This Time Last Year…"You’re Not Gonna Break Her"

We were just having a wonderful walk this morning, when Ushi decided to have a good sniff at a lamp post. You can really tell that it’s Autumn. I asked about her sniffing on Twitter and unfortunately alot of dogs apparently play up a bit when the seasons change. So i’ve just been using “No” and “Leave it” quite alot lol. I was thinking about using my halty, but i’ll see how she goes.

Last year, the phrase “You’re not gonna break her” was used quite alot over class. I’ll explain later why that was used.

We had

quite a packed day

Last year. We started doing two walks a day. I wasn’t standing up to my hand though on our first walk, so I got a bit of a brush with a bin. I’ll explain later on what you do if you are brushed into something on a walk. The reason why I lagged behind was that i thought i was going to fall off the kerb lol. When i think about it now it was really stupid, but i was still learning at that stage.

We met the local

Dog care and welfare advisor

Who is basically the person you contact if your dog needs something like an X ray, for example, or something that isn’t routinely done. This is to make sure that things aren’t being done just for the sake of it. We get our vet bills payed for, and the invoices would go to the dog care and welfare advisor. We have what’s called a “health book” which basically has a record of your dog, and you take it every time you go to the vet.

We also learnt how to groom our dogs. This helps the dog to look presentable, and it also is a good time to bond with your dog. This is where the phrase that i mentioned earlier comes in. I was so worried in case i leaned too hard with the brushes that we got, or in case i was too rough or anything. They had to tell me at one point that it was okay to lean a bit harder! We got given a Zoom groom, which basically loosens up all the dead hair, and it has little rubber spikes which massage the dogs skin. You can’t hurt the dog with this. We also got a comb, which removes some of the dead hair that has come to the surface of the dogs coat. You hold this against the dogs skin, like you would if you were spreading butter. This is because the teeth of the comb can be quite uncomfortable if you use it straight up and down. We got a Dandy brush which basically gets rid of any stray hairs. Finally we use a leather shammy which gives a nice shine to the coat. For all these products you brush the way the hair grows.

I usually groom Ushi every two to three days. She is quite a short haired dog. I must admit that it’s hard to get motivated sometimes to actually groom her. But I tell myself that the longer i leave it, the longer it’ll take to do when i finally do get round to it, she tends to scratch more the longer I leave her, she doesn’t look as nice, and leaves more hair behind her. The main reason is that it takes longer to do the longer i leave it though.

I did used to enjoy the grooming, and do enjoy it when I start, but somehow i’ve lost the motivation for it. My 8 year old brother used to help me, but even he’s got bored.

When Ushi is being groomed, she’ll really get comfortable. We weren’t told to make the dogs stand or anything. On class we used a grooming table, but now i just groom her on the floor. We kept them on lead on class, but she has nothing on when grooming here at home.

While alot of guide dog owners are satisfied with the things we got for grooming on class, some also have what is called a

Furminator

Which is like a different type of comb. It gets rid of much more hair. I use it once a month roughly, along with my other grooming things.

We also learnt how to put our harnesses on. Even that seemed complicated at the time, but now it is just second nature.

We also learnt what the “guiding road” was. This is the flow of traffic alongside the pavement you are travelling on. It is either on your left or right. It is used to orientate you. At each down kerb, if you change direction you are changing your straight line which the dog is following, so this means you follow a new “guiding road”.

So it was quite a busy day! Sorry this post is so long. I’m not sure what we did on the 5th day but i’ve been re reading my entries so i’ll no doubt find out.

*I had actually posted this earlier but it didn’t post for some reason. Hopefully this is it now.

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