Must write this down.
I decided today that we’d go get the mail. I knew it came about 1 or 2 and I heard the truck when I had taken Jay out to relieve so I knew it was there. I was going to harness up Jay and pattern it since there’s one iffy spot following a rounded curb. The rest are sidewalks he can follow.
So I harnessed him up and decided to work him to the iffy spot. There is this dip in my walkway that is a great land mark because I know it’s mine. When we patterned this morning, I stopped at that spot even though he wasn’t in harness. It’s important to still pause at all the spots you want them to pause.
So going to get the mail. I took him outside, lined us up and said forward and he paused at that dip! Kibble kibble. We continuted and there’s this first sidewalk that we don’t use so he paused and I said forward and then when we got to the sidewalk I let him work it. He took me to the rocks and paused and then it’s kinda iffy because there’s curb to the right, blacktop between the sidewalk and a parking curb. So I told him left and he was like no. I urged him to turn left and he paused and I felt the blacktop and said hop up, curb and he found the curb. Then I heeled him and used the cane around the iffy thing.
When we got on the sidewalk, I paused and kibbled since he has to find that later. It’s between two curbs. Since it’s now a sidewalk I let him work it and told him forward. If you go straight, you walk right to the mailboxes but he veered right so I heeled him and had him sit and touched the mailboxes and kibbled. Then I heeled left over to mine and got my mail, stuck it in my bag and heeled him back to square off. I let him work the sidewalk again and then I heeled around the iffy curb.
‘Once we got back on our sidewalk I told him forward and he’s been missing our actual walkway, but not today. That patterning did the trick. He hesitantly turned his body left and I said YES! and urged him forward. He stopped at the dip and took me to my door. Praise praise kibble kibble praise!!!
So I said lets do it again. So we did. I didn’t have to use the cane. He was a little hesitant on the iffy thing but I kept doing a curb check. He missed the sidewalk but I found it and kibbled and siad forward.
Here’s the amazing part. Just the previous time, he wanted to veer right when we got to the mailbox cubby thing. After I said forward on that sidewalk, I let him take me and he took me right to the side where my mailbox is!!!!! PRAISE PRAISE KIBBLE KIBBLE!!!
So I worked him back and he was a champ the whole way. Followed the curb like nothing, found our walkway, stopped at the dip, found the door. I was soooooo excited!!
I wanted to do it again. Against my better judgment. Always quit while you’re ahead. See where this is going?
So we went again. And when we got to the iffy part, I don’t know what happened. I can’t figure it out. I almost fell on a curb that wasn’t anything I’d felt before, the traffic sounds weren’t right, I heard a car that would have been floating in midair had we been facing right. Hmmm. Well. Lets listen. Yeah it’s just not making sense. I get the cane out. There’s a building near, but these curbs aren’t right. I bang the cane to get my echo and we’re under something. Hmmm.
I think I hear footsteps. Anyone there? Then I hear a dog panting. A little dog. Is there a person with that dog? Yeah! I’m here with my two little dogs! Can you help me? Yeah! You’re doing great! I got turned around. Follow my voice! Where are you? I’m in a studio! A studio???? How did we end up there???? No, I live in a studio, but I’m near your apartment, I’ve seen you, I know where you live, follow my voice!!! So I heel Jay and use my cane.
Little dog starts growling yip yip yip goes the other one. Growl growl yip yip. Jay pulls a little I say no. The guy says, is your dog friendly? Yes, he’s a guide dog, and he’s new. Jay is backing up. I think he’s afraid. I tell him to sit and kneel down. Dude controls his dogs. Yes, good dog handler. We start talking. I tell him Jay is knew and we’re doing what’s called patterning. He tells me he saw us go to the mailbox and was just watching. Then he saw us get turned around. But he didn’t want to jump in until I asked. I thank him profusely and find my curb. He makes sure I know where I am and then says he hopes he sees us. I assure him he will and we get inside where I gave Jay water and took him by the couch where I loved him and then he lay down and passed out hahaha!!!!!
So, our first great success at home, our first dog encounter at home, our first getting lost at home and our first asking for help. Ever actually. I’ve never gotten lost before. And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t have my cell phone? Never, ever again, even if we’re just going to the mail.
Ok phew. Had to get that down “on paper”. You know I’m not even going to edit. Just like the dog day post, I want this moment captured.
All that through a haze of fatigue too, but now I feel a little invigourated, while sore. Bet I crash now lol!!!
YIPEEEEEEE! THIS IS TOO MUCH FUN!!!!!
Oh yeah, and at some point before we got lost, a motorcycle drove by and Jayden just stopped until it passed. I can tell he’s not taking any chances 🙂