The Babs Journal: Day 4 (May 12, 2005)

I don’t have long to write in this, have to go again and take her for busy and then go for another half-hour stroll.

Let’s see, didn’t do much last night except be amazed by her good behaviour as I fought with the computer and the dialup internet, at least it feels like dialup here…spent longer waiting for a page to load than sending emails. Oh well, emails got sent and she was as good as gold.

So today she woke me up with a nuzzling and a lick. What a doll. Still didn’t sleep on her dog bed even though I took it off the frame like instructor Tim said. Oh well, didn’t get into any trouble, had breakfast and we all ordered things from the shopping volunteer. She goes twice a week and gets stuff for us that we need…we give the money and that’s it. Poor Anka tried to understand what we meant, English is her second language you know. And so Sharon asked for dove soap, and she wrote dove soup! Good thing instructor Tim came along and straightened her out.

WE went on another walk, and he showed me how to put the harness on. That’s gonna take a bit to get onto. Lots of intricacies.

I look at that now and go “what were you smoking?” But it is kinda tricky at first, because you have to make sure you don’t hit the dog in the head with the heavy part, and all that stuff.

Went for a walk and she crossed the street and didn’t even freak at the parallel traffic.

Past self, do you honestly think a guide dog would graduate and be freaking at parallel traffic? Honestly? You are such a complete newb. I understand being amazed by a dog knowing what to do if a car went in front of us, but *parallel* traffic? Hell, probably even pet dogs get used to parallel traffic!

Trying to get onto knowing when she’s sniffing, or distracted. They say sniffing for any distraction. Starting to get it. Came back, took her for busy, then groomed her, that was fun. She just loves it. She just loves it to death. had lunch, yeah I said that, then I just read and she slept. Gotta get her up now and we’re going again. Later dudes.

Well we went on the afternoon walk. That was fun. Let’s see. Figured out more of when she’s sniffing. She was a little more stubborn, but oh well.

A little more? I think that was the day that she insisted on running like a mad beast, I thought this was normal and I had to adjust to it, and instructor Tim said nooo! That is not the way this goes! And kept madly giving her a leash correction back to heel. It made a horrible snapping noise, and I cringed and cried out that we must be hurting her! He said nooo! This doesn’t hurt! Do it! But I was too afraid.

I was able to help Margery. Two of her fingers have gone numb from some surgery, and so she can’t read braille, so she had no idea which bills were which that came back from the shopping lady. So I did that and helped her set her radio station…and helped her with the payphone. That made me feel good and useful.

Oh instructor Tim went and got us lottery tickets, we bought them but he went to get them. Margery and I are planning, and trying to get the others in on it, to get instructor Tim something and Anka something.

Let’s see. Oh, I called home and talked to mom. She’s all happy that I haven’t had a bad day yet. I braced her for the worst because people told me there would be good days and bad days, they could never explain what that would entail, but I told mom this would be stressful, so she’s happy I was having no really bad stuff so far. I told her all the stuff that’s happened and stuff.

Oh I talked to instructor Tim about grad. He’s a bit nervous, which makes me nervous.

And he was right to be nervous, past newby self. A guide dog doesn’t come home completely ready for all situations. You have to make them feel all secure and good before you can march them across a stage that you’re not familiar with. But you had to learn that the hard way. Actually, thank god you decided to leave Babs at home for grad, but you had to learn that lesson through other means.

That was about it for today. Yes, she finally slept on her dog bed! Later, hope you’re not too bored. Although it sounds like you’re having fun reading the insides of my silly brain.

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