Grade 1 and braille teacher’s new guide dog

I arrived for braille class today, excited to tell my teacher I read Goldilocks, and also to meet her new guide dog.

When she approached me at the table, I heard her giving direction and then, “good girl”. I sat still, not reaching for the dog, not knowing if my teacher would introduce us yet, since it is such a new pairing. But before I knew it, I had a doggy snout in my hands! I said, “Oh! She’s saying hi!” and my teacher said, “Wait! Not yet. Not yet, Arquette.” Some rustling, and then, “Ok you can say hi, its ok.” And then I got to give Arquette some lovin. A small black lab, she was gorgeous! She just licked my hand and leaned into my legs.

Then my teacher said, “Ok, thats enough, we need to get to work, under, Arquette.” And all sign of the dog was gone. I forgot she was there for the whole lesson! My teacher said its going great with her so far, so I’m so happy for her. Everyone at Saavi is holding back and not giving Arquette lovin since the pairing is brand new, so I feel honored that I got introduced. My teacher got her at the OR campus for GDB.

On to braille, and we finished Grade 1!! So I’m switching days now, and pairing up with another student. Due to budget constraints, they can no longer do one-on-one braille. People under 55 who are not in the Vocational program, like me, because there’s a freeze on the vocational program, must now be paired up with older people. This was Saavi’s way of being creative, otherwise the government would have it that those of us under 55 who are not in a vocational rehab program would be S.O.L. The state vocational program has a freeze though. Ugh. Thats another post.

At least Saavi found a loophole. So, I’ll be working with an older gentleman who originally thought he only wanted grade 1 braille, and soon realized he needed it all. So I’ll be helping him brush up and it’ll be a good review for me before starting grade 2.

It took me 6 months to learn grade 1, so I feel like I’m on a good track.

My teacher brought me 2 pocket sized braille calendars from school, and showed me how to read them. So cool!

I’m not much in the blogging mood, as I’m towards the end of an audio book and my arms ache from my work out, but I wanted to mark the day of graduating from Grade 1 braille and meeting Arquette. 🙂

8 Comments

Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Audio books, braille, guide dogs, puppy raisers, workouts

8 Responses to Grade 1 and braille teacher’s new guide dog

  1. Congrats on both! (getting to meet Arquette & graduating from grade 1)!!

    Toby’s trainer

  2. R

    Thanks! I wonder if Arquette’s raisers have a blog anywhere. I don’t know for sure if I’m spelling her name right.

    I just looked up April 24, 2010 with my braille calander to find out what day it falls on, and its a Saturday. How awesome! I love it!

  3. I have met a couple of Arquettes siblings and her mom (Elsa) before. I also have raised a Domingo puppy (Who is Arquettes daddy) sorry I am a nerd. But I love that connection. If she is anything like her siblings or her half brother that I raised she is one special pupper. That is super cool you got to meet her. And congrats on graduating from Grade 1, good luck on Grade 2. 😀

  4. R

    Ooooh that is sooo cool!!!! I was hoping for a connection too!!! I so wanted to meet a dog from some of the lines I’ve read about, this is just fab! I’ve gotta put the puppy raiser lable on this post now. Oh how cool!!!!!

  5. How awesome. I’ve seen that puppy’s name before. Now…where? I have no idea but the name is familiar from somewhere. Congrats on graduating to stranger, funkier braille.

  6. R

    I hope I got the dog’s name right. I’m pretty sure she said Arquette. She’d only be around 2 years old, right/ If she’s a new guide? I can’t wait to tell her about people here knowing of Arquette. Its just so cool!

    I think it would be amazing if I get matched with a dog from a blog here.

  7. L^2

    Congratulations on completing Grade 1 Braille! And also, good luck with learning Grade 2! I struggled a bit more with learning Contracted Braille, but I’m sure it will be easier for you since you have a good teacher. I taught myself, so it was a bit tougher at first.

    And I’m glad you got to greet Arquette too. She sounds like a sweet dog.

  8. R

    I’m really looking forward to contracted braille. I don’t know why, but I am. Maybe cuz I have The Prisoner of Askaban in grade 2 braille hehe!!

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