Tag Archives: guide dog school

Guide Dog School: Graduation Day

Guide Dog School: Graduation Day


It has been a busy week after coming home. So sorry for the delay. Graduation was Saturday, On Monday prior to graduation, I felt like there was no way I would be ready. By Saturday, I felt more comfortable about walking with a guide dog.


Iva’s puppy raiser found us on social media. She has lots of pictures, and I was excited to get some pics of Iva as a pup. I met her at graduation. I am so grateful for all the work she did to prepare Iva for guide dog training. Some people may be uncomfortable about meeting puppy raisers. It is only an option. If you are considering a guide dog, do not let that hinder you. It is your decision.


Iva was so excited to see her first Mom. She brought Iva many gifts, and she prepared us a beautiful book of pictures.


I learned how to teach Iva routes during the last week of class. This will definitely help in establishing our various traveling paths.


Our graduation dinner was New York style pizza. If you would like to watch the replay of graduation, you can watch it here:



Sunday, hugs were given as we all said goodbye. After boarding the plane, the pilot announced that we would have a bumpy flight. An apprehensive sigh triggered the nice gentleman in the next seat to assure me that it would be alright. He was kind and helpful with Iva. I believe all things in a child of God’s life are orchestrated by the Father, and this nice man was no exception. The flight was no worse than a trip down I-81. The crew was quite helpful and curious about Iva and our time in New York.


It was great to hug my hubby after the longest separation in our marriage. We had done several Facetime calls with Iva, and she appeared to know him.


My first week at home has been filled with extra sleep. I am staying busy spending time with Iva and my older frail kitty. I think she is warming up to Iva. I have taught Iva to target my driveway, mailbox, stairs, and certain points along one of our routes.


My smart phone and social media have taken a definite back seat this past month, and I actually like it that way. However, God has called me to write and to speak. Social Media is part of that ministry, and now it is time to be about my Father’s business. I will continue to write about Iva, but it will be in the form of devotions. I will continue to share information about guide dogs and educational material for the general public. God is so good!


Guide Dog School: Day 18

Guide Dog School: Day 18


Iva was so good yesterday at the restaurant, but back at school last night during dinner, she kept popping up. Then I remembered what was wrong last time she did that; she needed to relieve herself. I had finished my delicious dessert, so I proceeded to her park area. I did a victory shout and a few fist pumps when she immediately “got busy”. Yes!! I know my dog!!


We had our ADA lecture, and I learned many amazing facts such as:


  • Guide/Service dogs cannot be denied access in any public place.
  • You are not required to show your certification or photo ID.
  • The places you will experience denial will most likely be Chinese restaurants and taxi-cabs.
  • In recent years, people have used vests to fraudulently present pets as service dogs, making life more complicated for genuine service dog handlers.
  • You can be denied access if your dog misbehaves or is unclean.
  • It is a felony offense when a dog attacks your guide dog.
  • If you are denied access, do not yell. Remain calm, begin to video the situation. Explain that a public Facebook post will be made, and if they still do not comply with the law, file a report with the Department of Justice.

Can I pet your dog?


  • The first 3 months is an important bonding time. It is easier to keep Iva’s interactions limited during this time to avoid correcting bad behavior later.
  • It is best to introduce Iva to people one at a time.
  • Iva must be out of harness before someone can pet her, speak to her, call her name, or interact with her in any way. She is working, and it would be the same thing as if someone grabbed the steering wheel from you while driving.


Our graduation ceremony is Saturday at 1:30 EST. You can watch live streaming or catch the replay at



Please remember the first 20 minutes appear blank for some unknown reason. Patience is a virtue!