Final Day Of Guide Dog Class

These two weeks have just flown in. It seems like months since we have been home lol.

While Ushi was eating her morning food, I started to take some of the stuff into the lounge that belonged to guide dogs. These were things like the talking clock they had put in our bedrooms, a funky new liquid level indicator which had a magnet on the back, and vibrated. (I was tempted to make that a sto away in my bag lol, but thought that they might notice). I also braught in a CD player, and a packet of paper towels that we had been given too. I also braught out all my bags, so that they could just be put in the car.

At breakfast, we said to everyone about how much we enjoyed their service (especially their disability awareness training which guide dogs had provided for them I think. It was good that they put that into practice!). We didn’t know how we would manage going back to our meals at home after being spoilt at the hotel! They said that we were “welcome back at any time” which was nice too.

We went upstairs to finish the rest of our packing.

When we came into the lounge, the instructors were like “Oh bad news torie, we have to stay another week.” Which I thought was cool!!! They were only joking though. We gave back our cards and that, and just sat for a while and chilled until it was about half 9.

I said good bye to the other client, and gave him a hug. We had said that we would all keep in touch, which was good.

Me, my instructor and one doggy headed up the road then shortly afterwards. We did a walk first before we headed for home. My instructor kept asking me if i wanted to do yesterdays walk, which I said no, and that I would rather do another walk. She kept trying to coinvince me by saying that yesterdays walk was brilliant, and the other walk had more distractions on it. I stood my ground though, and explained that I wanted to end on a high, and didn’t want to get upset again. So it was the second walk that we eventually agreed on.

It was a good walk, and Yes, I did end on a high, which was good. The instructor said that I could have done the other walk, and would have coped with it no problem. We eventually agreed to disagree lol.

We called at a cash point so that I could get money for my dog bed, bowls and squeaky toy. We also decided to get some nibbles for going up the road.

We just chatted about everything really in the car, from how class went, to just more general things, and being at home.

At about 11 o’clock or so, we arrived home. We got me and all my gear in first before bringing Ushi in. My little brother took an instant liking to her, which was good. We got her to spend in the garden, before mixing the two dogs.

We mixed them both on lead first, as we would then have control of them. Well our current dog was very very very very boysterous, and Ushi didn’t really want to bother with it. We then thought that maybe they should meet off lead, and then they might be calmer. That was not successful either, as Ushi just ran and hid. She then came up to me and really leaned into me.

We got the other dog in the house, before discussing what to do. They recommended that we keep the two dogs separate, at least for the weekend anyway, because our other dog was quite hyper, and was very very dominant towards Ushi. Basically, I would text mum each time I wanted to take her to spend, so that they could get our other dog in the living room or where ever. I also decided to feed upstairs, which I am still doing lol.

After the stress of introducing the two dogs, we went into the living room to chill for a bit. Ushi was very fixed on the guinny pigs lol. They kept squeaking, and she kept going over and going “what are they” lol.

I took Ushi upstairs after that, and set her bed down and water down. My instructor left shortly after this, when we were settled. She was coming out on Monday anyway as she was going to do the “home training”.

It felt very strange being at home. I laid down the ground rules right from the start, telling them the food had to be lifted, and that I tookmost of the responsibility. Everyone seemed cool with it. The only thing that I have le mum do is to lift up Ushi’s businesses, as she would be doing the other dogs anyway. I do everything else though.

I felt a bit jealous though when everyone else was playing with her, and was thinking that the bonding wouldn’t be that good with me and her. I wasn’t massively jealous though.

I just chilled for the weekend and made sure that Ushi spent and all. I only left her in the house for an hour on her own on Sunday, but that was because I was bored.

It was actually easier than I thought being at home. I was expecting it to be really hard, but Ushi fits right in!

Thank you so much to the instructors over class. Also thanks to the other clients who were great!!!

The real work starts on Monday, including the instructors coming out to see what can be done with Ushi and our pet dog.

I will write the “home training” part tomorrow, that is if you aren’t all bored!!! Thanks again so much for reading, and I really appreciated the comments. You all reassured me no end!!! Thank you!

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11th Day Of Guide Dog Class

I figured I’d write this day now, and then I can go back and write the other days.

It was up at 7 o’clock as usual, to prepare for the day, and Ushi’s half 7 feeding and watering. I still can’t believe that the weeks have flown in so quickly! Hard to believe that it is our last night here!

We headed down for breakfast again at 8 o’clock. We had come up with an idea latst night. The restaurant manager kept asking us throughout the week when we were bringing our dogs down for him to see. We came up with the idea that we wouldn’t take the dogs into the restaurant itself, but would take the dogs to the door so that he could see them. We had breakfast first. The only reason we didn’t take the dogs in was because we hadn’t learnt how to do that, and didn’t want to disappoint the instructors lol.

I had my usual for breakfast, which was cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. We then treated ourselves to a lovely cup of tea.

After we got ready, we braught the dogs down. We went down one at a time. It was the least we could do for the restaurant manager, without getting into bother with our instructors. Not that we would have, of course.

Well Ushi sat quietly the whole time while she was being fussed over. We chatted for ages just about how good she was and all. Her tail was wagging away, which is always good! Apparently, she kept looking at me the whole time too, just watching me.

After that, I headed back up to my room to get ready for the day. Again, I wasn’t going out until about half 10, so I just chilled for a while after speaking to the instructors just to be sociable.

After they had gone, I did a session of the basic obedience. Again, she did fabulously.

After this, I just chilled in my room, and listened to the radio.

I took Ushi out to spend at about half 10, before going out on our first walk of the day. She hadn’t done anything then, so I just went on the walk anyway.

The walk went rather well. I didn’t have to correct her that harshly which was good. There was one point where we had to take her harness off, as I was being shown how to do a good harness correction, and we didn’t want her to feel like she was being corrected when she had done nothing wrong. Basically, you push the handle forward, and really jerk back. It is basically as effective as a lead correction. You would do it if she just wasn’t paying attention, or just being a madam. You could even do it if she wasn’t going at your speed, and was pulling alot. You would just say “steady” in a really harsh voice.

We walked on after that just as normal.

At one point, we went into a caffe, to practice what you would do when going into a coffee shop, or anywhere where you wanted her under a table. I worked her along the street, and then told her “In and find the door”. I then dropped my handle, and took my instructors arm. When we got to our table, I took off her harness, (Ushi’s, that is lol) and sat down on the bench. I then told her to “come”, and then told her to “down” and she lay right down. I asked why you would take the harness off, and apparently it is just to make her settle more quickly. You keep a hold of the lead though. You can eat away as you normally would in a coffee shop, so that is good.

After we had finished our drinks, the instructor went up to pay. She said I could wait until she came back to get Ushi’s harness on, depending on how confident I felt. I thought I would give it a shot. I told Ushi to “Upstand” which got her into a standing position. I then got her out by saying “come” and got her to “wait” while I got her harness on. I then turned round to face the direction of the door, and told her “forward” and “up to the door”. I then got her straight up to the step, as she treated it like a kerb. I then told her forward, and could either get her to sit as soon as she stepped off the step, and then done a right or left turn, but to save time, It is just as easy to walk on a couple of steps, and then tell her “In” and “find the way”. She was grand. She walked along quite nicely, until we were nearly back to the car. She suddenly stopped in the middle of the pavement, and sat. My instructor said that she was trying to spend. We didn’t want her doing that at all, since I had given her plenty of time to go before the walk. We got her to lie down, thankfully before she had done anything. We waited for a minute before moving off again. I asked the instructor how she knew that she was going to spend, and the way she was sitting just told her. Apparently she was pulling slightly to the side kerb to go, which is where they will go if they need to go out on a walk, but I just thought she was going around an obsticle. When we had her lie down for a few minutes, she was grand. It wasn’t that far from the car thankfully. I asked if she would go in the car, but she won’t go where she lies apparently, and they don’t actually like doing it out in the street.

It was lunch after this. My instructor put Ushi in the spending pen to see if she would go, but she didn’t.

A recently qualified Guide dog mobility instructor joined us for lunch. She just wanted to see what the hotel was like for whenever she would be doing classes.

After lunch, we were all going out together, as we would be doing a free run afterwards. We were held up though from going by a certain madam. I had to have a massive play with her and make her run around the room, just to make her get the urge to actually go whenever we took her out again to spend. Eventually she did go though, so that was a relief, as I knew that she wouldn’t go on the walk. I slipped into get her play collar, and wrapped it in a paper towel, so that she wouldn’t hear it.

We were going to do a walk first. I sat in the car for a while while the other two clients went. It was my turn next.

First of all, whenever we set off, I could feel a huge obsticle in front of me. I could just sense a solid object. I was really hesitant to go, but they just told me to appear confident, so that she would think I was, so that she wouldn’t lose confidence. Whenever I hesitated, she was more likely to get distracted. So we walked on. Everything went well, apart from at that obsticle.

I got really hung up on that fact, as I could hear the instructors talking behind me whenever I hesitated. I thought that they were saying something really bad lol. As soon as I got back to the car, I burst into tears, as I thought that because I hesitated, it could have really bad implications for me. I explained that I wanted to get everything right and all. The instructor was great. She explained that I can always slow Ushi down, and tell her to “wait” until I catch my breath. She said that Ushi’s job was to walk me around obsticles, and that It wasn’t my fault that she was a bit stubborn at times. She also said how good I was, and that I listened to every instruction. I eventually cheered up until I got to where we were going to free run the dogs. I just burst into tears again, because on Sunday when we took the dogs, she went really mad, and I found it really hard to control her. My instructor was going to put a “halty” on her, which is like a little thing that goes over her nose, to stop her pulling. She asked if I wanted to go free running, and I said yes. I wanted to do it because I enjoyed it, and that I just found it really relaxing. The instructor also said that I had only been working with her for a week, so not to be too hard on myself.

Once I had composed myself, we got out of the car. The other instructor came over and gave me a hug and all. I thought I was going to start crying again lol.

We walked along to the park, and Ushi was grand. It took us about 10 minutes to get into the park on Sunday, but she just walked nicely even though the other client was in front of me. I liked it alot! She walked nicely because we had the “Halty” on her, that I mentioned the other day.

We spent a good hour roughly at the park. The dogs had a wonderful time, and I found myself brightening up too.

We got back to the car, and instead of putting the dogs in the boot, we learnt how to get in and out of cars with the dogs. Basically, you open the door, and put your right leg and bum in first. You tell the dog to “wait” as you are getting in. You keep your left leg outside the car, and encourage the dog to “come”. You then get your left leg in behind her, and encourage her to “sit”. That is all you do. When getting out, you would put your left leg out first, while telling the dog to wait. You would then tell the dog to “come” and wait as you got out. That would again be all you would do.

I learnt that if you go for a free run, you must wait at least two hours before you feed her, as if you feed her straight away, then her stomach can twist, which can be fatal. You have to wait two hours after feeding her too before a free run.

When we got back to the hotel, I stuck her in my room, and then went down to the lounge for a chill. The instructors were packing some of the stuff away that they had braught with them. They gave me my “health book” and a fleese for her to lie on during the day, like down stairs, or at college or something. It is just like a mat. They said to let her lie on it during the day, or have it as an option as well as her bed.

I just had dinner, which again was codd, chips and mushy peas, followed by a chocolate fudge cake. We both were ready to bust after that lol.

I fed Ushi and spent her, and have been just sitting in my room since really writing todays blog. Hard to believe that It is our last night! I really really really enjoyed the company and craic, and the awesomeness of the district team!

We are all going home tomorrow morning at about half 9. We might do a walk first though.

I thought I would write this now, and then write the other days later. I am going to pack up the computer now. I will save this in draft until I post the other days, as it might be confusing then. I have really enjoyed class, and hope you have enjoyed reading my experiences too. Sorry if this was boring. I will post tomorrows half day tomorrow!!!


10th Day Of Guide Dog Class

We’re deffinetly on the “home straight” now. Hard to believe!! It was another nice morning today as I took Ushi out for her first spending opportunity of the day.

Again, I had cornflakes with an orange juice for breakfast, which was lovely. We had the pleasure of listening to a bit of opera while we ate, which was different, but nice and relaxing.

Again, I wasn’t needed until about 11 o’clock, so I just chilled again, and had a doze. One of the “house keeping” staff came in just before I had a doze and just chatted for a while to me as they changed my bedding and got me fresh towels. It was gorgious just lying there afterwards.

I didn’t have Ushi for the morning though, as she was getting her routine weighing, that all the dogs get before they go home after class. The room felt really empty while she was away, so I just had that doze.

It was weird not having to take Ushi out to spend at about 11 o’clock though.

My instructor was going to meet us down where our walk was going to be, so the other instructor came and got me.

I found out what her weight is (Ushi’s, not the instructors!), and it is 29 Kilograms, which apparently is well within her normal weight which is good. Because Ushi was rather distracted over the past couple of days, we decided to try something around her nose called a “Halty”. This is like a little strip that clips onto the collar, and you put the lead on the collar I think. It is sort of just like part of a horses bridle. It is just a strip of cloth that goes over her nose. The only thing you have to be careful with is that you don’t pull as hard when correcting, and when you use the harness, you lengthen the lead a bit to give her more room when she has it on.

We put it on for her first walk, but she would hardly move lol, so we took it off again. She went at her normal speed after that.

We did some more “traffic training”, and went into a busier area with lots of shops and people. There was one point where we stopped at a rounded kerb. Well I missed it, so got Ushi to come back so that we could re do it. I could sense that there was a bin to my right which was were we were going, so I was a bit hesitant. I thought that it would have been an “off kerb” obsticle, but they said that you don’t want to be doing them unless you really need to. So I just got her to go right, and then told her “over” by pointing m arm to the left and saying “over”, and then “up to the kerb”. If we had kept going right on down the street, and didn’t find the kerb so close to the bins, we would have been way way way down the street lol.

It was a good walk, apart from me missing that kerb.

It was off for lunch after this. I had a chicken sandwich again and a glass of orrange juice.

I wasn’t needed until about 3 o’clock again, so just chilled again.

We did a similar walk to the morning, only we didn’t do “traffic training”. Just business and people. We also had to “find” some crossings, and that was really all. Also just making sure I stopped when Ushi stopped.

It was quite a good walk again, and only needed to be told when to turn which was good.

It was about 5 o’clock when we got back. We just chilled until about half 5 for evening spending.

I decided to have battered chicken goosions and chips for dinner tonight. I had a chocolate fudge cake and ice cream again which was gorgious.

We had our nightly chats after dinner.

I took Ushi out for her last spend, and when she came back in, I had to give her a massive correction. There are stairs just as you come in from where the spending pen is. She rushed over to them, and her head was down. She normally wouldn’t do that. I stood there and gave her a big chuck back on the lead, and told her “No” and “leave it”. We then walked back to our room. I felt terrible. As soon as we got into the room, she just went and lay on her bed. That made me feel even worse lol. I stroked her for a while after a bit, and she was grand. I think she was just having a huff though lol.

I think I just felt worse than she did lol.

She didn’t rush or sniff after that though which was good.

I can’t believe it’s the last full day tomorrow.


9th Day Of Guide Dog Class

I didn’t feel as tired this morning as I did yesterday morning.&bsp; I think that early night helped heaps.

Up at the break of day again, so that we could prepare for the day, and get the food ready for morning feeding.

It seemed like a glorious morning when I took Ushi out to spend, which was great after yesterday!

I went down for breakfast again at about 8 o’clock.  On our way down, we came across a misterious sofa parked in our path.  I think I might have veered a bit though, as it was kind of behind the door lol.  Oops.  Oh well.  We got to the restaurant anyway which was good.

I wasn’t needed until about 11 again, so decided to do an obedience session with Ushi.  She did great, and we walked almost up to reception, with me getting her to sit ocasionally along the way.  She was grand, which was good.  We just headed back to our room after that, and waited until about 10 minutes to 11, where I took Ushi out again for her spend before the walk.

We just did the same as yesterday really. I found it a bit more busier this morning though. It went relatively straight forward, apart from me needing to point out a couple of obsticles, telling her to “watch” as we passed them. This was just to make sure she didn’t get away with walking me into something, or brushing me against something.

It felt like there were loads of obsticles lol!!! I think there was!!

We headed back to lunch after this.

I just had chicken sandwiches with orrange juice.  Two of the admin staff had popped down, just to see how we were getting on, and have a general chit chat. The woman who writes the facebook page was telling me what a wonderful response it is having, and how everyone seems to love it.  That was great to hear.  She was also telling me that the marketing department are going to use it, and that it has been sent to the chief executive of the whole organisation, as nobody had written a blog about class before, and they apparently liked what they saw!!  I must have been doing something right!!! Lol.  I only started doing it because I was writing on my personal blog anyway!! Who’d have thought that I would have got such a fantastic response!!!

I went up to my room with a little spring in my step after that lol.  I just chilled until about half 2, as I wasn’t needed until then.

When I took her out for her last spend before we would go on our second walk, something rather strange happened. As I was going to get Ushi out of the run, I heard this strange humming noise.  I just loosened the gate of the run, and as soon as i did that, I heard this really loud noise, which sounded like a plane or something. I then heard the noise of helicopter blades. I sort of hugged the gate of the run, and bent down a little. I didn’t fancy getting decapitated!!! Once it was gone, I just stood there for a while wondering what had just happened. Apparently, I found out from my instructors that there was a wedding and they must have hired a helicopter. It was rather funny afterwards!!

 
We learnt something new today.  It was called “traffic training”.  I won’t go into too much detail, as I wouldn’t want to scare anyone who is on class, or who is on the waiting list.  Basically, you tell the dog to go forward when there is a car in front of you on the road.  You are safe because you are on the kerb.  When the dog waits, you praise it, then tell it to go forward again.  It is to teach the dog not to go if there is a car on the road in front of the kerb, which it should do.  This got easier as we did it, although it sounded really really really scarey when it was explained to me!  That is why I am not going into details of it.  I would appreciate if when you comment, you don’t mention too much about “traffic training” if you have already done it.  The last thing I would want would be to scare someone!!
 
We went back to the hotel after that, as it was time for feeding and spending.
 
I decided to have chicken supreme with champ, followed by a bowl of natural yogurt with fruit.  It was nice, only the bowl was one of those really wide bowls at the top, and then it went to like a cup shape at the bottom.  I dug in to get at the fruit, and spilt half of my yogurt!  It was practically only us in the restaurant, which was nice and quiet.
 
We had to make a rather urgent trip to the human spending pen after dinner, before we headed into the lounge for our nightly chat.
 
It was off to bed shortly after that.  It was another good day, even if we did get a little worried about the “traffic training!”.

8th Day Of Guide Dog Class

It was back to the old routine this morning. No sleeping in at all lol. Not that there is when you have a doggy wondering around and around your bed waiting for you to get up! I was woken by a big waggy tale lol. As soon as I got up, Ushi’s tail was wagging away!!!

Breakfast was again at 8 o’clock, and I had cornflakes and orange juice as usual.

I felt unusually tired this morning. I think it was just everything just catching up to me.

I wasn’t needed again this morning until about 11 o’clock, but I always popped in just to say hi. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I mentioned that Ushi still hadn’t actually lay on her bed. My instructor went and got her bed from my room, and really coaxed her up onto it, just to see if she would lie on it for a while, at least. She was talking in a really really silly voice and all lol. Eventually Ushi did lie on her bed, which was good.

I was going to do some obedience when the instructors left, but went back to my room and just lay on my bed. I figured that if i was freshened up, that would be more benificial than doing obedience with her. I didn’t actually sleep, but just lay and listened to the radio. It felt much better when I got up.

I had to eventually get up though, as it was nearly 11 o’clock. I set the alarm for about 10 minutes before I had to get up, just in case the instructors came early. It had started raining a bit when I went out to the spending run though.

We just did more of the same, with some “T junctions” and just rounded kerbs and that. It was good, although right in the middle of the walk, it bucketed down. It was a right pain in the bum.

Ushi didn’t really like it either, as it took her longer to sit, and at one point she had a massive pee in the middle of the pavement lol. I think she was holding it in all the time since it was raining. The instructor just said that you just keep going, and not to make too much of a deal of it. After all, I had given her the opportunity to spend before we left, so she shouldn’t have gone really. I suppose when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go!

We headed for lunch after that. I got changed first though, as it felt like I had wet myself, as it rained that hard. As i was leaving my room, however, I forgot all my cards for my room and the lounge, so after lunch I had to go and get a new card lol.

I had a lovely veggie soup, which really warmed me up.

After lunch, I stopped off at reception to get a new card for my room.

It was still really pelting down when we all got back to the lounge, so we had a choice of going out again for another walk, or staying in and going through the paperwork. We chose the latter option lol. One of the instructors went to the pet shop for us to get us some bowls for feeding and water. We just were borrowing the bowls that they had given us last week though just for the hotel. We just stayed while the other instructor went through the “guide dog owner agreement” which is the contract we will sign once we qualify. We went through each section to make sure that we understood it. By this point, the other instructor had returned with two bowls for each of us, along with a little squeaky toy to attract the dogs attention with. We would never leave this with the dogs, as they could take the squeaker out. I got a big stainless steel food bowl, as well as a small water bowl, which is really easy to transport! I also got a little squeaky elephant lol.

The third client left at about half 2. By about 3 o’clock, it had brightened up a bit, so we decided to go for a walk. We went into a slightly busier area today. They wanted to test our following and how the dogs and us would cope with people. We also learnt how to “find a crossing” and how to accept sighted assistance with a guide dog.

Again, it was quite a good walk. I jokingly said that it wasn’t complicated enough!!! The instructors just said that there was loads of obsticles, and that you won’t have to turn all the time when you are alone walking, and that most routes will only have a couple of turns. I was thinking that because we had learnt the turns, we would have did them loads on a busy route, but they said that you wouldn’t.

I’m so glad it decided to brighten up!

It was back to the hotel for us, where we chilled until evening spending as usual.

We went down for dinner at about 6 o’clock, as usual. I decided to be wild and daring, and have something different for dinner. I had chicken in a honey chili sauce, with egg noodles. It was surprisingly nice! Of course I had a glass of the old orrange juice too. I really enjoyed the company as usual.

We just went up to the lounge after that just to chill and chat really.

After that, we just went to bed. It was rather an early night, I think for both of us. The rain really takes it out of you!!!

Oh, and I used Ushi’s new bowls, and she had no bother with them, which was good. I didn’t think she would, though.


Seventh Day Of Guide Dog Class

Hard to believe that I have been at the hotel a week now!!!

We weren’t going to be collected until about 10 o’clock, so we decided to have breakfast at about half 8. We still had to get up early though for morning feeding and spending.

After breakfast, we all met in the lounge. We had to get our “Play collars” organised, as we were going to take the dogs for a “free run”, which means that they can just be a dog in a park for a while off lead and harness.

We had to put our bells on, and a little disk which basically had something about “Not feeding” the dog. It was like the ring of a keyring, so it was really hard to put everything on. One of the other clients helped me though which was good. We weren’t going to put the collars on yet-as we wanted them in the car, and they needed to be spent before we went. I liked the way on the “play collar” there is like a loittle raised rectangle, so that you know which collar is which, I presume.

We braught a towel with us, as if the dogs got wet they would need to be dried off a bit. We braught our whistles, and a little thing that looked like a film canister, which had treats in it for when they came back to us. It was to encourage them back, so that they would know that coming back was a good thing.

We jumped in the car after that.

When we got to the park, the dogs were super excited! They had been loads of times for a free run, so knew exactly where they were going. It took me about 10 minutes to actually get into the gates of the park, as Ushi was being such a madam. She kept pulling, and I nearly got pulled off my feet! I got her to sit every couple of steps just to calm her down. When we actually got in, we were ready to begin.

It was actually like a wooded area that we went to, rather than an actual “park” with swings and that. We first did an “Obedience” session where we got the dogs to do a “sit wait”. This was where we just got the dogs on a long lead, as if we were doing obedience in the hotel. We walked in front of the dogs, telling them to “wait”, and then we stepped to the left, then “wait” then back to the centre, then to the right, and finally back in beside her.

We were then told to slip the “play collar” on, so that we would hear where the dog was. We then took off the other collar with the lead still attached. Next, was the bit where we had to trust the dogs. We took a step away from them, making sure they “waited”. We then counted to a certain number, before we told the dogs to go and play. We told each person what we were going to count to. We would very it each time, so that the dogs wouldn’t just go if you always got to three, for example. You have to tell them “off you go” quietly, as they might not come back if you shouted it.

While they were running, they still seemed to stay quite close. It is important that you don’t just call them back when the run is finished, as they won’t come back as easily. You have to very it. Like you could do it twice on one walk, and 4 times on another, for example.

To call the dogs back, you just blow the whistle three times, and shout the dogs name. When the dogs are coming towards you, you have to bend your knees, and make sure that your legs are apart. This means that as the dogs are running, they are less likely to knock you over. Also when they are coming towards you, you tell them to “steady” so that if they do knock you over, it won’t be that bad.

One of the clients got knocked onto his bum though, as there were two dogs coming towards him. He was alright though.

When we were coming out of the park, the dogs just walked nice and quietly, and there was no pulling or anything. When we got back to the car, we gave them a good dry off with an old towel.

It was a really nice walk, and we could just chill really, apart from the obedience at the start. I am glad they were better behaved at the end though! I don’t think I could have handled her with all that pulling all the time!

We came back and had the rest of the day free. We got back at about 20 past 12, so just chilled until about 20 to one, when we went down to the restaurant for a carvary. The rehab worker who had stayed a few nights ago took us down, as it was quite busy, and so that she could help us get what we wanted.

For starters, I had a vegetable soup. It was gorgious.

For the main course, I had a lovely piece of chicken, with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, and yorkshire puddings. It was gorgious. I wasn’t sure if i could squeeze in dessert, but somehow I managed it. I had a big bowl of trifle with fresh cream.

It was a nice relaxing lunch. We just took our time eating and chatting. We decided that during lunch we wouldn’t talk about guide dogs. So we were casually eating, when I managed to ask a tiny question about guide dogs. One of the clients was like “Oh, we seem to be drifting onto guide dog talk” lol. There wasn’t anything wrong with talking about guide dogs, we just were relaxing, and I just wanted to know more, as always.

After lunch, the third client just went home, so we both went back to our rooms. The rehab worker also left.

We were allowed visitors, but nobody was able to come up, just because of the time of day it was and all. I was grand though. The time whizzed by. I went down to reception at one point to ask if there was a table booked in the bar for about half 6, as we had decided just to have something light.

Apart form that, I just chilled and relaxed in my room until about half 5, for evening feeding and spending.

I had the old favourite again for dinner-cod, chips and mushy peas. So much for not being able to eat it, as I had first thought.

We just chatted in the lounge for a while, before heading off to our rooms, and for the last spend of the night.

I think we needed that chilled out day, so that we were ready and fresh for the morning. I was surprised at how quickly the day went!

It was brilliant, and good to just relax.


Sixth Day Of Guide Dog Class

There’s no rest for the wicked when you’re on class, which is just the way I like it! It was an early start again, for morning feeding and spending. I completely forggot about the alarm. Well i had set it, but must have dozed off again, because when I next looked at the time, it was 20 past 7 i think. I panicked a bit as I thought this would affect her feeding, but I had 10 minutes before her normal feeding time so that was alright.

Breakfast was again at 8 o’clock, which was gorgious as always.

I chilled again until about half 10, which was good. My friend phoned me, so we had a great gab until it was time for me to take Ushi out for her spending opportunity before we went out on our first walk of the day.

We were doing “off kerb” obsticles today. The instructors had braught “artificial obsticles” just to practice doing them. Basically, the dog will stop if there is an obsticle in front of her that she couldn’t get us both through. This could be a bin, or just loads of people. The dog will bring you to the “side kerb” which is the kerb that is sort of to the right or left of you. You would either go right or left depending on where the obsticle was. If she still couldn’t get through, she would then bring you back to the “side kerb”. You would then tell her “forward”, and take a couple of steps, then tell her “over” and “find the step”, or “in and find the step” depending on where the obsticle was. You can then carry on on your way. We did a couple of them, and it got easier the more we did them.

Sometimes an obsticle could be a crowd of people standing having a chat on the pavement. You would approach it the same way, but as you told the dog “forward” and “over or in” the obsticle could have gone away. This is called a “moving obsticle”. We also covered what would happen if, for example, there was a hedge on your left, and a car on your right and something possibly in front of you, that this is called a “trap obsticle”. You would do a “back” turn, and to to the “side kerb”. You would then do it as if it was an “Off kerb” obsticle. I think this is right anyway. All these obsticles got easier as they went on.

There was one point though where there was a cat across the road. She really focused on that cat, and I couldn’t get her to move forward. My instructor had a cross word with her though, and she went on fine. My instructor just needed to let her know that that was unacceptable, as my attempts weren’t really working. It was a really harsh correction she had to give, and I thought “i’m glad that’s not me on the end of that lead!”.

We went back to the car shortly after that. It was a really good walk, apart from Ushi being a pain with the cat!

We had lunch after this. I had chicken sandwiches again, and a glass of orange juice. Gorgious again, as usual. We decided to pre order our dinner, as we were going out bowling, and needed to leave by a quarter past 7. I ordered the old favourite, cod, chips, and mushy peas with a glass of orange and a pavlova.

I wasn’t needed until about 3 o’clock, so I just chilled with Ushi again.

We were building on what we had already learnt with the “off kerb” obsticles, only these obsticles would be totally natural, if we came across any. We also did lots of “rounded kerbs”, which are kerbs which you have to indent around the corner, then ask the dog to go “up to the kerb”. Again, it was a really good walk.

We did a couple of “T junctions” as well.

We headed back at about half 4. I sat in the lounge and chilled with the instructors for a while before they left. We would be seeing them later again, which would be good.

It was normal evening feeding at half 5, followed by us going to the restaurant to eat. The food was right on time too, which was great. Good job we had pre ordered! The dessert menu was also read out when we got there, where I had the pavlova. It was gorgious, and was nice and light.

We got the dogs spent and left them in our rooms, while we headed out. I stuck the radio on for her, so she wouldn’t be lonely.

The bowling alley was only about 10 minutes away. I traveled up in the car with the instructor and her little girl. She was very bright for a kid that young! I asked her about guide dogs, and she knew that when the harness was on, that the dog was working. She was also telling me that her teacher boarded guide dogs which was great!!!! She even wanted to guide me when we got in! Too cute!!!

We got our bowling shoes, and then we went off to get our lanes. As we were passing through another alley to get to the quieter bit that we were in, there was a DJ doing a disco in the alley lol. Thank goodnes we were in the quieter part!

Alot of the gang from the team were there. The puppy walking supervisor was there, as well as the other rehab worker, the two instructors, and an admin person. It was all great craic. The instructors little girl was making sure I was alright throughout the night. She kept offering me drinks of her pepsy and that. I said to her at one point that if i drank any more, I would have to stop at the ladies alot, and she was like “I’ll take you to them if you need to go!”.

I ended the night with a score of 90 I think. The night was great craic, and a good chance to chill after a hard week. Thanks guys for taking us! Loved it!

We got back at about 20 past 9, which was just in time for evening spending! After we did that, the instructors left, and me and one of the clients and his son decided to go down to the bar as we’d heard that there was live music being played, so we thought we would check it out. While the music was good, we didn’t really go down for that. It wasn’t too busy, so we mainly went for the chat. We had a fabulous discussion, and it was nice just to chat and chill. We went up to our rooms again at about half 11.

It was quite a nice day as usual, apart from Ushi’s major correction that she needed! She needed to know who was boss though.

Oh, and I forgot to say. Last night, I had to do a little educating on behalf of guide dogs. Well I didn’t have to, but I chose to. When I was taking Ushi out for her last spend, a man was standing having a smoke. He asked me if that was where the dog was going to go (think he thought she was going to stay in there lol). I just said that this was where she would go to the toilet (hadn’t got her in yet). His wife shortly joined us, and we spent a good 20 minutes or so just chatting about guide dogs, and the different stages there was. It was great, and they seemed genuinly interested, which is always good. Ushi just lay down as if to say “While you three are chatting, i’ll just go to sleep.”. It was good to educate-heaven knows, i’ll be doing enough of that soon lol.

The district team manager also came up yesterday on our last walk of the day (before we got the new beds). He was saying how well I was doing, and he mentioned the blog that I was doing for the facebook page of our team. I thought “Oh god he doesn’t like it, i’ve given too much information, i’ll stop”, but he was grand and basically told me to keep going. He said that I can’t learn everything in one week, and that I’m kind of like a sponge at the minute wanting to absorb as much information as possible and that lol. I just told him I wanted to get it right.

I will eventually get around to responding to comments again-i just want to get all the posts done first.

Oh and by the way, for those who wanted to know what the “guiding road” was, it is the road which travels along side the pavement where you are travelling. It can even be a busy road, as long as it is on your left or right. I hope this explanation helps!