It’s the Assistance dog blog carnival again, and i think i will get this in just in time as the deadline is later on today. The topic for this round is
I hmmed and hawed about posting as i really don’t know what i would regret, but i suppose this would be the closest thing to a regret as i think of. My only regret with Ushi apart from applying for a dog earlier is…her stopping.
When i got Ushi, everything was grand until about a week after we qualified. She first of all started standing at her kerbs instead of sitting, and then the stopping started. We’d just be walking down the street, and bamb, she wouldn’t move. There were no obsticles, no reason for her to stop. I even called my dad to come look at her paws which were grand. I did not want to go to the guide dog instructors, as i thought i had caused Ushi’s stopages but eventually i had to. The instructor said i should be a bit more positive, which worked for a few days, then she stopped again. They said i needed to be more firmer with her this time, so that worked for a few days and then she stopped again. Each time she stopped, we were getting closer and closer to the house. My dad said to just walk on and she would eventually have to come with me, but i couldn’t physically do that as i didn’t want to choke her.
The district team manager came out when i called again, which put the willies up me. He was the head instructor if you will. I really thought i was in major trouble. During this time of stopping, i wanted, or had thought of giving her back. I never told anyone this until long after Ushi was sorted as i thought they would come and take her away immediately.
When the head instructor came out, i was very nervous. I would have kept Ushi on the lead when i knew people were coming. Now, when he came, Ushi jumped up all 4 paws on his chest. I really thought i was scuppered, but he just ignored her. Now, she probably wouldn’t have done this if i hadn’t kept her on the lead. This was the first and last time she ever did this.
As for the stopping, he told me that Ushi was just being a madam and i just had to tell her to get on with it and make her go forward. I was so so relieved.
During all this stopping, i only worked Ushi once a day. I think that if i had kept working her twice a day if i could, she wouldn’t have put on weight which i couldn’t get off, which would have meant she wouldn’t have had to change foods. On the other hand, she had started to eventually refuse her food she came with, and she seems to enjoy her Burnes food that she is on now. For my next dog, i plan to have her on Burnes because it is a really good food. It is not just a food saying it’s more natural but it isn’t really, it really is a decent food. The food she was on before was very greasy and smelly. It also had lots of things i did not understand when i looked up what was in it. Thankfully the Burnes, while having some additives, these are mainly vitamins and minerals. Plus it feels nicer.
Anyway, we still have the issue of stopages, but i know how to manage them now. I do find myself over annalising them though since she is 6. I really do hope she will let me know when she doesn’t want to work any more.
My secondary regret would be that i am not so nervous with my next dog since i know the ropes, but i just wanted to get everything right.
This has been my entry for the 17th ADBC. I’ll post the submissions when they are compiled.
Thanks to Brook from
Ruled by paws
for the topic idea.
I’m finally catching up on all those blog posts i was writing over the past couple of days.
We had a visit from the
District team manager
Last year. I was so nervous since he was the manager and thought i had done someting to make her stop.
Ushi jumped up on the manager when he came to the house which i was mortified about! Thankfully he was okay with it and she hasn’t really done it since.
He discovered her little whines she used to do but doesn’t do any more while working.
We didn’t go straight up to the kerb outside our house and sometimes we don’t do that since she will stop if we do go up to the kerb and turn right sometimes.
Thankfully the stopping did stop and when she does it now i know how to deal with it and just tell her to get on with it. I sometimes sound like i want to kill her!
In the next post in this series, Ushi decides to leave a little something behind when we go shopping. I was mortified that day!
This time last year
The stops seemed to be getting worse
In fact i was even considering giving up because we weren’t getting anywhere.
I had tried being really positive but it didn’t really work. I discovered that when we went shopping though in a new place she didn’t stop at all.
I was still spending ushi on her lead in the garden but now she goes on her own since i don’t have to chase her or anything any more and she will come straight up again.
My rehab worker had told me that i must persevere with Ushi and to ring the team if i had any problems. I didn’t want to ring them all the time though.
I think it was this time last year when my dad and sister commented on how i walked much faster with Ushi than i did when i was being guided. My sister even suggested that i was walking quicker so i would be matched quicker. That had really annoyed me at the time. Number one i couldn’t really keep that up throughout the whole process, and number two the instructors would have noticed straight on class. They are cool now though.
Her stopping was that bad last year that i wanted to give her back, and i really felt horrible for saying that.
Ushi still stops now, but in my next entry i’ll explain how it stopped. I know she does it now because she is bored.
I’m sorry for so many posts.
I thought that this time last year
The problems i was experiencing
Were sorted since i had aftercare. It did sort it out for a while.
The instructor who came to see me said i just needed to be really positive, and that should hopefully stop the stopping. She said that i would be firm if i needed to be, but to try and be a bit more positive. (When she had stopped i had just corrected her).
Unfortunately the stops continued for a while after. I think my next entry is when the district team manager had to come out and see why Ushi was stopping.
Today we had two very good walks. We only had one sniff and she indicated that there was an obsticle at one point (it was a stick), but i thought that Ushi was just being Ushi. I don’t think she liked the wind though as she kept slowing way down. We mostly had normal speeds though which was good. Sometimes she’ll slow way down and kind of crawl along.
In other news my wee brother got his cast off today. He was orriginally meant to stay in for two or three days but the physio theropist says that because he has been so active they are letting him out tonight. He will have to basically learn to walk again propperly though. He is still very nervous to stand but they said that will just take time for him to get his confidence back.
I’m writing this in a notepad document since we don’t have internet. I’ll probably post this tomorrow.
I’m gonna go now and find something else to do.
Oh by the way this is my 400th post!
I am glad to say that Ushi is totally back to her old self and wasn’t sick since Wednesday morning. So god knows what she got into!
This time last year,
Started. Again i thought i had done something terribly wrong.
Thankfully back then the stopping wasn’t as major as it did get. It was still really strange though. I actually thought the reason she stopped the first time was that she couldn’t see in the dark!
I also had a couple of annoying kids. They are still annoying today but thankfully i manage to do my walks when they are not around. They don’t try to feed her now but are still very ignorant and if i do come across them they continue to walk in front of Ushi. They are the type that will never learn.
I can’t remember when the next post will be, but October last year was quite a bad month. Thankfully now i’ve sorted out those kinks.
Over the last couple of days we’ve had loads and loads of rain.
Ushi never used to be a fan of rain, and would dawdle along, trying to go into every driveway until we got out of our estate. Then she would just get on with the journey. I had to allow an extra 10 minutes to our journey when it was raining, to allow for her dawdles. I could handle this. I just told her to “get on with it!” a few times in a firm voice and eventually she got the picture. That was until today.
On Monday night we were about to go on our walk, when it started to rain really heavily as well as some thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. I spent Ushi anyway thinking that she would be grand. She came in, and I got her harnessed up. We got to the top of our path before it started to thunder. We went into get better coats, and went out again. We got to the top of the path before we had a stop and lots of trembling from Ushi. I tried to get her going again before I thought that it just wasn’t worth it. So we turned and just went back into the house. She went up stairs as normal, and her tail was wagging. She was quite alert whenever there was more thunder, but then she just went off to her bed, not bothered. She didn’t tremble for the rest of the time that there was thunder.
When we were out, I just got to the top of our path which isn’t that long, and I only tried to get her to go twice before I noticed she was trembling and took her back inside.
She was grand the rest of the night and didn’t care about the thunder outside.
When it was time for her last spend of the night, it decided to chuck it down again. Ushi just stood there, then went out to the hall and just stood there. I tried to get our pet dog to go out to see if Ushi would follow her, but she didn’t. I stood trying to persuade her, before going and getting her lead and a treat. (I don’t use the lead now for spending, and just let her go out on her own). I attached her lead, and she really dug her heels in. I had to drag her practically and actually go out with her, as well as bribe her with a treat for her to actually go out. She came back in very quickly! I wasn’t sure if she had actually done anything though, so when the rain finally stopped i let her out again to make sure she had gone.
Yesterday it was just windy really and we managed to miss the showers which was good.
Today however was a different story. We walked grand to the quilting which was today instead of the usual monday. Well she almost did. She was very distracted at one point, and I thought there was someone with a dog or something as it was that kind of distraction. I don’t know if it was a dog or if it was just her. Then just as we were about to head into the shopping centre where I quilt, she got very bouncey, and not the “oh i’m excited about going somewhere new” kind of bounce. Then this woman was like “Hello boy”, which made her really exciteable which isn’t really like her. She will usually just wag her tail, but this was like she used to do in the early days. (She used to jump whenever someone ran up to us, for example). I just said to the woman if they could please not pet her as she was working, and the woman just walked off. (I thought that was pritty good of me cause I usually just can’t manage to say not to pet her). She was grand when we got into the shopping centre though!
On the way home it was a huge stop when we were trying to get out of the door of the shopping centre. There was nothing there, but I eventually got sighted assistance and got out of the door in the end as we had wondered on a bit as i thought maybe there was a way around the obsticle I thought was there. Then it was another stop, and after a while we got her going again. It was another stop further on down the street, and then at the point where she got distracted this morning by the possible non existent dog, she stopped dead. This was just as the heavens decided to open! As soon as the drops hit her, she kept backing up a little. I tried to even do an “sit/wait” to see if that would maybe focus her, but she would not go and hung her head and her tail was down. Being firm wasn’t working, so I tried being positive and eventually she decided to go! She then wouldn’t go forward if we had to cross roads after cars had driven past. I had to step out in the road when it was quiet to get her gonig, but she was going to stop again in the middle of the road, but I just got on to her and she kept going. It seemed to be when the cars sprayed the water they had driven through all over the road she was reluctant to move.
She has never done this before, and usually once I get her going she will keep going. But today was the worst she has been. (There wasn’t even any thunder).
So I don’t know what’s up. I think she doesn’t like water on her paws. Well I would presume not as she will do anything in her power not to walk through puddles, for example.
It was bareable when she would dawdle at the start of our route, because then I knew I just had to persevere and she would eventually go. But today wasn’t good at all. This has been the heaviest rain we’ve had and that she’s been used to though. When I got her, we had one really bad day on class, and mostly it was just drizzles since then. It hasn’t chucked it down before now.
When my Guide dog mobility instructor had Ushi for her advanced training last year it was during the summer, so we didn’t have that much rain, so she wasn’t used to Ushi being so stubborn about it.
I want to know what to do about it though. I mean we can’t just not work in case it rains, or just get a taxi home when it does rain. If we’re out and we get caught in a shower, we will just have to keep going. Was I maybe not firm enough/positive enough? Is there anything I can do if she is going to be like this from now on when it rains? (It’s going to be a long frustrating summer if this is going to be what she will do when it rains heavily).
My friend suggested I should get a rain coat for her lol, but that wouldn’t protect the princess paws.
Have any of you ever had a dog who hates the rain? I think the district team won’t know anything much to do apart from maybe being more firm or positive, but knowing me she would be an angel when they came out! (She was
When I mentioned that she was stopping again).
Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to get soaked when it rains, and would like to get home at some point!