So up until tonight I have just been heeling Jayden in the building. What this means is that he’s just on a short leash and he is in the hell position next to my left leg, with a loose leash. I had to walk very slowly, trailing walls, feeling doorways, asking where people were sitting, etc. So I found my dinner table by lining up with the left side of the large doorway and walking slowly until it felt right.
Jay and I have been together a week, so he’s come with me to all the meals, heeling. Well today we got our building orientation, so at dinner, we were allowed to work our dogs in the building. When I say work out dogs, I mean use the harness, for those who aren’t guide dog literate lol! Anyway, so about ten minutes before dinner, I decided to work down there so we’d avoid the rush. So I gave the forward and left command in the direction of the dining hall. I was still running my hand along the wall, but back behind me insead of in front. He started slowing at the dining hall and I told him left. We didn’t line up with the door because I didn’t know if we needed too. He stopped to show me the door way like he’s supposed to. There’s a little metal plate that runs along the floor. I praised and said forward, but I could tell we weren’t in the right spot, or least I didn’t think so. So I turned us around and said, Jayden forward, find the door. He took us right to it! So I lined us up with the left door frame and said forward and we walked without bumping anything. He stopped and I reached out and touched a chair. I was pretty sure it was our spot, but I reached out to feel the card which has really small braille I can’t read. A server said, he took you right to your chair! And it was praise and high value kibble. I was soooooo impressed!!!!
So I ate and then then stood up, grabbed the harness and said, Jayden forward, door. And he took us around the other tables right to the door!!! Praise praise kibble kibble!
So I said Jayden right and he took me down the hall and I had my right hand behind me again. We passed the one hallway and then I know it’s three doors down from there to get to our room. I’m counting doors, he’s walking us and then he stopped dead and sort of turned right a tad in front of me. I checked the braille door plaque to make sure, and he had taken us right to our room!!! Praise praise kibble kibble hahaha!!!!
Inside, harness off, celebration time. We romped on the floor for a bit after he ignored tug. He lets me know what he wants hehe. So he got a good romp and a belly rub and then I called Gamma and said next to Jay while he chewed his bone. He really only chews it when I’m next to him, which is good. He’s not really using it as a pacifier. For him it’s more interactive. He likes me to hold it for a bit while he chews and then he lays down with it.
When I got off the phone, I unhooked his tie down just to see what he would do. He got up and walked up to me and then dropped onto the flor on his back for some more romping lol! Then I wanted to groom him, which we’re learning together. I discovered tonight that he likes to be pretty free while I groom because it feels nice so he likes to move around. He ended up laying down and we got a good grooming session in.
Now he’s passed out on his fleece.
I’m not sure I’ll even fall asleep very quick tonight because I’m just so elated! Out in town, it’s cool because he’s guiding me, but I don’t know where I am. In the dorm, I know where I am, so the second he does something cool, I know him. It was also the first time working him without an instrctor near. It was just us. It was incredible! Everyday he does something else that amazes me. I’ll have to try and get video next time he’s being goofy. 🙂