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Posts Tagged ‘deaf and blind’


Well, today we got up all excited. We did a morning walk around the campus after breakfasts. Then we headed in to wait our turns for hearing our dog’s medical records. I brushed Joe while I waited. Then Kate came into my room and read every single word of the paperwork. Little Joe had all his vaccinations, neutering, and dewormings with no problems. The school tried to implant a microchip for possible identification as a backup to tatoos and tags. It was noted that Joe’s body rejected his twice, so they gave up. Little Joe doesn’t have a microchip. Oh well, I will just hang on to him even tighter. I was given all meds, information, etc. on how to care for him and when to take him to the vet for check ups. The school recommends every 6 months for a working dog because of the extra stress the body is under. That won’t be a problem.
After lunch, we stayed in the dining hall as Kate and Katie read all the access laws, contract, and other information in our take home pack. It took all afternoon with all of the questions. Finally, late in the afternoon just after supper, I had my turn. Kate came into my room, read the entire contract again for me. Asked if I had any questions, and with excited hands, I signed my name where Kate placed her finger on the paper for me to follow. That was that. Little Joe was all mine. Kate left and Joe and I had a victory dance in the room. He was so excited that I was so excited. We just hung out in everyone’s rooms back and forth the rest of the night. Little Joe and I put out the lights about midnight.
Oh, he is mine!!

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We went to the DTC and ate lunch there. We did routes in the neighborhood. We took much longer routes and different ways than before. Joe began very cautious and did a good job most of the way. We worked on helping Joe learn my height today with the overhangs. If something neared my face, we stopped and said, “No, watch.” He only took a few tries before he was catching it all. Good boy, Joe! After a long, hot, but good route, we arrived back at the DTC for lunch.

After lunch, we returned to the school. Staff had a meeting at 1:30. We were free until feeding time. Joe and I returned to our room and read a book. At 3:00 Joe got fed and medicated for his ear. His ear is looking much better. Afterwards, Nancy went to work with Trigger and everyone else disappeared, so Joe and I went back to read our book and cuddle.

We had lecture at 4:30. Kate talked about dog booties, dangers of fertilizers to our dogs’ feet, not going to dog parks, and flexileashes not being approved. You do not want to lose a dog worth 40,000 dollars. Simple. Know where your dog is at all times.

After supper, we sat around and talked until I got on with Scott a little after 7:00 pm. We talked for a while and then I retired to get a shower and finish my book while cuddling with Joe.
This has been a very good day. Kate praised us all. She says we are all showing confidence and increased happiness. We really look like we are enjoying ourselves. I know I am. I left Brian, my older son, a birthday message. He is 25 today. Now I am going to turn out the light and rest for a new day. Tomorrow we sign the papers for our dog to make it official. Joe will truly be mine. Wow! That is super! Good night.

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I was awaken early today and had no problem getting to breakfast on time after taking all my meds. Joe awoke in a playful mood, so I had played with him before I left.

In the cafeteria, people dragged in, but someone had known it was my birthday. The students and staff sang “Happy Birthday” to me.

At 9:00 we went the mall. Katie worked with me today because it was Kate’s day off. Katie took me into Dillards to the escalator. I had not been on an escalator since I lost my sight, so she took me on it a few times to get used to the feel. She took Joe on it a couple of times to see how he reacted. He actually seemed to like it. Katie then led us both through. You stand on the metal piece and make sure the dog is lined up and close to you. You talk to your dog in happy voices saying Ok, go. You get your feet placed on the edge of the step so you can tell when it starts to go down. You put your hand on the rail ahead of you to feel when it starts to level out. When it does, you again say ok, get ready! Go! The thing is to go quickly making sure your dog has plenty of room to get off. The escalator can be very dangerous. If the dog is too skittish, there will be a restriction about you can’t take the dog on escalators. Joe and I jumped on the escalator doing it just fine. Joe was wagging his tail and smiling. Coming off was just as easy. It was obvious that Joe and I were having fun. We did the up and down several times each. Finally it was time to load up. The trainers, Katie and Rick, let me go back by myself to the other end of the mall. They hung way back. Joe and I meandered around, but easily found the door out back near our seat.

We then went to the DTC and ate lunch there. We did routes in the neighborhood. We took much longer routes and different ways than before. One street had trash and limbs piled along the street as it was garbage pick up day. He was a little distracted at first. In fact he was so distracted that at full speed he let me plow into a lamp pole. I said, “No!” firmly and snapped and released the leash backwards with my left hand. I then touched the pole and said, “Watch!” After that, he watched everything more cautiously.

We arrived back at the center in time to feed the dogs. At 4:00 we did obedience. We worked on stay and recall with finish which is stay the dog, leave it, and then after a bit tell it to come requiring it to sit directly in front of you facing you, then you say heel, and the dog goes to the left side and sits. Joe does very well with this. They tried to call him, and he wanted to go, but he just wagged his tail.

Supper at 6:00 was very good. Rudy fixed Hamburger steak smothered in onions and gravy, sweet peas, and garlic potatoes with special spices. I was in heaven. I got 3 chocolate chip cookies for dessert. They were sugar free, but you would never know it. Everybody sang to me again. It was very sweet.

After supper, we worked on a cd presentation for all the students. I gave them all my pics that I have taken and so did Nancy. We then added some more by doing a walk around the campus to make the ending shots. It was fun. Then we spent a while uploading pictures to the PC for Darlene to work on while we are sleeping.

I talked to Scott for a little while at 9:00. Then returned to my room and read a book and cuddled with Joe until about ll:45. I think I have had a very good birthday. I certainly have the best birthday present you could get: a companion, a guide, a new life. On that thought, I will say Good night! Good night, my little buddy, Joe.

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I really have nothing to say about today. We got up at 7:00 am. We had breakfast and then we all went back to our rooms. I tried to have a worship service just Joe and me, but somewhere along the way I fell asleep. Joe and I didn’t stir until almost noon. We had lunch in almost silence. Daniel talked a little, but no one responded. Soon even Daniel was quiet. After lunch and busying our dogs, we all crept back to our rooms almost woodenly. The looks on the faces that I could only see when passing close was almost empty. Fatigue was still present in all. Joe and I went back to our room and I listened to a book. Joe and I cuddled on the floor as the tape played. I don’t think I dozed because I could keep up with the story, but I may have.

At 3:00 we fed the dogs and Nancy talked to Anthony and me about playing Monopoly, a completely brailled game. She had never played the game. We played a couple of hours, but then grew tired. We cleaned it up after supper. Then Darlene brought out a game called Reminiscing. We played that until 9:00. I didn’t talk to Scott today because of storms going through the area. After 9:00 I went to my room with Joe and showered and listened to my book cuddled on the floor with Joe.

We still feel tired. Joe played briefly today with Hall, but even they only wanted to rustle and tussle with each other for a few minutes. I guess even the dogs needed this day. Tomorrow we should be ready to work. I will also turn 45 tomorrow. I don’t feel 45. The body sometimes feels tired because of asthma or diabetes, but the part that is really me feels like 20. I even still have the same giddiness and fears. I really don’t feel like 45. Good night until tomorrow.

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We were awaken at 5:40 am this morning. We went through the morning rituals preparing for the day. Joe seemed to sense this day was different. He watched intently as I dressed in my pants and shirt after breakfast. At 7:30, we were outdoors having pictures taken for our ids and ourselves including a class picture.

After that, the puppy raisers had arrived to watch our 9:00 route which was the Freedom Walk route which included the find the plantar area. Our turn came and Joe led me expertly around stopping at curbs and easily finding the planter. At one point he did see his raiser and tried to go over to her, but when I said no, forward, he wagged his tail and moved on.

A short time later, the students were led to different parts of the building to meet the puppy raiser of each of our dogs. I met mine in the computer room. There were four people present. The puppy raiser, Rita, her husband, her daughter, and the daughter’s boyfriend sat in a semi-circle. Rita is actually an employee of Southeastern. She is the puppy department head where she oversees the newborn puppies and their mothers. Rita and her family told me many stories of Joe’s puppyhood. I now know that he was allowed on furniture like her career changed dog Max. Joe also slept in the bed between her and her husband. These were definitely not puppy raiser dept.-approved methods, but who is going to argue with her being a department head and 4 time success raiser. Joe will be spoiled at my home, too, so I don’t mind. Rita says Joe doesn’t like to swim, since an over exuberant lab neighbor pushed him in a few times. I don’t mind if he doesn’t swim, I just don’t want him afraid. Rita says he isn’t afraid just wary. Rita tells me that Promise and Ryan are Joe’s parents. I remember them from past puppy raisers meetings. Rita also brought all his favorite old toys including his stuffed snake. She brought him a new bone and dog biscuits. There is also a guardian angel medallion for him to wear on his collar. It is obvious that Joe loved them all. Joe went from one to another for his favorite rubs. Sarah, the daughter seems to give the best belly rubs. The dad gets him on the back just above the base of his tail, while Rita gives the best ear scratches.

At this point, we are led out to get pictures made with our puppy raising family. I also have pictures made with Misty and Schotzi for our brothers pic.

We are then led into the dining hall for the graduation ceremony. They introduce all the pertinent staff and then turn it over to the trainers to bring our certificates to us one at the time. We each are asked to say a few words. We all generally say how much we appreaciate Southeastern, the puppy raisers, trainers, etc. and how we are all feeling more confident in our abilities. We no longer see blindness as insurpassable obstacle.

We then had lunch with our raisers and finished off the day with goodbyes and a few tears. I let Rita and her family know that I will keep in touch. I will send them pictures of Joe and his adventures. I thank them all one last time for their sacrifices and efforts with Joe. I will see Rita again Friday before we leave since she works here.

I talked to Scott shortly afterwards, but all of us including the dogs felt drained after the day’s events. We went to our rooms and read books and slept until supper.

After supper, we all got wound up and needed to release some steam. Daniel and Bobbie had caught a cab and went to dinner. Crystal went out with her parents and daughter for dinner. Wayne went home after graduation. He didn’t have to stay for the final week. Jerry was tired and went to bed. Chris, Anthony, Nancy, myself, and Misty played a game of Outburst. Nancy and I played against the other three. Despite the unbalanced team numbers, Nancy and I win easily.
Afterwards we all needed a way to vent some tension from the day. We got a little silly and played some practical jokes on Daniel and Bobby. First we put some popping bubble plastic under their toilet seat. When they sat down, it would scare them. We also taped up the tissue on the roll, so it wouldn’t come unrolled. Someone decided to get a poopie bag a put a chocolate bar in it. They cut the candy into chunks and mushed it some until it looked like poop. This bag was placed on the bed. We made sure that our jokes wouldn’t hurt anybody or cause a mess that someone else would have to clean up for us. Darlene, the house mother, chuckled as she helped us set things up. When Daniel and Bobby came in, they fell for the jokes easily. They were good sports. When we passed the poop bag around taking a bite, Daniel made a face and looked like he was going to retch. Finally, he got the message and dropped to the floor laughing. We all laughed. He told us how he had used the toilet and heard the loud popping noise and thought the toilet was exploding jumping up backing out of the bathroom. Yes, we all enjoyed a good laugh. It was something needed after such a long, emotional day.

We laughed for awhile, but then one by one we realized how drained we suddenly seemed to feel. One by one we drifted quietly to our rooms. I decided I was too tired for a shower and it was quiet time. The fan in the bathroom would be disturbing to my neighbors.

Well, I am finishing this now because I really can’t think anymore. This has been a great day, but I have no more left in me. The emotions are expended now. I must sleep. Good night….

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We awoke on our usual schedule. Kate shook my bed to let me know it was time. We went about our usual duties. After breakfast and feeding Joe, We were back in our room for the hour or so break. I use that time to read, pray, and play with Joe. At 5 til 8:00, I wandered up to the day room. No one was there. In fact, it was fairly quiet everywhere. I said good morning to April, the cleaning lady and whatever else comes up, and then went to the door to the obedience area. No one was there either. We always have obedience unless something is on the schedule like Tampa and we have to drive a long ways. I went back to the porch area and found Kate in the trainers office. I asked if we were going to have obedience. She said, yes, we always have it at 8:00. After a few seconds, I asked what time is it? She looked at her watch and said 8:27. I said what?! Kate was busy doing paperwork ( there seems to be a mountain of paperwork the trainers have to do.), so she wasn’t seeing how shocked I was. I asked her to look at my watch and it said 5 after 8:00. Then she chuckled. That is why you didn’t show up! Evidently the night before when people where fascinated by my Braille watch( blind people seldom use Braille watches now since the invention of talking watches. I, unfortunately, can’t hear the time with those and we have not been able to find a watch that allows me to see the hands well enough,), they had moved the hands back. We laughed and I apologized as Kate helped me fix the time on the watch. That was a great start for the day.

Well, we didn’t do routes today as we and especially the staff are preparing for Puppy Raiser Day and Graduation. This time the two events are being put together on the third weekend. That means the staff are still ironing out little problems along the way. For us, it means a whole lot of waiting. I do have a vet’s appointment for Joe, so that will keep me and a few others busy. We left about 9:00 in the van. Wayne and Destiny, Jerry and Nina, Nancy and Cole, Crystal and Bobbie, and I and Joe left together. Wayne had a recheck for Destiny’s kennel cough as did Nancy. Kennel cough is spreading around the dogs. Xccelerator, Chris’s dog, had it first. He had developed it when he was at a finishing home just before he came for the class. The finishing home trainer’s dog had gotten it at a kennel where she had boarded the dog before a trip. Now kennel cough was spreading through the complex, but it is being treated aggressively, so after just a few days of one dog after the next getting it, it seemed to be dying down. Joe didn’t seem to feel good for a couple of days this week, but nothing I could put my finger on specifically. He just seemed different somehow.
Anyway, we all went and everyone was checked out and weighed. They all were doing fine. Joe and Nina had slight ear infections, but I was told they had both shown a predisposition for them. All my dogs are like that and we handle it fine by checking there ears and using drying solutions for them. I was not bothered by that at all. All the dogs, except for Destiny at 68 lbs, weighed in between 85.7 and 80.2 lbs. Joe is 80.2 and Cole, the largest of all the class dogs, at 85.7. He was 93 at the beginning of class, but he and Xccelerator were hit the hardest with the kennel cough. They were in the same run back in the main kennel just before class.

When we returned, Kate took each student separately and read and discussed the medical records of his/her dog. The medical records covers everything done by a vet since the puppies were born. All shots given are listed and any illnesses or injuries. Joe has a very definite ear infection history. He also had a minor hip injury early on. The vet listed it as only bruised as shown by the x-rays.

After lunch, we were read the puppy raiser bio form. The raiser told about themselves, their family, hobbies, special memories of puppy and how the puppy raising experience affected them. Joe’s raiser is the head of the puppy department. She remembers Joe being very affectionate and having such a cute personality. She mentioned that many began to call her office in the puppy kennel as “Joe’s office.” People all over the school were attached to the little black and tan goldador.

After supper, I talked to Scott briefly and opted to go to bet early. Puppy Raiser Day and Graduation was going to be emotionally draining for us and the dogs. I need to be prepared. Good night for now.

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Well, I awoke at 2:30 drenched in sweat. Sheets were wet, so I check my sugar level. It was 121. No problem there unless it went down to far before dawn, but I didn’t think so. Finally, I got back to sleep.
Before breakfast this morning at 6:00 am, my sugar level was 130. There is the “Dawn Phenomenon.” I knew it would kick in.
Well, today is supposed to be DTC in the morning for morning routes in the neighborhood. We will eat at the mall in Bradenton. We will do afternoon routes there. This evening at 6:00 is the CPR we thought we were going to have Monday night.

We did obedience after breakfast. Joe did better with the distractions today. We then got our harnesses, “busyed” the dogs, loaded up to go downtown.

The routes we did at the DTC were in much busier streets and we went a good couple of miles in the heat. We left early trying to beat the heat and the humidity, but that is hard. I feel fine as far as the heat goes. It was only 94 in Bradenton today. Scott said it reached over 100 in the Macon area plus the heat index. I definitely am glad I am here as far as temperature goes. Joey hit the curbs right on the mark every time. He took me around poles and potholes I didn’t even know were there. Kate told me later. The only thing she missed was a palm tree branch sticking out into the sidewalk area at about ankle level. I hit it and snagged up. Kate caught me before I hit the ground. I said, “No” and popped his leash back in correction and quickly relaxed it. I pushed the branch with my foot and said, “Watch.” We then turned around and reworked it. It stopped for it, so I could scan for it and step over it. I praised him very well. His little tail began swinging wildly back and forth. I wish I could get a picture from the rear when we near a “curb”. Kate says that Joe starts wagging his tail in anticipation as soon as he spots something. He stops and wags even faster as I search. I better not forget a “party” when he is so excited about getting it. I would hate to disappoint him.

We went back to the Bradenton Mall for lunch and afternoon routes. After lunch, I waited for others while they did their routes. I finally asked a new trainer, Lynn, to take me to the restroom. Chris asked to go with us. Lynn quickly took off with Chris and Xcelerator behind her. Shoppers got in my way, so I lost sight of her. Joe however, took me right on behind her. I got confused in the maze of hallways and almost when in the men’s room behind Chris, but I finally made it. When I left the women’s room, I realized that Lynn had left me. As I stared at the fuzzy walls and shadows around me, I panicked. I couldn’t breathe, and fell back hugging the walls. I had no clue how to get back out. Now this might not sound like such a big deal to anyone, but me. However, I can’t hear much of anything and now I found myself surrounded by passageways alone. Fortunately I had prayed earlier about just these kinds of moments. Finally, words managed to seep through the fog in my brain. I could hear Kate telling me to think about where I was. Now align yourself with the wall and follow it to the end. I did and found myself at an intersection with hallways coming in all directions. I almost freaked again, but then a thought came. Ok. You came out of the restroom. Anyone coming past from there will be heading out, or anyone going in the opposite direction will be going to the restroom from the outside. Wait and follow them. Pretty soon, someone came by heading to the restroom. I went in the direction they came from. Great! It was just another passageway. I followed the wall to the end and rounded the corner. Ah! Another hallway or something. Ok, now there were choices in directions. Ugh! I was just about to panic or being unchristian like or something when someone rounded the corner. Oh, thank you, Jesus for that sign and keeping me from temptation. I followed the wall in that direction and eventually the light brightened somewhat and I heard the roar of the mall hitting my ears. I took a deep breath. I, of course, had no clue which way to go. I could only hope. Uh, Joe,find the seat. Off Joe went as followed his lead and prayed he wasn’t just going after a piece of hamburger under a counter somewhere. We made twists and turns, brushing near but not touching other people and trash cans, etc. Finally, he stopped and I realized, “Hey, Joe did it!” I cried with sheer delight. I was exactly where I started from. Now there were other people sitting in the chair, but it was the exact chair. Fortunately, Jerry was in the table at the left of us waiting for his route, so I sat there and told him of my wonderful experience. Joey is perfect for me… No doubt in my mind.
Our routes were cut short a little later. One of the dogs cut his paw on the escalator, so some left immediately. A few others waited until Katie returned with her students. I and Crystal did not get to go on the route and do escalators today, but I didn’t care. I had achieved something major here. I could wait til later for escalators.
We arrived back to the school to find out that Schotzie’s paw was fine. It bled some, but was taken care of by the on call vet. Nancy was excited as well. She told us how she had been waiting outside Dilliard’s on a bench as another student was reworking some steps. A group of school children came by and immediately started yelling, “Look a dog, a dog!” Many came running up and tried to pet the dog. Of course, Cole didn’t mind. He was in a downstay beside Nancy. He immediately wagged his tail. Nancy politely told them that Cole was a working dog and could not be petted. The children, being about 7, began responding that he couldn’t be working because he was just lying there on the floor. With a chuckle, Nancy explained what she meant by working and how petting him could distract Cole from his duty of guiding and safeguarding her. Nancy was very pleased when they obviously understood and wanted to know more about guide dogs and how to treat blind people and working dogs, etc. Nancy spent about 15 minutes talking with the children. They all promised to be careful when they saw a working dog not to distract it from its duty. Nancy was quite pleased with herself, and we were pleased with her as well.

After supper, we had a class on taking care of our dogs. We learned to use tick preventative once a month and heartworm preventative, too. We brushed our dogs’ teeth and cleaned their ears. I have been concerned for Joe. His ears keep getting dirty despite me trying to clean them out one other time this week. I used three gauzes to try and get the dirt all out. After that we even learned how to do mouth to snout CPR and rescue breathing. Rita Princivalli, the graduate director, taught the class. She had a large stuffed Dalmatian with brailled arteries and sacs attached to a hand pump to help us learn CPR. It was incredibly fun and useful.
I finished at 7:30 to join Scott on X-Box Live for our 20th Anniversary date. He sent me to our private website that has screen captures of our house security camera system. On the rear, the camera showed a large sign with the words: Happy 20th Anniversary. I love you scrawled across it. That was a perfect present being so far away. We talked until about 9:00 when I had to go to bed.
I am just finishing this up as I get really sleepy. See you tomorrow.

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We had fun, yesterday, but yes, a very long day. To top it off we had a fancy meal with some dignitaries last night. I felt like a monkey in the zoo again. Only a few came over and talked to us and then they had us spread so far from each other that we couldn’t talk. All of us said we were miserable. Even Chris, the important one, said he was scared. You know it had to be bad. Tampa was great. I was scared at first, but Joe took over and Kate was there to help me when I got confused. Pretty soon, Joe and I were going around like we had lived in Tampa all our lives. Well, almost… I had asthma bad toward the end though. I sat in the front of the van on the way back and nebulized with the battery plug thingie. We had an interesting trip back, too. We were about halfway back when Kate suddenly pulls over at an off ramp where the lines mark between the ramp and the right lane. We had smoke come out from under the van majorly. It looks like Kate noticed something was wrong very quickly, so no danger at all. They quickly unloaded everyone and ran us to the other van in the back. They took us one at the time, so there was no waiting on hot pavement for the dogs. I was last. Chuck took Joe for me because with me in the front Joe had to get in and out the folding doors. Kate helped me as I was still wheezing. We all went sighted guide because we were very close to traffic on both sides. After we were all crammed in, we came home with no further incidents. The van was picked up and took for repairs shortly after we left. I took a pic of us all crammed in the back. There were dogs, students, and trainers all sitting or standing crushed together. Everyone rubbed their dogs since they had to sit and be close to another dog and person. It wasn’t bad. Everyone laughed and had a good time. The dogs slept in whatever position they were in. They were exhausted.
When we returned and had watered and relieved the dogs, we all retired to our rooms because the dogs needed a nap. I finished by Sherlock Holmes book and petted Joe while I nebulized.

Later we fed the dogs and waited to eat with the fancy folks. I got out of there as soon as I could. It was 8:00 pm when I finally got free. By then Joe and I were exhausted and I was going to shower. Well, then Misty and Nancy came in. Misty had learned a neat litttle tidbit from a puppy raiser who knew her dog and mine. Misty’s dog Shotzie is Little Joe’s brother. It is obvious that they remember each other. We had already remarked how much they like each other. As we talked about other things and laughed, the dogs slept. Joe and Shotzie moved close together and snuggled together. You couldn’t tell where one dog started and the other ended.
As we were talking, Kate came in a said a rough storm was coming, so we might want to take our dogs out. We all got up to do so. I got dizzy and fell down. I realized that I now felt really bad. Kate said she would take Little Joe out while I tested my sugar level. It was 60. My sugar level had been high before dinner because of the med treatments all day. Kate brought me some M&M’s and a fudgecicle from the kitchen. I was fine shortly.
Anthony joined Nancy and I in my room later. We talked and laughed until almost 11:00. This was not exactly what I had intended, but it was fun. We tested my FM system as Anthony walked around the building in the dark whispering into my mic. I repeated everything to Nancy. It was hilarious as he found one wall with his head, tripped over an extension cord, spilled water on the floor, etc. Anthony is totally blind and has been since birth, so lights wouldn’t have helped him. He is really a big clown, but he knows when and when not to do it. That is better.
Well, I am going to sleep now. Good night.

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We got up and went early today. We went to the beach in St. Petersburg. We left early and stayed until after 1:00 pm. It is was really fun. I was scared at first, though. I haven’t been to the beach in six years. The beach was always special to me because I like running through the water and making it splash. Having fish nibble my toes was always a fun treat, too. Those are very special memories for me. I really didn’t know how I could enjoy the beach again, and I didn’t want to spoil the beautiful memories I had. I needn’t have worried. We walked the beach a good ways at first. Little Joe was dilligent and didn’t trail to near the water’s edge. Just a ways from me, Anthony is walking with Hall. All of a sudden Hall took off for the water jumping several times in the waves before Anthony and the two trainers, Kate and Katie, could pull them both back. Hall wanted to go swimming very badly. It was sooo funny. We all laughed. Kate and Katie were having a ball, too. Later, the Lion’s Club of St. Pete’s fed us lunch. It was very good and sweet of them.After lunch, everyone went walking again. Kate took me to the water’s edge to let Joe and I get our feet wet. I carefully walked into the waves a bit. We were allowed to get wet this trip, but I slowly got out about knee deep. I was scared some. If I got knocked down I was afraid I would get disoriented. Joe only seem to be tolerating the water though. He stayed a step or two back. It was funny. Water was slapping us both. All of a sudden, Joe jumped up and placed his wet front paws on my chest. Water splashed all in my face, and the whole front of my shirt and shorts got wet. He pressed close and put his head on my chest. It was like, “Mama, please get me out of this water.” I really liked it. Slowly the fear went away. Maybe next time, I will go out further. I will take Joe’s harness off for that though. We came back in time to take a nap before feeding the dogs. I did my nebulizer treatment again while Joey slept next to my leg. He let me rub and massage him all over. He was snoring in no time. At his feeding time, he gulped down his food in record time. smile

I worked on JAWS and ZoomText until supper time. I also like the braille display. I don’t have to use my eyes to read it. They didn’t hurt after about 15 minutes like they usually do. Most of the time I ignore it because so much of my work is on the computer. Unfortunately these refreshable braille displays cost 2000 dollars or more. It was nice though.
After supper, I talked to Scott again for awhile.
Then little Joey and I went to play in the room before bedtime. He then slept on the floor while I took a shower. We finished off the day listening to a Sherlock Holmes story. Tomorrow is going to be a really big day. We are traveling down to Tampa for the whole day. It should be fun. Scary, though, at the same time. We will being doing routes on the busy roads and intersections. Until then, sleep tight.

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Day 15: Busy, Busy. New Neighborhood Routes and the Mall

This has been a busy, fun day. We first went to DTC and walked differents routes in another neighborhood. The routes were longer. My usual trainer has the day off since she worked a 36 hour shift over the weekend. Chuck is the training supervisor. He said Joe and I worked perfectly together. After that, we went to the DeSota Mall in Bradenton. We ate lunch first. We individually went to the place of our choice to order. I went to Chick-Fil-A because it was very noisy. I ordered everything without stopping and listed all including sauce and no ice. That way I didn’t have to listen and figure out what was being said. A new place would have been difficult since they would
have to read the menu. I would never have understand them. I made it easy for myself.
We came back and fed the dogs. It was storming here then. We had free time until supper at 5:00 then I talked to Scott for a short while and played 4 or 5 matchmaking games on X-Box. I even won one. Cool.
Next is shower and floor time with Joe.Tomorrow is a surprise day. I am gonna get some sleep now, so I will be ready. Oops. I better use my machine. Nancy just came from next door to check on me. She thought I was crying or something from all the sounds. I am wheezing pretty badly. Well, let me take care
of it. I will check back tomorrow. Good night.

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