First Day After Qualification

It felt rather weird not having to get up for the instructors. Obviously i had to get up for feeding and spending, but I went back to bed again until about 11 o’clock lol.

I was very hesitant to go out a walk today, because of the yappy dogs from yesterday. I did a bigger block route, (the matching walk), as I knew there would be no dogs there. I still hesitated a bit before doing it!

Well we eventually set off. I pretended that there was an instructor there just to make me a bit more confident. She was a bit distracted on some parts, but i got her going, and kept her moving.

The best part was that on my last down kerb before my house, I usually hae to turn loads because i’m not sure where i am, but i didn’t have to do that at all! I just crossed straight over, and didn’t go into the guiding road at all! Yay!

I chilled for the rest of the day after that. I was a bit worried because i had only done the one walk, so texted my instructor to see if that was okay. She said yes, and that it doesn’t matter as long as you work her each day if you can.

I am glad the walk went well which was good.

Last night I decided to take Ushi downstairs, since our pet dog went to a new home yesterday. Well the missus thought that she was a queen!!! She just wondered about loads and had a wail of a time exploring. I braught her flease down too, and she did two huge big shakes, and then lay down.

So it was a good solo day without the instructors, and nothing horrible happened!

10th Day Of Home Training

It was quite a crisp morning outside today when I took Ushi out for her morning spend.

The instructors rang me at about 10 o’clock, just to say that they had left the harness outside the door. This was so that Ushi wouldn’t see them, and to give me a bit of confidence in myself and the route, and my confidence in her.

As I was heading out the door, I stepped on the harness lol. Oops. I was sort of dreading the walk a bit because I wouldn’t have the instructors, but as soon as I gave that “forward” command, we were off.

There was one point where she got really really distracted by a little dog running about on the grassy bit beside me. She was really wild. I told her to “pay attention” and corrected her with the harness. She still was pritty out of control, so I took the lead, and chucked back on the lead, telling her to “leave it” and “straight on”. I held the lead in my right hand for a while afterwards, just to make sure that she didn’t get distracted again. My instructor told me after the walk that that will be as distracted as she will get, where she is really excited and pulling and that, but she won’t be any more distracted if you know what I mean. That was good to know.

The rest of the walk carried on as normal, until she got a bit more distracted by something, but it wasn’t as major as the first distraction.

We just walked on as normal after that, and I even got offered sighted assistance at one point. It is this part further up from a roundabout. I was just standing there, waiting for it to go quiet. A woman with a buggy came up and asked if i needed to get help crossing the road. I just said that I was just waiting for it to go quiet, but thanks anyway. As I walked across the road, I thanked her again, and went on my way.

At this next part, I think I told Ushi to go too far “In”, as i could feel the edge of the wall with my foot. I then just walked on, and we found our straight line.

I got to the shop shortly afterwards. I went in and found the counter, and then waited a minute until I was sure that the instructors weren’t there wanting me to stay in the shop or whatever, and then told Ushi to “find the door”. We then headed back the way we came, with no incident whatsoever.

The only thing was that when we were near home, Ushi couldn’t find it, even though I asked her to “find home” and “where was it” and all. We went round the corner again, so i stopped, and did a “back” turn, while still asking her to “find home”. She stopped outside a door, so I encouraged her to “find the door”, only to realise that there was a fence or something to the side of the door. I thought that maybe the instructors had put something there, but they told me later they hadn’t. So I did a “back” turn, and went up to the kerb. I was so tempted to ask the instructors for help, but I thought “No i’ll work this out”. So I did a “left in front” which is where you stand facing her and do the “over” command, and then told her to “find home” again. We eventually found it lol. The instructors said that if mum pokes her head out to let me know if i am going past the door or something. She is also going to get me windchimes for the door, so that I will know if that is ours. No one else has windchimes up, so that will be good. They say to give her a treat each time we get to “Home”, and then she will deffinetly get me there.

It was an awesome walk, and they said that I handled Ushi perfectly, and that I was able to keep her moving after the distractions, which was good.

I chilled for a bit, until about 12 o’clock when we were heading out for our second walk. The harness was left on the door again. I managed not to step on it this time lol.

We just did the matching walk again. It went without a hitch, and I remembered to do my “left behind” that I forgot yesterday! On this mornings walk, she went up a path that I didn’t want her to go up, but she didn’t do this on the second walk which was great.

I phoned mum once I was on our road just to let her know that I was on the way, and could she stick her head out. We found it no problem!!

It was a really great walk again. They said that technically they could qualify me today, but want me to do those two routes again for a couple more days just to make sure I am totally comfy with everything. So hopefully by Wednesday they said that I should be qualified!! Oh yeah! At the start of the walks I felt kind of worried, but now i’m like “let’s go”! It’s so hard to beliee how far I have come since the start of class to now! I have Ushi for nearly 4 weeks already!

When we got back to the house, the instructor showed me how to put the Halty on. Basically, you put the spongy part on her nose, then clip it round her neck like a collar. You then clip it to her collar, and finally you take the lead off her collar and attach it to the halty. This means that she can’t really pull when she is going for a free run. I only use it until we get to wherever I am free running her. They have allowed me to free run her over the weekend. I am going to have someone sighted with me for the first while, just to make sure that i am cool with getting to where we free run etc. We are going to change the route slightly as we pass the park on our matching walk, so we don’t want her thinking that she is going for a free run each time we do that walk.

I am going to take her for a run on Saturday or sunday. I am thinking more Sunday, so that she is nice and relaxed before work on Monday. Plus it’s great getting in touch with nature on a Sunday!

It was a great end to a week, and I still can’t believe how far I have come. From those very early days, to now. I am not saying that Ushi is perfect, but as I get more confident, I find she doesn’t get so distracted, and whenever she is distracted, I can handle it. Each day our partnership is growing I feel. Maybe i’m wrong by saying this so early on, but I am not as nervous about qualifying as I was before. It prob will be the first time I do it on my own, but tecnically I am doing it already!

Maybe once I am qualified, Ushi can introduce herself on the blog! Depends if she is a good girl lol.

Have a good weekend, and hopefully the weather stays good for the free run!

A Year On….

This time last year, I posted about
Getting More motivated To use the cane.
Well tonight me and my friend were just talking about different things, and i was saying about how i didn’t really use the cane that much. I explained that i didn’t really like using it and that, and she said that people wouldn’t always be around, and this is so true. She said that my confidence using the cane on my own will come in time. But it got me thinking. What kind of a guidedog owner will i be? Yes i go out every day with my dad, but when I qualify, I really should be going out on my own. I keep thinking that i will go out on my own, as well as going out every day with dad, but what if i don’t? Yeah the dog will still be getting worked every day when me and my dad and sister go out, but will i have the confidence to go out on my own without company, and just have me and the dog? Is it normal to think like this? Should i really start taking my cane out more? I am learning more routes since last year, but still? Is it normal for me to suddenly think like this?

I’m thinking i might just take out the cane anyway, even if i don’t know the route and just walk around instead of my dad guiding me. I’m hoping it works. I just have to get motivated to do it lol. Many a time i say “I will use my cane tomorrow” but never do. I think i am just too lucky really. I have taken my dad really for granted. He is always happy to guide me so i have just taken the “Easy” option. But maybe it’s time i just take out the cane? I would still be beside Dad, but maybe it would get me used to actually going out on my own? Even if i don’t actually go out totally on my own, at least it’s a start. My dad could always tell me when to cross and such.

Do you all think this is a good idea?

This is mostly me rambling, so you can ignore it if you want.

Glad to get that off my chest. I would like to thank my friend though for sort of kicking me up the arse. I don’t have much faith in myself though that i will actually follow through and use the cane more. Watch this space.