Category Archives: doggy school

Doggy school – Yesterday was hard

Yesterday was just jam packed busy. We went to San Fransisco in the morning and sat at a coffee shop waiting for our turns to work. I was last. So I had a mocha that wasn’t as good as Starbucks, talked to some Italians who visit every February and they were cool and really nice. Then we walked a ways and there was so much more going on than in San Rafael. Jayden did great though. He only sniffed once and ignored a pedestrian who tried to say hi. Good boy. We were gonna take the bus back so we did some obedience while we waited and then the bus came. Weird bus, electric. Sounds like a spaceship and I was tripping out lol.

We got back and went back to the dorms.

After lunch we finished clicker training with the dogs and that was a blast. I was teaching him to find a chair. Then we we all went into a room and were quiet as each of us came in to find a chair. Then we all shifted. It was loads of fun but exausting.

Then we went downtown and did a bus to lounge. They dropped us off and on the way went over the route with us. Cross four streets, thrun left, go up a block and turn right then find the lounge. There would be instructors around but they wouldn’t help unless we sat our dogs and stood. I was fine until I got to the first crossing and then I couldn’t feel the curb. So they helped and we continued. Did fine until after the left turn and then Jay stopped at what felt like a flat curb so I did a right but it was a driveway and an instructor popped out before I could work it out on my own. Then we got to the curb and turned right and were doing fine until Jay stopped and I didn’t know why. The instrctors popped out and we were at steps. They were like, you know, those steps that we usually don’t take. I’m like, what steps. I was never shown the steps. By this time the fatigue had hit hard and I was crying because that happens when I get so tired.

We made it to the lounge and I broke down in the bathroom with another student, then the nurse.

We got back and I thought I was gonna hurl. I went to the nurse for my vitamin C and broke down with her. She calmed me down and I was skipping dinner.

I tried to play with Jay but he was exhausted too so I layed down after my shower and after talking to the councelor and another friend auto immune. They had to wake me to relieve Jayden and then I went right back to sleep.

Feeling good so far but it’s raining today. We’ll see what’s in store. The best thing about hard days is I sleep like a freakin log haha!!!

Just had breakfast and have to meet soon but wanted to quickly post.

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, no no sightie, spoons

Doggy school – The Amazing Jayden

So up until tonight I have just been heeling Jayden in the building. What this means is that he’s just on a short leash and he is in the hell position next to my left leg, with a loose leash. I had to walk very slowly, trailing walls, feeling doorways, asking where people were sitting, etc. So I found my dinner table by lining up with the left side of the large doorway and walking slowly until it felt right.

Jay and I have been together a week, so he’s come with me to all the meals, heeling. Well today we got our building orientation, so at dinner, we were allowed to work our dogs in the building. When I say work out dogs, I mean use the harness, for those who aren’t guide dog literate lol! Anyway, so about ten minutes before dinner, I decided to work down there so we’d avoid the rush. So I gave the forward and left command in the direction of the dining hall. I was still running my hand along the wall, but back behind me insead of in front. He started slowing at the dining hall and I told him left. We didn’t line up with the door because I didn’t know if we needed too. He stopped to show me the door way like he’s supposed to. There’s a little metal plate that runs along the floor. I praised and said forward, but I could tell we weren’t in the right spot, or least I didn’t think so. So I turned us around and said, Jayden forward, find the door. He took us right to it! So I lined us up with the left door frame and said forward and we walked without bumping anything. He stopped and I reached out and touched a chair. I was pretty sure it was our spot, but I reached out to feel the card which has really small braille I can’t read. A server said, he took you right to your chair! And it was praise and high value kibble. I was soooooo impressed!!!!

So I ate and then then stood up, grabbed the harness and said, Jayden forward, door. And he took us around the other tables right to the door!!! Praise praise kibble kibble!

So I said Jayden right and he took me down the hall and I had my right hand behind me again. We passed the one hallway and then I know it’s three doors down from there to get to our room. I’m counting doors, he’s walking us and then he stopped dead and sort of turned right a tad in front of me. I checked the braille door plaque to make sure, and he had taken us right to our room!!! Praise praise kibble kibble hahaha!!!!

Inside, harness off, celebration time. We romped on the floor for a bit after he ignored tug. He lets me know what he wants hehe. So he got a good romp and a belly rub and then I called Gamma and said next to Jay while he chewed his bone. He really only chews it when I’m next to him, which is good. He’s not really using it as a pacifier. For him it’s more interactive. He likes me to hold it for a bit while he chews and then he lays down with it.

When I got off the phone, I unhooked his tie down just to see what he would do. He got up and walked up to me and then dropped onto the flor on his back for some more romping lol! Then I wanted to groom him, which we’re learning together. I discovered tonight that he likes to be pretty free while I groom because it feels nice so he likes to move around. He ended up laying down and we got a good grooming session in.

Now he’s passed out on his fleece.

I’m not sure I’ll even fall asleep very quick tonight because I’m just so elated! Out in town, it’s cool because he’s guiding me, but I don’t know where I am. In the dorm, I know where I am, so the second he does something cool, I know him. It was also the first time working him without an instrctor near. It was just us. It was incredible! Everyday he does something else that amazes me. I’ll have to try and get video next time he’s being goofy. 🙂

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, jayden quirks, working dog

Doggy school – Tug and relax

Haha so I wrote a blog and posted and Jayden was passed out on his fleece. I went to go check on him and he was up wagging his tail, thump thump thump. So I took him off tie down and asked if he wanted to play. He followed me over to the drawer where his tug ring is and when I went to the foot of the bed he started dancing around lol! I can only imagine what it must look like from the clicks I heard of his nails. Then he grabbed the tug ring and started shaking it and I started pulling him back and forth. Then he got on his back and started pushing at me with his paws and then he dropped the ring and started nibbling my hand. He’s so gentle when he does this. I started rubbing his belly furiosly and he was wiggling back and forth lol! Then he’s just done. All of the sudden after like maybe 5 minutes, he lays on his side and lets out a sigh and that’s when I start cuddling him. I love putting my face in his belly and just smelling him. Then he picked his head up and put it on my shoulder. He is such a love! So now he’s crashed out to my left as I sit at the computer. I tell ya, these short play sessions are just perfect for me. His raiser was sure right when she said he’s a goof haha! His goofiness is coming out more and more. He’s so cool! We go relieve in thirty minutes after food. I can start working him in the building now. My instrctor just said to wait until the others had their building orientation today. That will be interesting. I’ve just been heeling him in the building and trailing walls, counting doors. The building was not designed for blind people, so there are raised door jams I catch my hands on a lot. I trail with the back of my hand, but it still hurts. When he’s working we’ll be faster, so It’ll be interesting to see how that works. Just like in driving, we all stay on the right side of the hallway. We do that at Saavi too. But we’ll need to communicate even more with each other. I’ll be glad to work him inside. I think it’ll be easier. They said since he’ll be in harness more often, so give him breaks here and there and either hell him or leave him in the room for one of the meals.

Oh and I’ve also started making him work to the ramp at the relieving ciercle ans topping. He had been just doing a moving left, but he’s stopping short of curbs in the real world, so we’re hoping this will change him. I went to the right today to switch it up, so he gets out of the habit of the moving turn.

I’m feeling better after just a couple hours off. Time to blog and time to play. It’s good for Jay to get used to my downtime too, so this is all good good.

Haha, Chupa, good, good. Sorry, inside joke guys 😉

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Doggy school – A break and my raiser

I know I’m not caught up with Thursday and Friday, but quite honestly those days are a blur anyway lol. I know we went downtown both morning and afternoon and I know Friday was a really hard day, but other than that, I don’t remember details. We just practiced working our dogs.

Yesterday after I waited awhile for my one on one, it was finally my turn. I met my instructor in the library and almost fell sitting in the chair haha. I tried to sit on the arm so I ended up with my right leg hanging over the chair. Jayden must have thought I was a little nuts lol! The meeting went well and Jayden and I are right where we’re supposed to be.

So after that I think we had lunch and then oh yeah I remember now. It was raining all day. We had the vet lecture and got to ask the vet all kinds of questions. I had a lot of things confirmed for me that have been the topic of much discussion on my guide dogs list. So that went well.

Then we had to walk our dogs through the hennels to the vet and that was challenging. Jayden took me to his old kennel where I’m told he had a girlfriend. I’m sure he wanted to say hello hehe. Then we had the visit with the vet and got to learn about his history. He didn’t have any major issues. An ear infection and kennel cough. Then we had to walk back through the kennels and it was feeding time for the pups. Jay would not work. He was too distracted. I did obedience and got his focus back but it was still too much. So I had to do high collar. That is horrible. I had an instructor with me and he walked me through it. You feel horrible, but neither of us are safe if he’s distracted. That got him back on target and we worked through the rain back home. Relieving was hell because it was pouring all day. I had my raincoat but I needed to borrow rain pants. I was teasing the instructor because he asked if I wanted an extra large so I got all offended haha! They have to slip over your jeans though. They were too big but they worked.

Then i twas dinner and yoga and then I passed out after final relieving.

This morning we got shown the gentle leader. It’s a halter type thing that fits around the dog’s snout and behind the ears, and then attaches to the collar. Jay handled it like a champ. Then we went downtown.

We were doing destination routes this morning and all the people who are going on the outing were going to decide where to go. Since I’m not going on the outing, I went first. My instructor said he heard through the grapevine that I might need an afternoon off. Really? Where did you hear that? Through the grape vine. Alrighty then. Is this like the internet magically working?

I asked if that would hurt our training and he said no, that’d we do our building work this morning so I could rest this afternoon. Works for me. So we did building work. Weird. Found the stairs and the elevator. Jay did great. When we were walking back he got distracted by dogs so I did obedience. Then I wanted the gentle leader so we put that on. He did great after that and was more subdued. Now that he knows I’m his person, he’s been walking a lot faster but I actually enjoy the stroll.

We were crossing a street and a car turned right in front of us. I didn’t even know it had happened until the instrctor told us. Good boy Jay!

We came back and fed watered relieved then had lunch. Taco salad yum. Then we had a quick talk about the speakers bureau and I signed up. Then it was time for ID pictures.

We carry ID cards saying we are a trained team in case we’re denied access.

Then we did a group photo. Interesting. Twelve humans, twelve dogs and the instructors. I was standing and had students and dogs kneeling in front of me. Jay did great and stayed focused. Kibble kibble!

Then I was free for the afternoon. I talked to Gamma and then made coffee. A student said I could have some of his gourmet stuff yum.

Ah wait lol. Before all the pictures, right after lunch, admissions came by to tell me about my raiser!

I won’t go into detail about this person because I don’t have permission, but I will say Jayden is the first pup they raised and they are young. Jay was raised with a cat! He also had dog pals that came by a lot, young children, lots of music, and he loved running up and down the stairs in the two story home. He’s so gentle on stairs with me; I never would have guessed he loved to run them. The raiser also mentioned that he loved tug. Yes, yes he does hehe! He was described as a total goof when not working but he knew when to get serious. Right on the money! I hope his raiser gets to come to graduation. Keeping fingers crossed.

He started having a bit of an aversion to the harness today. I guide his head with my left hand and put the harness on with my right. He’s started kind of backing away from it or turning his head. So once I get his head still and get the harness on, it’s praise and kibble. If this continues, I’ll mention it to the trainer. I think extra praise and kibble will do the trick.

Oh, high value they use are Iams dog biscuits. They really only use it for recall.

Hmmm what else. Oh we’re becoming a pro team at getting to the bus. He takes me right to it when I say find the bus. And, if his harness is on even if I’m not holding the handle, he’s targeting chairs. I can’t wait to do more clicker with him tomorow! I haven’t actually done it with him, but they are clicker trained as part of formal training.

So I think that’s it. I’m just relaxing this afternoon until relieving and feeding at 4:30 then there’s nothing tonight. Phew. Just talking to Gamma wore me out. Blogging is like my little soothing thing or something haha! Takes less energy to type than to talk.

I might post again later if something else comes to me.

Oh yeah, on those high values, biscuits are broken up. You’ll want to adjust their food if you’re going to use thos.

I also forgot to mention that everything is coming more naturally to me now. I know when to flick the leash or say hop up or curb, I know when he needs some sits and downs to get focused, it’s just all coming together, even with the fatigue. Yay!! I’m already thinking about going home. I can’t wait! Today is a week that we’ve been together!

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, puppy raisers, relieving, spoons

Doggy school – Jayden sleeps

This morning has been pretty chill since we’ve got rain. We took the dogs near the play area and did obedience with dog and food distraction. Jayden did great with all of it. He got a little distracted once, but I got him on track.

We’re having our one on ones with our instructors today so I’m just waiting for my turn. I had put a pillow down by Jay so I could lay with him and we napped for a bit. It was too cute because he put his head on my pillow right by me hehe! So I got up and got a video. You guys will have to let me know if it came out ok, if there’s enough light, if I got him in the frame. It’s taking a long time to upload to youtube. The net here isn’t quite as fast as mine at home. So I’m not gonna try and upload it to Blogger.

Ok here he is!

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Doggy school – Oh yeah

I forgot to say that I was actually using too much praise haha!!! Everything in moderation, right? My instructor said I’m saying good boy too much so Jayden’s like, um mom I’m just walking. Just like with all other commands, it loses power when said too much. Leave it to me to overdo it hehe! It’s hard though when you’re gliding down the street not to want to say good boy all the time.

Jay was just growling and dream barking in his sleep hahaha!! He cracks me up! Oh and he’s so hard to wake up sometimes. He’ll be so out of it he doesn’t want to get up. But man when he realizes it’s time to get up, he’s up hehe!!

Three more retrains arrived yesterday and got their dogs this afternoon.

On a sad note, one of my classmates had to leave due to a family emergency. The school will keep his dog for him. I sure hope he can come back at some point. 🙁

Dinner was great and now I’m really really tired. Those fatigues can sure hit without warning. We’ve got rain tomorrow morning and I can feel it in my bones. Tomorrow night is yoga thank God.

Oh he’s breating heavy again, let’s see if he dream barks. Nope. I’m gonna try and remember to get some video of him. I know you’re all really curious 😉

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Doggy school – Marvelous Manic Monday

K no editing on this one as I’m gonna try and get it done before dinner.

This morning we took the dogs to the kennels to practice obedience in a highly distracted area. Jayden did great! The instructors came by and gave us dog bisquits to set by the dog’s paws while they were in a down and Jay ignored it like a champ. After that we worked back to the building in a different way through an bstacle course. Jay got me around all the barricades.

Then we relieved and loaded the bus. They took us to Starbucks! Got my iced venti mocha no whip yummm. Had a little meeting with the other student in recovery which was great. Then we worked our dogs back to the lounge and Jay did great.

We came back for lunch and today was going to be the one on one meetings with our instructors, but it was a beautiful day and we’re getting rain tomorrow, so they asked if we wanted to do traffic checks today instead of tomorrow and we all agreed. So we got back on the bus.

Oh I should say that they gave me an ergonomic handle which has helped a ton.

We got to the lounge and I was going second so I took Jay on the patio to practice our heels. He is getting sooooo much better.

Then i twas my turn and we set out. Pete was gonna be driving the hybrid and coming at us. I wouldn’t know when it was coming. We had talked about obsturctions before our route while we ere waiting for the team ahead of us to be done since there’s only one hybrid. So I knew there’d be some partial obsturctions where Jay would figure things out, and then full obsturctions where I owuld have to wait for an all quiet and then work Jay into the street around the obsturction.

Oh yeah before all that, they took Jayden away from me! Took him! Hehe but only briefly. We were going for a ride in teh hybrid. That thing is crazy. You can’t even hear when it’s running when you’re in it.

So we went out on the route and Pete cut us off. Jay stopped like a champ. Then Pete actually started backing into us!! Jay backed up to keep us safe. Wow. I don’t know how many times this happened. We’d be in the middle of a crossing and Jay would just stop and Pete would have just turned in front of us. I never heard the car.

He did a great job with the obsturctions. No complaints. He was a little hesitant to start the route. He’s been that way in the afternoons. So we put the collar up high. It goes up just below his ears so it’s more sensative. I can just flick the leash, not hard at all but it gets the point across that he needs to move. So that fixed the problem.

Right before we got to the lounge, Jayden lunged forward and took off like a shot. Pete was coming at us from behind!!! Wow!!!

So we got to relax a bit while the others were out and then we came back, fed and relieved, I talked to B and now I’m getting my post done so I can’t play some tug with him and do our grooming. He loves his tug hehehe!

It was a great day!! Jayden is so amazing!!! Oh yeah and at one point I told him forward and he disobeyed me. Pete was coming with the hybrid. Good boy!!!

K, off to eat yummm. What am I having tonight, oh meatloaf. Breakfast was fried eggs, sawusage and a bisquit with gravey. Lunch was a fajita burrito thing and nachos yummm. Oh and cheesecake with chocolate auche hehe!!

K, signing off. Oh and I’m gonna check on those high value rewards, keep forgetting. Forget who asked me.

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, traffic check

Doggy school – First Sunday

I’m going out of order now because I want to write about today. Today has just been great. It’s a little sad because B was supposed to be here today but the car kept giving him fits on Tuesday and it was too stressful, so he didn’t take his trip. He had to drop a big chunk of change on the car. So good news is that the cats aren’t alone, bad news is I didn’t get to see him today. But, really it’s been so nice not to have to do anything today, that it’s really ok.

Jay and I were gonna go play in the play area today but it’s been raining nonstop. Relieving was fun the first time after the rain haha!! Everyone crowded into the loading lounge to towel off their dogs and then I remembered I had a towel of mine back in the room. It’s the one I was gonna have B bring back so the cats could smell Jay. So I took him back to my room and dried him off and then we snuggled for awehile until he fell asleep.

This morning we had a breakfast buffet from eight to ten instead of the usual seven fifteen. But we relieve at eight thirty so I went to the hall after that. A volunteer took me to the buffet table and the chef herself was giving out food. I told her the food has been amazing and that Gamma said to lay off because I’m getting spoiled lol! She laughed and said she’d make the food not as good and I told her that wasn’t necessary. Then the volunteer helped me to the table and I ate my scrambled eggs, bacon, fried rice, croissant and fruit oh and coffee of course. I left Jay in the room since it was all strange and buffet and it’s good to give him alone time. I had music going like the cd said and he got all excited when I came back.

Ok there was just a looong break while writing this. Carin called my room phone and I was talking for her when Jay started making funny noises. Not bad funny just funny so I went to him and he was acting all weird, kinda rowdy. Then I feld his head and he was staring in the direction of my dresser. I keep his tug toy in a drawer there so I thought himmm. I got it and sure enough, he wanted to play! Smart boy lol! We’ve done a lot of playing today. I think he’s a bit bored. So he fell asleep and then woke up and was acting weird again. I was feeding him a bit early because I have a massage today so I fed him and then he really wanted to go outside.

I got permission to relieve alone since I’m getting the massage, so out we went and we got off that curb and he started circling so fast there was no way I could keep my orientation. He urinated and then quickly stopped so I felt his back and he was was hunched so I marked the spot and sure enough he had gone number 2. Well by this point I don’t know where I am and no one’s out there. So I found the curb and felt for the ramp but couldn’t find it, so I didn’t know what side of it we were on. I harnessed him up and listened to traffic but I still couldn’t tell. So I say forward and we went a few paces and didn’t encounter the ramp so we turned around and I told him forward and he kept slowing so I kept feeling and saying hop up. Finally I was just like, Jayden find inside. He took us right to the door!!! WOW!!!! What an amazing boy!!

So we came back and I dried him off and then we romped on the floor and then lay still. I could hear the massage therapist telling the dorm girl that he was running late so I knew she’d be coming to tell me so I put the leash back on and she came to the door. Jay went to his fleece right away after she left and chewed his bone for a bit and now he’s snoozin. So I’m finishing this up before my massage.

What an awesome dog!!! Ok I’m not gonna post this yet. Well, yeah I will cuz I might pass out after the massage. I’ve still got my box lunch so I’m skipping dinner. So I’ll have the rest of the night alone with my Jaybay!

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Doggy school – Thank you Stephanie

So we all have a puppy raiser named Stephanie to thank for the internet. Remember how it was just suddenly working? Well I got an explanation lol! Stephanie knew my internet was down so she called a friend who sent I.T here to fix it. Isn’t that just amazing??

THANK YOU STEPHANIE!!!!!

PS – I got her permission to release this info tee hee!

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Doggy school – Dog Day 3

Ok so I don’t have any more pre-written so the rest is going to be from memory.

They came and got me and took me to the instructor’s office. I sat on a chair, and they brought Jayden in. I had tears in my eyes as I waited. They brought him to me and I cliped my leash on him and stroked him. He was just like, yeah whatever, another person blah blah. They gave me his details, yellow male with honey colored ears and a zipper pattern on his nose. Birthdate July 15, 2008 and that’s when I cried, when I realized he was in the womb when I went blind. 62 pounds, 18 inches tall. Wow. Then it was time to heel him back to my room. One of the apprentices helped me find my way and then we were alone. I was supposed to keep the door open so I was pretty quiet talking to him and crying a little. I showed him his fleece and sat cross leged in front of him. I put my hands on his side and he came right up to me and put his head on my shoulder and we just hugged. It was really amazing!

Not long after that, it was time to go to lunch. They came and showed me how to have him sit and lay down next to my chair and to just keep the chair legs on the floor so we don’t get the chair on his feet.

The others came and we all had our dogs and they all conked out next to us hehe. We make a long leash and step on the lease near their head and then drape the leash over our right knee.

I kept reaching over and stroking him. When I was done, I slowly backed the chair up, all the legs on the floor and Jayden yelped and jumped up and I freaked. The room got silent, all humans and dogs making no noise. The trainers sit right behind me so Pete came over and said he’s fine, he’s fine. I felt horrible. Had him less than an hour and he’s already yelping. Ugh. Well I found out later that he puts his paw right behind my chair leg, so I always feel now before backing up.

We went back to our rooms and then heeled the dogs out to relieve. I think Jayden urinated lol. Then we went back and got our harness and loaded on the bus.

They don’t want the dogs laying down on the bus so we had to keep them sitting. Jay kept “melting” wanting to lay down and so they had to show me how to get him to stay sitting. I make sure he’s braced with both my legs and it works best if his back is to me, with his butt kind of under the seat. Then I put my hand under his collar to keep him up if he tries sitting. When he sat for awehile he got a kibble.

We went to the downtown lounge and then harnessed up our dogs for our first walk. I was with Pete. So I learned how to harness him and we went for our first walk. Wow. I can’t even remember the emotions going through my mind. I was concentrating on what we were doing, listening to Pete. It was pretty crazy and amazing and empowering haha! I really don’t remember details about that walk. Maybe it’ll come to be later. Oh I remember feeling the motion of the shoulders like Dave had described on our Juno walks.

After everyone walked, we got back on the bus and by halfway through the ride, Jay was no longer “melting”, yay! Kibble!

We had some time before dinner after returning so I called Gamma and she got misty when I described Jayden. Then I talked to B. Then I think I sat with Jay awhile before dinner. We went to dinner wtih no incident. I felt him before I backed up. He does great in the dining hall.

I think that night there was a lecture on grooming but Pete saw how exhausted I was, so he told me to take the night off and we’d do grooming the next night. So I got to relax and shower and just be with my boy.

In the middle of the night I woke up to a yelp. I sat bolt upright and jumped to him. He was sitting against the wall and his tie down was kind of wrapped around his leg. Not bad, but I think it really scared him. I bent down and unhooked him talking softly and he licked my face and curled back up on the floor. I hooked him again, sat with my hand on him until I was sure he was asleep, then crawled back into bed. Is that how mothers are with babies?

So two yelps the first day. But now I know he’ll let me know when he’s uncomfortable haha!!

So, that was Dog Day. Seems so long ago and it was only Wednesday lol!!

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