Jayden that wasn’t part of the deal, and something I haven’t really mentioned here, is his ability to alert me to coming fatigue. Dave noticed it a few times, where Jayden would slow down and Dave could see me starting to fade, but I haven’t noticed it without Dave until today.

Jayden will absolutely refuse to let me push him. The first time Dave noticed it, I said Jayden must be tired. Dave informed me that no, Jay could probably run a mile, but I was fading. So today, when Jay disobeyed, I obeyed him and sure enough, about five minutes later, I felt the fatigue try to set in.

I thought the two mile walk would be a breeze, since I do two miles twice a week at the gym. However it’s one thing to do two miles on a treadmill in an air conditioned room, and a completely different thing to do two miles outside in Arizona in March on non-level ground while working a guide dog and paying attention to where we needed to go. We even had a few street crossings, which I did human guide through, since the first one freaked me out haha! I didn’t think to make my friends stand and wait with me while I read traffic, and when L said to go, I couldn’t tell where the traffic was and freaked out. Because of the way we travel on a daily basis, we don’t do many street crossings, so I was out of practice.

So back to Jayden refusing to walk as fast as I wanted; it was just incredible to really see him alert to my fatigue. Wow. Are these dogs smart or what???

We heard music in the distance as we approached the finish and L and I were singing silly tunes from our old choir days. As we drew closer, people were there cheering us on, telling us we were almost done. Jayden got a little distracted right at the finish and ran me into a person, but they were good natured about it and then we walked under the arch of balloons, completing the walk. People were cheering and Jayden was panting and my legs felt like jello haha!

We said goodbye to L’s friends and found some shade to give Jay some more water. Then we loaded into the van on our way to Starbucks! Oh how I craved coffee, having not had my fill this morning.

I got an iced venti mocha no whip, my favorite, and Jayden got a cup of ice. He practically ordered me to move my leg so he could sprawl out in the front floor well at my feet haha! I gave him a piece of ice between my sips of coffee and L and I talked about trying to do a walk every other Saturday or so. I sure hope we do that. It was so awesome to be out walking with Jayden in a safe place with my buddy. And Jayden just loved it. I love that bouncy feel in the harness handle.

When we got home, Jayden enjoyed his frozen Kong while I did my stretches. I could feel the ache in my shins like I had at GDB, so I made sure to do the yoga stretch for that along with my normal quad and hamstring stretches. I called Gamma to let her know how it went. After that I filled B in and called Georgie. Both Jayden and I still had energy, but it didn’t last haha!

I got on the computer for a bit and Jay crashed on the tile and then my body ordered me to the couch where I crocheted on the first blanket for Japan.

At one point I got up and Jayden took my spot. When I came back I had him move to the other side which he did, but then promptly put his head on the pillow where I was about to lean back. I didn’t have the heart to move him, so I just stretched out beside him and leaned back on the arm of the couch. He was so passed out that he didn’t even realize it was dinner time. B and I said “food” a few times and Jay just looked at us. Finally I got him to get up long enough to eat and relieve, and now he’s back on the couch as I write this.

It was an incredible day and it wore me out more than I had expected. I felt even more satisfied than I do even when I kill in the gym at Saavi. Not only did I get to walk with my dog and my friend in the beautiful fresh air, but I got to walk for my disease. I didn’t really chat with anyone other than that first guy, but we were all there for the same reason. Not everyone there had MS, but those who were there care enough about it to come and raise money for it. If I find out how many turned out, I’ll update with the number. It definitely felt and sounded like loads of people.

Now I’m off to finish my coffee and crochet some more. My body still feels rather tired, but it’s such a good tired feeling. It’s good to give up some spoons for the cause of finding the cure for the spoon thief.


Filed under accomplishment, coffeeholic, crochet, desert life, Doggy Diaries, dogs, Gamma, GDB, gratitude, intelligent disobedience, Jayden, spoons, weather, working dog, wow, yoga

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 25 – Jay posts and I love peanut butter

Hehehehe Jayden wrote his first post a year ago. I need to let him write more often. I also wrote about the food snafu we had to deal with upon arriving home. Man, all the Science Diet choices. So glad we’re using Blue Buffalo now.

I gotta say I’m so glad we’re totally settled now. I had forgotten how nerve wracking it was when we first got home. I’m glad I’m continuing to look back and remember because this is a ton of fun!

Today we went to Saavi and everything went great as usual. We did have to squeeze into a small stall in the ladies room because the big stall was taken. I opt to squeeze him in with me rather than hold the leash under the door and leave him outside the stall. I’ve done that before when I’ve been with a friend, but I won’t do it alone. Jay is such a champ at squeezing into it though.

If you read the post he wrote, he talks a lot about the place with the whoosh thing and how often we visit it hahaha! He’s definitely a pro.

The weight is already coming off, leaving a more streamline feel around his last rib area. It’s amazing how you just don’t notice a subtle change when they thicken a little. I let him visit with Lisa and Glenn today since he’s been depressed. I’m pretty sure the reason was because B was out of town. I never mention it online when he’s not home, so I didn’t say this yesterday when I mention Jay being blah. He missed his other human!

B went to spring training games with his dad. I opted not to go, though the decision was rather agonizing. I just didn’t trust my level of spoons and the desert heat. Sure, in March it’s still cool, but when you’re in the sun it gets brutal fast. There was just too much risk involved. I might have gone up for one game, but not to stay for a few days. B and his dad had a good time and B saw ex-Ray, Carlos Pena, since they went to a Cubs game. Sweet!

Have I mentioned before that peanut butter is a miracle food? I ate it before working out today and managed to run on the treadmill, a first, and increase all my reps and weights. I’m still not fatigued. Peanut butter. Maybe it’s a warrior who can rival the spoon thief?


Filed under baseball, desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, on this date, spoons, weather, workouts

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 15 – I’m mad at my past self for not writing

I didn’t write on the twenty seventh from GDB. I’m really mad at my old self hahaha! I don’t even mention it the next day, so I have no idea what happened on that Saturday. Grrrr, oh well. I’m kinda surprised since Saturdays were only a half day. Why didn’t I write?

Today we’re staying home instead of the usual trip to Gamma’s on Sunday because B’s car is in the shop. The clutch went out. It’s also cold and rainy today so I’m hurting. I’ve got another spring training game soon so I’ll probably crochet some squares while I listen to that and just relax.

There was indeed snow in the metro area this morning. I only know because of what people have said on FB. Pretty crazy!

Last night Jayden played tug with me for a good thirty minutes. He usually conks out after ten minutes but not last night. He’s about to destroy another Wubba. It’s so cute, since I’ve got two in a drawer, I hold them both out for him and he always grabs the one that’s about to die and takes off running. Fun stuff.


Filed under baseball, crochet, desert life, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, Jayden, on this date, weather

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 5 – Dog Day

It’s officially a year since Jayden and I were matched! It’s about 3pm here now, so we probably had just finished our first ever walk together. I can say that today’s walk was much better haha!

There are three posts about Dog Day from last year, again all posted that Sunday. Two of the posts have what I had journaled before I had internet and I left in typos and everything.

This first post has more about that first Tuesday. This second post is my favorite post. As I sat waiting for them to come to my room, I just typed and typed. So this post captures the moments right before I met Jayden. This last post describes the meeting and I had his details all messed up haha! He was twenty two inches tall, not eighteen, and sixty four pounds, not sixty two. I also said he was in the womb when I went blind, but have sense found out that dog gestational periods are shorter than I thought haha! He was born July 15, 2008 and I went blind April 24, 2008. Still pretty darned close and was cause for tears.

I said in the post that I don’t remember much about that first walk and hoped it would come back to me. It most certainly has not haha! I’ve heard so many people say their first walk felt like they were gliding or flying. I don’t remember feeling that. There was so much to focus on and remember and I had only met him what, two or three hours before I harnessed him the first time? I wish I could remember more, but I sure don’t.

Today’s walk however, went flawlessly. All I wanted today was to be sure we got a walk in. Rain definitely moved into the area but it was perfect and sunny out and we just got to walk. I definitely feel like I’m gliding or flying now haha!

Before we went, I let him just leash guide me a little and be a dog before harnessing him up and taking off. Then I let him have a treat at the manager’s office when we stopped in to say hi. I never let him have a treat, but I did today. One Beggin Strip haha! The manager said he was looking at her with “those eyes of his”, knowing she had more.

Before the walk, Jay got a Kong Wobbler, then he got showered with love by the insurance people who came over to go over some additional benefits with me. We’re not used to strangers coming over, so I had Jay on leash just in case. Not everyone loves dogs. But they assured me they were dog people and he got lots of love while they were here. I am very, very happy with the new insurance developments, let me tell you. Is anyone ever happy that they get to go to the dentist?

After they left we went for the walk and when we got home, he got his frozen Kong.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. It’s been such a happy day and a beautiful anniversary, just hanging out with my boy on a perfect desert weather day.

We’ll celebrate again on March 7th. I don’t think everyone celebrates coming home day, but to me, that’s when the real relationship began. The bond we formed during the three weeks of school just started to immediately grow as we got home to where I was comfortable. As grateful as I am for GDB and the amazing dog they gave me, that three weeks was insanely grueling and exhausting, so it was during the transitioning at home that I really got to continue falling in love with my guide dog.

One year, can you believe it?? I almost can’t. It just doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. So much has happened over the last year, a lot of it not good, so maybe that’s why it seems like it’s gone so fast, I have no idea.

Ok, gonna get this posted so we can go have a romp fest!


Filed under anniversary, desert life, Doggy Diaries, GDB, gratitude, Jayden, misty eyes, num num food, on this date, weather, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 3 and it’s spring already *edited*

As I write this, it’s about 2:45pm and thinking back, I think I had just taken off from Phoenix finally, on the way to San Fran. Today was the travel day, a Monday. You’ll notice the post’s date is on a Sunday, and that’s because when I first arrived at GDB, I couldn’t get connected to the internet, so I was journaling in text documents. I got everything caught up that first Sunday when we had down time.

*Edit* I forgot about the post I wrote that morning before leaving. Oops!

The travel day was exhausting and quite eventful, as you’ll see when you read the post from a year ago.

In that post I mention just needing to cry in my room before the class meeting, but I had left out nearly falling asleep on the couch while a student kept asking question after question after question. I remember being so frustrated, just wanting to eat dinner and go to my room and be alone and unwind. Man am I grateful I’m not traveling today!

Jayden and I had our first spring fever walk today, that’s for sure. After a vacuum adventure which I won’t post here, I only wanted to mention it for my own memory, Jay and I set out to the office to pick up a bag of stuff Georgie dropped off for me yesterday while I wasn’t home.

It was about 1:30 or so and it was almost too hot. Already??? Ugh. Everything was going fine until someone felt the need to introduce themselves. I said a pleasant hello but didn’t want to stop and the man actually put his hand on my arm to shake my hand. He didn’t sound like he was all there or I would have gone off. Maybe I still should have.

It’s crazy how you learn to tell when someone is bending towards your dog. I heard his voice move down and I said, “please don’t pet him, he’s working.”

Why do people suddenly just walk away when you say that? Geez. After that I could tell Jay’s focus was off and there was a yip yip dog barking in an apartment nearby so I stopped and ran through obedience to get his focus back. He was definitely more sniffy than usual and by the time we were almost back and had stopped at the mail, he was panting. It can’t be warm already. Noooo!

Oh well, it’s actually really perfect right now. Doors and windows open, fresh air, birds singing. It won’t last long though, that’s for sure.

Definitely a much nicer day today than the traveling of last year haha!


Filed under desert life, Doggy Diaries, dogs, GDB, Jayden, no no sightie, on this date, weather, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Office Odyssey

It’s been awhile since a Diaries post, mostly because there just hasn’t been anything really new or exciting to write about. Last month was such the emotional hangover kind of month that life just kinda seemed to be put on hold, aside from the normal workouts and such.

This week has been about being in recovery mode from the latest emotional blow and then holy weather Batman, did it get crazy here in Southern Arizona. Highs in the thirties? Huh? Waking up to seventeen degree weather and a wind chill of one? Where were we??? Even Jayden, who loves to sniff and dilly dally after relieving, was pulling me to the door. It was crazy, and the weather change didn’t help my physical recovery from the emotional roller coaster.

Then the unthinkable happened. Jayden destroyed another Kong and I didn’t have a backup. Oh no!! He is so used to his frozen treat in the afternoon that for the last two days when I’ve locked Timmy up to take Jay outside, he gets all excited, only to be disappointed when we come in and I have no frozen Kong for him. I think it’s been good though. It’s shown him that routines change even though his mom is very set in routines haha.

Today it was finally warm enough to get out. The cold is much better for me than the heat, but when it’s cold, my body is so stiff it doesn’t move very well. I got a massage last night though, so today I was much looser and there was a package for B waiting at the office. I waited until the afternoon when it would be warmest and called the office to make sure someone would be there. No answer. I waited and called back. No answer. I know sometimes they just can’t get to the phone so I decided to set out.

We stopped at the mail and then headed toward the office. Jayden’s pace was quick and he was all bouncy. Yay work! We got down to the office and the door was locked.

I actually looked at where that little fake clock would be. You know the one that says, will return at blah blah blah? Yeah, I tried looking at it. Um, yeah I’m blind. You knew that, right?

I tried the door to the clubhouse which was open so we went in and I sat on the chair by the door, thinking I’d hear if anyone came back. I thought I heard the door so we went outside. Nope, false alarm. I decided to use the bathroom in the gym so we walked back through the clubhouse. I heard the door open behind me.

“Hi, is that Sam?” I ask.

“No, Sam’s in there, I live here,” came a male voice.

“Oh Sam’s back?” I ask.

“No…no one’s there, you’re going into the gym”

“Yeah, I’m gonna use the restroom. Did you happen to notice what time they’ll be back?”

“Yeah, it says 1:45 but it’s like, 2 now.”

I was glad he had noticed the little fake clock thing that I had forgotten I couldn’t see.

After I used the restroom we went back to the office door. It wasn’t too cold there, being sheltered from wind and there’s a doormat so we sat to wait. And wait. And wait. At one point another resident jogged up and said, “no one’s in there?”

“Nope,” I said when I really wanted to say, yeah they’re in there, I’m just hanging with the guard dog.

A little while later the gym guy came back out. “Still waiting?” I would have loved to reply, “Oh no, no, got my package, it’s just cozy here.”

I thought about going back home but I didn’t want to leave again once I got home and I had already waited for thirty minutes. You know when you’re watching a really terrible movie, but you figure you’ve already wasted an hour, you might as well see it through? Plus it was really nice to be outside since it was no longer the arctic desert.

I had to use the restroom again. Yes, I know. But I had been drinking my afternoon coffee. You know when you go out to eat, and you go use the restroom, how awesome it is to return to the table to find your food has arrived?

The door was unlocked when we came back outside. The manager asked if we’d waited long and I assured her it was ok. I wanted to inform her she was an hour later than her fake clock had claimed, but I didn’t.

We chatted about Jayden while I crammed B’s package into my backpack and then started the trek home.

Jayden’s pace was fast again and it felt like we were flying home. I knew he thought he’d be getting a Kong and felt bad. I gave him a Kong Wobbler instead and then sat on the floor to call Carol. All of the sudden Jayden was running all over the house. I could just hear him thinking, outside! I was outside! I walked! It wasn’t freezing! Outside! Yay! Run run run, bounce off me, run run run, boing boing boing.

The boy went bonkers. You’d think we hadn’t worked in a month hahaha!

So that’s the latest. I told B Jayden wanted a new Kong since we sat around for an hour waiting to get the package, but truth be told, I really enjoyed it. It was normal, to be working Jayden. I swear Jayden is the only constant in my life.

We’re gonna go out again tomorrow, just because I’m as stir crazy as he is. And that my friends, was the end of our week long winter. 😉


Filed under blind blunders, coffeeholic, desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, jayden quirks, relieving, silly girl, spoons, Timmy, weather, working dog

Doggy Diaries – More than just writing

Since I’ve mostly been firing off short and random posts for NaBloPoMo, (is that how it’s spelled?) I haven’t written much about life not involving writing. It really is too bad that I didn’t know about NaNoWriMo in time, since yesterday I surpassed the 50,000 word count. The only other hurdle left to jump to say I completed NaNoWriMo even though I didn’t enter, is to actually finish the novel, which is about to happen. There are scenes I had in mind that are no where near close to happening, which only opens up the door for a second book. Soon the revision will begin however, and that might trim the novel down or make it even longer. We’ll see how fun I think the writing is when I begin to fine tune it. 😉

I think I’ve only been writing for about a week now. It’s amazing how I’ve lost all sense of time while working on this novel. Wait, didn’t I say I’d write about something other than writing? Yeah, oops.

Jayden and B and I are going to Gamma’s in a bit for turkey dinner. It’s finally gotten cold here, well cold for Arizona. Low thirties at night and I’d guess maybe low sixties during the day. It’s fabulous because it helps my aches big time. I had missed my massage a couple weeks back when I thought I might be sick. During the summer if I missed a massage, my body was screaming in pain. Not this time. I was two weeks overdo but felt pretty good. In a writing tip by Justine, I’m sorry, I can’t spell her last name, she wrote ‘Liar’ and is Scott Westerfeld’s wife, she talks about getting a massage once a week when she’s writing a novel. I hadn’t thought at all about needing to take care of yourself when writing a novel, but believe me, it’s a lot of work. By the end of the day, my eyelids feel as though they’ve got weights on them, and I’m not even stuck staring at the screen. Look at that, I’m talking about writing again. It’s been my life recently though, so it’s kinda hard to discuss life without referring to it.

The week I thought I was sick, I didn’t go work out, and then I started writing so I haven’t been to the gym. Bad Ro. Justine also says exercise is important for writers. Once I get this zero draft done, I’ll get back to that routine.

Jayden is just awesome, but are you surprised? He’s hadnled me working like a champ and anytime I feel a little guilty, I just imagine the dogs who are under a desk. Jayden gets to be free at home, usually curled up right beside me on the couch, as he is right now. Sometimes this makes using the wireless keyboard a little difficult when he decides to put his head on my leg. In that case, I twist and sit not even close to ergonomical to type on the laptop. If I’m gonna continue writing, I really need to consider a desk, though I have no idea where I’d put it.

One of the things that’s been frustrating me lately is the realization that in this town, we can’t just set out for a walk and get things accomplished. We need to get to places using more than our feet. The one place we can get to has a road that Jayden refuses to work. I talked with Dave about it Tuesday, finally telling him that Jayden and I just need to work it as often as possible and there’s really nothing left for Dave to do. He knows I know how to be safe, and that’s his main purpose. There’s no point in him following us and watching me try and get Jayden to work. So Dave won’t be helping with that anymore, not until I finally get Jayden to get down the road, then Dave will help me fine tune the entrance to the store, which is an accessibility nightmare.

I’d had an idea on Tuesday, a way to help the problem of needing transportation anywhere. I thought of a shopping center with a Target and a craft store. If we take the van or a cab, we can get quite a few things done there. So we went and checked it out on Tuesday and they really did an awesome job in this shopping center. They’ve even got raised domes at the wheelchair ramps. So we patterned first, doing sighted guide with Jay on lead. We found the customer service desk where I’d ask for help, then we went and checked out the pet supplies. I’m still gonna need to get to a pet store for Jayden’s needs, which is a bummer because there isn’t one located near another convenient type store. That’s what I’m trying to find, the place where we can get dropped off and get more than one thing done.

Anyway, we then patterned to the craft store and I showed Jayden the counter where we’d get help. I asked about their slow days and they were very happy I thought to find out what days would be best for them to be able to help. I think it’s only courteous, if I’m gonna go in and ask for help, that they not be slammed. Some people might think otherwise, that it’s our right to get help and sure it is, but I think it’s nice to do it when a place isn’t slammed. Not just for the employees, but for my sanity as well.

We did human guide back inside Target and then I worked Jayden out of the store and over to the craft store. He was doing a lot of weaving, which Dave explained was due to potted plants and flat electric outlets in the ground. Jayden went around those rather than over them hehe! He was only shown the way once, but he got me to the craft store and up to the counter no problem. There’s a bench outside where we could wait for a ride and all I had to say was “find the chair” when I knew we were near, and he took me right to it. He is such a smart boy. If only our road wasn’t presenting such a problem…

Dave and I sat on the bench and talked about how I’m getting really close to not needing him anymore. There are a few more places I’d like to check out, but really I can do those with friends too. I explained to Dave that my sighties just don’t ahve much time, and I’d really like to check out the places once with Dave and then I’ll be good. When I first got home with Jayden, I needed to do things several times to feel confident. Now I’m like, just show me once please. Haha!

So that’s bittersweet, to be coming to a close with Dave. I’ve been blind two and a half years now, and he’s been there every step of the way. I’m so grateful for that man. He assured me that anytime I need him though, he’s just a phone call away.

Aside from that, I don’t have much to report. Jayden’s work is incredible and once we get that road problem fixed, we’ll be good to go. Oh I had a follow up call from GDB’s alumni group, and we talked about me starting a chapter here in AZ. I was interested in it back at school, but then life happened. We’ll see if I want to try and start one, though it would be nice to meet up with other GDB grads here.

Now that it’s cold, I’m happy. We can go out whenever we want now and not die. It’s probably the best time to work on the road so we’ll just keep it up.

I haven’t been reading any blogs, so I hope you’re all well. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Filed under blind opinion, desert life, Doggy Diaries, family, Gamma, GDB, gratitude, holiday, I might be a writer, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2010, Orientation and Mobility, weather, working dog

Pooch Ponderings – Can we keep him?

Last night mom looked for Timmy so I could pee. Dad said we were both by the door. I love the door. Not the one that blocks but the one I can see through. Dad went over and got Timmy and put him in the room with my bed. Mom put my leash on and I was wiggling and wagging and couldn’t wait to go outside. There was a new friend out there!!!!! Let me see him mom let me smell him and play pleeeeeese!!!!

Mom told dad something must be out there cuz I was so excited. She opened the door and I tried to pull her down the sidewalk but she’s too strong darnit. Dad came to the door and mom told him she heard something but didn’t know if it was a person or not so dad came outside and then he said to get back inside and mom was gathering in my leash and holding it close and I couldn’t dilly dally like I usually do when she wants to go inside because oh man did she sound scared and I could feel her all tense and stuff through my stupid leash and she was pulling hard. I just wanted to meet my new friend. Oh well.

We came inside and mom and dad were giggling really funny and she hung on to him and asked what it was and dad just kept saying piggy. Piggy piggy down by my car. Mom kinda melted like I did on the bus thing at the school place and she was on the floor breathing hard and giggling and said where there’s one there’s twenty, oh boy twenty piggies, twenty friends!!! Dad knelt down and kept saying piggy and I looked out at Piggy. Weird name. Then Spinelli came to the door and Fi too and dad asked them if they saw the piggy.

A little while later I had lost interest but my stupid leash was on and mom was still on the floor asking dad how I was gonna pee so dad went outside for a bit and came back and said it looked clear. Mom said he had better go out with us so he did but I just stood on the sidewalk wondering where Piggy was. Also dad was right there and I hate to pee if anyone’s there. Dad walked down the sidewalk so I finally peed and then dad came back and mom kept saying her legs were jello whatever that means.

We came back in and mom took off my leash and closed the blocker door. Oh well. I guess Piggy isn’t my new friend.

Mom and dad were both still giggling and mom kept making funny noises and dad asked if she could smell it and she said no and I’m like what??? Piggy smelled awesome! Then mom said, “this time it really was a monster.” So was my friend’s name Piggy or Monster? Mom calles Timmy the monster sometimes. I’m so confused.


Filed under desert life, Doggy Diaries, Fi, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2010, pooch ponderings, Spinelli, Timmy