Category Archives: relieving

Doggy Diaries – Food switch Day 2 and some questions

There’s not really anything to report. You know what I think this is? Just an excuse to write every day haha!

Jayden has had his fifth helping of Blue now. I officially made yesterday the start of the food switch since it was the first full day on it, even though he had his first quarter cup Saturday at dinner. I did notice his stool was a tad softer this morning, which is a good thing as I think he had gotten a little constipated on the SD. In the mornings I was noticing hard pellets and he seemed to take longer. Gross topic? Maybe, but stool is important in the health of a dog haha!

I don’t know why but yesterday I only put the SD from his food into the treat pouch and the Kong. Today I mixed the food first and then put the handful in the treat pouch. Might as well get us both used to the smaller kibble pieces for food reward. I also included some of the Blue in the portion I moistened for the Kong I freeze overnight.

He’s still licking the bowl much longer haha. And you know what? Blue smells good. When I open the Rubbermaid, a pleasant scent greets me, one of mild fish mixed with sweet smelling fruits. It’s much more pleasing to the nose than the SD haha! Question: Are you ever tempted to try your dog’s food? Am I weird? I’ve been tempted since I got Jayden, but have never done it. Have you?

On a non food related topic, I’ve put him back on a water schedule. When it started getting hot here, I had him on free water. No way was I going to deprive him of water with our heat. It was never a problem; he only drank what he needed.

Lately however, I’ve noticed a few problems. He seemed to be drinking a little more than he needed, and twice he peed in harness outside during our walks at a time he wouldn’t normally pee. That has never happened before. If it had been small amounts of urine, I would have thought he had a bladder infection, but it wasn’t just dribbles, it was actual urination. This seemed to happen as soon as the temps cooled off. I really think what happened is that his body just doesn’t need all the water he had gotten used to drinking. It wasn’t increased thirst, I don’t know how I know that, but it wasn’t or I’d be worried. It wasn’t like he’d go drink the whole bowl, he was drinking as much as he did in summer and he just doesn’t need all that water now.

What cinched the decision to put him back on a schedule was yesterday morning. In the mornings I wake up, put on sweats, use the restroom and take him outside. Yesterday as I was in the restroom, Jayden peed in the house. That was a first. I decided then to put him back on the schedule he was on at GDB. I think it was the right decision as there haven’t been any problems since. This sstarted before the food switch thankfully, or I would have thought maybe he had the excess vitamin D the recall articles all mentioned.

Wow, guess I had more to report than I thought I did. I’m sure grateful I have the blog to help me keep track of all this.

Oh hey, another question to those of you who have male dogs. I was feeling Jayden’s throat and noticed what feels like an Adam’s Apple so I looked it up and male dogs definitely have them. However there wasn’t a good description of how it should feel. It’s right where it would be on a human and feels like a smooth golf ball, like if you cut a golf ball in half. Is that how it’s supposed to feel? I’m pretty sure I just never noticed it before, but I was checking the fit of his collar and noticed it. I’m not alarmed, but would still like to know if that’s how it’s supposed to feel. Thanks!

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Filed under desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, num num food, relieving, silly girl, weather

Doggy Diaries – On the mend

Yesterday was all about Poop Watch. I had talked to the vet on Friday about the no bowel movements and he said I should get one Friday but if I hadn’t gotten one by Saturday, that he’d be worried. He said he’d be in the office from 9 to 1 and to call him if there wasn’t anything.

So Friday continued with nothing. B and I took Jayden for a brisk walk in the evening and I got him all riled up playing with a Nylabone, and still nothing. Saturday morning I took him out and he peed right away and then hunched. Oh! The hunched back! Yay! I put my foot in the general area and when he scampered off, I bent down, hand enclosed in a Mutt Mitt and felt. Where is it? Rock, rock, another rock, oh wait, that ones warm. And slightly squishy. But so tiny. He had produced a tiny little poop rock. Well, it was something.

I waited until the office opened and called but the doc was in with a patient so the receptionist was going to leave him a note, “Jayden produced tiny, tiny little poop.” My words exactly hahaha!!!

So the morning went on and I took him out a little later. He had eaten half a can of the prescribed diet mixed with his normal kibble and I just knew he had to be full. He hunched again! This time when I bent over, I found a pile about the normal volume if not a little more, but it could have been soft Play-Dough. Hmmm. But, at least it was coming out. I had expected some weird stuff after some of the comments I got on the last post.

1 o’clock came and went and I figured the vet just wasn’t calling back. Doctors. Figures. I didn’t want to write a Diaries post until I heard from him. About 2:30, he called! He sounded very busy but he was relieved when I said I’d gotten a normal sized pile. He said it sounds like the crisis is over, but to call if I have any questions, and he told me he’ll be in the office Monday through Thursday. I really like this vet. I’m so glad things happened the way they did, because I might not have found him otherwise.

Jeyden was really back to his old self yesterday. Who wouldn’t feel better after emptying out a bit? He wanted to be wherever B and I were and he’d just run around the apartment when he heard something outside. He would also cuddle as close as he could to me when I was at the computer. I’m not sure, but I think this whole experience has made us even closer.

He rarely is on the couch without his head on my leg or close to it. He pushes himself into me and gives me a lick if I kiss his nose. He’s also becoming even more vocal, letting out a little squeel when I get rowdy with him or when I’m getting his food. And when we’re cuddling, if I go to move, he lets out this little groan like, but oh I’m so comfortable. When I’m reading something long on the computer and absently scratch his ear, he pushes his head into my leg. It’s like he knows he didn’t feel good and I went to any lengths to help him.

We’re skipping Gamma’s today, just because he’s not quite regular yet. I’m still not trusting when he might go, since his schedule got a little messed up. Also, tomorrow I’ve got the field rep from GDB coming. He had called just to check on Jayden, and when I explained about the problems we’re having on the road leaving the complex, he said he wants to see it. So he’s coming tomorrow at 9am. I want to make sure Jayden is really back to himself before then.

I got to tell the rep about the problems I had at school. It came out while discussing the road problem and I mentioned the horrible experience at school, about how I hadn’t been honest in my exit interview and how I was afraid it had transferred to our road here. He was pretty surprised and not at all happy when I explained what happened. I told him I hope I remember it right, and he said we all have snapshots in our minds of moments like that. I did give him permission to speak with the school counselor though, as I had told her about the incidents. So I feel better now that I’ve backed up the other student who did say something, and hopefully no one else will have to go through that.

I just had a water disaster. I’ve got the cat food and water up on the table in the kitchen, on those pet placemats. Well the water thing is horrible. It’s one of those automatic refill ones, but the top doesn’t screw on the bowl, just kinda sits on it. A cat dislodged it and water went everywhere, overflowing the bowl and the placemat and sitting on the table. Apparently there is a small crack in the table as water started dripping onto the floor. I was cleaning it up and couldn’t help thinking, “the table is leaking” which gave me the chills. Thanks Mr. King.

I moved the trash can, a non-covered one, and I heard Jayden crunch something. Oh crap. I hope we don’t go through this again. What the heck was it?? It sounded small. Maybe an escaped piece of cat kibble. Ugh. I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s still on those pills.

Ok, off to edit and then listen to the Rays play the Red Sux. Oops, Sox. A shameless post is coming up about Evan Longoria and an idea I had hehehehe!

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Filed under baseball, Doggy Diaries, GDB, Jayden, jayden quirks, relieving, sicky sick

Doggy Diaries – No title

Eh, can’t think of a title. Kinda brain foggy at the moment. But wanted to blog since it was a cool day.

Jayden and I got all ready for Dave this morning and he arrived promptly. It was finally time for the nice walk in the old historic neighborhood where I started off my cane training. I was excited to get there, to take Jayden for that walk everyone says is so great. That first walk with a guide dog that I just never really felt I got. Turns out, I get my walks right here at home. It’s still so fun to watch him continue learning. The walk in the neighborhood was nice, don’t get me wrong though. We just walked. Dave let me decide where to go. So I just turned and crossed as I felt like it. It was so cool! Some of it was familiar from the old cane days, like these alley ways that are landmarks, and from these big bushes and such. Jayden tried to stop and sniff every so often, but I didn’t need the Gentle Leader. About halfway through the walk, his guide work started getting a little sloppy. Then he took me straight to a grass yard. Ah. LOL! Nope, not here. Don’t want him relieving on grass, since it’s hard to find in the desert. In fact, a grass lawn could send me on a rant about water conservation, but I won’t go into that.

Dave said there was a dirt patch nearby. He’s been there with guide dogs before lol. We had to cross a street to get there, and Jayden wasn’t targeting the up curb because there was more grass. Finally we made it up on the sidewalk to the dirt and when that harness came off, he let it go lol.

Then I stopped at a street crossing and said, you know what sucks? What? I need a human relieving ciercle. Hahaha!!! Normally the amount of limiting fluids is fine for our lessons, but I find that since I walk a lot faster with Jay, it activates things for me just like for him hahahaha!!!

So we made our way back to the car a different way and when we were around the corner, I heard a roar. Growing louder. Vibrating the air around me. Filling my chest with it’s rumble, making my heart beat fast, excitement bubbling up inside, about to burst. I halted Jayden, growing excited, starting to jump up and down.

You’re probably thinking, what on earth? What the heck got her so excited? The Thunderbirds, that’s what. There’s an air show this weekend. Gamma told me this morning. I knew that sound. I haven’t heard it since going blind. I was yelling to Dave, that’s The Thunderbirds!!! He confirmed it. It was sooooo awesome. They’re practicing today, so I’ve heard them all day. My dad and I used to go whenever there was an air show, and I love them. So I was really excited. I think it was good too, because it was really loud and could have frightened Jayden, but I was so thrilled that he didn’t even mind the noise.

We got back to the car and I thought my need of the restroom had cut our lesson short. But it hadn’t. We’d been out an hour and had walked several blocks. Really? It’s so fast with Jayden, that I lose all concept of time. I was thrilled to discover we had done so much. I was also getting tired.

So Dave dropped me off and there was a box outside my door. Poop bags!!! Hahahaha!!!

Jayden pretty instantly fell asleep once we were inside. Oh yeah, I finally had some worry alleviated about Jayden’s breathing. I kept asking Dave about it, because it seemed weezy. He said no, Jayden was a very content dog. He said his dogs sound like that too.

So since Jayden was passed out, I called Carol and talked with her awhile and then I just settled in to read. I didn’t even feel like crocheting.

I was checking email though, and found an invitation to join another choir. I’ll discuss that later. I’m gonna do it though, but it deserves it’s own post.

Jayden’s dinner time was drawing close, so he stood by me with his nose on my leg lol! I finally fed him, took him out, and then harnessed him up to go get the mail.

I’ve been waiting for a car to be in the spot that we pass through, to see what he’d do, and I finally got my wish today. I told him left and he pointed me left and stopped. Car! Kibble. Then I said, ok, got it, forward. I wondered what he’d do. He walked me right around the car to the curb. I was doing a moving right but I don’t even think he needed it. Then he nailed getting to the mailbox and sat patiently while I looked inside the empty box. As we were leaving, a man was walking through and said hi and Jayden just ignored him, intent on getting me home. He was hesitant to walk up to the back of the car but I prompted him and said to show me the car. Kibble! Then he worked us around it and straight to the door.

I can’t explain it, but I sense a change in him now on this route. How I feel it, I don’t know. A confidence. A bounce in his step. Handlers, do you know what I mean? I can feel his happiness. I can feel that he’s thrilled that he knows where to go and how to get there. It’s just so cool! Maybe that’s why just the mailbox route is more thrilling to me than the neighborhood was today.

Tomorrow we’re doing a Best Buy trip. I want a Dyson. Enough messing with cheaper vacuums. I want a Dyson. They don’t lose suction. *Insert snobby British accent*.

Oh, Spinelli is laying on my leg and Jayden is just beneth us. The cats are doing fine now. No more hiding. Yay! Well, just as I was bout to end this post, Jayden stood up and Spinelli hissed and took a swipe at him. She can’t be doing that. She has front claws. I told her no and pushed her away. She just did it again. Urgh. I jinxed us lol!

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Filed under cats, Choir, cool product, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, guide dogs, Jayden, relieving, Spinelli, transitioning, working dog

Doggy Diaries – What a lucky dog

I teased Bad News Ben about him saying “what a lucky dog” in a tone of voice that didn’t sound very lucky. He’s on the lecture cds they sent to review before I went to school, and he ended up being one of the trainers in my class, though not my primary trainer. He would say “what a lucky dog” at the exact right moments after I teased him about it, either while I was already laughing, or when I needed a pick me up, and he was also a big help to me while I was in class.

So yesterday I was going to go out with Dave and I was really looking forward to it. I kept thinking about all the things we could do, and finally decided that I wanted to go back to the beautiful historic neighborhood where we did a lot of my cane training. I thought a nice relaxing walk with Jayden and Dave was just what I wanted. So I got us all ready and we waited. Dave was late so I called him. I asked if we were meeting and he asked if anyone had called me. No. He’s ok, but he was involved in a car accident on the way to work. He wasn’t hit, but a tire rim flew off a truck and shattered the window behind his head. Ick. He went to the scene to give first aide and then waited to give a statement as a witness.

He told me this and then said he could come get me and go to Saavi but it was really all he was up for. I said no, you’re shaken, just take it easy, and he was grateful one of us was thinking clearly lol. I told him to go have a stiff drink and get pampered by his wife. We hung up and I thanked God that Dave was ok. I think I’d have a nervous breakdown if he got hurt. He was a huge source of strength to me while at school, knowing I was coming home to his mild manner and smooth temperment to continue training with Jayden.

I felt bad that I got Jayden all ready and then we weren’t going anywhere, so I took him out for more patterning. Once again, I should have quit while ahead, but we were working something really easy and I didn’t see the potential for getting lost. Ha! We ended up on the wrong sidewalk, my bad, should have noticed the veer or rather acted on it when I noticed it but I’m really working on trusting Jayden. Once again, I heard a person, once again, I tried to figure it out, once again, I asked for help, once again, I didn’t have my cell phone. I think I need kibble reward or something to remind me hahaha!!!

So we came back and I called Kevin to see about going to Petco for a kennel. He was free in the afternoon, yay! So he came and got us and we stopped at Walgreens and I worked Jay from the truck inside and he did great. Coming out, there was a dog distraction. Seriously, why all the sudden is everyone out with their little yip yips?

We got back in the truck and when we got to Petco, I did sighted guide in the parking lot since I don’t know it. As we neared Petco, Jay was pulling. Gentle Leader time. When he pulls so hard he gags because I’m correcting him, it’s a good indication that the GL is needed.

The Gentle Leader is a bridle looking thing that goes around his snout and under his ears. The leash gets hooked to it and the collar at the chin. He has full use of his mouth but even so, legally the GL is a muzzle, so if you have a GL and someone tells you to muzzle your dog, pop on the GL and that’s your muzzle, then laugh all the way to the pet store knowing your dog can still use his mouth tee hee! It’s a gentle way of keeping him focused, hence the name. As soon as it was on, he was a different dog.

We went to the kennels and no one was around so Kevin got on the ladder and brought me kennels one by one.

Jayden, inside. Peaks head in. Nope mom, too small. He went through a few and then found the right one. Went in and turned around. So Kevin went and got a sales clerk to verify and she said yep, right one. She helped me find a soft bed for inside.

Then I wanted to get the Kong cookies that Mimi told me about so we went and found those, and I picked up another Nylabone, beef flavour. I want my boy to have variety. I was feeling sizes and picked the one I thought was the right size.

We checked out and the clerk asked me if Jay could have a treat, which I declined. I was glad he asked. Kevin was bringing in the kennel and he said, “what a lucky dog” hahaha!!!!

We got it all set up in my room and Jayden went in and settled down. We watched from the doorway and Kevin said Spinelli jumped on top of the kennel, then looked in the door and took off haha!!

After Kevin left, I put the Kong cookie in and Jayden went nuts. He had it out in about 25 minutes. I felt him at one point, and after he had gotten the cookie broken, he actually got on his back, held the Kong in his paws, and tipped the cookie into his mouth. Wow. When he got the last piece I was like a proud mom who’s kid finally figured out that equation.

So I think it was a fun day for Jayden. It wore me out, but I still managed a good game of tug with the rope Mimi got him.

We also had some excitement when a neighbor needed to break into his house. Somehow the security latch gotlatched from inside and they were locked out. I asked Brian if he had seen the guy, did he really live there haha. Finally they called maintenence and they told him just to break it and they’d fix it. It took a hammer and my mom’s old railroad tie to bust it open. Crazy!

On the topic of relieving now lol. I’m sure this is fascinating. I know other handlers and raisers will get a chuckle or at least appreciate it though hehe. At school, we fed and watered first and then took the dogs to the relieving circle, where we had to do this dance to get them to circle. It was distracting for the dogs because we were all out there so it usually gook at least 5 minutes, sometimes ten if they didn’t go, to make sure they didn’t have to.

Here, Jayden hates the landscape rocks, but he knows that’s where he needs to go. If he walks on the rocks, I know he’s gonna go and he goes quick and then gets right off the rocks. This is fab, because we’re out there thirty seconds and if he gets off the rocks, I know he’s done.

I also take him out before feeding. He is going an extra hour now without going outside, now that we’re home. Well maybe thirty minutes to an hour longer than he did at school. He always has to pee pretty bad and how can he enjoy breakfast? I know I know, labs eat no matter what. But once at school, he had to go so bad he hardly even got excited as the food came.

So I got up this morning took him out and he had a loooooong pee then jumped off the rocks. I took him in and fed him, and our routine has been that after he eats, I loop his long leash around the couch leg and I hold his Nylabone a bit and then begin my waking up process. Well today after feeding, I walk to the couch and sit down and he won’t budge. I pull his leash a little and he makes the strangest noise. I interpreted it as, MOM!!! NO!!!! I NEED TO GO BACK OUTSIDE!!!! So I took him out where he got on the rocks and made a deposit hahaha!!!

I’m so glad I’m reading him right.

So we go in and I tied him down and give him the new Nylabone which is huge lol! I misjudged the size. It’s beef flavored and huge. He loves it! I got on the computer and he chewed, then he stopped and put his head on the couch, his cue for please let me up. So I let him up and he lays for five minutes, then puts his two front feet on the floor with his butt and back legs on the couch and chews the bone some more haha!! I don’t allow the bone on the couch. Then he was done again and asked to be let on the couch, where he has been happily snoozing while I do my computer thing.

I think we’re definitely in a routine now. Now to get adjusted to the weekend, where we will need to be quiet until noon while B is home lol. I’ll probably take him for a walk when he starts looking at me like, ok I napped, you got caught up on that white thing, now what?

I spoil him and I love it. What a lucky dog.

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Filed under cool product, Doggy Diaries, dogs, fellowship, guide dogs, Jayden, jayden quirks, mom, num num food, plugs, relieving, silly girl, Spinelli, transitioning, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Third day exaustion

I really expected to crash Monday, and I guess I kinda did with all the reading a book and laying around, but while I was tired, I felt ok. Then yesterday a storm was moving in so I expected it to hit then, but I felt ok in the morning and by the the time the rain hit, I could have gone out again.

Today however, is a different story. My whole body hurts. Joints, muscles, all of it. I’m still a little worried about Jayden being bored, but I consulted the email list yesterday, and they assured me he’s fine. Every little strange noise though, and I’m checking him lol. I wonder when his tongue is warm, I wonder if it should be cool. I wonder when his nose is dry. I wonder if his sighs are content sighs or I’m bored sighs. I wonder if he’s happy. I know all that stuff will fade in time.

I have to say I can already see that he’s picking up stuff even though we haven’t done much. For instance, my door opens in on my left side, so for the first two times I said “over here” and transfered the leash to my right. Now he goes there automatically. I tell him to wait when he steps out so I can shut the door, and now he’s automatically waiting.

The best part are the rocks. He doesn’t like the landscape rocks. But he understand that he must do his business there. So this morning I took him there and he urinated immediately and then ran back to the concreate. I tried pulling him back for number two, but he didn’t budge and was actually pulling me towards the door. I assumed that meant he was finished so we came in. I figure if an accident happens because I didn’t wait long enough, that’ll teach me, but for now I’m reading him. I took him out two hours later and he went right to the rocks and did number two. I picked it up and he went right to the concrete lol. I grabbed my cane and patterned to the dumpster to make the poop deposit. I paused and kibbled at all the places I’ll want him to pause. Then we went back and I paused and kibbled at our walkway, then kibbled at our door. Then I turned us around and patterned the mailboxes. At every pause, I kibbled.

Hopefully we’ll do it again this afternoon only I’ll heel him in harness. Then maybe tomorrow we’ll pattern and then try it with him working.

It’s fun discovering what works for us. I’m glad I have all the time in the world, unlike others who have to get back to life immediately. I can’t imagine trying to do that.

Dave asked me if I want to meet Friday or Tuesday and I welcomed Friday. So not sure if we’ll go pattern at Saavi or what. I want to be comfortable there before I resume workouts. Though really I could pattern there on my own. So we’ll see what Dave says. I can’t wait to see him and tell him about training and how much I appreciate the way he handles me like a human and not a dog. Maybe because he’s never trained dogs?

It’s pretty cold out. Sunny, but cold. My body feels heavy. Yesterday I managed to do some cleaning since the house was neglected for three weeks, but I don’t have it in my today. Conserving spoons for hopefully an afternoon outing.

I’m catching up on blogs so far today. It was killing me to be plucked out of everyone’s lives for three weeks lol. I may not get around to reading everything, but I’m definitely putting a dent in it.

Ok, back to reading. Is it time for afternoon coffee yet? Nope, only 12:24, gotta wait an hour. Guess it’s kinda like Jay watching the clock for meal time 😉

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, Jayden, jayden quirks, relieving, spoons, transitioning, white cane

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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Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, jayden quirks, relieving, spoons

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 – 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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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, relieving

Doggy school – Today was great!

We only work a half day on Saturday. So I was having issue getting back to the door from the relieving ciercle. The circle had caused all the problems yesterday, so I stopped an instructor as I came in and asked if there was anything I could do differently. He told me that Jay and I are very similar and that we both lack confidence. I’m looking to the trainers and Jay is looking to me and we’re not communicating. Did I already write this? Hmm…haha!

Anyway in case I didn’t, he told me they are backing off now to give us time to start trying things ourselves. He said do what you think you should and if you make a mistake, that’s how you’ll learn. So I relaxed a bit. I didn’t know that’s what was going on.

We met up in the day room and got our booties. Jayden handled them like a champ! He was so good while I was putting them on, and then I heeled him up and down the hall in them. Can’t wait to try them in harness. He’ll need to wear them in the summer in Arizona.

Then we got toys!! Yay! We got a nila bone and I picked the tug ring. We can buy any additional toys. I love tug, and figured that would be easier than keeping track of a kong.

All the dogs were gnawing on their bones and the instructor said it sounded like a bubbling brooke haha! It really did. Then the instructor was like, um Jayden just took another dog’s bone. Oops!! Haha everyone laughed while I told him no and gave him his own bone back.

After that I had to put Jay on tie down, sad, and go do a Juno walk to learn about reworking errors. So I did that and then I harnessed Jay up and we worked a route on campus to the play padock. It’s a large fenced in area where we can let them run loose and play. Only one dog allowed at a time. We practiced the come command, and no matter how much fun he was having or how distracted he was, he came right to me every time! I was given high value treats for that one, so Jay made out like a bandit 😉

After we relieved, I harnessed him up, got him on the curb, gave the forward command and he didn’t move. He’s been having some reluctance to get started, but instead of flicking the leash, I probed with my foot and I had been lined up bad. Had he obeyed, I would have fallen. Good boy!!! His first intelligent disobedience! I praised and kibbled and then we went to the door, where he paused and got praised some more. I halted him right inside and we had a celebration. It was then that I knew it all clicked for both of us. We’re becoming a team. I’m handling him with confidence and he knows I’m his person, after only a few hours of finding out what I’ve not been doing. Sweet!

We came back to the room and played tug and he was actually dragging me on the fllor. Strong jaws, I’m not that lite hahaha!

So then I had to do laundry so I can blog all day tomorrow. I left him on tie down and used the stick. When I came back his tail was thump thump thumping on the wall and he was so happy I was back hehehe! I finished laundry and put everything away and finally got unpacked and organized. Yay! We went for dinner, chicken parmesian yum.

After dinner I groomed him and then we did some obedience. He’s having some issue with heel, so we’ll be working on that tomorrow. He’s perfect in harness for the most part; he needs a correction sometimes, but he gets perfect position. During obedience it’s not so good. He’s great at sits and downs and down stays and sit stays and his call to heel is good except for his position. I’m pretty sure we’ll get it tomorrow. The boy is a fast learner! He was “melting’ really bad on the bus. They want him sitting and he kept wanting to lay. But he learned that in a day. He’s gooooood.

So it was a great day and I’m feeling happy and relaxed. Tomorrow we’re off except for fallowing the feeding and relieving schedule, so I’m gonna try and get the blog caught up.

We relieve in a bit and then I’m in for the night yay!

Oh and Jayden’s nickname is Jaybay. Like you’d say “hey baybay” that’s how I say it hahaha!!!

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, intelligent disobedience, Jayden, relieving

Doggy school – Ah Saturday

It’s 5:42am. I slept better last night. Not my eight hours, but pretty solid sleep. I’m so looking forward to only one workout today. It’s been crazy. Want my schedule? It’s been like this since Wednesday.

I have my alarm set for 5:30 but I’ve been waking up before it. I get myself woken up, then feed Jayden at 6:20 then water and then take him out. Then breakfast at 7:15 then we meet at 8:15, do obedience then go relieve then go load up on the bus to go downtown. We go downtown and then we wait our turn to go on route. We go on route, then load the bus, come back, relieve dogs, give them water then go to lunch at 12:30. Then at 1:30 we relieve the dogs again and load the bus and do a repeat downtown, wait for our turn for our route, come back then it’s feed, water and relieve at 4:30. Dinner at 6, so I found that little window before dinner is the best time to shower. I tried in the morning but it wears me out too bad. So that’s my day though that little description does not do it justice haha!

We finally had our first successful relieving last night. I really shouldn’t go into many details on the blog, but there has been some big tension with one of the instructors. Last night we had our person who stayed the night, I don’t remember what her title is, but she’s a guide dog handler and she helped me soooo much. Jay and I worked to the ciercle, he relieved and then worked me back and it was great. Maybe that’s why I slept so well.

We should be getting toys today. I really want that Nilabone for Jay. He has nothing right now.

Ok, gonna get dressed and ready to feed Jay.

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, relieving