Guide Dog School: Day 10
We have reached the halfway mark. This class feels like family now. We stay so busy that I barely get time to write, but that’s alright. I am here with one purpose. Learning and proper rest take priority. I do not have time to respond to text messages and emails. We work long days, and there is much to learn. I suffer from mental fatigue more than physical since my body was accustomed to walking and rising early.
Iva has not been attached to the instructor’s support leash since last week. We have visited a CVS and Macy’s twice. We have also walked different routes, and Lori is following farther behind me, but always a shout away.
Today was rather emotional. I arrived at Macy’s expecting to work Iva on the escalator only to learn it was not possible. My mobility instructor at home never worked with me on escalators because they are non-existent in our county. I have always used them with a sighted guide. Escalators are extremely dangerous for dogs, and they are optional. I want to do them since they appear in malls and some convention centers. Lori showed me how to use them by myself. Then we did it “Juno style” which means Lori is attached to the harness instead of Iva.
As of now, they will work with me again, but it appears the only way Iva will be allowed on a set of moving stairs is when a Guiding Eyes instructor travels to my home to work with me there.
I was angry at my local O&M guy, but it is possible that he did not realize my training would be affected by my inexperience. I am the only one in class with this issue.
Prayer warriors, all things are possible with God. If it is His will, He will make a way. With that said, pray and believe for this miracle. The instructors and supervisor keep telling me I have good instincts. Where does that come from? This entire process has been drenched in prayer. I appreciate your prayers.
I taught Iva to target a bus stop today, and we rode an elevator. Stairs are getting better. Iva is sleeping now, but she is making noises as she dreams. We just visited with some puppies about 4-6 months old. In an hour, we are having a play time with all the dogs. Not the pups!
We shared our bios with Guiding Eyes today. Personal stories play a role in a blind person’s decision to get a guide dog.
I have also been learning the differences in redirection and correction; Actually, I have a great devotional idea on that lesson. The rest of this post gets rather stinky, so if you have a weak tummy, you may want to cease reading now.
Now the disclaimer has been given; we had the infamous “poo” lecture, tonight. Blind people clean up poo? Yes, we do! When the dog stops prancing, we follow the leash to the head. Boy dogs are easy to determine if it is #1 or #2, but girls, not so much. With girls, we take our hand and follow their back. You get a ski-slope slant for liquid, and a definite arch for a poo. We slip our hands in a plastic bag, pick it up, and turn the bagged gift inside out
Tomorrow, we learn shoreline walking. That is what I do daily. It is the term which refers to walking on streets without sidewalks. It is also picture day! This is for our photo ID, and we can buy extras. Keep me in your prayers.