Category Archives: Juno walk

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 4 – Dog Day Eve

Oh man, a year ago was the day before I met Jayden! Crazy! That first Tuesday, I still hadn’t figured out the internet so Carin posted this post for me to let everyone know I had made it safely. Thanks again Carin!

So the Tuesday post was again posted on Sunday and I’m reading through it right now and I had to stop to write really quickly, because I mention in the post that doing Juno work with the rolled up carpet, I kept saying “good boy”. I remember when I had thought Insert would be a black female, but then when I worked with Juno, I called it a boy. Interesting.

I knew I wanted to write about the two dogs I got to work with that Tuesday. It’s been on my mind the last couple days, remembering the dogs. They were both male and I just heeled them up and down the hall with my instructor. We were told it was to give us a taste of working a dog, but thinking back on it, it must have helped the instructors know their choice was correct.

When they asked me what I wanted in a dog, I said I just needed a chill dog who wouldn’t wear my energy down. That was really all I had known I needed. The first dog I heeled that day was very chill and easy to handle. The second dog was a little more energetic and playful and while I had a good time with him, I’m sure I was more focused with the first dog, who turned out to be just like Jayden. I wish I could remember those dog’s names! I couldn’t share their names on the blog so I never wrote them down. Bummer!

That day we went to the downtown lounge for the first time and got an orientation, then did some Juno work with the short handle in San Rafael. It was much warmer than I had thought and it got me pretty sick. That night we had yoga. Oh man I miss the yoga! I need to find the cd I bought from the instructor. I’ve been thinking about that the last few days and can’t remember where I put it.

I mention in the post that I had hoped the yoga would help me sleep that night but it didn’t. I wonder if anyone sleeps well the day before dog day?

Oh, I was about to forget the link to the post haha!

Today hasn’t been the best of days and I’m just glad I was able to remember to post. Aunt Flo came pounding on my door in the middle of the night, showering me with pain. I absolutely despise when she does that. I had to cancel the gym today and have just been crocheting and reading “The Bullpen Gospels” by Dirk Hayhurst for the second time. Finished that up and managed a shower. I’ve got the insurance people coming tomorrow. I wish I had thought about that when he asked if Thursday would work. It’s my anniversary with Jayden and I’ve got insurance people coming??? Ugh. Bad planning on my part haha! We’ll be able to go for a walk after they leave though. It’ll be great to compare the walk from a year ago to the one we’ll take tomorrow, though I don’t remember much a bout that first walk with him.

I just hope I’m feeling better tomorrow. I can’t believe tomorrow is the first anniversary of Dog Day! Wow!

PS – I think rain is coming or something because man to my bones ache. I don’t like being a human barometer!

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Filed under anniversary, crochet, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, Juno walk, on this date, weather, yoga

O & M – Over & Mystifying

O & M actually stands for Orientation and Mobility, as most of you know, but today the letters have the meaning of over and mystifying to me because the lessons I’ve had with Dave nearly every week since November of 2008 have come to a close.

In the beginning, our lessons were all about teaching me to use the white cane, to know my position in space, to orient myself by sound and sometimes the position of the sun. Dave showed me how to be mobile again after I lost my vision. Having these skills led to me being able to use paratransit to get places like Saavi to work out or to be able to walk to my mail or take out the trash.

The independence I gained from the skills Dave taught me were the first things I grabbed ahold off to regain some semblance of normal life after going blind.

Dave was not only my O & M instructor, he was a mentor for me even though he is sighted. He told me about services Saavi offers and encouraged me to do anything I thought I might want to do. On our way to the locations of lessons, we’d talk about life, our pasts, our families, anything. I told him of my adventures, I rambled about the latest technologies I’d found, I bounced my wild ideas off of him. He became like an uncle or a big brother.

When B went out of town back in July, Dave turned our lessons into an opportunity to get whatever thing I might need. When my coffee pot died, we turned a lesson into going to Walgreens and when we got back home, he opened the box and made sure I could find my way around the coffee pot. He knows what a coffeeholic I am.

When I decided to get a guide dog, our lessons became all about preparation. Dave had done training for O & M instructors at GDB and even did my first ever Juno walk.

He made sure I knew what I was getting into, he listened to my fears. He gave me strength while I was in class, knowing I would be returning back to him, his mild mannered speech, his understanding of my fatigue, his faith in me.

He helped me adjust to life with jayden, taught me how to show Jayden new routes, took phone calls from me in the summer when Jayden’s heavy panting scared me, assured me Jayden was fine after every new dog thing occurred. Dave is a dog person so aside from being my instructor, he also helped me ease into being a dog mom.

For the last month or so, we’ve been grasping at straws to come up with ideas to do on our weekly lessons. After I arrived home with Jayden, Dave and I met twice a week, carrying over the pre dog schedule. Going down to once a week was an adjustment, but there wasn’t as much for me to do, so it was ok.

We both knew our lessons were coming to a close. We’ve known it since we first started inventing things to do, new places to pattern. This morning there just wasn’t anything. There was no new place to check out, no route to master. Finally I mentioned that I still felt uncomfortable finding the relieving area at Saavi so we went and did that. I had gotten help from other staff, but there’s just something about an O & M instructor’s brain that really helps you map things out in your head, especially when you know longer use a cane, which offers much more feedback than the gentle turns of a guide dog.

Upon arriving home, Dave said he thought we were done. As tears filled my eyes I had to agree. I don’t need him anymore. That fact is incredibly bittersweet, because the fact that I don’t need him anymore means I’ve accomplished a lot in the less than three years I’ve been blind.

He asked me if I could visualize how far I’ve come and all I could say is that it’s night and day. I won’t share anymore of our conversation because that’s between him and me.

I will say that I will greatly miss our Tuesdays. I’ll miss his jokes and his friendship. I’ll miss the confidence he had in me, which transmitted to my own self assuredness. He’ll still be there though, if there’s a new route to learn.

It’s completely mystifying to me that that I’ve graduated from O & M lessons. It’s overwhelming to look back on the last nearly three years. The difference between who I was when I first met Dave is not even comparable.

Orientation & Mobility. Over & Mystifying. Complete. Mission Accomplished. Independence acquired. A truly irreplaceable friendship made.

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, coffeeholic, fellowship, GDB, gratitude, Jayden, Juno walk, misty eyes, Orientation and Mobility, spoons, white cane, working dog

Doggy school – First Tuesday

I didn’t write at all on Tuesday but I just looked at what I wrote on Wednesday and it refreshed my memory a bit.

So Tuesday we started Juno work with the rolled up carpet. My instructor and an apprentice worked with me on opedience and stuff and we got our treet bags to start wearing. Then we got to work with two live dogs, who are in training, but not done yet. Sorry, but I can’t give their names. We were given strict guidelines about what to share in blogs. But I can say that they were both boys and very different. The first one was really chill and did great work. The second one was more playful, which was fun too, but he was a little harder to control. It was so cool to see real dogs. I took the opportunity with the second dog to love him up after praise hehe!

I just realized when doing Juno I always sayd “good boy”. Weird. Anyway, that was cool.

After lunch we loaded the bus and went downtown. We had a quick orientation to the lounge and then it was Juno time with Pete. I didn’t realize we’d go on such a long walk and it was actually pretty warm that day and I didn’t have my hat. So by the time we got back, I was hot and feeling sick. We were going to do something, a lecture, but I can’t even remember what it was. Hmmm. Oh well.

After everyone did Juno we came back and I hit the shower. I had showered the first night but I was so gross. We were having yoga that night after dinner and I really didn’t want to go but I did because I’m scared of shin splints. So I put on my yoga clothes for dinner. I don’t remember what we ate that night.

I went to yoga and it was so nice. The next day was dog day so I was hoping the yoga would help me sleep. Hahaha! Yeah how bout no.

I think I talked to B and Gamma before dinner, but I’m not sure. So that was Tuesday.

Oh yeah, I think we got orientation to the relieving circle but I can’t remember. Yeah I think we did, with Juno. You step off the curb and walk forwards and spin your leash around you, walk backwords and spin the leash and keep doing that. At least that’s how I thought it was done. More on that later.

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Doggy Countdown – Rain, rain and more rain

The title pretty much says it all. Lots of rain. Lots. We went to Gamma’s yesterday for my Uncle’s birthday, and I really thought I was gonna be feeling pretty good. I was feeling great in the morning and into the afternoon, and then I took a shower. Lately all my showers have been exausting me. I think I need to do baths this week. I wonder if the bathrooms at GDB have tubs, or just shower stalls? Prolly just stalls.

So joy. I was already getting fatigued just getting ready to go. It didn’t let up. We went to Gamma’s and I was pretty low energy. We came home and B said, oh it’s gonna rain all day tomorrow. Oh. Gotcha. That’s why. I was able to push through all that stuff on Friday because it was sunny. Then more rain is moving in, which leads to pressure change. No wonder. I woke up this morning to constant rain. I guess AZ is trying to prepare me for CA.

I e-mailed Lisa this morning because I think I’m skipping my workout again tomorrow. My shins hurt. My shins! I sure hope I didn’t get shin splints after Friday. Dave had mentioned that I was picking my feet up well, and the GDB nurse had said that people get shin splints at school because they pick their feet up more working a dog. They offer Yoga for that, I think every Tuesday. So I’ll finally get into Yoga, sweet! But, yeah I think I’ve got shin splints, or at least mild ones. It hurts when I walk. Also, I was going to do laundry today. But, it’s pouring. And my gym clothes are dirty, and I only have one set.

See in the old days, I would have ignored all these blatant signs telling me to stay home on Monday and do my preparing. I’m not gonna ignore all this now lol! I actually feel hungover. That is not a fun feeling when you’re sober awhile. I think I’m dehydrated, so I’m drinking lots of water.

So that’s my sob story lol. Yesterday I asked B if I’ve been acting depressed, because I know depression causes fatigue. I’ve experienced the depressed fatigue, and it’s different, but I wanted to make sure. I know I’m not always the best just of my own mental health. He said I’ve been fine. I told HIm I’m gonna get depressed if I don’t start feeling better hahaha!

Quite honestly though, I really think this all just means I’m supposed to take it easy this last week before I go. I’m listening to my body and my gut and I really think that’s what it means. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that I’ve been down. I think my body knows what’s coming and is now conserving. I couldn’t see that when the fatigue first hit, but I really think that’s what’s up. So I’m gonna listen and just do what I need to do this week.

By this time next Sunday I’ll be all packed and getting ready to go!!! Wow!!!

I’m hoping to upload a video later and then write about the iPod, and I really need to practice that so I can get plenty of video of Insert!

8 days!!!

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Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, faith, family, Gamma, GDB, Insert, Juno walk, laundry, pooch preparation, sobriety, spoons, weather

Doggy Countdown – Ah, the weekend

How I love the weekend. For someone without a paying job, this is kinda funny. I think most working folk look at people who don’t work as constantly having a weekend. Not so lol. I was really thinking about this a bit ago, as I was getting caught up on 2 days worth of blogs, and really wanting some good time to write. Since as of now, I don’t work, I’ve needed to find other things that make me feel worthwhile, and this blog has become a huge part of that. Not only is it cathartic for me, I have a wonderful record of my life. And, I get to share thoughts, ideas, fears and hopes with my blogger family, and it is just oh so fulfilling. So when I have weeks like this last one, where I’m fatigued and trying to keep up with the daily grind, yes, I in fact have a daily grind lol, I feel like I’m neglecting my blog.

Though I’ve met tons of people, and while I know my readers like to read my posts, this blog is first and foremost, for me. It’s become something I can put my energy to, a goal of sorts. I’ve shared before that weekends are really my time to catch up. I pretty much have a few uninterrupted hours of computer time on weekend mornings whille B is sleeping. During the week I have a pretty set routine of chores, workouts, phone calls, etc. Friday nights, I can’t wait to sleep because it means when I wake up, I get to have quality time with my computer haha! So I just had to explain why I’m so happy it’s Saturday.

We’re going to Gamma’s this afternoon for my Uncle’s birthday. Sunday is usually family day, but luckily it’s today. Tomorrow is Super Bowl, so it would have been ww3 if I had told B we had to go to Gamma’s ahhahaha!

So I want to detail a little more about my lesson with Dave yesterday. For the last 2 Fridays, the weather here has been pretty similar to how it will be in San Rafael. Minus the actual water, it’s been cold and humid. So I’ve been testing my school attire, which is working quite well. When I’m doing anything physical in the cold, it’s hard to dress. If I dress too warmly, I get too hot even when it’s cold. Yesterday I did have to shed the raincoat while coming back home. I suddenly start feeling myself overheat, and that is bad, very bad. Dave carried the coat until we got home where I had left my water outside my door. I collapsed and chugged and we started talking about my fatigue.

I told him I was a little worried about how fatigued I’ve been, and how much the Juno walk tired me. He said he’s not worried. He said the school will be more than accomodating. He said if the trainers have any questions, they can feel free to call him. He told me just make sure, make absolutely sure, to stop when I feel fatigued, to strip off layers when I feel hot. He gave me some good things to say to the trainers. He said he’s not worried too, because once I’ve done something once, I’ve got it. And he would tell the trainers that if they asked. So even with all the fatigue, he still gave me another A++.

Which leads me to the trainer call I couldn’t really elaborate on last night. It was wonderful to talk to them. They informed me that I’ll be chillin at the airport awhile on the 15th haha! They are collecting 8 of us that day, so I’ll have to hang out until everyone gets there, since I’m one of the first to arrive. They said they’d have lunch for me. When I told Lish that yesterday, she said it’s like The Real World lol! Which prompted an idea for the blog header while I’m at school.

Then they were explaining how they’ll find me, and they told me to have my cane out. I said, what if I walk along barking? They said, then the wrong people would pick you up. Hahaha! I started telling them about the fatigue and they said don’t worry, if you have a day where you can’t work, we’re not gonna send you home without your dog. They also said the nurses will probably hover over me haha! I told them what Dave said about me learning stuff once and they sounded impressed and I said, his words, not mine. Didn’t want to sound like I have a big head. So they definitely alleviated any worry about the fatigue issue. They said, we see that your O& M went through our training? I said yes and they were very happy. I still think that Dave is one of the major reasons I was accepted so quickly. They know I have built in support when I get home.

They asked what I like in my dogs. I said I have cats. Oh! Have you ever had dogs? My mom liked pomeranians, but I like bigger dogs. They laughed. I guess I had said something to Don about how I might see the shadow of a black dog, though I don’t remember saying that. I told them yeah, but really I just want the best dog. Obviously a somewhat chill dog that will be cool if I can’t go out for a day, and obviously good house manners, but who doesn’t want that?

They said that first Tuesday it will be Juno work, and I’ll also work with some of the dogs not quite through training yet. Sweet! They want to see how I am with different kinds of dogs, so I’ll be doing some obedience and stuff with some of the dogs still in training. Then, they confirmed that Wednesday will be Dog Day!!!! Yay!!!

There was a lot of laughing on the phone, and I felt so excited through my exaustion. We were all cracking jokes on the speaker phone, so they sound like my kind of people.

So, now I feel like all the major steps have been taken. There are still some things I want to get accomplished this week, which will take some good uninterrupted time on the computer. I want to put my lecture cds on the iPod. I need to do some more practice with the videos, and I really want to get that blog post written about how to do it, in case any other blinks run across this blog and need help.

Obviously I need to pack the smaller stuff that are already ready to go in bags. I’ll try to keep up the tidying around the house. Lish will need to come back so I can show her what we need done with the cats. I’m gonna have B make sure my name is spelled just right on the tickets because it has to match my ID perfectly. Really should have done that right when I first got it. I know it’s the same because that’s how the airline found my reservation, but for peace of mind, I want to double check.

But, I’m pretty much completely ready. I’m just going to take it easy this coming week and make sure I do the things I need to do for myself, like being able to write my posts in a non-rushed manner haha!

I’m thinking tomorrow will be an excellent blog day because it’s Super Bowl, which I’ll only half pay attention to. I used to sit and eat junk food. The game was a great excuse. But I’m not doing that this year.

The countdown is really on!!! Single digits baby!!! 9 days!!!!

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, family, Gamma, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation, proud geek, silly girl, spoons, sports, weather

Doggy Countdown – Trainers and beauty and fellowship

Oh man. Too much happened today. LIke, quite literally too much after a week of fatigue lol! Oh man. There is no way I will get it all down today. Maybe I’ll go into more detail tomorrow. But for propserity’s sake, for in 5 years when I want to look back, I’ll do a brief outline.

Dave came at 9:30 for our lesson. I had showered before hand since I was getting my hair trimmed. Showers either invigorate or exaust. It pretty much exausted me and I got too warm. I told Dave I was really fatigued all week. So he said we’d take it light. More fun stuff just to get me outside, much less mental work. So he had a training handle from GDB and we did Juno down to the store and back. It was like I haven’t been working out. Coming back nearly killed me. But I made it. We talked some and I came inside for about 45 minutes before my friend came over for our day of beauty.

Who knew sitting and being pampered could wear you out. I sat with my feet in the spa tub in the pedicure chair for about 20 minutes before they got to me. Got my pedicure, then moved to the table for my maincure, then off to the bed for the brow wax. I don’t usually get manicures but thought it would be nice not to have to worry about my nails at schoo.

We got done there and wen’t to Supercuts for my hair trim. She only had to cut an inch off, so that made me happy and that was quick.

Then we went to Walgreens for toothpaste. Oh yeah, before we started we went to Sauce for lunch for my favorite salad.

So she dropped me off just after 3. Keep in mind I’ve been going since 9:30 with about a thirty minute rest before the beauty stuff.

So I get home and Lish calls because we were gonna try and have face time today. I tell her definitely lets do it but she has to come here because there’s no way I’m taking her stairs. She was gonna be here in about 45 minutes. So I called Carol back.

We talked for about 5 minutes when my home phone rang and I knew it was the trainers.

So I answer just before it stops, just in time, breathlessly saying hello. It’s all my trainers on speaker phone haha! There has been a change in the line up, so bad news guy isn’t my trainer now. Bummer. But everyone was really nice, and one of the women there is one who just joined the email list, so that was cool. So we talked awhile and I’ll post about it tomorrow.

About 5 minutes after I got off the phone with them, Lish came over and we sat and talked until B got home with dinner. She left, we ate, and now I’m typing this and it’s just after 7pm.

So, um, well, not the best way to recover from fatigue, but on the whole, the only thing that seemed tiring was the lesson with Dave, which it was. But the rest was just as exausting, but I’m glad I got it all done and I was really missing Lish.

It’s like as soon as B is home, my body knows its time to wind down, relax, chat with him, and go lay down. So that’s what I’m gonna do. I may or may not edit the post after I listen.

Oh I got screwed up in the countdown and said 12 days yesterday but it was 11 so today is 10 days! The countdown is really on!

Oh yeah, I dreamt last night that I got a black female.

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Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dream, fellowship, GDB, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation, silly girl, spoons

Doggy Countdown – A++

Dave picked me up this morning for our lesson and asked if I had any ideas. I told him no and he said he had one. He wanted to take me to an intersection and not tell me which one it was. He said there is an anomoly there and he wanted to see if I could figure it out. He said it was kind of a test haha! No pressure.

So we started driving and I tried to pay attention to turns but I’m a chatty Kathy in the car with him. I kinda thought I knew where we might be, but as soon as we stepped out I knew it wasn’t where I thought. I thought he might be taking me to a T intersection, but I could tell this wasn’t one.

So he did Juno Dave again and took me to the corner. He did tell me we were on the southeast corner. I listened for about twenty seconds and said, oh there’s a leading left turn arrow for southbound traffic. He just laughed. He was sooo hoping to fool me haha!!

So I was indeed correct. He went on to tell me more details. He said this is the only intersection here like that. For traffic going south and turning left, they have a leading left turn arrow. For traffic going north and turning left, there is no arrow at all. For traffic going west and turning south, there is a leading left turn arrow. For traffic heading east and turning north, there is no arrow. Huh? I asked him why that was and he had no idea. Just stupid planning lol! Then he told me which intersection we were at and I was able to name the store on the northeast corner, so he was happy. He also showed me the pedestrian buttons and how they are on the same pole for both directions.

We worked the intersection, me listening and telling him forward. There was one time that there was this huge idling truck and there was no way I was going to walk with that surge, because I couldn’t tell if he was going straight or not. Dave was pleased. Then, at the next crossing, I listened and said forward and he didn’t budge. I said, did you just disobey me? Haha! He wanted to show me what the intelligent disobedience would be like. He said I was correct in my command, but he saw something he was unsure of and disobeyed, like a dog would. At the next crossing, again there was a loud truck masking my blocker car noise so I didn’t go. Again Dave was pleased.

He said where blind people get hit is when they rush. He said never, ever rush. If you need to listen for a few cycles to really get what’s going on, do it. Leave plenty of time before an appointment. Don’t rush. And that’s why he knows I’ll be a good handler. Because I won’t rush. As we were heading back to the car he gave me an A++ for the lesson today. He said he’s had people who have been cane travelers a lot longer than me, get completely confused at that intersection. So, yay!

I had to laugh because he said he’s looking forward to finding out how he did preparing me. I told him I feel totally prepared. The only thing I think about is having to take Insert to relieve first thing in the morning, and getting out of bed at 9 for the last relieving hehe!

I’ve got a few posts for today, one about a creepy guy at the meeting, and then hopefully some more iPod experimentation. I’ve already decided that for the rest of the day I’ll be chillin on the computer, rather than getting some stuff done that needs to get done 😉

17 days!

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, blind tips, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, Insert, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation

doggy Countdown – Emotional

Oh, I’m just a bundle of emotions today. I’m sure there are a lot of factors here, like bad weather all week which leads to bad spoon days, to Aunt Flo not being able to make up her mind when to visit, to the crazy insane warnings we had here last night which led to anxiety and feeling horribly tense which made me wish I could have a drink or twelve to calm my nerves. So it would be expected that I should be feeling pretty raw today haha!

I have to say though, it was really cool last night. I was talking to my friend Erik online, the one I’ve been online frinds with for like 12 years. He’s been trying to help a friend get sober and often asks me questions or just needs to talk to clear his mind. He’s a total normie, watching his friend free fall into his addiction. Well, his friend is finally starting to grasp some hope. So last night I confessed to Erik that I had the urge to drink a few and he said, “My friend had the urge a few days ago and he said the serenity prayer really helped.” Ah! I had forgotten to utilize the serenity prayer. So I told him to tell his friend he just helped me. Sweet.

So on to today. Dave cancelled our lesson due to weather for the first time. I answered the phone and he said, “unless you have flippers, we’re not going out today.” I was kinda disappointed, but relieved at the same time since I’ve felt so lousy this week. I asked if he thought we could do anything inside and he said I had nothing left to learn, that all we need to do is continue to review intersections. So he’ll try and fit me in early in the week if he has a cancellation. And here I was all ready to fill my pockets with Reece’s Peanut Buter cups to reward Juno Dave hahaha!

So I was getting caught up on email and stuff and someone had posted a link to a bunch of audio and video on the GDB website so I checked it out. Enter the water works. I think it’s a raiser who loses it at a graduation and I lost it too. Then they talked with a puppy raiser and I lost it. Then just all the cool interviews and stuff and my heart got so full it burst. I remembered my Mom saying that when she had me, she cried and just kept saying “I don’t have to give her back…”. She had held so many babies and had to give them back, but I was hers. I’ve only met 2 guide dogs, and it was so brief, and they weren’t mine, and I fell in love with them. So I just started thinking about when I get mine, I won’t have to give her back. I keep thinking about dog day and I hope I don’t crush her with my embrace hehe!

Oh, if you’re interested, here is the link to the videos and audio. If the sounds of dogs and such is an emotional sound for you, be prepared.

Wow, typing this is making my arms ache, so I think I’ll wrap up and get back to the couch.

24 days! That’s only 3 weeks! What!? How did that happen???

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, GDB, guide dogs, Juno walk, misty eyes, mom, Orientation and Mobility, puppy raisers, sobriety, spoons, weather

Doggy Countdown – Dog the O & M Instructor

So my O & M lessons now are going to focus on how things will be with the dog. I’ve mentioned before how awesome Dave is. Well, from now on, he’s the dog lol! We’re not doing Juno, rather I’m holding onto him from my left side. When I do human guide, I’ve nearly always grabbed on to left arms, but now we’re practicing on holding on with my left arm. So, today we went and worked an intersection, doing human guide, with me giving cues. It went really well! I did fine every time, listening to the surge and telling him when to go. There were quite a few times when I stood for several cycles, because I didn’t get what I considered a good surge. Everytime I heard parallel traffic though, I’d say crap or something lol. He said that was good, because I could tell I’d missed my opportunity. He said a lot of his students just stand there, not knowing what is going on. He talked about how the dog would handle certain things like down curbs and up curbs and ramps. It was great! I’m not freaked out at all and knowing I don’t have to worry about my cane and stuff, left me more free to really concentrate on traffic.

He also talked about how it will be when I get home. We’ll continue with our weekly lessons, but he won’t look my dog in the eye for at least 6 weeks, to make sure me and the dog are good and bonded. Also, he’ll never correct the dog. He said when mapping out new routes, we’d walk it while I heel the dog, so that if we stop and talk, or change things, the dog doesn’t implement that as a route. So he really gave me confidence about how it’ll be when I get back. I’m so blessed to have him. He did the week training at GDB for O & M instructors, and he’s worked with several guide dog teams, so he really knows his stuff.

Again he talked about how I’m the perfect person to use a guide dog, so I’m still feeling really good about it all.

I realized that my countdown has been off. According to my countdown, today should be 32 days, but it’s the 15th, I leave on the 15th, and there’s 31 days in the month, so today makes 31 days left!!!

Oh, and Dave was disappointed when I said I had no cookies. Gamma had asked if I’d give Dave treats. So next week I’m gonna bring those bite sized Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups that are individually wrapped hehehehe!

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, GDB, gratitude, guide dogs, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation, silly girl, white cane

Doggy Diaries – Home visit

Now that that is over, and my choir is over, my body knows it’s relax time so I am absolutely exhausted. I’m so lazy in fact, I will copy and paste the email I wrote to my list so I don’t have to re-type it lol.

Well, I saw Don today. He came a little early after calling to see if
that was ok. Luckily I’m always ready early and was just finsishing up
my oatmeal. It was raining lightly when he got here, so he suggested
we do the walk first before it really started coming down. So I
directed him to the intersection I crossed with Dave a souple weeks
back. The van smelled like dogs, so I sked him if it was from GDB,
which it was.

So he watched me walk with my cane for a bit on the sidewalk, and then
we did Juno at the intersection. He told me to say Juno forward, when
I thought it was safe to cross, so I did when I heard the surge. He
showed me how to make a right turn and then a left turn and we walked
quite a ways. He didn’t have a harness so he used an umbrella. I bet
that looked silly.

We came back and sat and talked while he did his checklist thing. He
had the same feelings about when it might be good to go to class, IE
not in summer.

He is recommending me for acceptence! He said I would be hugely
benefited by having a dog! So he’s going to call in his
recommendation, and then I wait for the phone call. He said he doesn’t
know if there are any classes available between January and March, so
if not, I’d go in September or later.

I was so relaxed and silly, saying good boy Juno and putting on the
talking to a dog voice lol!!

I kinda knew he’d say yes, so I wasn’t overly surprised. Dave is so
familiar with the program, having gone through it as training for O &
M instructors, and he’s said all along that I’d be great, so I was
kind of expecting a yes.

So, now I wait for the phone call!

That was the email I sent, and I just want to add that he didn’t have a harness because the van had gotten cleaned out and the harness wasn’t returned. I got to thinking, there we were, walking in the rain, with a folded up umbrella between us hahaha!

I feel like I can finally relax. I’ve done the work, now it’s just wait and see time. Off to my couch I go with my blanket, coffee and Harry Potter 🙂

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, GDB, Juno walk, pooch preparation, spoons, weather, white cane