Doggy Diaries – Woes

Edit: I just heard from my therapist. Her fax machine was down. So she’s calling GDB right now to have them re-send. One down, one to go.


I was in a bad mood in the post right before this one. I’m in limbo. I don’t like limbo. I’m in that place in the application process that is nerve wracking. I did everything on my end promptly. I ran to the doc to get my tests. She was prompt in filling out the questionaire. So was Dave. I hadn’t heard anything from the school. I didn’t know if the eye docs had sent in their stuff. I emailed the school and didn’t hear anything. The folks on the email ist said to call. So I just called. All the medical info is in. The eye docs were prompt. I’m sorry eye docs. I had no faith in you. Your medical records people must be good. I’m sorry I thought it was you.

apparently its my rehab teacher from Saavi and my therapist who haven’t sent in the questionaire. The school said the info was sent to them on October 5th. So I called and left voicemails for both. Maybe they didn’t get the info? Maybe the paperwork is sitting on their desk? I’m trying not to get annoyed.

this is like, when the husband is late and the wife says “he better be laying in a ditch somewhere!” I just really hope they didn’t get the paperwork. Because I like them both very much. And if this whole process is being held up because the paperwork is sitting…well. I’m sorry eye docs, again, really. It wasn’t your fault.

I think I’m getting all crazy about this because its all I think about. I read guide dog blogs. I talk to guide dog owners and puppy raisers. Its pretty much all I do online. And then at night when I’m laying in bed I think, “Am I doing the right thing? Can I handle this responsibility? Its like having a child. Do I want to get up at 6am and pick up poop? Am I doing the right thing? What if I’m not? I don’t know what to do. Should I just use my cane? I don’t want to use my cane. I want the freedom. I want the companionship. I want to care for a pooch. Yes. I want this. I am doing the right thing. But what if I’m not? What if I’m all cozy in bed watching House and 9 o’clock rolls around and I don’t want to do the final relieving? What if I fail my dog? My trainers? The raisers? What if, what if what if…”

I know this is all normal. I read emails from others. I read blogs. I know this. I know I want the dog. I can’t wait for the dog. When I think about the dog my apartment feels empty, because she’s not here. So I get frustrated when I find out that there’s a hitch in the works. But I know its going to work out the way its supposed to. But I want to go in Jan. of Feb. I will have to wait until next fall if I can’t go in the first part of the year. Or is that a misconception? I think I can’t get home with my dog in summer because it’ll be too hot to train. Maybe this deadline is something I’ve made up in my head? Or if I have to wait, then I’m supposed to wait. Right?

I got to see Arquette today. My braille teacher’s dog. She is so sweet! I was allowed to say hi after the lesson was over. She got so excited and I got to love on her for like 5 seconds and then the magic “back to work” words were said and she was all business. Apparently its going wonderful for the two of them and I’m just so happy for my teacher.

I totally didn’t mention my braille lesson in my previous post, and it was really cool. I got to write out the alphabet, my name and phone number, and practice punctuation on the braille writer today. And my teacher told me its the same writer she’s used since she was in third grade! How cool is that??

Braille doesn’t belong in a doggy diaries post, but oh well. Its my blog and I’ll write if I want to.

The moral of all of this is always follow up. If you’re applying for a guide dog, or anything, always follow up. Thank you Sarah for teaching me about footwork. I don’t even think you read this. But thank you. You taught me all about footwork and how important it is. Its all about having the courage to change the things I can. I know now that by doing the footwork, if something doesn’t work out, I did everything I could on my end.

Follow up follow up follow up. Humans are fallible.


Filed under advocacy, braille, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, NaBloPoMo 2009, pooch preparation, rambles

14 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Woes

  1. L^2

    Gosh, your comment form must be REALLY hungry lately! Either that or maybe your blog just hates me (which will probably be the case after you read this comment).

    I really don’t want to disappoint you, so please, please don’t hate me for saying this, but I think this January or February deadline is one you have set for yourself, and it might not be totally realistic.
    I don’t know GDB’s policy on this for sure, but I do know that a lot of guide dog programs require prospective students to have completed O & M training and have used that training to travel independently for some period of time (usually six months) before they are even considered eligible for training with a dog. This is to insure that the handler is very comfortable with and has had plenty of experience with using these skills before adding the complications of a guide dog to the mix.
    Now, like I said I don’t know GDB’s policy on this – I could be totally wrong, because it may not be as big a deal to them as it is with other programs. But maybe you should try to prepare yourself for the possibility of having to wait to go to class until next fall, just in case. (I’m sorry! Don’t hate me! LOL)

    I know how you feel – the waiting and not knowing is tough. I went through that with my application stuff earlier this summer, and while I was acccepted to the program, currently I’m waiting on my new school to find the perfect dog match for me. And all this dog stuff definitely dominates my thoughts too.

    Hang in there! *hugs*

  2. R

    I had a lot of problems with comments getting eaten when I first started on here. I don’t know how it looks, but with the reader, there is a link to comment, and then a frame. The frame always ate comments. The link always seems to work. Don’t know if that might help.

    On the deadline, thank you. I think I’ve needed an “outsider” to give me a dose of reality. The school told me the beginning of this year is feasable. Dave has told me a few different things. On the application, he put down the things that are a work in progress. So they’ll definitely know where I’m at with O & M, which is another reason I’m upet about some lessons being cancelled.

    I also told GDB that with the MS, things are a bit different. And the way my town is, there aren’t a lot of routes I walk with just my cane. Its really hard to explain. Also, I don’t use buses. I use a public transport for persons with disabilities, so they come right to my door. When I explained all this, and how Dave and i both think that having a dog will get me to travel more, they seemed like it made sense to them, and that was when the Jan. or Feb. idea came to fuitition, because they said its good to be back when the weather is still good.

    But, I don’t know. No one knows. Right now I feel very comfortable with the common routes I take, things I do. I won’t be doing a lot of intersection stuff because well, I just won’t. But its something they want me to know how to do. But because of my lifestyle, they know I won’t be doing a lot of that, since I get door to door transport.

    On the other hand, I will have long routes mapped out for doggy exersise, just not ones with lots of intersections. The main one will be the intersection right by home, which is a doozy.

    So its a pretty complicated situation, but I need to know that if I do make it in the early part of the year, it will be a miracle. I think I will be able to enjoy the whole process more though, if I just let go and let the universe decide.

    Thank you for the dose of reality. Good friends do that, and honesty is always the best policy, and while it feels harsh to give it, it is a help, and much appreciated. Seriously, when I read your comment, I deflated, and not in a bad way, more in a relief way, like, she’s right. Quit trying to rush things.

    Thank you!!

    *hugs back*

  3. I just know GDB wants to see competence. If they see things you need to work on, they’ll tell you so.

    You should ask Marilyn on the list when she came home with Whispy. She’s in Arizona too and has a very fuzzy golden. So from the doggy end of it, summer may not be bad…but if it’s you you’re worried about, then go with what you’re comfortable with. I said to GDB that there was no way I was coming home in the snow, no way, no how, I had to bring Fido home in the spring. But other handlers, bless ’em, have come home in the snow and done fine. So do what you feel you need to do.

    And I don’t think you have to worry about failing your dog. You, with determination enough to move a friggin mountain, won’t fail your dog. I can’t see it in a million years. Those bedtime trips to doggy potty land become so part of your routine that you won’t be able to truly rest for the night until they’re done. Sure, for the first bit, you may whine and moan about not feeling like you can sleep in, but it will pass.

    You’re right. Follow up follow up follow up. And don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it. It’s your stuff that’s on the line, you have the right to know the status of it.

  4. R

    Karen, thank you. I definitely don’t feel bad hounding these people lol.

    The summer thing is more for me. With the MS, I can’t get overheated. So I want to be in decent weather when my dog gets home, so I don’t get sick when I’m taking her out places. I would hate for her to come home and have to sit inside or only go to the mall, you know? So its partly selfish, partly thinking about the dog having optimal weather for me and for her.

    But I’m feeling better about pushing back this deadline I made for myself after L^2 commented, and I just talked to B about it on the phone. It’s going to happen when it happens and I fully and completely trust GDB with whatever they decide. I think I’ve been pushing myself a little too hard, hoping to go in the first of the year. And, reading your training journal is freaking me out a bit lolol!!!

  5. Oh no! Since you’re going backwards, you’ve fallen straight into bum knee territory first. What a sucky way to go. I think I was in a class full of freaks in the statistical sense, I don’t know why there were so many injuries.

    I did the same thing, wanted to get on with my life and that’s why the Babs fiasco happened. It will happen when it’s ready to happen. GDB isn’t going anywhere.

    But still, stalk those people who haven’t sent the forms! Hhahaha!

  6. OK – I had some good stuff to write, but I got SO distracted the minute you said Arquette that I can’t remember what my comments were! Arquette comes from a fabulous family of dogs! She is the sister to my last puppy, Accord. Most of the raisers of that litter kept in touch and it was so fun to hear about them all growing up. Her mom’s breeder keeper was keeping up with us and shared special baby pictures and stories with us. If those were passed along and someone looks hard, one of the babies as a speed bump bend in his tail. That’s my boy! Pass along an extra special hug from her brother Accord (who was career changed – guide work was too much stress for his tummy! He’s living with my sister in law and spoiled rotten!)

    OK, Let me get back on track! I must say that patience is not a virtue that I am all that familiar with. It’s hard to wait. It’s hard to not know. GDB has rules and regulations (for raisers and students on the other end). Though it is hard to wait out the process at times, the reasons behind it are complex and necessary. These dogs require a huge commitment on our parts (raisers and grads). And the dogs deserve to be with people that are willing to muddle through the process, stick with it, improve their skills and wait for the right dog to come up.

    Failing your dog is hard. They love unconditionally. Love them. Don’t abuse them. Use them in the way that they were trained. Love them some more. You don’t want to go out during House?? Wait a show or go a little early. (I don’t exit during House either!) The dog will be Ok with it. I took 13 month old Poppy out for last relieving last night. I let her out in our yard. She walked all the way to the gate to our driveway, turned around and looked at me like “Aren’t you coming??” I woke her up and she was clueless, despite being given the command, what I wanted from her. Silly girl turned around and came back in the house. And I work REALLY hard to make sure that no dog will wake me up at 6 AM for food or relieving. It is MY time schedule. The dogs adapt. I know guides are on a schedule in class. But, you come home and follow the rules, but adapt time schedules to what works for your life.

    Classes run year round at GDB. There is lots of time that is both not January or February and not too hot for you. On two campuses! While you are waiting and working on patience, your new dog is out there getting ready for you too. Yeah! That’s the awesome part!

  7. R

    Yep you are going back in time. So far I’ve seen you graduate and then step in poo and spill some water and miss Chinese food and skip some outings and I think I’m about to find out how you hurt your knee. And then those other people who got hurt, the guy who didn’t keep the dog and the 2 girls who didn’t get along. Yikes. Yeah, little scary for a first timer.

  8. R


    Thank you so much for your comment. I honestly don’t know how I got so obsessed with going in the first of the year. I know for sure I would never want to rush anything and I know that GDB wouldn’t allow it anyway. I am an instant gratification kind of gal as it is lol. Usually I get all obsessed and then I remember, stop. Pause. Turn it over. You have no control. Trust the outcome. Trust the timeline. I am so glad I blogged about all this today because everyone has helped slap me upside the head and shove me back into reality lol.

    It’ll happen when its supposed to, whether it be in the first of the year or next year or 2 years from now. I trust that. I just had to be reminded.

    As for Arquette, oh my gosh she is soooo sweet! I told my braille teacher that there was a connection on here somehwere, another sibling was mentioned. She said to let you all know that Arquette is doing great, and then she asked me how to start a blog. So hopefully I’ll get her on here.

    I knew Arquette was there only because I knew she was there, but not a sound until I heard her shift positions. Then when I was allowed to say hi, man did she go nuts but only for like 5 seconds and then she went right back to work. What a good girl! And so cute and petite, I’m in love with her tee hee!

    I can get my fill from ya’ll and be patient. I just had to remember how. 🙂

  9. Hahaha it would be weird going backwards.

    Oh, and just so you know, the first 3 days of training, before Trixie actually arrives, aren’t under the Trixie label, well, because I didn’t know it was Trixie yet. You’ll have to find them under just plain old training journals.

  10. R

    Ok I wondered how you worked that. Also, how will I find your decision to go back and the time leading up to it?

  11. Herm. I think they’re under guide dogs. That could be a bit tedious. I don’t think they’re under the Babs label…that one’s so itcy bitcy teeny weeny.

  12. R

    Yeah that will be a challenge lol. I want to see the whole story as it unfolds backwards tee hee.

    You’ve given me an idea though. I think once I have my dog, I’ll go label the doggy diaries posts with the name of the dog too so I can easily track the entire journey. It’ll be tedious, especially if I don’t get a dog for 2 years lol!

  13. It won’t be so bad since you can just open up the doggy diaries label and just slap another one on every post. Not nearly as tedious as picking through the whole blog. Believe me, after labeling *everything* in July/August, and I’m still finding labeling mishaps along the way, I know how tedious it is to go through the whole blog.

  14. R

    Oh I did that when I first started the blog and discovered the point of the labels. But it was brand new then, so it wasn’t bad. I’m actually going through now and throwing a “guide dogs” and “dogs” label where they belong. I’m feeling quite lucky that I’m noticing labeling stuff now while the blog is still a baby.

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