Sunday, April 13

Home interview

Greetings. I wrote the following email to a list made up of graduates, trainers, puppy raisers, and other people affiliated in some way with The Seeing Eye. The home interview and the evaluation/assessment I speak of are one in the same. Basically, a trainer comes to your house or business to talk with you about what you want in a dog, why you want a dog, and so forth, and then takes you out on a "juno" walk, where the trainer plays the role of the guide dog. Enjoy.

Well, Jonathan (the trainer) came out Thursday morning and it went very well. After talking for a little while, I asked him if I could give him my preferences, and his response was, "Ok, how many pages am I going to need?" When I was finished, he said, "Is that all? I've got a full 2 inches of space left."

The juno walk went well. It was weird for me to walk smoothly around obstacles that I usually hit or trip over with my cane. I spent much of the first part of the walk anticipating and wondering about upcoming potholes or cracks in the sidewalk, but then I accepted the fact that I'm going to have to trust the dog, and relaxed. Truthfully, this is something that I struggled with when using my first dog. My walking pace has slowed down a little since my early twenties. It also took some reminding by Jonathan to let him pull me, instead of me trying to catch up with him. It was nice though, and by the time we turned around to come back down one of the sidewalks near my complex, I was thinking to myself, "Is it over? No, let's do more juno stuff." Though its been some years, my leash correction is still as good as it was back in the day. My first attempt failed miserably, but then the second and third ones made up for that.

He said that my walking speed is perhaps a little below average and my pull about the same. Over all, it was a good visit. I feel pretty good about it, and I'm also getting excited. This is the last step for me in the process. He said that the usual time given is 4 weeks for contact by the school, but he also said that it would probably be around two weeks. So, perhaps by the end of April I'll know something.

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