Tag Archives: Carolyn Dale Newell

Guide Dog School: Day 10

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.

Guide Dog School: Day 7

Guide Dog School: Day 7

 

I never appreciated a day of rest so much. We all work hard here: the students, instructors and dogs. My day begins at 5:40 AM and ends around 10:00 PM. That includes three delicious meals. Obedience is at 6:00 AM.

 

Friday was an exciting day in White Plains. They were filming a movie there and people were everywhere. When you shop during the busy Christmas season, take me and Black Beauty with you. She cuts through crowds like a hot knife cuts through butter. Part of my afternoon route was done without the instructor’s support leash attached to my dog. Saturday, the support was removed entirely, and we had a few hiccups, but nothing major. Just the normal stuff with a dog adjusting to a new handler.

 

They still have not given us the permission to announce the name, but I will tell you she is a girl. I will reveal her name tomorrow (with permission). You will be the first to know.

 

I have enjoyed real Italian spaghetti and chicken parmesan, a Greek food called gyro, and I tried a mocha, but I preferred their hot chocolate better. We had grilled steaks tonight and a delicious banana split at lunch. I also love these New York accents.

 

We had an issue with meals. My furry friend likes to chew on chairs. Lori has worked with me to correct the problem and tonight was a success. I anointed her and prayed for her. We all know the Lord has used a rooster and a donkey. Why can’t He curve a dog’s inclination to chew? I trust God that way, taking everything to Him in prayer.

 

Yesterday was exciting and different. After lunch, we taught our dogs to find “the chair” using a clicker and food reward. Then we learned to work our dogs in the building. Then Black Beauty had play time where I saw a different side of her. Last night, I learned to groom her.

 

How can you pray for me? Tension, turns, and trust. There has to be the proper tension on the handle. I hesitate a bit on turns, and I need to trust her on the stairs. Maybe I should look at it like this: I need to trust God to handle her handling me on the steps.

 

The big reveal is tomorrow. I have even given her a middle name, and she has a nickname too. I do appreciate your prayers. If you are considering a guide dog school, Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York is top notch.