Doggy Diaries – Long time no blog

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to write a monster post because I’ve been slacking haha! This falls under the Diaries though I’m sure there will be talk of all things.

Where to start? Maybe I should look at where I last posted. Ah, ok memory jogged. I love having a blog to keep track of memories. 🙂

So yeah, the last time I really wrote about life was when I was feeling a fatigue coming on and I wasn’t sure if I’d make goalball practice. I did indeed miss practice that Saturday. The pain that Friday night was just getting increasingly worse so I cancelled my ride and called Lisa, then proceeded to crumple and dissolve into tears. I hate it when my stupid disease has to give me a big reminder that I’m sick.

Weather was definitely the cause of it all. We got hit pretty hard over the following days, but luckily it was the start of cooler weather. Yay!!!

I went to Gamma’s that Sunday for her birthday lunch and my dad and uncle went as well, which was really nice. My dad had yet to meet Jayden, wow. He’s not much of a dog guy, but my uncle sure is. Jayden had a blast with him and went for a run around the whole house, causing much laughter from the three of us. Dad had already left. My uncle also got to see Jayden jumping straight up in the air and side to side when I asked if he wanted a banana. Fun!

I worked out that Monday and just didn’t have the stamina I’ve built up. It was rather disappointing, but I’m sure it’ll come back. Tuesday, we had our lesson with Dave. I just was able to keep lessons with Dave by the skin of my teeth. Due to budget constraints, many O & M services have been cut. Luckily, I fall into the “safety” category, meaning I still have things to learn to keep me safe. IE, still need to learn new routes with Jayden. The summer months really set us back because we had to do things in pieces, so most of my routes have not been done in their entirety.

Tuesday was fun because we had an O & M student come along to observe. She’s working on her masters in O & M and just moved here six weeks ago. She’s a teacher for the visually impaired, but wants to get out of the classroom and into nature. This was her first time watching a guide dog team learning a new route. She’s off to the Seeing Eye in New Jersey in a month to spend a week there. Awesome! I told her she has to do a Juno walk. She asked a lot of questions and had a good time.

It was the perfect lesson for her, since I had chosen this walking path I want to learn since it’s cooling off. This was not easy for Jayden. Just like the rules of traffic, you must stay on the right side and not cross the yellow line. Jayden wanted to shoreline on the left. It was getting quite difficult to keep him from drifting and I could not stay in good follow position. Dave usually follows my lead and lets me brainstorm, so I tried the gentle leader. Distraction wasn’t the issue so that didn’t help. So I took the GL off and told Dave to tell me the moment Jayden hit the line. Dave would give the word, I’d give a correction and ease Jayden towards the right. I had the keep the leash out the whole time. He was doing better, but still not staying on our side of the path all that well. We turned around and walked on the other side, and this seems to be the way to do it. You can start out going clockwise or counter clockwise, and Dave had suggested going counter clockwise since that’s what he does when he guide runs. However, I think clockwise is the answer since after Jayden was staying on the correct side better, we realized I was in a safer place walking that way. Going the other way, we were much closer to traffic.

So it was great for the student to see how a new route is worked on. She got to see that there is a good deal of scoping out the situation, if you will, and then letting the team work together to decide the best way to tackle it. The student had a great time and when we got back home, I deharnessed the boy so she could say hi and Dave gave Jayden a good loving too. I explained to her that it’s a personal decision for the handler to allow this, and that in our first few weeks home, I didn’t. But Jayden knows who he is bonded to now, so I let people say hi a lot more, but only when he’s naked.

Normally Jayden just eats up the attention, but he knew that after he works, he gets a frozen Kong, so he just wanted to get inside hahaha!! The student got a kick out of watching him perk up when I asked if he wanted it.

I don’t remember what day it was, but I know it was before the rain because it was hot. I had the bright idea to go get the mail. It was hot but not as hot and I’ve been itching to be able to leave the house when I feel like it, no matter the time of day. It was some time after 4pm, I remember that. Actually I think it was a Monday because Dave was here the next day. So it must have been about two weeks ago. Anyway, we went to get the mail and I guess I wasn’t paying attention on our way back. We do that route so often that Jayden knows it no problem so I must have zoned out. I was in the remaining recovery from the first goalball practice I think. Anyway, I don’t know how I figure out that we were lost, but we were majorly lost. Hmmm. Probe out. That curb feels awfully high. Hmmm. It’s hot. Jayden, find home. Walk some. Stop, probe out, a curb. I can’t relay step by step what happened, but I started getting really hot and freaked out and of course I didn’t have my phone. I told him to find home and he started taking me to doors that weren’t ours. I am lucky enough to have a “warning track”, a bump on my sidewalk. There was no bump. Eventually Jayden walked us under shade and we stopped and I called out, “is anyone there? I’m lost.” Nothing. Of course no cars came or went to help me out by sound. I couldn’t get a read on traffic. I couldn’t concentrate. Finally I just took a deep breath and listened. Ok, traffic is on the wrong side. It’s distant traffic, but an audible landmark just the same. I walked into the sun and it was on the wrong side. Ok, I know more of where we are now.

Then, the heavenly sound of the yip yip dogs!! Oh, yip yip dogs how I love thee! And my they were close, coming from inside their house. Nice! I know they live catty corner to us. Ah…thank you yip yip dogs! I turned in the right direction and told Jayden forward. Once we got over closer to home, he knew right where we were. When I felt my warning track I was so happy and when Jayden got us to the door, I collapsed on the ground and hugged him and gave him a jackpot kibble. After we got in, we both chugged water and collapsed into a heap in the foyer. What an adventure!

I told Dave about it the next day and we still don’t know what happened. It must have just been the slightest deviance from the path that I didn’t feel. It all worked out though. It was the first time I’d used the sun to help me navigate. I remember way back in the beginning of the O & M lessons when Dave tried to tell me about navigating by sun. I told him I didn’t want to rely on the sun because what if it was cloudy? Good point, but man, that sun comes in handy.

I’ve still been working on fall cleaning, and it actually feels like a hint of fall in the air. Jayden and I are doing more walks now and it’s awesome! I haven’t been spending as much time on the computer. I’m pretty much keeping up on your blogs, even if you don’t see me commenting.

I’m not gonna talk about baseball. I just can’t do it. The Rays play in about two hours. That’s all I’ll say.

I did a blind blunder on Thursday. I had to clean because baseball was upsetting me, so I did the patio doors and then went outside and swept and cleaned up the back patio. Now that it’s cooling off, we can actually go back there. Before, there just wasn’t a point to going back there. Since I hadn’t swept and stuff, I hadn’t taken Jayden back there. So I got it all cleaned up and took Jayden out on a long leash. It’s not fenced, so I can’t let him be free. He sniffed a lot and marked a spot and then he wasn’t moving so I went to reach out and see if he was hunched and that’s when it happened.

Pain. The weirdest pain. Kinda like when an ice cube hits an exposed nerve in your mouth. What had I done? Wait, it’s wet. My hand is wet. Oh no. What happened. The top of my hand was bleeding. I had felt something ram into my hand. I stuck my hand on my pants leg and got Jayden inside. I rinsed my hand and there was this knot forming on the top of my left hand, towards the outside, just under the pinky knuckle. I forced myself to stay calm and got out the ice pack. I sat with my hand on the ice pack and texted B clumsily with my right hand, letting him know what had happened but I thought I was ok.

I had explored the area off my porch with my cane before taking Jayden back there. It had been just dirt. What I failed to remember was that there is an agave plant between my patio and the tree. My cane must have just swept right under the jagged protruding leafs. When I had reached out, the thing had stabbed my hand.

When the game was over I called Carol and she looked up agave to see if they’re poisonous. I wasn’t having any strange symptoms, but just wanted to make sure. Turns out if you get pricked by an agave, it causes the blood capillaries to rupture. I had figured that was what had happened, because I had seen that back when I was a phlebotomist, and the knot that formed looked just like when I had grazed a vein. It seemed like ice and pressure was doing the trick though. Yesterday it was pretty sore but today it’s pretty much fine, though there’s still a little knot there. Carol came over yesterday and noticed a blood spatter on my pink Croc. I can’t believe how much it bled from just a tiny little prick haha!!

Carol spent the whole day here yesterday which was awesome. She had come over in the morning for coffee and we actually got to sit out on my patio. Before we knew it, it was noon! We just didn’t feel like stopping conversation so I just made more coffee and we stayed outside. It was brilliant to be outside for so long and Jayden was just lounging out there with us. As the sun moved, Jayden scooted into it and had a sun bath. It was the nicest day!!

She’s coming back on Monday so I can go get B’s birthday present. His birthday is Friday. His dad is coming for a visit from West Virginia! I can’t wait!

I think that’s about it.

I’m really looking forward to the blog carnival. I’ve decided what I’ll write for it and it’s a story I don’t think I’ve shared here before, so I’m excited to get to work on it.

Oh yeah! Congrats to L^2 and her new guide dog, Mr. J!


Filed under baseball, birthday, blind blunders, coffeeholic, desert life, Doggy Diaries, dogs, family, Gamma, Jayden, Orientation and Mobility, weather, working dog

5 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Long time no blog

  1. Oh, wow..that was really a monster and I am having a low spoon moment since I am in a little bit of pain 🙂 that I will just say I admire you and your Jay Bay, and you guys are awesome! Oh, and in case I forget before the date tell B I said Hi! lol I love birthdays!

  2. I love your story of the yip yip dogs. I have never been good at navigating by sun but I’m glad it helped.

    Ouchy youch about the leaves. Glad your hand’s gonna be ok.

    Have fun with B’s dad.

  3. Good grief. I’m so glad you have the opportunity to be the teacher now, but the rest of it sound incredibly frustrating!

  4. Wow that’s a whole lot of stuff! that’s great that you were able to calm down and figure out how to get unlost! I’ve done the zoning out thing before and gotten lost, usually though James could get us unlost, with him being retired I’ve tried to be really really careful about not spacing out when I’m out alone.

  5. L^2

    Wow that was a lot of stuff! First of all, thank you. Mister J sends chocolate kisses your way!
    Glad you were able to calm down and figure out where you were. Also, ouch! Glad you’re hand will be okay.

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