Tag Archives: guide dog school

Guide Dog School: Day 14

Guide Dog School: Day 14

 

Iva and I had the day off except for morning obedience. Today, we did the obedience routine silently, with just the hand signals. Surprisingly, she did remarkably well. We have had different distractions during our routes and especially during obedience. Distractions such as cats, dogs, food, and squeaky toys.

 

Yesterday in White Plains, we did traffic checks. One instructor drives a van and puts us in mock dangerous situations. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how our dogs react in these situations. Sometimes, a car can cut us off so quickly that the dog walks backward, and we must do likewise. We always must follow the dog. We must trust the guide dog.

 

We are beginning to learn about introducing our dogs to family and friends. While Iva is in harness (working), no one should say her name, speak to her, touch her, or even have eye contact with her. Doing those seemingly harmless things creates a distraction. It would be the same thing as a sighted person driving blindfolded or jerking someone’s glasses off their face.

 

The amount of interaction Iva has with other people while off harness also must be minimal, especially in the beginning. First of all, we are still bonding. Second, we do not want to overwhelm her. Finally, it is not good for Iva to perceive other people as fun, fun, fun, while Mom is the taskmaster.

 

This does not mean you cannot be introduced to Iva. It must be done little by little.

 

We have an early work day tomorrow. There is an important guide dog conference here tomorrow, so we must work around it. I do feel your prayers. Pray specifically for Iva to settle down more at meals and lecture. Also, I am speaking at our graduation, so pray for me on that. The graduation ceremony is Saturday at 1:30, and you can watch it live streaming or view the replay. The first 20 minutes are blank, so be patient.

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.