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Posts Tagged ‘handicap’


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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After awaking at 7:00 am and breakfasts for me and Joe, we went back to the room for our own worship service since I still had gotten a ride to a Baptist church. I told them I didn’t care as much about Baptist as long as it was a Bible believing, Jesus as God type of Church. Anyway, Joe and I read, sang, and prayed for over 2 hours. I don’t know what others thought, but I did it any way. I do feel sorry for those who had to listen to me sing, but God was ok with it, I’m sure. Lunch came quickly and then Joe and I listened to a Sherlock Holmes book for a while. I fed him at 3:00. Then Jerry and Nina played with Joe and I. Actually, we sat in chairs and the dogs played. The trainer helped us listened for the inappropriate growling and barking. When dogs play together, there is some growling and low barking, some mild playful nipping, etc. Anything over that and we have to correct quickly. I was glad for this training because while puppy raising we were never sure what the rules were about that.

After that, I groomed Joe for about 15 mins. He loves it. He turns around when he is ready for me to groom another side. I get about 5 mins. per area. He is sooo funny.

Then I got incredibly bored and hyper. We walked around the inside of the building 6 times. Then Kate asked if I wanted to play with Trigger. I said, “Who?” She said, “Trigger. Our very bad guide dog who has to be corrected an awful lot. I was game for anything, and she seemed to be glad to stop me from continually walking. smile With Trigger, a stuffed black lab with harness strapped to chair, Kate ran me through scenarios and helped me to learn and practice carefully all the different steps, commands and most importantly, corrections. You would never want to correct a real dog this much. He would probably get a low self-esteem and sore neck.
Ok, its straight back pop of the leash with the left hand for not heeling or for missing a curb. New things like overhanging trees is just a stop, touch whatever it is and say watch. If you give a direction command, the correction for not moving in that direction is a pop of the leash in the direction you want to go with the right hand.. Left with the right hand is hard. Down correction is a pop and release of the leash with the right hand in a downward direction.

Lots to get straight in your head, especially if you still get your left and right mixed up. :-< smile

Well, I made it to supper. I talked to Scott again, as most nights. I looked at the pictures of him, Brendan, Hartley, Kaz, and Dino from the security cameras around the house. Scott fixed a private page on our website for me to go and look at when I want. I get to keep up with what is going on. At least,some. smile

Well, bedtime for Bonzo and me. Good night.

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I got up feeling really bad when Kate opened the door at 5 til 6:00 am to wake me up. Joe wagged his tail. I quickly took Joe out, took meds, did an asthma treatment with the machine.
At breakfast I tried to eat some scrambled eggs, toast, and juice, but didn’t get much down. I finally gave up and went to feed Joe. Afterwards, I took him to his grassy spot and perfect. He poopied without hesitating. Good boy!

We were to have obedience at 5 til 8. Everything being moved up some because 150 guests were coming for some reason. Lunch was being moved up to 11:30. I came back to my room to do another treatment. At a few minutes til 8, I went to get up to go. I rushed to the bathroom thinking I was going to get sick. I didn’t, but I gagged. I just couldn’t breathe. I used my asthma inhaler and laid across the bed til I felt better. During obedience I began a coughing and wheezing fit. I became very dizzy, and Kate said I was through for the day. No routes for me and Little Joe. She led me sighted guide back to my room and helped me put little Joe back on tie down. He didn’t argue at all. I gave him his bone to keep him busy. Kate asked me if I needed anything while I laid down. I said not now. She said she would check on me frequently and then check at 11:15 to see if I wanted lunch.
Kate did check on me frequently. I got up and did my nebulizer about every hour or so. About 11:00 I began to feel better. Voice was very tight and hoarse, but I didn’t feel so dizzy. I went to lunch. I know I am better when I feel like eating. I ate a cheeseburger with all the decorations, chips, and brownie with a blind cocktail. Oh if you know I am diabetic and wondering about my concoction, don’t worry the lemonade is sugar free.
After lunch which was early, I went back to my room to nebulize and rest more. I got on the computer at 1:00 to talk to Scott for a while, but spent most of the day in my room nebulizing, sleeping, or watching a movie. Joey was fed at 3:00 and did his poopie on the grass. I called it an early night. This humidity is very high. I guess I will level off when we can have a nice thunderstorm. Good night for night. Sweet dreams.

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I fell asleep last night listening to my book. I woke up sometime and turned it off. This morning Darlene, the night person, woke me up at 5 til 6 this morning. She had to flick the light to wake me up. Well, Joe was wagging his tail, although he didn’t get up, yet. I quickly got dressed and led him out. He gladly did his busy. Once back in, I took another slightly cold shower. I haven’t mentioned that, but every morning or night or afternoon I take lukewarm baths. I have no clue why. First few days I took very cold baths because I couldn’t figure out how to work the shower. I turned it toward hot water, but it was always cold. I would turn it toward C, and it would get really cold. After about three days of very cold showers, I figured out the warmest water, lukewarm, is in the center. It is a good thing I took plenty of cold showers with the Boy Scouts on camp outs. Cold showers take serious getting used to. big grin

After mine and Joey’s breakfast, I took Joe out to busy. I had been told that since Joe really wouldn’t go much on those rocks, I could take him out to a grassy area a little ways away. He seemed extremely happy. He immediately poopied. Finally! Now I can rest easier. I will just have to bring him here.
We did obedience right after that. We practiced a new command stand today. You never correct for this one. If they don’t stand, you put your hand on their underside and and push gently upward and say stand again. Then we did a sit/stay and practiced distractions. Joe only moved one time. The rest of the time he stayed like he was glued to the cement. Good boy!!!! Then we practice Come and the finish. Joey did perfectly. Then we took a break. That means praising and excitement.

Next, we loaded the two vans and headed to DTC. This time the work was short, but fun. We did the route from earlier in the week in reversed. At times, a van would come careening very close to us as it turned in a driveway or turned a corner as we were crossing the street. Joe stopped perfectly and once as the van got very close, he stepped backwards and took me with him. The first time Joe stopped, but I walked past and Joe stepped in front of me. I was not going any further. Good boy! He is soooo good. Of course, listening to traffic and deciding when to cross direction is my responsibility, not Joe’s. He can’t listen to a car and judge how long it will take before it goes by. Only problem, I can’t either. We will have to work hard together on that part, but I am sure we will be alright.

After everyone finished, we loaded back up and headed back. We arrived just in time for lunch. I retired back to my room after lunch to listen to my tape book. Joey slept beside me and dreamed, his little feet flicking back and forth.

I was awakened at 3:15 or so by Kate asking if I was coming to feed Little Joe. I couldn’t believe it. I had fallen asleep on the floor mission I don’t even know how much tape of my story. Joe was still asleep, as well. I would think his tummy was grumbling, especially hearing people noisily walk down the hall and out the metal door with it thudding its frame and shaking a good part of the building. He didn’t, though, so I guess we were both seriously out. I also found out that only a few had done their routes when construction crews who have been working on the front large parking lot decided they needed to tear up all the sidewalks around it. Those places run through almost every route on the map. Therefore, they had to cancel the rest of the day’s activities. We had had our lecture at DTC, as well. We were asked to do obedience on own. I did mine after feeding and busying Joey.

I talked in the Day Room with Chris, Jerry, Misti, Wayne, and Nancy until Supper. After supper I got on early and talked to Scott for an hour. Joe and I busied again and went to bed. I watched a movie until bed. Then listened to a tape until I went to sleep. I later got up long enough to check on Joey and put up my hearing aids. I am sleeping a lot, but the humidity is taking a toll on my asthma control. See you in the morning.

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I awoke at 5:40 this morning. I was still tired from our late night last night. I evidently was not alone. The table was quiet this morning as well as the others. We fed the dogs and did obedience immediately after breakfast. Routes were done after that. We started out toward the Freedom Trail. However, Joe quickly stopped. I did the ground check. Uh, nothing. I started to say forward, but remembered to do the hand in the air check. Ah, a banner stretched across the way. Next he stopped and I found a large hose piled on the sidewalk. He then found some cones down the sidewalk a ways. He missed the dipping curb with dirt at the bottom. I said Watch curb and did a round about command and walked back a short distance. We round about again. When we went forward again, he caught the curb and I did a really good praise. We went forward and walked the Freedom trail through the garden and past the gazebo and out to the other side. We did a find the planter from a different direction before. He found it with no problem. Good party held there. big grin We finished the courses doing a few more obstacles.

After lunch, we did the route again, but Joe did not do quite as well, nor did Shotzie with Mitzi. The cement was just too hot for them. We got them to do the obstacles and then got out of the sun.

After cooling them off, we fed them. We were free until 4:30. I gave Joe a rest and then we played with a Kong. Joe loved it. He mostly wanted to chew it today. I let him and rubbed on him. I put on my audio tape and listened to a murder mystery as I rubbed him.

Kate knocked and opened the door (because I can’t hear the knock and I know she knocked) and said lecture in 5 mins. I turned the tape off and gathered up Joe and made my sit/heel way up to the day room. We went over the over around command which is stop for obstacle/take a step back so the dog can choose the safest route around/follow dog checking for curb if dog stops again. If he finds a curb, praise him and go forward down the curb. Give him the direction (opposite of the way you went around the obstacle) left left or right right and then find the curb. Praise him and say forward to get back in alignment after the obstacle. We talked about dangers such as traffic when in the street if that was the safest way to go, etc. Then it was supper. We have 2 new people in class. They are only here for a few days for some reason. One is a friend of Chris’ who is a executive of a large software company. I have been asked not to say. Well, that just shows that some people talk a lot to look important and then others talk a lot, but are important.
After supper, we were free. I checked e-mail and talked to Scott for a while. I retired to the room for more floor time and book reading until it was time to shower and get to bed. We have an early day at DTC again. Well, new routes and adventures tomorrow. Good night.

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Day 10: Wal-mart and a night walk
We awoke at 5:45 this morning. No present was waiting for me, fortunately. I busied him and he poopied. We had a
big party.” We had breakfast and fed the dogs. Obedience was more practice of distractions during stays and come and finish. At 9:30, we left for Wal-mart. It took us 30 mins. to get there. Once there we busied the dogs and we went in through the store to McDonald’s. In there, we sat and took turns going shopping.
Kate taught me how to walk in the store with a buggy and sighted person. I walk behind the cart with dog next to me, so he is safe from injury and knocking things over. The sighted person stands in front and pulls the cart around.
The best command is Follow. You tap the arm of the sighted person you are going to follow and say, “Follow.” Joe was very good at following. Kate tried to slip away from him, but Joe stayed with her even in crowds. She then took me around and I picked out me some sugar free candies and a Kong hydrant and big Nylabone for Joe. Kate then left us to see how we would do own our own. We could walk around for 10 mins. then head back to McDonald’s. I walked Joe around departments, in the clothes dept, and in the hat dept. I stopped and pick out a baseball cap to help keep the sun out of my face. I brought one (I am sure my husband is mumbling about that now.), but the humidity has been so bad that we can’t keep the floppy parts from being too floppy. I look like someone one pulled my turtleneck up over my head. big grin That is not safe right now. Anyway I found a $5.00 Levi Strauss hat. Joe sat or followed me around looking at each hat in each bin until I decided on that one. He was perfect. We then headed back to McDonald’s. However, somewhere along the way I got disoriented and could not find McDonald’s. I was mumbling about needing to find McDonald’s. Finally, Joe started pulling me hard to turn around. I kept telling him no and trying to focus. Finally, I said ok. Joe take me to McDonald’s. He led me around bins, through dept. and straight into McDonald’s and turned left where everyone was sitting. I was amazed. We had a big party. Other people had similar experiences. I don’t think anyone had any trouble. The dogs’ had been here to practice on several occasions. Oh, Joe is perfect!
We came back and did lunch, took a nap until 3:00 and fed the dogs. The dogs were very tired. Obedience at 4:00 was practicing sit/stay and down/stay with distractions. That is a biggie. Our dogs were all distracted today. They wanted to break command for almost anything. Joe finally just wagged his tail and only slightly moved. That was enough for today.
Lecture was more about why we do the commands and a repeat of the life in the Public Eye. See everyone watches us and if they they we did something inappropriate, someone will call us on it by reporting to SE or Humane Societies who report it to SE. Well, we got a real first hand experience today. Daniel was seen doing a push to Alex because he was being stubborn and refused to sit like he was supposed to do. It was not anything that he wasn’t supposed to do, but someone thought he was abusive plus he was heard uttering some utterly horrible word at the poor dog as was reported. Actually the word was a Spanish dialect from Puerto Rico meaning, “No, sit!” Daniel wife is Puerto Rican and speaks that a lot at home to help her children be bilingual. We were given a way to deal with a refusal like that which didn’t give quite the same appearance, but told Daniel did nothing wrong and his actions were explained to the caller. People will call faster for a dog than they will a child. I love my dogs and would never want them harmed, but I see a real problem here.
Anyway, after supper, we waited until dark and went back to DTC. I was very nervous, but was trying to keep it in check because of Joe. My nervousness would only confuse him. I couldn’t afford that. Evidently, this neighborhood came to life at night. It was reported as not the worst, but definitely not the best. I was not afraid of that, but I am afraid of the dark. Because of RP, I am totally blind at night. I do not like to go out at night with people much less alone. Well, I need not have worried. First, Joe poopied before went on the route and then he took me safely around all cracks, stopped at all curves, avoided all of those bushes and hanging limbs. He crossed the street with the traffic next to him like an old pro despite a teeny bopper car roaring past. He took me back around the block coming to the DTC from the opposite direction, found the steps and found the door perfectly. I was ecstatic as we had walked at a fair clip around the four block rectangle. I have never felt completely comfortable in the dark anywhere, especially outdoors where every hole, branch, and creature stretched to grab me and pull me to the ground or crawl on me. This was absolutely perfect!
Well, I can’t add anything better. I am still buzzed about my walk with Joe in the dark! I hope I can sleep. Good night.

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