Doggy Diaries – Re-works and ice cream

Soon the desert heat won’t be so oppressive and isolating and I cannot wait! Dave and I were talking about all the stuff we’ll get to show Jayden when it cools off. Nice long walks Jayden doesn’t even know will get to happen. I can’t wait! The timing of getting Jayden was pretty good, but getting home in March meant we didn’t have a whole lot of time to start learning the bigger routes. Luckily there was enough to do to really solidify the bonding that we weren’t at all hindered. I can’t imagine trying to get back with a new guide dog in the hottest part of summer. We would have been immediately isolated and stuck indoors. I’m so glad GDB agreed with me on that and got me in to class as soon as possible. Thank God for that cancellation!

We usually do our outdoor stuff with Dave on Tuesdays since we can get out early, and our indoor stuff on the fifth day of the week. There’s not much indoor stuff left to do so this morning Dave suggested an abbreviated lesson, re-working the street crossing on the route to the store. On Tuesday when we did that crossing, Jayden tried to take me into the middle of a busy street. He had never done that before, and Dave thought it might have been because of all the turmoil with B going out of town and stuff, that threw Jayden off his game. So we drove to the spot since it was too hot to walk it.

Jayden nailed it every time and his pace was even better. Very strange. I guess Tuesday was just an anomoly. I don’t feel like looking up how to spell anomoly lol.

So then Dave asked if I needed anything since the lesson was short. He had just been worried about that crossing since he’s almost ready to sign off on the route so he was glad I agreed to work it. I pondered awhile, not really thinking of anything I needed and then thought mmm ice cream lol! Then the idea occured to me to work the upcurb in the parking lot, which I had never thought to work on with Dave.

When I’m out with friends, which never seems to happen anymore, but in the past when we’d get out of the car and approach the upcurb into a store, Jayden would blow it. I never fell or anything because I could feel him go up. So I was hoping he would do it with Dave so Dave could give me some feedback.

Luckily, Jayden blew it and since I was expecting it, I was able to give a firm NO and have him heel, sit tell him careful, the whole re-work. We went back to the car and he showed me the curb. Dave had said that when we got out of the car, he did like a normal sightie would do and watch me and Jayden and he made eye contact with Jayden. Dave said as soon as we got out of the car, Jayden was actually looking at Dave to follow him and forgot he was working.

So we stood by the car and pretended to chat and then I picked up the harness and told Jayden forward and he showed me the curb. Loud booming praise and kibble.

Then we did the same thing from across the parking lot. Dave acted like a friend and we chatted and Dave got ahead of us and stepped up on the curb to see if Jayden would follow, but he wasn’t fooled. He showed me the curb and got more praise and kibble.

It was a really good experience. I remember in the follow lecture, it said that a dog might start to rely too heavily on following people, so not to over use it. I therefor don’t use it often unless I’m getting help from a store clerk. The thing is, we weren’t really shown too much on what to do when out with friends. I never thought about how Jayden would decide hey, we’re with this person a lot, I’ll follow his or her lead. So now I know to get his focus on me immediately and be sure I’m directing him more than just having him follow.

It’s good to have had Dave see that from the perspective of a sighted friend. Of course a friend is going to be watching to make sure we’re ok, and they’ll look at Jayden, not knowing about the whole eye contact thing.

Since I can’t see the interaction between Jayden and people, I would never have known that. I can put a stop to verbal communication. Plenty of people whether friends or strangers, will talk to Jayden and when I hear that I can stop it. But I won’t notice them making eye contact with him.

I’m really happy with the way today’s lesson went and I sooooooo can’t wait for the weather to cool of so we can go exploring! I was telling Dave the main reason I haven’t done much venturing alone is because if it’s too hot, I could get sick and be totally screwed. So it’s nice to have someone with me. Often times I and others forget that my main disability is not my blindness, it’s the MS. Sometimes I get down on myself for not going out much, but that’s just how the summers have to be. Jayden has been totally fine, as the school assure me he would be as long as we found stuff to do here and there and did plenty of obedience and mind challenging stuff at home. He was just dream wagging on my leg, so I know he’s a happy dog. Just wait till it cools off Jay, you have no idea how much fun we’re gonna have!!!!

Oh yeah, and Jayden said I should get four pints of ice cream at the store as a reward for my hard work. 😉


Filed under desert life, Doggy Diaries, GDB, Jayden, no no sightie, num num food, spoons, treat for me, weather, working dog

11 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Re-works and ice cream

  1. Awesome! Glad you got to do all that reworking stuff.

    Yeah I have to watch the following. My problem is no frigging body knows their lefts from their rights. So it’s just easier for all if I follow. But it can get bad sometimes, and it’s really hard to rework something while following someone, because while you stop to deal with that, you end up losing who you’re following!

  2. Ro

    I really don’t like following at all. If I an’t hear the person I’m following, I worry that we’re not following them. I really prefer it just to walk with people and go by the sound of their footsteps. This works great with female friends because I can usually hear shoes or else we’re talking constantly. The main person I have a hard time with is B because he’s just so quiet. I really prefer to do all the directing and actually the last few times I went shoping with people, they followed me. It works great because they tell me to stop or whatever. I find that even if they don’t give me a direction, I can just tell where to go. It’s great with Dave because he’s really good about saying it’ll be an R turn or an L turn. Friends have gotten good about saying stop and then I can tell Jayden to halt. I just feel so much more in control when I’m not following. Even following store clerks is a little scary and I find that I talk to them so I know where they are.

  3. Anomaly, hahaha.

    Glad to hear you’re doing so well. I’m sure the cooler weather will be great for you, but I’m personally dreading it. I think I’d like what passes for winter where you are, but it can’t come slowly enough for me.

    Now you’ve got me thinking about ice-cream. Maybe I’ll have some later while I watch the Jays beat up on the handicapped kids…er…I mean the Rays.

  4. When Carin and I are somewhere and she needs to follow me or me and a guide, what I’ll generally do is make a point of looking back now and then and saying hey Carin or something like that so she knows she hasn’t lost us. People have a hard time remembering to do that even if you’ve just told them, but if you can get people you’re with regularly to start doing that it would probably make following with Jayden quite a bit easier.

  5. Ro

    Ha thanks. I remember looking it up once before but of course couldn’t remember lol. I ate a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and had to ask Carol what’s in it. She looked it up and it’s supposed to be banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts. Hmmm. Didn’t taste like that at all hahaha.

    I’m not expecting to win tonight. It’s the fifth day of the week. And there was some roster move, puting Pena on the 15 day DL and calling up an RHP which I assume means a right handed pitcher. Huh? Never heard of the guy. I’m just confused. We brought up Dan Johnson who can play first base so maybe we put Pena on the DL and brought up another relif pitcher, sonce we put Sonny on the DL for a quote hamstring strain, to make room for Hellickson’s one game debut to give the startrs an extra day off. Craziness.

  6. Yup, an RHP is a righty.

  7. Oh I gotta have the talking or it’s not gonna work. It’s just that I must have slow-moving friends. They say I get way too far ahead if they’re behind, and if they’re right beside, Trix tends to think of them as an obstacle.

  8. Hello Ro. Oooooooh ice cream!!!!! Yum’m’m’m’m’m’m’my!!

    Guess what? I am going off to class on the 30 august!!! I’m not too sure if you have been reading my blog, but i got the word on Wednesday after our matching walk!!!! Still doesn’t feel real.

    I’m glad that you are getting used to working with Dave and that.

    Can i ask you something? You can tell me to piss off if you want, but i’m just curious. In what way would the heat affect your MS? Would you just get really tired and stuff? Sorry for being nosey or anything.

    Take care, xxxxx

  9. That’s interesting I would not thought eye contact would make THAT big of a difference. I don’t know why I don’t know that, as I know with my 9mo puppy, all people have to do is catch his eye and he’s completely un-focused. Well we can work on that now! ::smile::

  10. Ro

    Oh congratulations!! Blogger won’t let me follow blogs right now. Actually it’s probably my latest Safari update. I have you bookmarked I just need to remember to read. With MS, the heat makes my nerves inflame. I already have poor nerve conduction, so it can actually lead to permanent nerve damage if I get overheated. It can lead to a really bad flair. I get really diszzy and cotton mouth and I basically just stop functioning. So it’s just bad times. I basically go from a/c to a/c and getting in to hot cars is really bad. I can handle very short periods in the sun so basically yeah. I can do like 30 minutes in the early mornings. By evenings I’m too tired and it’s still hot anyway. I never think it’s nosey when people ask questions. 🙂

    Congrats on class!! Can’t wait to find out about your dog!!!

  11. Oh right. I’m glad that you weren’t thinking i was being nosey. I was curious for a while, but thought it was too bad to ask lol.

    And yes, you can link away, and if you read my latest post, which i think you have, you will be able to find out all about her. I’m from Northern ireland in the UK by the way.

    I thought i would reply on here and then you could read it.

    I can’t wait to get more info for you!


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