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!


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

14 Responses to Doggy Countdown – Dog the O & M Instructor

  1. Haha, Ro you’re too cute with your reeses cups lol. That’s awesome that you have Dave.. I had to be Darrell’s dave because the guy that does O & M over here quote “Doesn’t do dogs” uh what? lol. We did ok though.. Wish he had a better tutor than me lol.

    Make sure to give him lots of Cookies!!

  2. Yeah I was wondering if you were including the current day in the count. So I didn’t say anything.

    You have an awesome instructor. I love my instructor, but she was very unsure of what to do when we came home, and kept changing how the dog and I should do things, confusing the everlovin’ hell out of me and the dog! We are now good, but at first, lordy lou. I think it’s great that he won’t correct your dog…or grab your dog’s leash! Oh oh oh! I had to get stern with people over that one.

    Hehehehe! It won’t be long at all! It’s gonna fly fly fly fly!

  3. That’s just so exciting, all the things you’re learning with Dave. I wish I could learn them all, just so I could know what my puppies will be learning–someday, when I raise other puppies. Wa haa ha, no cookies available for Dave? I think Reece’s should fit the bill, much tastier than kibble! Make sure he takes it nicely from your fingers!

  4. That’s great that you have Dave and he’s so helpful and knowledgeable! That must make things so much easier for you!

  5. I was wondering if Dave would get all goofy and act like a dog taking it all crazy out of your hand.

  6. Ro

    Dave is just as silly as I am, so he’ll probably ham it up too. He actually took praise better as Juno hahaha! He gets all shy and humble when I tell him how awesome he is. I can’t wait to tell him about the “I don’t do dogs” instructor. Wow. I’ll be sure to tell him to take the treats gently haha!!

    Mimi, are you getting a good taste of what it’s like from the blind person’s perspective? I try to be pretty thorough. Do you read other handlers’ blogs? I can’t wait to document training!

  7. And I can’t wait to read your training journal hehehehe! It’ll be good fun. Man, March 21st will be the third anniversary of dog day for Trix and I. It’ll be here before I know it too. 3 years? Whaaaat?

  8. Haha.. Well that’s what the guy said to us when we asked him what to do when Darrell got back. So we never called, just pretty much said ok, fine, we’ll figure it out by ourselves. Come to find out upon meeting another blind kid at school.. the same instructor had taught him the school. When we mentioned the comment the kid laughed and said the instructor hated it the whole time… Especially when training was cut short because it was too hot for the dog. I think we did ok though, it might not have been the right way but we got it done!

  9. Ro

    That’s just sad. Seriously, Dave will like this. And, it sounds as though you guys are doing just fine. From what I’ve learned from Dave so far, as long as the dog is only bonded to the handler as far as orders and stuff, it’s all good. He said family is different as far as how long to wait, but you guys are beyond that anyway. So, sounds like things are going great. If you ever have a question I can ask Dave, just let me know.

  10. Natalie, did you say Daryl went to GDB or not? Whatever school he went to, I’m sure when he comes home with next pup, there’d be someone you could consult with at the school to ask questions so you could get some pointers if you needed ’em. I’m sure you did fine, but hey, more info is better I’m sure. What a stupid tool of an O and M instructor. I don’t do dogs. Get another line of work then, buddo.

  11. Ro – that sounds great! Dave sounds awesome and how helpful. I didn’t have any prep in that way before getting my first guide from my O & M instructor. Exciting — countdown continues.

  12. Haha thanks guys! Darrell did go to GDB but we just thought it was normal to not get help.. I didn’t really know anything about O & M and Darrell did his training when he was like 8 so yeah haha. We just figured we would have to do it ourselves, which was ok.. but it does test a relationship quite a bit haha. The only problems he has been having is since this semester started Egypt has started veering off to the right a lot. She will sometimes walk him off sidewalks or have his right side bump into doors and stuff.. It just started though so we figured he’ll work on correcting her and if it keeps up we were going to ask GDTx to help us out. They don’t care that he’s from a different school so that’s good haha.

  13. Ro

    GDB can always send the field rep out too, to help with any issues. But I’m sure Darrel knows that 🙂 It’s really cool that the other school is willing to assist!

  14. Yuppers. Grad services is your friend!

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