Wednesday, September 17

Almost done

Greetings. We're almost done with training. It's interesting to think that about 3 weeks ago, I was thinking and planning on coming to New Jersey to get the new dog. Now, I've got her and am instead planning and packing for going back home again, and taking all of her stuff and other items that I didn't bring with me. In 24 hours time, I'll be on a plane headed back to good old Austin, Texas, and the heat no doubt. This morning at breakfast, one person at my table said that they wanted to be in a place with 70-100 degree temps, to which I invited him to come down to Austin. So much will happen today, not the least of which is packing and organizing, today and I just hope I accomplish all things that need to be done before my head hits the pillow tonight. It also promises to be another short night of rest. After getting home tomorrow, taking care of the dog, and getting a few things settled, I plan on taking a nice long nap.

However, you're likely wondering what I've been up to over the past 2 days. I meant to post yesterday, but that was a busy and tiring day. So, I submit the following.

Monday: This was a fun day. I was supposed to navigate the Morristown courthouse Monday afternoon, but instead, since it was a pretty day, my instructor and I, and the other students, walked around some downtown streets in Morristown. He took 2 people to a restaurant, had them wait there for him to return, and then he came back to the van to get me and we went to Anthony's which is a pizza place between South Street and Maple Street on Dumont I believe. While I was munching on a very large slice of, what else, sausage, he went back to check on the other students. I eventually joined the others at the restaurant, called the Office, which I think was a bar/restaurant, and those of us left behind at the table had a good time. My instructor was very willing to write all this off as training expenses, so he basically gave the students there at different times the following instructions: "Order whatever you want." Which they did, :) I also ordered a soda, since we were limited to sodas and other similar drinks, and had a great time just sitting there, sipping my drink, talking with the other student, and just hanging out listening to the downtown activity. It's these points in training, or working for that matter, that I really enjoy.

tuesday: This was the day we traveled to New York city. I'll attempt to hit the highlights here, but so much happened that I might miss a few things. We arrived in the city and parked at a lot on 10th and 50th. We agreed to meet at 8th Avenue and 50th, which I later learned was the entrance for a subway. The subways were loud, and when a train was arriving or leaving, it was hard for me to hear what was going on around us. We descended several flights of stairs and then boarded the train. We took the A train up from 50th to 59th, and got off there. We then walked south from 59th and 8th Avenue eventually to 49th and 8th Avenue. I say eventually because different blocks were added onto that route toward the end, but it was a good walk. After the first few blocks, in which my dog did not perform as well since this was a new environment for her and since she was probably picking up on some of my own nervousness, we did fine. She eventually fell quite nicely into her working mode and was completely focused on what we were doing. The areas that we passed through included lots of construction, Times Square, and Hell's Kitchen. We ate lunch at an excellent Italian restaurant named Ciro's. I had an appatizer of fried mozarella, which looked more like the triangles for a sandwich than the sticks of mozarella I'm used to seeing in texas. I also had lasagna and Tartoni, which is a kind of frozen ice cream with a flakey topping and cream. Everything was very good. Though the restaurant didn't let us in initially, since we got there before it officially opened, they eventually let us in and got us seated. Our group was composed of 4 students and dogs, including me, and 2 instructors.

At different points we passed, or were passed by, several horses, be they mounted policemen or carradges. The City was very loud in places and at times, it got a little overwhelming to have to keep up with all that noise and keep track of where everything was coming from, as well as work the dog. I've enjoyed visiting New york when I've been here at The Seeing eye, but this is one of those cities that I'm glad to visit but wouldn't want to live in. I'm quite satisfied with the slower and more laid back pace of Austin, though Austin can have just as much glit and glammer as New York, especially on the music scene. Anyway, we all had a good time I think.

The good times didn't stop when we left though since on the way back, I displayed a party trick I have, of what I call interpretive lyrics. Basically, instead of singing, I speak the lyrics in a slightly monitone, slight disinterested, voice but with different inflections and pauses at various times. It's pretty funny and evidently, everyone enjoyed it. I heard several belly laughs coming from the instructors up in the front. Some songs I just know the chorus and some I know the verses. It was fun pulling rock songs from the radio though and using this interpretive lyrics. At one point, one instructor turned the radio up and down to coincide with my interpretations. Unfortunately, I had stopped my Victor Reader recording at that point, otherwise that would have been a good recording to archive and listen to later.

I had my exit interview with one of the administrative people at 4, and we had another lecture/discussion at night, this time on dog attacks and harassment of guide dogs. We had the option of taking one or more flyers that the school has produced on these topics to distribute and put up at different places. I grabbed a handful of them to take home. I also began organizing my things. Hopefully, I can go home with one piece of luggage and a carry on, which is how I came up here initially. If not, then I'll have to check the carry on and pay the luggage fee that Continental charges for more than one piece of luggage. Oh well. Such are things these days.

This morning we're going to do the courthouse and this afternoon, we're supposed to visit a nearby stable with some horses. This is to see how my dog reacts to the horses and perhaps start getting her used to them, since I'll be taking her to my riding lessons. I don't expect any problems, but this is the time to see about them before I go to my lessons back home. Tonight and today will be more packing and organizing, and I'll likely get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning for the trip back home.

This is probably my last post from Morristown. It's been fun posting my thoughts and experiences here, both for others to read and for me to go back and read at some point later. I'll post what happens today when i get home. I've been using the label "dog blog" to categorize these posts. I will continue using that label when posting things having to do with my dog or things she does in her work. And perhaps, I'll even reveal her name at some point, or perhaps not; we'll see. Until later.

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