New Route, And Getting Lost!

I was going to be learning a new route yesterday, but my instructor was sick. I went out in the morning anyway for our usual walk.

Everything and anything had to be a distraction for Ushi. First it was a little dog, and she went round me in a circle while I tried to control her. She got a major correction for not obeying me, and for being so wild!

We then went on, and I don’t have a clue what distracted her next. I told her just to “get on with it”, but I think one of her paws got stuck under my foot as I stepped. (She was still distracted but I was trying to get her going again). She gave a massive yelp. I felt a bit guilty, but at the end of the day, she shouldn’t have been so distracted!

She was a little distracted near the end of the route, but not as wild. I don’t know what was wrong at all with her. It had been rather stormy the night before, so that could have done it.

Today I was nakard for some reason. I had to stay up though since my instructor was coming today.

I decided to do a walk first, just to tire Ushi out a bit before going into the shopping centre and all. I wished I hadn’t!

On our route, there is this path with grass on our right. It is part of the main route to get to basically anywhere from our estate. Normally we do it grand, but something small must have distracted her slightly. There are apparently a couple of paths that go around the grassy part up to near some flats. The next thing I knew, I was up near those flats! There was nobody there to ask, or no traffic to orientate me! So I kept getting Ushi to go back, and to find a kerb, but there just seemed to be more grass. I eventually called my mum and explained the situation. She knew roughly where I was, so I said that I would try and work it out until she came to get me (luckily we live pritty near the grass part which is good). I tried to get a bit further on on the path I was on which was really narrow. There was grass on my left, but there was also a tree. I ended up going over the grass, until I felt the path again on my left. This was a good sign. And I could also hear traffic! That sounded bliss! I turned around towards it, and by this point, my mum was calling to me. I just had to go straight on, and there I was, back at the kerb I needed to be at in the first place! Thank god for mobile phones!! I don’t know what the problem was, but I thought that it was good that this has been the first time I have really really really got lost. It was still bad though! I didn’t even know those other paths existed!

So I went off to the shop as usual. Well I hadn’t been there for over a week. I don’t like going in there too often, since I hardly buy anything! It’s just a little corner shop type thing though so I suppose that’s good.

When I was coming home though, I must have corrected too hard, because the little identification disk that Ushi has attached to her collar came off! Luckily a nice kind man came to my rescue and gave me it.

I got home just in time to find my instructor waiting! She had called about 5 minutes before but I wasn’t back yet.

I explained to the instructor about getting lost, and she said that it was good that I was able to get home again, and that I didn’t panick! I panicked a bit, but nothing majorly.

We decided to leave Ushi at home for the first familiarisation of the new route. We didn’t want to confuse her by doing it wrong constantly. My instructor also gave me a ring with my identification disk for Ushi’s collar which was good.

We parked up at the shop, and then first of all walked the route on the instructors arm, then on the short handle. The route is quite simple really. You go straight down from the shop, and you come to a rounded kerb at the bottom, where there is a Zebra crossing. You then outdent on the up kerb, and you are on a street with loads of bollards and stuff. You then come to a big slope wwhich is the entrance to an alley way. It has no deffinete down kerb. You then go straight on, then two right turns, and then straight for a bit, then “find the shops”. I found a coffee shop so that if i am meeting someone, for example, we can go there.

The instructor says that I can get my dad to show me where other shops are, so that if I am out with him, and I take Ushi, I can work her. She says that they want to give me my freedom, it’s just a case of me getting more confident. I explained to her about our
Little shopping issue
And she suggested that I don’t work her around shops for now if I think she hasn’t gone. She says that it’s even embarrassing for her when she is training dogs. I’m glad it wasn’t just me!

I got dropped off at my house for a bit, before the instructor was going to return so that we could try the route with Ushi.

I have to say she worked like a total champ! She found the shop first time, and was able to pay attention to me even though there was all those people! The instructor says it doesn’t matter if a place has a few people. I was worried in case you couldn’t work a dog in a crowd of people lol. She said that there wouldn’t be very many guide dogs if they couldn’t work with people!

We went back to the house after that. My instructor says that I have really improved in my confidence. She says that if she had said to me couple of weeks ago that we would be in a shopping centre, I would have probably not liked it! I had to agree! Everything seems so much like second nature now. I think that’s a good thing!

My instructor is coming back on Thursday and Friday. She said that tomorrow I can walk the route with dad if I want, but i’ll see how he feels. I sort of want to try it myself, but think i’ll wait for a bit just in case something horrible goes wrong lol.

I hope I don’t get lost tomorrow! I’m so glad that i’m learning something new! Ushi’s tail was wagging loads today. It wags very gently on our other routes, but today it was really going! That was a good sign.

When we were in the car, I said about putting on the smaller collar. The instructor says that is more effective. She says that if you are to jerk back, but not release, it chokes the dog, and toughens their neck or something. What does that mean? I always when correcting just flick and release. They say it’s more effective that way.

I can’t wait to go further! I’m so pleased that I am doing more routes!

16 Comments on “New Route, And Getting Lost!”

  1. VeredRoyz says:

    BS"DIt's so inspiring to read your blog! I'm also blind and I've thought about getting a guide dog since I was little but the time hasn't felt right. But it's maybe time to begin that journey now!

  2. Torie says:

    Hey. Thank you so much. I'm glad I could enspire you! I mainly write for my record, but it's always nice to get more readers! The more the marier, as they say.I would be glad to help in any way. If you click on the "guide dog label of this post, you will see everything from now to the very start of my guide dog journey. Keep reading, and good luck if you do apply for a dog!Where are you by the way? I mean UK or elsewhere?Take care, and thanks for the comment!

  3. VeredRoyz says:

    BS"DHello Torie,It's good to be inspired, I've thought about it so long but I've always thought: "I can wait some more months." But I don't think it's a good strategy anymore. I'm up in the north, in Sweden if we'll be exact. Cold, dark and snowy right now, I wish it was summer! I'll keep reading anyhow.xx

  4. Jen says:

    You have to admit, its much better getting lost with a dog than a cane! At least you have company!You should get her familiar being in busy situations so when you work in them it will be easier for both of you. Sometimes OJ does great in crowds, other times he's majorly distracted!

  5. Terri says:

    i agree from working Uma in london she's really good with crowds and busy conditions. where i live is a bit busy but some times it can get very busy as i live right in the town cenre, with lots going and lots of things for Uma to avoid and as i dont like crowds i like that Uma can work her way through them with little encouragment from me.

  6. Torie says:

    The instructor says that Ushi loves busier conditions, and that she is less likely to get distracted. Yesterday it was raining, and she dawdled along, then when we got near the shops, she kind of had a little bounce in her step. I was evil though when we got home. I didn't know the exact amount of food for Ushi, and wanted to make sure i wasn't giving her too much. We poured it into the tin I use, and I heard Ushi give a little wine. I had my bedroom door closed so that she couldn't come out and try and eat the food. When I came in with the empty tins, she did that little excited jump that she does when it's feeding time! Poor girl. Xxx.

  7. Carin says:

    Ah, getting lost is a good thing. It teaches you more about your environment than you would learn by doing it right all the time.Good job.

  8. Ro says:

    Well, now you're officially initiated. Poop in public and getting lost, whoo hoo! 😉 Do you have a braille compass? I do, it's just a little square thing with a lid you open after you point it in a direction. Dave put a bump dot where north is so it's easier to feel. I haven't needed to use it yet, but I didn't have it on me when I got lost and man did I wish I'd had it. It's good for when you can't hear traffic. My braille compass is my GPS. 😉

  9. Torie says:

    I used a braille compass once before, but I think it was broke. It kept moving away from north when you stood still. Where would you get one? Never really thought of having one.My instructor says that it was good too, and that the important thing was that I problem solved. I am learning new things every day. Am planning to go on a spoil fest tomorrow with her lol. Plus think she is bored of one of her toys as she doesn't really bother with it. Xxx

  10. Ro says:

    Yeah sometimes I wonder about my compass. It never moves while it's open, but sometimes it doesn't seem right. Although I mostly play with it in the van so I might just be second guessing the compass lol. Not sure where you'd get one. My O & M gave it to me when I first started working with him. Jayden gets bored of toys too unless he hasn't seen it in awhile, then he goes nuts again. Just give her variety and she'll go back to it. 🙂

  11. Torie says:

    Well I got her a kong and another rubber thing that you throw. They seem to be a success! I haven't put anything in the kong yet though. It's a large one so food might fall out of it? Xxx.

  12. Ro says:

    I use the large one with Jayden. At dinner time, I take a handful of food from his bowl, put it in a dish and add some water. A few hours later the food is all ballooned and mushy. I mush it in the Kong and freeze it. Jayden loooooves it!

  13. Torie says:

    I just threw the kong there up and down the stairs, and she had a ball! Put some of her food in it, and it did indeed fall out, so maybe i'll try and freeze it next time!She is all tired out now lol. Playing really does take it out of you! She is rolling it around the floor and all. There is nothing in it, but she is just lying eating it now. Xxx.

  14. Terri says:

    freezing the food is good for the summer, you cant really put their food in the kong it does fall out so somehting like marmite or dairlee stays in quite nicely. Its messy though just to warn you

  15. Michelle says:

    Hi Tori, glad to hear that you and Ushi are working out. Slowly but surely is better than not at all haha! Speaking of corrections, I do flick and release too, but when Troy gets a major correction where I pull the leash back or up and hold for a second, he knows I mean business and has a think about why he's in so much trouble. It only happens when he's majorly excited and forgets to be a focused guide dog, but I can admit he's getting better. When he pulls the leash and I pull back, he actually tries to calm himself down now, which he didn't used to. And he needs fewer harsh corrections now. So he's on the uphill slope with his maturity and remembering the guide dog etiquet rules.Also have you ever had someone curse you for not letting them pet your dog? Yesterday someone asked me if she could pet Troy, I said no and explained why. So she said "Ok, ok ok shut up – stop talking fucking shit!" Probably not exact quote, but almost. And, I'm not Kidding! It was the worst persecution I've ever had because of not letting people pat Troy in harness. Absolutely horrible, but I didn't how it to her. She was nasty to my friend who was with me too, totally shocking. She spoke to my friend afterwards, but not to me – she spoke to my friend when I was buying my lunch. She knows my friend, but not as well as I know her. I was just wondering if you've had a similar experience, and I hope it doesn't hapen again, because if it does, I'll shout at her to quit being nasty. I was in a shopping centre too, and everyone else didn't need a drunk lady telling me and my friend off just because she couldn't get her own way, then walking off cussing and being downright low-life and horrible.On a positive note, Troy's still ok, stressed a little, but got over it quickly. He's more forgiving than I am lol! I'm over that incident today, but the memory of it is still vivid. I'm actually lucky I've got an easy-going guide dog, otherwise I don't have a clue how he would have reacted. In that regard, the nasty drunk lady was lucky too, because if it was any other dog who saw and heard her nasty behaviour, she'd have had her hand bitten off. Oh well, one bad apple can't hurt, the next one had better be lucky to run off before I give him/her a good yelling at haha lol.Take care and you and Ushi keep it up!Michelle

  16. Torie says:

    Michelle I have never had anyone trying to pet Ushi when I am working her. Yet anyway! Usually when i know there are people in front, I tell Ushi to "Pay attention!" in a firm oice. I think it stops alot of people coming near her as they know she is working.I am sorry to hear about that woman. That is just rude I feel. How would she like it if you were asking to say hi to her kid? Or if you were trying to tell it off? I bet she wouldn't be too happy!Take care, and don't let it get to you. Xxx.

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