Final Day Of Home Training

I qualified today!!!! It totally hasn’t sunk in at all. Me? Qualified? It’s like wow!

Let’s start from the beginning though….

My instructors came at about 10 o’clock again. They left the harness as usual.

I only went into the guiding road very slightly at my second down kerb. I was able to correct it though, before I drifted too far. I just wanted to make sure that I was on the right path, so I asked a woman who was approaching me. She confirmed that there was grass on my right, which was what i asked. I said i was okay from here. The woman kept talking to me, and I politely said I was grand. I went on my way, and whenever I got down to near my Zebra crossing, the woman was still there. She accompanied me over the road, and at the other side, kind of gave me a bit of an lecture. She said to me to make sure that I crossed the roads safely, and that I was to make sure that my dog “did what i told it”. She eventually left me on my way, after asking if i could get back alright. She was a nice woman, but she just didn’t leave me alone at all! Lol. It was really nice of her though.

I carried on with my walk after that.

When i got to my last kerb, (the one before the road to my house), I made sure to indent quite far down. I wasn’t sure that I was in the right place, so I got her to go left, then I still wasn’t satisfied, so I did a “back” turn, and worked her up to the orriginal position at the kerb. I then stood for ages just waiting for traffic and waiting to make sure it was the right road. I then thought “I could be here all day”, so took a chance, and walked straight across the road. I was on the right up kerb! I then got Ushi to “find home”, and she found it no problem. Typical though-mum went and baught wind chimes yesterday, but since then Ushi has found the door no problem!

When I got to the house, I handed the harness over to the instructors, and they were like “do you have somewhere to hang it?”, so I put it on my shoulder like I would do if I was carrying it before I would put it on. The other instructor then said to me “You’re qualified!”. My instructor then gave me a big hug. I couldn’t believe it!

I explained to them about Ushi and the grass throwing game she decided to have, and they said that she probably just had alot of extra energy, and to try playing with her before a spend. They said it was fine to keep her on the long lead as i had been doing, but they didn’t want me to be making a habbit of it. We went into the house after that to go through all the qualification paperwork and that.

First of all, I signed the “guide dog owner agreement”, which is basically a legal document saying that I will basically keep to wat I have been taught and such things. I had to sign two copies, as they gave me one and kept another for their records. We then went through our “qualification pack” that every guide dog owner gets. It contains a couple of booklets concerning what to do when feeding and such, a copy of the “guide dog owner agreement” that I signed, my puppy walkers details, a copy of the “guide dog owner report”, incase I want to fill in the first one in print, a sheet containing all the details about ordering her food, a information sheet that I could take to somewhere like the Cedar foundation, explaining about not feeding the dog titbits, which i thought was very useful, an envelope with a window sticker for a shop or somewhere that says “guide dogs and assistance dogs welcome”, a sticker for a car which says “guide dog on board”, which you could use if you got a taxi regularly somewhere, or a lift, a card tat says “your help welcome”, incase you need sighted assistance, but nobody is around on the pavement, and a wallet containing my Identification card, which I use if i am refused access to a restaurant. It has my photo on it, and it says that I am a registered guide dog owner. It also has a number on the back that they can phone, which explains the law and guide dogs. There is also my district team managers number, the dog care and welfare advisors number, the fundraising lady, and I think that is all. I think that my guide dog mobility instructor for the area was on it, but am not sure. At the back, is a badge that we can wear if we want, which has the guide dogs logo, and says “guide dog owner” underneath. I also got a CD with useful phone numbers and that.

After that, we went upstairs as i wanted the instructors to check to see how much food I had left, just so i didn’t get caught short. They want me to order a bag next week, just to make sure I have some. I have about half a bag there, but they just want me to be prepared. I then handed over my 50 pence, and got another hug from both of them. I was so happy! They are coming out on Friday to take me to the vets, to get Ushi a health check, and just to weigh her and all. Slightly nervous about the weight. I hope I’m still feeding her the right amount. I know i am, but i’m just paranoid lol.

They left after that.

I chilled for a while, and then decided to go for a short walk just around my estate. It was only about 10 minutes. Everything was going grand, until we came to a house with what sounded like 2 or three little dogs outside it. I don’t rememer them being there before when i started my home training. Anyway they were really yappy dogs, and I heard their feet scraping across the ground towards me. My first thought was “I don’t want to go this way. What do i do if these dogs attack Ushi? How do i get them off her?”, so i stopped, and turned around really quickly, and told Ushi to go “straight on!”. She wouldn’t move, and I could hear the dogs coming still. Thankfully, there was a car that had just pulled up (the owners of the house maybe), and I asked them where the dogs were. I was that disorientated that I was in a driveway lol. I asked them a couple of times if the dogs were locked in, and one of the men that was in the car said that he was positive that the dogs were locked behind a gate. I thanked them, and went on my way. Ushi was really distracted by this point, and rushed by the gate. I slowed her down, telling her it was alright, and to “steady”. I think my reaction didn’t help much either. How do I deal with something like that if it happens again? I don’t want to panick all the time.

I got home again, and Ushi has no problem finding the house now, which is good. I just chilled for the rest of the day.

We discovered last night that Ushi was a little madam and was digging in the garden. I have just kept her on the lead at the moment, as i don’t want her running round the garden, and since she is digging, i want to know why she is doing it. We have filled in the hole, but i don’t want to keep her on the lead all the time for spending. Any suggestions as to why she could be digging and how to stop it? I will talk to the instructors on Friday as they are coming to take me to the vets, for Ushi’s monthly weigh in and all.

I read the information I got from my qualification pack, and although I know alot of it, seeing it written down was like jesus! I was exhausted after reading it! I need to get the second part of the third section, as they only gave me the first part, and the other part is quite big I think. It has alot of useful information in it, such as how to deal with fireworks, and dog attacks and stuff. Very useful indeed!

I still can’t quite believe that I am qualified! I thought that because of Monday and Tuesday that I wouldn’t qualify for at least a week!

I will let you all know how tomorrow goes.


2 Comments on “Final Day Of Home Training”

  1. Carin says:

    Well there ya go, ya did it!As for the yappy muts, I know it's hard, but try to be calm, and use your own voice to put them in their place. If you look in their direction and they are loose, and you give them a firm loud "no!" sometimes that's all you have to do. Maybe stomp a foot if they're getting close. If you do find out they are behind a gate, but your pooch is distracted, maybe do some sits and downs to get her focus back on you.I find it interesting that they discourage spending on leash, because that's how we do it all the time over here. I figure how else is a blink going to find the land mines, shall we say? I don't know how to prevent digging in the garden except having someone watch her spend and telling her no when she starts to root.


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