Cracked The Trains…Sort Of

Remember
last year
I met up with
Jeniffer And OJ
Well I mentioned that on the way back we had a little bit of an incident where poor little Ushi nearly fell down between the train and the platform? Well i’ve been doing some work when me and my dad and sis have gone up to Belfast. (I know that sounds dramatic but that was what happened).

Anyway we started going up to Belfast a couple of months ago and I decided to meet up with a friend while we were there. The first time we tackled the trains again with Ushi she rushed a little getting on and off. Once she was on she lay down straight away. So i would have given her a treat each time she lay down and loads of praise both on and off. I wanted her to know that although she had a nasty experience, trains weren’t big scarey evil things.

It seemed to work, with her tail wagging as the train pulled in and rushing less and less. I thought we had cracked it and was going to post today after a couple of good days so as not to jinx it, but unfortunately it didn’t go the way i had planned.

This morning we had one of the more newer trains. (I think because of the ollympics, there are more moddern versions of the new trains that have been in place for the last couple of years). The only difference between these trains is the announcements are done in a different voice and they are slightly faster. (I think the very old trains which we came across last year are done away with now).

I decided not to give Ushi any treats today and just praise her again for calmly getting on and off. She was grand. The ramp to help wheelchair users on and off was put on when we got to Belfast. I decided to use this since it was still up. I have an awful awful habbit of taking a huge step both getting on and off the train which no doubt affects Ushi. I tend to overcompensate with it. Anyway i used the ramp and for some reason didn’t know if it would go all the way to the platform. It did and i didn’t have to worry about anything! Ushi got down off it grand too. So that was totally awesome.

So we had a good day and when we were coming back, again it was the newist trains. There was about a two or three centimetre gap more than usual for the new trains. It was enough to panick Ushi a little and her tail was down and she made no advancement towards the step. It wouldn’t have been enough for her to fall down but it still made her a little wary. So my dad lifted her on and my sister held the lead until i got on. So we praised quite a bit once she lay down which she did immediatly. The conductor then came up to me and asked if i needed any assistance. I thanked him and said i was grand because my dad was there. We explained about getting on and asked if there was a slightly bigger gap. He said that these trains were slightly different and the platforms had been modified for the trains a couple of years ago. He said though that the best thing i could do was to get her confidence up by using them, and that he understands that the dogs are trained but getting her confidence back up would be the best. I was so glad he understood! We were grand getting off again.

I normally wouldn’t have used the ramp at all, feeling that i didn’t need it. I might have to rethink that one! I think that i should be entitled to use it if i need to.

For now though i am going to only use it if the gap is a bit wide. When i do the trains on my own, i would probably use the ramp for my own security but not sure yet.

So we kind of took a little step back, but most of our trips in the last couple of months have been positive getting on and off so i think that is good.

So let’s hope that she is confident the next time. I must try not to overcompensate stepping on and off though! I would appreciate any hints for that.

I’m sure we’ll get there though and it’ll just take time.

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2 Comments on “Cracked The Trains…Sort Of”

  1. Nadja Öberg says:

    BS"DOh, such an awful experience for Ushi. That would scare everyone I think. The only thing you can do is to use the train and be confident, calm and positive. Our dogs are reading our bodies and minds. I have no problems using the trains and it is such a freedom to work Hera during that task, I would never be confident to use the train and buses with only the white stick. Good luck!Kind regards,Nadja

  2. Terri says:

    hey, how were you taught to use trains? maybe ask guide dogs again if you can have some re training


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