This morning Dave and I worked some more on the route to the store. We had changed things up a bit after some problems with how we did things initially. So the plan this morning was to try the road out of the complex again, which Jayden had struggled with so much before. We haven’t tackled it in quite awhile, so I was really curious if maybe some time between tries would change things.
Dave said he’d follow from a ways back and help if he needed. Jayden and I set off and it went pretty smoothly. He still walked it a little slowly, but it was oh so much better. He deviated from the shoreline just a little bit a few times but he got me all the way down to the road and to the spot where we cross the driveway.
I waited a little while until I had an all quiet to cross the wide driveway. I’m not gonna trust that a right turner isn’t gonna come flying around the bend and want to turn. We crossed it just fine and continued on our way.
When we first started this route, we’d turn right into the driveway of the store. But it was always a little weird and after working it with my cane, had decided not to go that way, mostly because it just seemed like Jayden didn’t like it. So I was expecting to cross the driveway and walk down to the intersection and walk in the next driveway. There’s a tinylittle dip to let me know we’ve reached the first driveway. I didn’t feel it but from traffic noise it seemed like we were approaching the intersection. We veered right just like we’re supposed to and then Jayden stopped and it was awfully quiet, though traffic was behind us like it should be. Then I heard someone beep heir alarm. In the middle of the street. Wait. Why is someone locking their car in the middle of the street. No. That can’t be. We must be in the parking lot. Probe out. Sure enough, there’s a curb. Jayden had taken me the old way. The way I thought he didn’t like.
Dave caught up and we were both laughing. I really think what happened was that I relinquished all control. I had thought we were doing another thing instead of anticipating the first thing. When he wasn’t getting my uncertain directions, he did what I had shown him so many times before. Without my hesitation, he did it perfectly. We went into the store to cool off a bit. It was already absolutely miserable. We decided to head back the way we came and see what Jayden would do. Only this time I was anticipating and second guessing him and feeling things differently and not trusting myself, so we stopped. Dave joined us and said Jayden was doing just what he should. He was being overly cautious, staying far away from the driveway and that’s what felt funny. But he was doing everything I had trained him to do. I felt so stupid for not trusting him.
We made our way back up to the road and he did perfect. He got us all the way back home with no problems. By that point I was so hot and exhausted it was like I was on auto pilot. Dave said I was still paying attention though because I kept checking the shoreline when a car would pass.
Normally we stand outside and discuss the route but I could barely breathe I was so hot and thirsty and covered in sweat. The humidity and heat were crushing me.
We came in and Jayden got his frozen Kong and I drank water and cooled off. Dave had said he’d call me to discuss things, so we were on the phone a little bit later.
He kept telling me congratulations, that looked great, we did the whole route. I was still so exhausted I just agreed lol. Mentally I felt good about it, but physically not so much. Definitely won’t do the whole route again until it cools off. It was only 8am.
We discussed an idea I had about going to the do it yourself grooming place I found on Thursday instead of Petsmart for Jayden’s birthday. I need to call the place and find out what toys they have and if they have the ones I want for Jayden. I had emailed Dave asking him if he thought we’d be fine to do this alone. He told me on the phone that while he’s confident we’d be fine, he would like to check it out. Dave is always on the conservative side with me, which I really appreciate. So I’ll be celebrating Jayden’s birthday a day late on the day after Thursday. I’m gonna call and find out about the toys and also if they have a scale. If they don’t have a scale, we’ll swing by Petsmart on the way. I am diligent about weighing him once a month. One of the biggest problems for guide dogs is obesity and I will not let that happen.
Dave really wants to see the place. I think moreso just to check out the facilities than to make sure I’ll be ok, though maybe he really is just being extra careful with me. While I was looking forward to doing the independent thing, I trust that he knows what’s best. And it will be nice to check it out with a sightie before doing it alone.
So Thursday will be the normal laundry day and the next day will be a bath and toys for Jayden’s birthday.
You might wonder why I’m not naming the fifth day of the week. I’ll write a separate post to explain that. 😉