Final Day At The Hotel

This is the final day at the hotel. It is backdated again so that it’s on the 13th of November.

Well this morning, i didn’t want to get up at all. I had planned to get up at 7 o’clock to have a shower, but i found that the bed was so comfy!!!!!! So i texted my friend, and it was about Half past by the time i actually got up lol. So i didn’t bother having a shower, but instead just got ready. I went down for breakfast again at about 8 o’clock, after bringing my stuff up to the lounge, as we would be checking out later that day.

For breakfast, i had Wheatabix, and orrange juice. It was gorgious as usual.

After that, we went up to the lounge. My rehab worker came at about 9 o’clock. We chatted for a while, until about 20 past 9, when we got in the car, and drove down the road to meet the GDMI from yesterday. There was another GDMI with her too, but she just observed. We were going for a dog walk!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday i found out the name and age of my dog i would be working with. She was called Opal, and she was 2 and a half years old.

I was last to go. I sat in the car, while my friend and the other client went. During that time, i got to talk to the district team manager, who came down to see us.

Finally, the others came back, and i got to go. I was so nervous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went through foot positions first, just to make sure i knew them.

From the second i picked up the harness, and gave Opal the “Forward” command, it felt really good. I felt really confident, and found that i was praising her loads. Thank god she didn’t need correcting. I need to work on that more. The instructor says that i need to get in touch with my inner cross side lol.

The only thing i didn’t like about the walk was that it was too short!!!!!!! I also found out that she was a match to someone already. She was matched, but she got anxious when she was left alone for too long. So she was being re matched. Unfortunately she was already matched. I would have gladly taken her on!!!!!!!! I felt so confident, and I thought she was a perfect match!!!!!!! Walked at my speed and everything!!!!!! And you know what the best thing was? I hardly thought about that awful gait!!!!!!!!! I think i can now put it to bed. Because i mean the dog isn’t going to say “I don’t wanna work with you, cause your gait rolls”.

Half way through the walk however, we had to change the handle of the harness, as the one i had at first was too long. I just wish i could have taken her home.

When we got back to the car, i got to take a picture of her. That was really good.

We went back to the hotel after that to collect our bags, and have lunch. Any guesses as to what i had? Yep, Veggie soup and club orrange!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After that, we went up to the guidedogs centre, to have a chat, and just chill really. We talked some more with the GDMIs, and watched a DVD slide show of photos of us, cause there were some photos taken of us before we went to the guidedogs centre. We just had a couple of group photos really. I will only put the picture of Opal up here though. The other guidedog owner who talked to us on Wednesday chatted to us too.
At about 4 o’clock, we headed home then.

I have to say a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge thank you to my rehab worker for organising it. Also to all the guidedogs staff. You really helped me relax. I will be deffinetly giving you positive feedback when we have to fill in an evaluation form. Thanks again guys!!!!!! I want a dog so badly now!!!!!!!!! I wanna have Opal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, i wanna go back to the hotel!!!!!! It just wizzed by, and i loved it that much that i want to go back!!!!!!!!!

Let’s hope that it won’t be too long now before i get the dog. Thanks again everyone at the hotel, and the Guidedogs staff. You are all awsum!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t thank you enough!!!!!!!!

I’ll let you know any further short handle work, and what ever else happens. Thank you again guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Second Day At The Hotel

Here is the second entry about the pre class training at the
Hotel
That i did for guidedogs. Again, it is backdated.

Well today, i woke up at about 7 o’clock to have a nice long refreshing shower to wake me up. Before i got in the shower however, i rang my friend just to make sure she was alright. She was, so i could then have my shower.

I headed out of my room at about 8 o’clock. We went down to breakfast then. My rehab worker stayed overnight on the first night, as he wanted to make sure we were alright. Apparently, during class, a GDMI will stay over on the first couple of nights, just to make sure we had no doggy issues or anything.

For breakfast, i had some toast, and a glass of orange juice. Again, the staff were super helpful. We went up to the lounge after that, to get ready for the day, and to wait for the other rehab worker, and a couple of other people.

During breakfast, i vowed not to talk about my gait for the whole day. I told everyone that i wouldn’t mention it. I lasted about half an hour lol.

Anyway, back to the days events.

At about 9 o’clock, the other rehab worker arrived. This was followed by another person arriving shortly after, who worked in the hospital referring people to the rehab workers if they needed to have mobility training. She later told me that she had once been a rehab worker. Once they had arrived, we could do some work.

I went out with the other rehab worker. We were all doing a “Block” route around the grounds of the hotel. It started at what was called the “Smoking” area, which we had learnt how to get to yesterday. The route was like a square. There was one part which didn’t really have a kerb, so when we were crossing that street, we were told to cross at a particular angle, by turning our boddies so that the road was kind of to the side of us. This would mean that when we crossed, we would be able to get on that small bit of kerb. The route was quite easy. The only problem we had was that there were some people working with saws and that, so it was hard to hear traffic and that. We managed the route though, and got back to the hotel at about a quarter to 11. This was after doing it both ways twice.

We got back to the hotel so that we could swap people we were with. This was to do another block route. A recently qualified GDMI came to meet us at this point. This was to do some short handle work. Anyway, I got the person who was a rehab worker, but now worked at the hospital with me to do this other block route.

We went out the front door, instead of the door at the “Smoking area”. I thought this was alright. The woman said that we were going to do a route that was kind of like a figure of eight. That was also fine until we got to a particular point. We were travelling right along a pavement, and when we got to the end, the woman was like “Now go left.” I thought this was really odd, as we would be going back on ourselves. I think that was what confused me. I also think that because we went out a different way than before.

I got back from that at about 12 o’clock. We were deciding if i should have my short handle walk then and there, or to do the route again that i had got confused on. I wanted to do that route again, but instead of going out the front door, i wanted to go out the smoking area door to see if that would make it less confusing. It did a bit, so that was good.

When i got back, i went on a short handle walk with the new GDMI. This was really good too. She told me all the foot positions, and she was just pure awsum!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was about my height, so i found it easier to montain the tention. I was quite amazed at how good i was with the praise, and the commands. I felt my confidence growing.

By the time i got back, i was soaked, as it had started to bucket down. I went up to change, but couldn’t get my card for my room to work, so just went down to lunch. I was already late ish as i was. I had the usual, Veggie soup, and a glass of club orrange. We were sitting on a couch type thing, and when i got up, my friend said that there was a big puddle where i was sitting. People must have thought i wet myself lol.

After lunch, I had time to change, as there wasn’t another GDMI coming until 2 o’clock. The new one left at about half 12 or so, after she had finished with me.

It was still pelting down at about 2 o’clock when I went back to the lounge. We all agreed that it would be bad to go out and do more short handle work, and end up drenched again. Instead, we just spent time with the GDMI asking questions. The other GDMI was there too from yesterday, with her dog Pip, but he didn’t come until later.

The GDMI asked if we were worried about anything, as we would be doing a dog walk on Friday. I had to mention that stupid gait. The instructor said that i need to forget about it, and let it be in the past. She says that anything i thought about the walk, i was to forget about, and just enjoy the walk. I asked if we could go through foot positions beforehand, and she said that would be fine.

During our block routes this morning, my rehab worker was out doing another block route with
The Trekker Breeze
Which is a talking GPS system for blind and partially sighted people. The Guidedogs association are doing a trial of this at the moment, to see if it would be good for giving to blind and partially sighted people when they qualified with a guidedog.

Anyway, it had started to brighten up at about 4 o’clock, so my rehab worker wanted to take someone out to try the breeze. We were orriginally going to do it on Friday, but we weren’t sure if we would have the time. My rehab worker said that i could go, since, my friend had already used it, and the third client didn’t want to go. The other rehab worker tagged along too to observe how the trekker worked. My friend and the other client watched a DVD about guidedog ownership. The GDMIs were still there.

Me and the two rehab workers got in the car, and headed off to where the new block route would start. My rehab worker said that it wasn’t to test me, it was to test how good the Trekker was. He guided me through the route first, just to get a bit of a map going in my head. He then guided me back, and we used the GPS. I stuck a speaker on to my collar, and then stuck the actual unit in my pocket, and off i went, followed by the two rehab workers. When my rehab worker had walked it before, he had recorded land marks that i would need to look out for, like “Cross this road”, or that there was a primary school where we started.

I found the Trekker really scary at first!!!!!!!! It didn’t really give much information, and the voice was quite hard to understand. It said at one point that we were going on to a place called Glentarran Park. I was also told that i had to indent along a road. I started to do this, only to realise that we weren’t on that road yet. The GPS said that you were on certain parts 10 metres before you got to them, but then didn’t mention anything at all. It sometimes wouldn’t talk until about 5 minutes after each bit of information.

We did the route on the way back, and it was much easier and much less scary when i was being sighted guided. I think the GPS would be better if you knew the route. I think it might also work if you use a guidedog. But to do it totally on a new route with a cane, i think it’s a big no no. My rehab worker says that he might try it on a route that i know.

We headed back to the hotel after that, where we chilled again with the GDMIs and got to see Pip who had been braught in. We chilled again until about 5 o’clock, when the GDMIs went home, and my rehab worker went home. The other rehab worker stayed with us instead.

The third client went to have a bath, so me and my friend had a bit of craic in the lounge until about 7 o’clock, which was dinner time.

I had Roast beef, roast potatoes, peas, and gravy. It was yum!!!!! I didn’t bother having a dessert, i just had a glass of coke.

My friend scared me when she said that she had got a coke, but she ordered diet. She said that hers tasted sweeter. I crapped myself, because she is diabetic, so didn’t want anything bad to happen. Luckily it didn’t which was good.

I decided to have two bottles of West Coast Cooler this time. It was nice. I was a bit worried in case it got me drunk, but i was fine. I baught the second round, where i got the second bottle, and was shocked that it was £9.20!!!! Apparently the West Coast Coolers were quite deer though. We all decided to go upstairs at about 10 o’clock.

When we were coming out of the bar, however, we got slightly lost. You have to go at a slight angle when you come of the doors to find the stairs. I was in the lead, and totally got the wrong angle!!!! I’m sure we looked like a right sight!!!!! A helpful passer by helped us orientate ourselves to find the stairs.

When we got up the stairs, we made ourselves a cup of tea and coffee. I was pouring the kettle, but was too nervous of it, since it was full and freshly boiled. We used one of the liquid level indicators that the Guidedogs had given us. I forgot how annoying they can be!!!!! How do you deal with a full kettle?

Anyway after that was out of the way, me and my friend braught our computers down to chill on the net for a while. Our internet time ran out, so i walked down to reception to get two cards which had the information on them that we would need for logging in to the internet. They were really helpful!!!!!!!!! Chatted away!!!!!! I rang the other rehab worker to get her to come down and read out the info on the cards, while i went down with the third client so that he could have a smoke. He wanted a bit of company so i went down with him.

We didn’t get to bed until about half 12 that night!!!!!

I was packing my stuff, as we would check out by about 11 o’clock on Friday morning. I discovered that i couldn’t find the lounge card. Panicking, i searched frantically but still no sign. I retraced my steps. Did i take it out when i was out? Did i have it when doing the short handle? Did i drop it? Did it fall out of my pocket? I texted my friend asking her what to do. She texted back saying that it was in her room!!!!!!!! I was so glad!!!! I had been in her room earlier talking to her, so must have left it there. I went over to get it then.

I was much less worried today. I felt much more relaxed.

That was the 2nd day at the hotel. I will post the final day tomorrow. I will write it tomorrow, but i will backdate it to Friday again.


First Day At The Hotel

I am backdating these entries to the day that we did the stuff to make it more realistic. I didn’t really have time to post at the hotel. I will write them as if i did post at it though. I did bring my laptop, but didn’t use it much. I will probably do a separate entry for each day. Hope this is okay. Anyway here’s Wednesdays entry about me going to the
Hotel
With Guidedogs.

I was picked up at about 20 past 9 on Wednesday morning. My friend was already in the car. There were going to be 3 clients at the hotel, but we hadn’t met the 3rd yet.

We got to the hotel at about half 10 ish. There was another rehab worker bringing the third client down, but they weren’t there yet. Our rooms weren’t ready, so my rehab worker gave us a quick sighted guide orrientation around the hotel, so we could build up a bit of a map of where we were.

When the other rehab worker arrived, we were introduced to the 3rd client. He was nice.

Since everyone was together, we went into a quiet part of the restaurant, which was actually the bottom end of it, to discuss the skedule. Some of the plans were changed, due to the rooms not being ready and stuff. Before we had finished my rehab worker asked me if i was alright, and to make sure i was happy. I just said that i was worried about the gait again, what’s new!!!!!!!!! I found it hard when someone else talked about the gait. I was fine explaining but when someone answered any of my questions relating to it, i just felt really upset.

Anyway, after that, we started to do some work. Since the rooms weren’t ready yet, we started to learn the route from reception to roughly where our rooms would be and where the restaurant and bar were with our canes. I worked with the other rehab worker i mentioned. She couldn’t believe how quick i was!!!!!!!!!! I asked her if she wanted me to slow down, but she wanted me to stay at my normal speed. We only learnt the route up to our rooms at this point.

By this time, our “Lounge” was ready. This was a bedroom that has been converted in to a lounge for Guidedogs. Apparently they do it any time there are guidedog classes on. It was very lush!!!!!!!!!!!! We were sitting there while one of the rehab workers took another person down to show them the route.

while we were waiting, there was a new GDMI who came up to see us. She braught down a guidedog owner who works at the Guidedogs office too. This was just so we could have a chat with them and they could answer any questions we had.

After this, we learnt the route back from the lounge to the restaurant. It was lunch time by this time. The GDMI and the guidedog owner stayed for lunch and a little afterwords.

The menu was massive!!!!!!!!! I chose to have a Veggie soup, with a bread roll, and a glass of club orrange. A good amount of craic was had. We decided to have our lunch in the bar. Apparently this is where we will have our lunch when we are on class. It was bloody brilliant too!!!!!!!!!!!

After lunch, our rooms were ready. We got given our cards, which we would use to open the doors to our rooms. We also got given a lounge key, which was cleverly punched in the bottom corner, so that we would know the difference between cards. I thought this was really useful. We were then taken in turns to see our rooms. Mine was next door to the lounge, so that was good.

I was first shown how to work the card. It took ages for me to get it working. I was pritty pissed off with it within the first 5 minutes!!!!! Anyway, once i finally got the room open, i got to see all around it.

First of all, i was shown around the bathroom, which was an On sweet. This was great!!!!! Theres’s nothing worse than having to queue for the bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!! I was shown where the toilet was, and how to work the flush. Next was the sink, and then the bath and shower. The shower was quite weird to work really. You had two nobs at the side of a big flat thing, where the taps were. You had to hold in a button when turning the nobs. There was a button at each nob. This was to get the right temperature. Then you had another nob in the middle, which you pulled up to work the shower.

After this, i was shown the rest of the room. I was shown howthe TV worked, how the kettle worked, where the plug sockets were, and the security features on the door, which were a lock, and a latch. I was also shown where i could put my laptop. I discovered that to have the power on, you had to put your card into a slot in the wall so that everything would work. I headed back to the lounge after that, as the other people were going to get shown round their rooms. I stayed and talked to the GDMI and guidedog owner.

After everyone was shown around their rooms, we just chilled for a bit in the lounge. The GDMI and guidedog owner had to go home shortly after.

After that, we were shown around the Ladies toilets, and where we sat in the bar and restaurant. We sat at the first table on the left in the bar, and at the second table on the right in the restaurant. We were also shown the smoking area, and that would be where we would go if we needed to get out of the building in a fire drill.

It was back up to the lounge after this.

My rehab worker went down to reception to see about the internet access. We got two cards which allowed us access for 24 hours. It was a bit hard to set up at first, but we eventually got it. My computer took ages to start though. After i got my computer started, i had to help one of the other people set it up lol. It was more chatting and hanging about in the lounge after this.

It was about 7 o’clock at this point, so we went down to get some grub for dinner. We were going to eat in the restaurant for dinner, but we decided to eat in the bar.
The dinner menu was twice as long as the lunch menu. I had good old fashioned Codd, chips, and mushy peas. Ya can’t beat that sometimes!!!!!!!! I also had coke, and a lovely chocolate fudge cake. We discussed what time we would go for breakfast, and we all agreed that 8 o’clock would be time enough to get breakfast. We asked if we could go down independently, and that was allowed so that was good.

After that, we had a bit of craic, and a couple of drinks. I had 2 bottles of Pinapple Bacardy breezer. One of my friends friends came down afterwords. We were allowed visitors. He baught me another bottle of Bacardy, but i felt a bit bloated, so i didn’t drink it. I went to the loo about halfway through, and didn’t come down for a while. I was talking to my mum and that. My friend phoned me to make sure i was okay!!!!!! I thought that was really nice!!!!!!

We didn’t head up to the lounge until about half 11!!!!!! The other client went to bed at this point, so me and my friend just chatted in the lounge for a while. She had braught her tin whistle, so she played that for a while!!!!! She was damn good!!!!!!

We went to bed at about 12 o’clock. I checked my emails first.

The first day was awsum!!!!!!!!!! I felt much more relaxed after i had a bit of craic.

That was what happened on day one at the hotel. I will write days 2 and 3 tomorrow maybe, when i feel like it. I will backdate them to the orrigenal day as well. I was so glad i could successfully get about the hotel independently!!!!! I loved the independence and freedom!!!!!


Not As Anxious

As I have mentioned in
A previous entry
I will be heading off to the hotel where i will train eventually with the
Guide dog
This is just to get me familiar with the layout of the hotel, so that I have one less thing to worry about when i go to train. I will be going from Wednesday 11, to Friday 13 November. That’s this week!!!!!!!!!

Well for the past few days i’ve been shitting it, because i’m still worrying about the gait.

Today my rehab worker came round to make sure i was comfortable with the whole idea, and to sort out any last minute worries. Well i discussed the gait, and what the Guidedog mobility instructors would say. My rehab worker says that it is not an assessment or anything, and that it is just to get me familiar with the hotel, and so that i am prepared and am used to being in a hotel for when i get the dog. This put my mind at rest a bit, and i’m glad that I will get to talk to the Guidedog mobility instructor about the gait. We both agree that i have blown the gait way out of proportion in my mind.

After sorting that out, i asked about what the skedule would be. I am going to be picked up between 9.30 and 10 o’clock on the Wednesday morning. We will get to the hotel at about 11 o’cloc, where we will do orientation around our rooms. After that, it’s lunch.

After lunch will be orientation around the rest of the hotel. Then possibly going through the route around the hotel, then dinner.

Thursday morning will be mobility around the grounds of the hotel again, lunch, then a walk with the Short handle. After that it’s dinner again.

Friday morning will possibly be a walk with a dog, then lunch, then probably home.

That’s about all i know for now.
I have a small delemma though. My rehab worker wants me to bring my laptop, as he wants it to feel like home. I was going to bring it only on the three weeks of actual dog training, but i don’t know. Should i bring it on these days? I am not sure what i will be doing at night, so i’m not sure if i should bring the laptop. What do you all reckon? My sister says yes, but i don’t know. Maybe i’ll sleep on it and see in the morning.

I am actually getting quite excited now. Now that i know what’s going to happen, i’m not as worried. I’m still slightly worried, but not that worried now.

If you get a post from me on Wednesday then i’ll have brought the laptop. I just hope it goes okay.
I may write in here after all the work is done on Wednesday, or else i’ll just write when i come back. After i’m settled in my room, i might write a short entry too. Who knows. This is not dog training. It’s just to get me used to the hotel.

Whatever happens, i’ll post sometime. Just thought i’d let you all know what was happening, and to keep you all up to date on my progress.