Friday, September 5

The end of the week

Greetings. Well, today we cemented our knowledge of the route that we will do as a solo tomorrow. My dog did very well. I had to stop her on a couple of curbs and point out an obsticle to her, but she did very well. Truth be told, I pointed out 2 more places to her. Yesterday morning, we came to what turned out to be a pet store, but I sware it smelled like there was some sort of pastry or other baked goodness coming out of there. I sniffed a few times and then asked my trainer. Since then, my pooch has stopped or hesitated there as if asking me if I wanted to go in. Man, these dogs pick things up quickly. You almost have to only show them things once for them to remember. The other place was a chocolate shop. The shop has a French name which i'm not going to attempt to spell, but those that have been to Morristown and are familiar with it, the shop is located on the east side of Dehart between Maple and South Street. Everyone else, come to Morristown and check it out. Anyway, though I didn't remember where the shop was from my first training at The Seeing Eye, I did remember that one existed in Morristown somewhere. I asked my instructor about it yesterday and as it happened, we were a few feet from it. I then pointed it out to the dog, but she hasn't picked up on it yet. I know when the shop comes up because there's a break in the building line and then the chocolate shop is the first building when the line picks back up. I stopped today and tapped the glass and then petted my dog's head. My instructor then came up behind me and said, "Okay smarty, check it out." So I did. I opened the door, stuck my head in and took a long sniff, and then my dog decided to stick her head in and sniff deeply. Then my instructor said, "Okay, let's get going before we scare the locals."

Not much else to report about the route, except that my dog was distracted for the first time by another dog, and led me at an angle slightly to the corner and didn't stop. I corrected her slightly and then my instructor took me back to work the corner again. The secodn time she did it perfectly, taking me right up to the curb and stopping. She seems to have some trouble with curbs. However, she's a sensative dog and doesn't need much in the way of correcting, except for serious infractions. usually if I hit a sign or tree, like happened today once, all I need to is slap or tap the object, draw her attention to that object, and then move on. The next time we come up to it, she's definitely mindful and remembers and tries to stear me around it at all cost. About the only times I have to give her serious corrections are when she's distracted by the woman who trained her initially, at which my dog will wag her tail, and when she plows me into someone. But even these times, all I need say is the hated word of any Seeing Eye dog, which is German for "shame on you," and hopefully she will remember that for the next time. if not, I have no problems with reminding her again.

later, when I was sitting in the van's door area listening to the radio and waiting for my instructor to come back with the others student, I was able to act as a dog distraction. I heard another student coming and right when they were in front of me, I said, "Ah, here's some more people." That was enough to have the dog dart over to me. I felt its hair brush my legs before the owner could correct it, rather severely too, and then the trainer who was following behind identified me, at which we all laughed. When I told my instructor of this incident when they got back, his reply was, "We're going to have to put you on the pay role." That would be fine with me, :)

We have various lectures from time to time during training here. The frequency of the lectures can vary, usually there's a lot in the first week and then they get spread out more through the rest of training. This morning we had one on the dog's senses and how powerful they are. For instance, dogs can tell the foot falls of any person and instantly recognize that person before they appear. Or, dogs can also tell the type of car coming up and who will be in it. The man who gave the lecture said that there's a distinct difference in is dog's reactions to him verses his wife when they drive up at their home. This is truly incredible. If we as a human race only used dogs to their full potential, instead of throwing them away or just allocating them to pets, or dressing them up like little humans, then just imagine what we might be able to do all together. This also comes into play with the sense of smell. It was pointed out to us that our dogs can find a certain room, like our bedroom, not by simply memorizing it but also by its smell. That got me thinking; I only had to show the bedroom to my dog one or two times and every time after that, she will point it out to me or pause as if to ask, "Do you want to go there?" At least this is true when she's in harness. When she's not in harness, she may pause, and she may not pause. In harness though she gets it every time.

Well, that's about all for today. Tomorrow is the solo in the morning and then an afternoon off with a lecture and video tomorrow night. Rain is heavily forecasted for tomorrow, which means nothing for our training. I've heard that the only time they cancel training is when there's turrential rain and strong winds, otherwise it's off to the streets of Morristown. See you later, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps Sunday. Night all.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad things are going well at TSE. When are we going to find out the dog's name? I'm itching to know!