Highlights From Guide Dog School # 4


March 13, 2011-Obstacles-No Problem!

Yesterday was a long day…it started out sunny and ~40 degrees-really nice. We did obstacle training. The instructors set up several objects in our path to see if the dogs would do as they were trained. Some things blocked our way totally and the dog had to find a way around it and then return to the original path and direction. Other objects just partially blocked our way and the dogs were to zig zag around them.  And some obstacles were overhead and they were supposed to stop us from running into them. Sophie did it perfectly the first time! She has learned her lessons well! And all inspite of her “handler” (me) cuz I am not doing everything right…for instance…yesterday I did not have her harness on correctly which must have felt really weird to her! Poor thing! Then in the afternoon, they took us to a huge park out in the open that had walking/biking trails. There were people, bikes, strange dogs and slushy mud…the weather instantly turned nasty on us and we were to walk 2 miles by ourselves with the dogs. It was VERY difficult. Sophie was distracted and full of energy. She essentially pulled me through the 2 miles at a trot and I had trouble keeping her focused. I was exhausted from wrestling with her and a little discouraged too. i guess I thought it would be this pleasant stroll out in the country but it turned out to be a mad dash  to the finish line! It worries me a little that she will not slow her pace down sometimes, but she is a puppy still and she has been in the kennel for 4 months. Kevin assures me she will fall into rhythm with me in time. It takes patience, effort and time. It is Sunday and we are off all day. Some of the students are getting sick…please pray I do not catch anything as the schedule is demanding. Next week we get to go out and about more-We will start going into public with the dogs-stores, restaurants etc. I did laundry last night and they had Bingo night for us 🙂 I won a box of Milk Bones for Sophie! woo hoo! Thats all for now…Love to all! Audrey/mom

March 14, 2011 On Our Own

It was a beautiful day here-really! Sunny and in the 50’s.Today we did routes with our dogs “solo”-no supervision of the instructors. Sophie did a wonderful job and i was so glad to get out and walk at a nice pace with her. She is like a little aerodynamic machine, the way she glides along the sidewalks. And she does everything correctly…it felt so good to walk with her.

 This week we will begin to go in public with our dogs…first stop: Petsmart which we can walk to and is right across the street from here. We also get to go to a coffee shop, restaurant, Target, etc. to start to learn proper store etiquette. We are supposed to groom the dogs everyday so they don’t leave hair around in the places they visit. Sophie LOVES to be brushed and she usually falls asleep while I do it. It is very relaxing for me too… Lets see-we will take our dogs to the vet on Thursday for a check-up and to learn a few things from them. And then at the end of the week, we may be meeting our puppy raiser and getting more info about our dog from the Puppy department.

 I can feel Sophie loosening her attachment to the trainer…they say it happens after about 8 days together. The way she looks up at me…oh it melts my heart! She is precious and all I can say is “poor Lucy…”  No, I will make every effort to give her needed attention and love….I have enough for both of the girls! Well- it is time to park the dogs and then put them to bed. Thanks for the emails…i really like hearing from you all. Take care, Love and hugs, Audrey/Mom

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