Sunday, September 7

Weekend update

Greetings. Well,we had our first solo route yesterday and my dog did very well. She drifted into a parking lot on one of the first few blocks, but I was able to redirect her back onto the sidewalk near the street. I thought she was going left around an obsticle, but she kept going left. The important thing was that I was able to correct her and get her back on task. The instructor told me later that he didn't know why she did that. Aside from a few other focus issues in the beginning block or two and from getting a forehead full of wet leaves from a tree, which I showed to her, she led me around all obsticles and did very well. Our instructor told us not to get false hopes if things go well, and also not to get too discouraged if they don't. It's still early in the training yet and there's lots to cover over the next week and a half or so.

One funny thing that did happen was when I came up to a crossing and found a fellow classmate, a woman. I asked her what street this was, since I wasn't sure. I was pretty sure, but needed some confirmation. Her response, "I can't tell you." I then asked, "Are yu going to keep it a secret?" She replied, "Yes." I then decided I would mess with her a little and when she told me I could go ahead and cross, I started making small talk: "So, how's your day going so far?" After a few more comments, she said, very frustratedly, "Just go." Which I did, :)

Rain was heavily forecasted for Saturday morning in the new York/New Jersey area, but thankfully it didn't come till early afternoon. in fact, it rained from early afternoon till late at night. And when isay heavily, I mean heavily, like downpour. It made the afternoon and evening park times less than pleasurable for the dogs, and many dogs refused to park on command, figuring that they would wait until the next time or perhaps wake their masters or mistresses up in the early morning to park. Thankfully, my dog did make her #1 deposit, but held off on the other. I think she had secodn thoughts after attempting to shake the water off, even though the downpour kept going.

I got more doggie details yesterday. I found out that my dog's birthday is on Halloween of 2005, that she weighs 63 pounds, and that she is 26 and a half inches at the shoulder.

Some people have made comments on this blog, which I appreciate by the way, asking why I haven't given the dog's name yet. This is because many of my colleagues from work may be reading this blog, and I want to cut down on potential distractions for when we return to work. I will make another announcement at the next Monday Morning Meeting on September 22, letting everyone know of some guidelines to go by for my dog. Such things as no petting while in harness, no staring at the dog, and so forth, the standard stuff when introducing a dog to a new environment. If you want to know her name, then email me privately and I'll tell you ... maybe, :)

Got to go for the late morning park. My dog didn't eat her breakfast this morning, likely going through more stress from the prior working week or adjustment. When i feed her I also take her into the bathroom for a bowl of water. However, since she didn't eat, I forgot the bathroom trip, so she didn't get any food or water this morning. Hopefully she's not thinking bad thoughts of me, :) Until later.


  1. I believe you work at a training center for the blind. The possibility that you have colleagues who don't know all or most of the rules concerning dealing with guide dogs is quite worrisome. If everyone in the supposed blindness system doesn't know this stuff, how in the world can we expect the general public to get it?

  2. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I'm enjoying your blog Wayne. As a puppy raiser its very interesting for me to hear the other side. Could you tell us a little about the class in general?

  3. To Darrell: you are right, i do workat an adult training center for the blind. And, if everyone at the training center truly did not know what to do when faced with a guide dog, then you might be right. However, about 10 percent of the employees at the center are also guide dog users themselves. The rules that I spoke of were more for someone that is coming back with a new dog, not someone who has had their dog for at least a year to 18 months, or more. Most of my colleagues that use dogs where I work have had their dogs for 12-18 months or more, and thus are more familiar with what distracts their dogs and what doesn't. If a student or fellow colleague truly did do something that really distracted their dog, I have no doubt that my colleagues would correct that person for that action. As for everyone else, both staff and students are very aware of how to act around a dog guide. in fact, we have several students who are dog users. Since I'll be starting out with a new dog and one which might have the slightest of bonds with me, my suggested will be coming from that point of view, of not unnecessarily distracting a dog who's still getting to know me, and vice versa. Thanks for the comments.