Doggy Diaries – Jayden is Marley and he’s almost 2

Yesterday I walked into the restroom at the mall and a little girl exclaimed, “it’s Marley!” I know right after the movie came out, yellow lab handlers got a lot of this, but it was a first for us hehe.

Kids are just too cute. As we entered the mall, a group of kids started saying “ooooh look at the doggy!”

Adults are fun too. At one point Jayden tried sniffing a man as he passed. I told Jayden no and the man said, “oh, it’s ok…” Dave said it looked like the man really wanted to pet Jayden.

I’m pretty sure that we’re nearing the end of the need for lessons with Dave. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m trusting Jayden so well, that I’m ready to really start venturing out a little more on our own. There are only a few places we currently go to on our own. The lessons with Dave have ben about getting Jayden and me comfortable with certain routes, and places we can go to while it’s so hot.

We didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on outdoor stuff before it got hot, only mastering the places in my home area, so once the weather cools off again, Dave and I will work on just a few more outdoor things, and then I think we’ll be ok until there’s something new I have to tackle.

Sometimes I wonder if my adjustment is taking too long. Sometimes I don’t want to admit to you all that the only place I’ve gone alone with Jayden is to Saavi and one therapy appointment, well and that cab ride to the vet. Sometimes I think I’ll get judged. Really? She’s had the guide dog for almost four months and still relies on people?

But then I tell that little voice in my head to shut up haha. I wasn’t even blind two years when I turned my trust over to a k9. I hadn’t even yet mastered total independence with my cane. I’ve only been blind a little over two years. So there’s not gonna be a set time where I’m going to suddenly flourish.

As with everything else in my blindness, I just suddenly know when a fear has been lifted. I just suddenly know when I’m ready to do something I feared at one point. So I know it’s all happening when it’s supposed to, and if I hadn’t been ready for a guide dog, GDB wouldn’t have excepted me.

I just realized there’s something about four months with me haha! When I went blind I sat on the pity pot for four months before deciding not to be miserable, and now I’ve taken baby steps with Jayden for four months before really feeling confident to go tackle the world.

Thursday is Jayden’s second birthday, so we’re gonna go to Petsmart and get him presents. And I’m taking paratransit. I know the store well enough and feel comfortable there. The last time I was there with Dave, he just shadowed us and I didn’t need him once. So it looks like Petsmart will be our first full on adventure together, and it’s one of his favorite places.

Any suggestions for toys? I really like the Kong and Goughnut material. What’s a Kooze, did I spell that right?


Filed under Adjustment to blindness, birthday, desert life, GDB, Jayden, transitioning, weather, white cane, working dog

13 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Jayden is Marley and he’s almost 2

  1. Anonymous

    Do they have public transportation where you live? That’s a good challenge. Only when you are ready, of course.

    I stick to kongs, goughnuts and nylabones. I know, boring.


  2. Ro

    I published your comment but comments are acting up again so I hope it’s here.

    Yes, we have buses but because of my MS, I can’t use them. The bus stops are so far away, many don’t have benches or shade. I am not allowed to get overheated, so it’s just not feasable.

    Luckily I have door to door paratransit. I have to schedule the rides in advance and then you have to wait in a time window for your rides, but it’s great and much much cheaper than a cab. I qualify becaue of the MS more than the blindness, though a lot of blinks here take it too.

  3. L^2

    I wouldn’t worry about what anyone else thinks. You’re doing things in the way that you’re comfortable with. Everyone is different. Some people are comfortable going alone with their dogs independently right from the start, and from what I’ve heard on email lists, some people never go anywhere totally on their own with their dog. I think the time-frame varies greatly when it comes to learning your home environment and really being comfortable trusting the dog to help you navigate through it. You’re doing fine.

    Happy early birthday to Jayden!

    I think the toy you asked about is a Cuz – C U Z. If GDB discourages their dogs from playing with balls then this probably wouldn’t be the best toy for Jayden, since it is very ball-like. It’s basically a loud, squeaky rubber ball with feet (and a Bad Cuz also has little horns on the top of the ball).
    Does Jayden have a Wubba? Willow loves hers. They’re made by the Kong company too – it’s a Kong shaped solid squeaky toy covered in colored canvas fabric with long tassels. It’s a great fetch or tug toy, but not at all a chew toy.
    If Jayden is a big chewer, there are a wide variety of shapes and sizes of Nylabones, from the usual bone-like shapes to beef steaks, turkey legs, and even dinosaurs.

  4. A Cuzz, is a squeaker ball that has feet and maybe horns on it depending on which one you get. I got one for Leah while we were in class and she loves it. They are also pretty sturdy too as far as the rubber material they are made out of. I bet your pup would like it if he likes squeakers.

  5. Oh you have to get him a Cuz! C U Z is how it is spelt. they even have ones that have horns “Devil Cuz” and ones with tails “Dino Cuz” My dogs LOVE the cuz! (though he will probably drive you crazy with the squeeking! LOL)

    And no i don’t think anyone is judging you because you haven’t ventured too many places on your own. You have to do things when YOU are ready for them. If you tried to soon then either you would loose confidence in yourself and in Jayden and that wouldn’t be good at all. You do things when YOU are ready and when Jayden is ready and that is all that matters.

    Right now I’ve been disabled for years and I’m terrified to leave my house without someone since James can’t come. It will probably take me a while to adjust, but that will happen when I’m ready and not before. I’m not the most completely independent traveler without a good dog guiding me. And that’s ok for now. With practice and time I will hopefully get better. No time like the present I guess. So really you have to do things when it’s good for you and will be helpful and successful for you.

  6. Ro

    Sweet! I’ll get a Cuz and a Wubba. Yeah, balls are discouraged, but I think for small play sessions indoors it would be ok, especially since it’s got attachements, it won’t look like balls “out there”. The Wubba sounds great. I know they discourage squeekers, but I think for supervised play it’ll be fine.

    I didn’t know they have other Nylabone shapes. He loves Nylabones and I just leave thouse out for him. Cool! Three new toys, that outta be good for his birthday. I think I’ll get a Nylabone to leave at Gamma’s too. She wanted something to leave at her house. Maybe a Wubba. Carrot, what’s that thing you’ve been feeding Willow out of?

  7. oh another fun one is called a Buster Cube. It is a large blue cube that has a hole in the top that you pour some kibble into then you shake it around. Then you put it on the floor and your dog has to bat it around and knock it all over to get teh kibble to fall out. It makes a horrid racket but the dogs all love it! They come in a smaller size also that is a red color.

    There is also the knock off buster cube type toy that is a large sphere. Do NOT get that one. I have known many dogs who get a canine tooth stuck in the hole and then their jaw stuck around the ball and it then needs to be surgically removed. Not fun nor safe. While it is less expensive to buy it isn’t worth the risk if you ask me.

  8. L^2

    Willow has been eating part of her supper from a Kong Stuff-a-ball or treat ball or something like that. It’s made out of thick red rubber, and it’s spherical with lines cut into the surface which makes the dog have to put a little more effort into making it roll. I don’t know if they come in different sizes or not, but Willow’s only holds about a half cup of food. It holds those Kong brand cookies really well though too – I think that’s actually what it was designed for.
    Kong also has a new food/treat dispensing toy called The Wobbler, but I’ve only seen them on the internet so I can’t really comment on it.

  9. Oh Ro there are these other really cool toys that are called Nina Ottosson Puzzle Toys. They are interactive toys that you and the dog do together. They can be a bit expensive but really a lot of fun to play with with your dog and I think you might like them if you ever wanted to get one to play with with jayden. I have the one called “Dog Fighter” to do with my dogs and they really like it. You can’t just leave it out with the dog to play with alone you need to play with it with your dog. I know Amazon sells them so you could look up descriptions there.

  10. Ro

    Sweet! I can’t wait to get to Petsmart and check all this out!! Thanks guys!!!

  11. You do things at your own speed. I have a terrible habbit of worrying about what people think. I am terrible at getting myself motivated to use the cane totally independently, as i just don’t feel comfy, and would rather be guided than use a cane. (hence applying for guide dog). I will prob have dad or that come with me just until i feel comfy with directing doggy and all, and then i might make the steps and go out independently. It takes alot of confidence to get motivated, because i know in my case i am worryied about if something goes wrong/i get lost/ i like the company. The list is endless. But no one should force you to do something that you’re not comfy with.

    I find that sighted people in my case go on at me to use the cane loads, and it’s like you can’t explain to them that you’re not confident using it, because they won’t understand.

    About blind blunders-i bent down yesterday to pick up a towel. I have got a table just beside where the towel fell, and bent down without thinking. My eye came crashing down on the corner of the table. Ouch. I just burst out laughing imidiatly though lol. But sometimes you just wanna cry because you feel so embarrassed. I rember one day i walked into the door lol, and it was so painful.

    But if you didn’t laugh, you would cry.

    As for stuff on my shirt, if i notice, i almost want to change, as i worry that people think i don’t take care of my appearance and that.

    Take care, xxx.

  12. Ro

    Yeah, it wasn’t until I decided I really wanted a guide dog that I really ramped up my cane travel. I knew I needed to be decent with it to get approved, and then after I was approved, I started using it even more because just getting approved gave me the push to be even more independednt. Now I cannot wait to go to Petsmart on my own. Am I nervous? You bet. But the trust in Jayden has only strengthened so I know it will be just fine.

  13. I only use the cane very rarely, and have explained this to all involved. I have learnt a route on my own, from the local college, back to home, and i know to the college too. It goes through our local town, so i will have other routes to learn with the dog.

    When we get home, they teach us most common routes that we will be using, so then after we will qualify once they feel that we are at a satisfactory level.

    I hope all goes well for you in Pet world. Remember don’t be afraid to ask for help. (another thing i’m not particularly good at). I’m sure you will have a ball.


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