Short Handle Work

Today I was doing some short handle work as part of
The Guidedog
Preparations
.
The Short handle, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a handle that the person holds onto, while the instructor holds the other end. It isn’t really like a normal guidedog harness, instead it is just like the handle of the harness. It is to simulate a dogs’ movements.

I started at about 3 o’clock. There was another mobility worker observing, plus a Guidedog mobility assistant, who I met
Back In November
And a person from Technecal support, who was from Scotland. She basically makes sure that all the rehabilitation workers and such are singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak.

So anyway, we met at the local college, where we walked around the car park for a while, just to get me used to the feeling of the harness again. We also worked on foot posissions, and commands and such. I was actually quite shocked that i could remember the foot positions as well as i did!!! I just needed a little hint sometimes.

After this, we went through part of the route i have learned from the college back to my house, with just the short handle. It was alot more straight forward with a dog than with a cane!!!!!! There is one street in particular that is quite cluttered, and i didn’t even notice the clutter with the short handle!!!!!!! The only thing i noticed was the way the dog will sometimes stop if there is alot of people coming down the street. You would then just give it the instructions to go forward again.

I learnt a new command which was the “Back” command. That would be if you forgot something, or something. It is similar to the “Left Behind” command, in that the dog goes across your body just like it would if it was doing a “Left Behind”.

I noticed a massive improvement in my confidence, and the Guidedog mobility assistant noticed especially how much i had improved. That was a good boost for my confidence. I think it also helped that i knew the route, so it was less nerve wracking. My gait was also fantastic which was really great!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing that was wrong with today was that the tension wasn’t quite right in the harness. My mobility instructor has said though that the tension isn’t always quite right at the start, and that when Guidedogs do a matching visit, that then they will check to see if the tension is good.

It was a really good day!!! I’m glad i improved the confidence, and the voice commands. I am now starting to believe that the gait will correct itself in time too!!!!!

My mobility instructor is going to do alot more short handle work in the future with me, so that i am as prepared as possible for when i get the dog.

I must keep thinking positively.

I will keep a record of each time i use the short handle, so that i can let you all know what the latest is. Just pray that my confidence continues to grow!!!!!



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