I woke up this morning to the barking of the new neighbor’s dog. I didn’t know they have a dog. Coming out of the funk of sleep I couldn’t comprehend where it was coming from. My first thought was, why is Jayden outside? He never barks, but a sleep haze does strange things to the mind. I reached over on the floor and there he was, always by my side.
I couldn’t get back to sleep with the constant barking so I just got up. I can’t hear it out here in the living room. Were the neighbors home? How could you just ignore that barking? It sounded like a very lonely bark. It didn’t sound distressful, or I would be trying to see if I could find the neighbor’s door. I sure hope that’s not going to be a normal thing.
I caught up on my normal reading and thought I’d sit and write about Jayden.
Yesterday we did laundry and when we left the apartment, I felt a right turn way too soon, before our veering left. I knew where we were but turned us around and had Jayden find home and start again. A few times recently when I take him out for his nightly business, B has come out and I’ve let Jayden kind of leash guide me where he wants to go to just sniff and be a dog. I had let him take this other sidewalk, and that was what he did yesterday while I was pulling the laundry cart. Oops. Gotta break that now lol. No other sidewalk while in harness, babe. So when I felt him pause at the turn I told him to hop up and he went the correct way.
Once we got down by the parking lot, he had some fun challenges. Cars were parked where they normally aren’t, directly in our path. He had to show them to me after I said forward and he didn’t move. Oh! Gotcha. Good boy, figure it out. I love telling him to figure it out and then wait patiently while I feel his body move ever so slightly while he works it out. He found a path between two cars. I did a moving right which probably wasn’t necessary because he knows the curb to the right is my landmark and he knows he gets praise and the surprise kibble here and there when he shows me that curb. After he found the curb I heard, “He’s such a good boy.”
“Yeah, he’s amazing,” I replied.
“So are you,” declared the female neighbor.
“Awww, thank you,” I said through a smile.
We continued on and Jayden found the laundry room. Coming back I don’t have to drag the cart. We approached where the cars were and I swear I could feel his excitement at the challenge. He gets this different pant. I can’t explain it. I swear I can feel him thinking. He found the wide enough path and gently guided me between the two cars. I could feel that they were close, but I touched nothing, not even a rear view mirror.
Laundry just goes off without a hitch these days and it doesn’t wear me out like it did when we first started. Jayden takes so much of the burden of travel off of me. He’s just incredible.
It’s getting to eh point where it’s still incredibly hot in the afternoons, but by evening the sting of heat has been alleviated a bit. So after B got home and made out our checks for rent and electric, I said Jayden and I would walk with him to drop them off. It was nice to actually be able to go for a walk at a normal time, and not the very beginning of the day.
When we were coming back, B told me a dog was coming. I’ve been a little shell shocked since the day of the obnoxious barking dog and the ignorant handler, but I was prepared as I heard the tags approaching. Jayden pulled a tad but as soon as I said, steady and leave it, he stopped. The other dog handler veered away so as not to get in our way and I kicked myself later for not thanking him. Some day I’ll get the hang out of handling my dog and commenting to passerby.
Jayden’s crochet mat is almost done. We start goalball two weeks from today I think. Dave and I have to get back to walk the route once more before practice starts. We don’t have Friday lessons now. You could say Jayden and I have graduated to once a week. 🙂
I can taste the days of cool weather. I can anticipate the long walks we’ll be able to take soon, to start the next chapter of our first year together. I can’t wait. I’m tossing a sweater in with laundry now, so they’ll be ready to go when needed. I can feel that soon I will get to come out of my shell, crawl out of my hibernation cave.
Last month when I did the flea and tick treatment, Jayden tried to roll around on the carpet to rub it off. So this month I was prepared. As soon as I did the treatment, I asked if he wanted to play hide and seek. I strapped the kibble pouch on and he forgot all thoughts of trying to rub the treatment off. A nice long game of hide and seek gave it time to dry and we had no problems. Nice. I followed that up with some crazy play with the Cuz. He loves that thing. And there’s no better medicine for me than a dog and an annoying squeaker toy.
Life is still hard right now, I won’t lie. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel and hope is showing me the way. Every night I stroke Jayden and tell him I love him and think about how grateful I am to have him. Thank God for my guide dog!