Hotel Orientation

Today i went up to the hotel where i will be training with Ushi.

My rehab worker came to collect me at about 9 o’clock. On the way up to the hotel, I said that I was a bit worried about if the dog and me didn’t work out. He said that I wouldn’t have been matched if they didn’t think she was suitable. It was just me worrying as usual.

We got to the hotel at about 10 o’clock. The guide dog mobility instructor met us to show my rehab worker where everything was, and to help set up the spending pen for class. The district team manager also came just to make sure everything was set up too.

I noticed straight away that the hotel seemed a hell of alot quieter than
The Other Hotel
The other hotel was still nice, but this one was much much quieter.

It is basically a straight run from reception to our rooms with the odd turn in between. You basically go in the front door, and go through two double doors. then you sort of go to the position of 2 o’clock, and sort of drift right. At the reception there is a cool wodden strip sort of that runs the whole way down the front of the desk on the floor. Once you reach the end of this surface, then you sort of turn right and you will find a door. The door is kind of set in a bit, so you sometimes have to have a feel about until you find it. You then keep going straight on once you are through the door. If you drift over to the left, there is a quite large surface that feels like wood, but I think it isn’t actually wood, but anyway this is where the restaurant is for eating breakfast and dinner. I thought this was quite cool. Directly opposite that, is the ladies loos. I will get shown around them on Monday though, as it wasn’t right to do it with just my rehab worker. Anyway we kept going straight on and went through a couple more doors i think. When we went through the last one, the corridor opened up a bit. On the right were some sofas and chairs, and to the left was the stairs down to the gym and swimming pool. I think we get free access to these facilities. These are the only stairs that we will have to use which is quite good. After the end of the chairs and sofas, we turned right. We went through some more doors, and then we got to a place where there used to be a door, but I think it was taken away. There was like a little ridge thingie which was quite distinctive. Immidiately after this, was what will be the “Lounge” area for us to chill in. This is basically just a bedroom which the hotel has taken out all the bedrooms and just put sofas and chairs in. We didn’t go in and explore the room, as I think somebody was still in there. I followed the shoreline though, as the double doors that we had to go through to get to the run were just along that wall. There was a set of doors that were open that you went through just after our “Lounge” room. This corridor is quite narrow and closed in. It’s not really narrow, just kind of closed in. As soon as it starts to open up, that is where the doors that lead out to the run are. So that is why i decided to shoreline. I had to keep repeating this part though, as i couldn’t really find the doors lol. You basically just went through two doors, then drifted round to the left and went outside, turned right, and there was the run. We did that a couple of times before we tackled the way back. This was basically just the same as the way to our rooms, only just turning the opposite directions.

We also practiced locating the other restaurant where we would have lunch. Basically whenever we got to the reception, we just veered over to the right instead of going along the reception. We came to a sofa, then drifted over to the left. I think another way of doing it was to just get to the start of reception, and just drift over to the left until you came to some double doors. You then went through them and just drifted over to the left i think.

We finished at the hotel at about 12 o’clock. We will go through the layout again just to make sure it is embedded into my memory, and then just go through the rooms and find out where our tables will be on class at the restaurants. So that should be good.

My rehab worker called back to the office of our team, as he needed to do some stuff. We both got lunch though and had a bit of banter and craic with some of the other staff. My instructor and the district team manager had left earlier, but when we were at the office, she brought Ushi in for me to have a sneaky peak at again. She was taking her out to work her. She gave me the lead as she got something, and Ushi just lay at my feet which was kind of cool. I asked if she would remember me, but they weren’t sure. She seemed quite comfy though which was good.

While having our chat with the rest of the team, they asked if i would like to write a blog for their facebook page. I said yes (I had mentioned my blog before and said that that was how i was going to update everyone). They said that only if I was up to it, but I said that I would be writing up a blog every day anyway (I’ll try anyway)!! I think that when it is on our district teams facebook page that it will help alot more applicants, to know what the training is like for a UK guide dog owner, as whenever I was first on the waiting list there weren’t many UK guide dog blogs. Thank god there is now the facebook page, which comes directly from the district team!! I hope the team don’t mind a looong post!

I found out too that the team give you a pack of information whenever you qualify with the guide dog. This contains all Ushi’s details, such as weight (which is about £60, by the way), numbers I might need, and stuff like that. I can’t wait to have a read at that!!!

We headed for home at about 2 o’clock.

My rehab worker is going to pick me up at about 10.30. We will just go down, and do a last minute refresher of the hotel, and meet the others on class. We will also become familiar with the layout of the rooms, and the ladies loos. We will also get shown the area to the swimming pool, if I do choose to go swimming. I wouldn’t have thought that I would have time to swim, but they say that you will. They say that there will be chill out time too, which you need as the pair of you can’t be working all the time. They have advised me to take any chill time i get, as it will be quite hard work. I have a tendency of just sitting waiting when I know that somebody is going to be coming at a certain time!!! Like if someone said that they would be there at 9 o’clock, i would be ready a half hour before, “Just in case” lol. My rehab worker says though that i will be nakard if i do that, and if an instructor says that they will be there at 9 o’clock, they will not be there before then. I must get used to waiting lol, but just hate keeping folks waiting!

The first day is just a day for settling in, apparently. We get the dogs on Tuesday, and then we work them round the hotel. We don’t start working outside until Wednesday I think. The first couple of days are probably just getting us used to the foot positions and stuff. I feel quietly confident about this part, as I think i remember my positions.

We will be allowed visitors after probably the first week. After about the third day, the instructors leav at around 5 or 6 o’clock. We then have the night free for us. They only stay for the first couple of nights, just to make sure the dogs settle in alright. I will check though when we are allowed to have visitors.

I will try and write each day, but if i don’t, i will at least record each day on my dictaphone, and then type that out.

The only thing that bothers me is that if there is a bad day, I will probably beat myself up, as i am known to do. I have to remind myself though that the dog will sense if i am out of sorts, and then she won’t perform as well either. So if i’m worried, I am determined to ask questions, and stop if I need to.

Today was a bit sad in a way, as it was technically my last mobility lesson with my rehab worker. Hard to believe that 7 years ago, I would have met someone who is so important! I sent him an email a few weeks ago telling him just how lost the whole district team would be without rehab workers. I am glad that he is still as much craic as ever, and hope to see him at some point in the future. I won’t see him as a client any more, but i will still respect him, and say Hello if and when I see him. Thank you again, you are an awesome rehab worker!

I will probably post again later, or before Monday, explaining what the craic will be with comments and that. I will also change my comment text, just so people know i’m not ignoring them, and will reply if and when I can, otherwise I will reply whenever I get home. (I can do this on Monday morning lol as I will be ready super early lol, as usual).

I hope you enjoy these next posts, and feel free to click on the Guide dog label at any time to read my journey so far. Sorry though the next two weeks will be all guide dog. I hope you find it interesting, and if it helps someone, all the better.