So Jayden and I have been working tirelessly on the route out of my complex, the road that goes everywhere. Until we get that down, we can’t go for the nice walks that are nearby. So, today I decided to give him a break from “class” and have Dave take us to the historic neighborhood where we had our first nice walk. I love that neighborhood, especially in spring. It smells sooooo good. Tons of different kinds of flowers in bloom and I especially love the honeysuckle. So when Dave came, I told him that’s what I’d like to do and he thought it sounded like a great idea.
The last time we were there, I needed a human relieving area before I was ready to end the walk, but unfortunately there’s no house set up for a pit stop, something I joked with Dave about. So again this morning, stupid nature called before we even got there, so we stopped at a nearby market to use the facilities. I had never been there before and man did it smell good. All kinds of smells of foods and coffees yum. I think I was in need of a gentle leader haha! I just had Jayden heel while I had Dave do human guide, because it’s a tight little squeeze in there and I wasn’t exactly able to concentrate with all the smells and the call of nature screaming at me.
Finally we made it to the neighborhood and Dave said he’d just stay about fifty meters back. He’d be there if I got in a bind, but he wanted to just let us be. I like this neighborhood too because it’s nothing but square blocks. Very straightforward, unlike my home area. But there are obstacles like bushes and overhangs and all sorts of stuff. People on bikes, dogs barking, stray cats. It was sooooo nice though. We just took off. It was so nice to just let him walk where there’s sidewalks. It was an easy path to follow with the occasional obstaclke. We did a few reworks, but not a lot. I had also forgotten that all the turns are deep turns. Jayden would take me straight to a curb, but then he’d have to backtrack a few feet to get on the sidewalk. So the first time we encountered one, I got a little confused until I just let him take over and I felt us going in the right direction.
These walks are really great, because they remind me to trust Jayden. Since I’m not necessarily the one telling him where to go, since it’s a straight shot, he’s really in charge until we reach a curb or an obstacle. I found myself maybe sensing where a known bush was and not quite trusting him. So a lot of good little reminders.
Also, I remember at school, they would tell me to “listen for the building line to end”. Huh? It dien’t make any sense. Basically, the buildings would end about ten feet from the curb or so, and they told me to listen for that. It didn’t click. Until today. When I first heard it I was like oooooooh! Hahahaha! I told Dave this and he was like, “well yeah, most people going to get a guide dog have been a cane traveler a lot longer than you were, so they’re familiar with stuff like that.” So true. There have been quite a few times where I wondered if I was accepted a little too soon. But I still trust that Don knew what he was doing. I just wish my instructor at school had trusted that, of if he did, at least thought about the fact that I’m quite the newbie at being a blink. Anyway. Enough of that; I’m home with Dave. No need to dwell on school.
So, towards the end of the walk, after we rounded the last corner and were heading towards the car, Jayden slowed down. I thought maybe he was tired or just being cautious. I told him to hop up and he pulled a little into the harness but not a lot.
When we reached the end and Dave caught up, I told him I thought we were both tired and he laughed. He said Jayden could go for a run now, it was me that was tired. Really? Yeah, Jayden could sense that you were slowing down. So I thought back and yeah, I had been getting wobbly, kinda losing my balance a few times. I never thought Jayden would pick up on that. But Dave said it was just like our cane lessons, how Dave could tell I was fatigued before I could. He said Jayden is picking up on that because we’re getting to know each other really well.
Wow. Those other handlers weren’t kidding when they said the bond would only increase. I’m so impressed. I would have pushed harder to accomodate Jayden, but he wouldn’t let me. I love walking at a really brisk pace with him at first but then yeah, I slow down. What a good boy!
The rest of the day, we’ve both been pretty out of it. I gave Jayden his heart worm meds this morning and I have to wonder if they make him a bit lethargic, or if he’s just really relaxed today. He’s only wanted to play a few times, and those sessions were brif before he just licked my face and lay down lol.
It was a good day. I got in some much needed relaxing and cleaning, what a combo. I put the cat food up on the table, and ordered a trash can with a lid. I got caught up on all the blogs and emails. It felt like a productive day.
Now I’ll force myself to stay up a bit longer and then probably finish ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ n bed. I was able to get ‘Specials’ today, so that’s all loaded on the iPod for when I finish the other book. I’m so glad I’m back into reading.
Sunday will be one month that we’ve been home!