10th Day Of Home TrainingPosted: September 24, 2010
It was quite a crisp morning outside today when I took Ushi out for her morning spend.
The instructors rang me at about 10 o’clock, just to say that they had left the harness outside the door. This was so that Ushi wouldn’t see them, and to give me a bit of confidence in myself and the route, and my confidence in her.
As I was heading out the door, I stepped on the harness lol. Oops. I was sort of dreading the walk a bit because I wouldn’t have the instructors, but as soon as I gave that “forward” command, we were off.
There was one point where she got really really distracted by a little dog running about on the grassy bit beside me. She was really wild. I told her to “pay attention” and corrected her with the harness. She still was pritty out of control, so I took the lead, and chucked back on the lead, telling her to “leave it” and “straight on”. I held the lead in my right hand for a while afterwards, just to make sure that she didn’t get distracted again. My instructor told me after the walk that that will be as distracted as she will get, where she is really excited and pulling and that, but she won’t be any more distracted if you know what I mean. That was good to know.
The rest of the walk carried on as normal, until she got a bit more distracted by something, but it wasn’t as major as the first distraction.
We just walked on as normal after that, and I even got offered sighted assistance at one point. It is this part further up from a roundabout. I was just standing there, waiting for it to go quiet. A woman with a buggy came up and asked if i needed to get help crossing the road. I just said that I was just waiting for it to go quiet, but thanks anyway. As I walked across the road, I thanked her again, and went on my way.
At this next part, I think I told Ushi to go too far “In”, as i could feel the edge of the wall with my foot. I then just walked on, and we found our straight line.
I got to the shop shortly afterwards. I went in and found the counter, and then waited a minute until I was sure that the instructors weren’t there wanting me to stay in the shop or whatever, and then told Ushi to “find the door”. We then headed back the way we came, with no incident whatsoever.
The only thing was that when we were near home, Ushi couldn’t find it, even though I asked her to “find home” and “where was it” and all. We went round the corner again, so i stopped, and did a “back” turn, while still asking her to “find home”. She stopped outside a door, so I encouraged her to “find the door”, only to realise that there was a fence or something to the side of the door. I thought that maybe the instructors had put something there, but they told me later they hadn’t. So I did a “back” turn, and went up to the kerb. I was so tempted to ask the instructors for help, but I thought “No i’ll work this out”. So I did a “left in front” which is where you stand facing her and do the “over” command, and then told her to “find home” again. We eventually found it lol. The instructors said that if mum pokes her head out to let me know if i am going past the door or something. She is also going to get me windchimes for the door, so that I will know if that is ours. No one else has windchimes up, so that will be good. They say to give her a treat each time we get to “Home”, and then she will deffinetly get me there.
It was an awesome walk, and they said that I handled Ushi perfectly, and that I was able to keep her moving after the distractions, which was good.
I chilled for a bit, until about 12 o’clock when we were heading out for our second walk. The harness was left on the door again. I managed not to step on it this time lol.
We just did the matching walk again. It went without a hitch, and I remembered to do my “left behind” that I forgot yesterday! On this mornings walk, she went up a path that I didn’t want her to go up, but she didn’t do this on the second walk which was great.
I phoned mum once I was on our road just to let her know that I was on the way, and could she stick her head out. We found it no problem!!
It was a really great walk again. They said that technically they could qualify me today, but want me to do those two routes again for a couple more days just to make sure I am totally comfy with everything. So hopefully by Wednesday they said that I should be qualified!! Oh yeah! At the start of the walks I felt kind of worried, but now i’m like “let’s go”! It’s so hard to beliee how far I have come since the start of class to now! I have Ushi for nearly 4 weeks already!
When we got back to the house, the instructor showed me how to put the Halty on. Basically, you put the spongy part on her nose, then clip it round her neck like a collar. You then clip it to her collar, and finally you take the lead off her collar and attach it to the halty. This means that she can’t really pull when she is going for a free run. I only use it until we get to wherever I am free running her. They have allowed me to free run her over the weekend. I am going to have someone sighted with me for the first while, just to make sure that i am cool with getting to where we free run etc. We are going to change the route slightly as we pass the park on our matching walk, so we don’t want her thinking that she is going for a free run each time we do that walk.
I am going to take her for a run on Saturday or sunday. I am thinking more Sunday, so that she is nice and relaxed before work on Monday. Plus it’s great getting in touch with nature on a Sunday!
It was a great end to a week, and I still can’t believe how far I have come. From those very early days, to now. I am not saying that Ushi is perfect, but as I get more confident, I find she doesn’t get so distracted, and whenever she is distracted, I can handle it. Each day our partnership is growing I feel. Maybe i’m wrong by saying this so early on, but I am not as nervous about qualifying as I was before. It prob will be the first time I do it on my own, but tecnically I am doing it already!
Maybe once I am qualified, Ushi can introduce herself on the blog! Depends if she is a good girl lol.
Have a good weekend, and hopefully the weather stays good for the free run!