The Babs Journal: Day 10 (May 18, 2005)

Today is a strange day. It is the exact middle of the program. 9 days have passed and in 9 days I go home. Yikes! Time is flying. I’m slowly feeling more like I’m ready for this…although I still have twinges of nervousness. I’ll probably be happy after aftercare is over. I’m a little nervous about that, even though now I know that instructor Tim is doing my aftercare.

God damn yesterday was embarrassing, forgot to mention that somehow, when putting the harness on, I got it all backwards. He must think I’m a dope. There I was with the harness looking more like a wide-brimmed hat than a harness. Arg! Oh well, he says the newbs all do something along those lines.

It’s such a habit to hand the handle back to him…but this handle is mine, all mine! Heeheehee! It hangs on my door. Must remember to bring it every time. We take the bus today. I’m excited. Who knew a city bus could be so exciting? And yea, no socks were stolen or coin purses were abducted. Today I hope to give Sharon and student tim the money for instructor Tim’s present. I really really really really hope van driver Mike happens to have two 10’s or a 10 and two fives. I’m gonna need more money soon, although I’ve done well on the 60 I brought, considering 20 of it just went straight to the puppy picture.

I can hardly wait for Saturday, I get to call Babs’s puppy walkers and talk to them on the phone.

In case you’re wondering, puppy walker is Ottawa’s term for puppy raiser.

They’re not coming because they’re all the way from B.C. I’m so jealous of Margery, Amy’s puppy walkers are coming, and only hers. The rest of us have to settle for a phone call. I wanna ask them if Babs liked peanut butter, what toys she liked to play with, what her personality was like as a puppy. Oh I have a million questions. I wish I could shake their hands.

Why are my eyes tearing up? That was unexpected. Just sorta happened. That was messed. Wasn’t even feeling really sad, but as soon as I started writing about them, I got all teary-eyed. It must be hard to have to see their puppy off.

Oh Babs and that moo of hers. She’s so cute. I don’t need an alarm clock. She wakes me up right on time. I somehow didn’t have my alarm on…and suddenly I get lick lick licked. I think, not yet. Then I hear a dish banging next door and look at my watch and by jove it’s time to get up! Like clockwork. And I noticed that she’ll sit faster when there’s food to be had. Oh then I can say door and she’ll plop her butt down. Driven by food I tell ya.

duh! that is all.

I really hope my legs don’t hurt as bad today. Oo I feel good. I just helped Margery with the laundry machine. I’m so proud of myself. Never touched the dials in my life and got it to go. Man oh man. That poor woman has so much trouble. And that little stool works like a dream. It feels so good to help someone else. She has such a rough time. Last night she couldn’t tell the difference between a toony and a quarter. Um, wow. Poor woman. Don’t let me lose the feeling in my fingers.

I should probably drag puppy down to do obedience…so Amy’s not out there having a wizz. I know Margery likes to take her early. Then I’ll take this one out for a pee. I wonder when we have to start scooping? I wanna start soon because I wanna get good before I have to do it at home.

We should have at least been feeling the leash. At this point, I had no idea at what times she’ll pee, poop, nothing.

Well I’ll let ya know how the bus went.

Ooo the bus. Heehee. Well the bus was cool. On a low floor bus they can actually guide you up to a seat. On the old buses, they have to follow behind because there isn’t room for 2 to walk. Oh well, there are more and more of these low floor buses all the time. It was a pretty flawless bus trip. But this one missed a few curbs so we had to drag her back and make her stand at the curb. ooo can’t do that in Guelph or we’ll be pancakes! Especially at the first corner. Jeepers Twist in Margery’s words.

Oh boy oh boy. Margery’s laundry got into a bit of a mess. Student Tim didn’t check where he was putting his laundry and double washed Margery’s jammies. Woops. so then she comes back and finds someone else’s stuff in there, so just leaves it in the wash and puts her stuff in the dryer. I think it’s Sharon so I find her and ask her…and it isn’t her. But poor unsuspecting student Tim just boots it right down to the lounge to eat, so I don’t get to tell him until I’m at lunch.

Babs and Amy almost had a little fun. The lady who cleaned the runs didn’t shut the gate between the two dog runs…and well Amy was out there. All the way over to my run. She must have thought this was the biggest busy run of all time! Instructor Tim stopped me just in time. and Sharon and Tim almost swiched dogs again because of the dog run fiasco. I can just hear it all now. “What colour is my dog, Anka?” But Sharon knew her dog a little better and knew this wasn’t it. Man oh man.

I got Sharon all paid off for the instructor Tim gift. Then they just have to tell me how much I owe for the Anka gift and we’ll be all good. I almost fed the money to the dog. I felt something brush against my hand and I thought it was Sharon’s hand but then I realized it was Charity’s slimy mouth. Brings a whole new meaning to money hungry, doesn’t it?

Did I mention Willow tried to have a chomp on her leash again this morning? So we all started singing woe, here she comes. Watch out leash, she’ll chew you up, woe, here she comes, she’s a leash eater. God we’re corny.

I almost lost my reflective sleeve. I was carrying it under my coat and went through a door, and boom! Down she went! We may have to shorten it a bit because if not, it may be all rumply bumply.

I messed up my harness handle a bit when I was putting it back together last night. But instructor Tim fixed it pretty fast. He scared me today. I said, “I made a booboo.” He said, “What? AT this stage? No!” It sounded like we weren’t supposed to make mistakes anymore. But my only booboo was I dropped the sleeve. I’m happy my booboos have just been mild.

I guess Margery had a rough time with Amy. Amy was out of sorts. I wonder if mine will do that ever.

Ask the parking meter you kissed when you got home if she ever gets out of sorts.

Poor thing, instructor Tim thinks she might have a bit of the blues. He doesn’t know.

We will learn that there are a lot of things instructor Tim doesn’t know. He wasn’t aware that willow had a leash-chewing issue, he didn’t think Babs would resist me reaching into her mouth and he certainly didn’t expect her to clamp down harder, I don’t know. I really don’t know who was most responsible for training our dogs. I think he said an instructor named Jane trained Charity, and he said he did most of the training for Babs, but I don’t know.

Babs was barking this morning out in the busy run…arg had to tell her to be quiet. and I guess after I left, she did it again and tried to climb the door. Crazy puppy.

Man the time is passing slowly now that I don’t have a book to read. She’s flopped out on the floor…maybe I’ll pet her for a while. Yeah I’ve been speedy today…did her groomming and obedience already, aren’t I the quick whip?

So this afternoon we play with cars. Holy crap tomorrow’s Thursday. Wonder if Sharon needs any more Dove Soup. Hahahahaha. Oh poor Anka.

Man everybody’s got their cute little thing they do. Margery always says “jeepers twist”, “my land” and “damn sam”. She wacked her head off the van top. Ouch! I felt that from my seat. Bang! Just hard as you could go. And all she said was, “damn sam!” Student Tim has this funny laugh. There’s always a slight pause, and then he just laughs all out. Sharon has this high voice and says all her th’s like d’s. So it makes me laugh when I hear her say, “get off de bed.” And we say bedbug just so she’ll say it because we think it sounds so cute. And instructor Tim always says “this here”. I expect him to be in a western movie. He always says, “there are two exits from this here room”. “This here door leads to”…”we’ll go down this here street.” But he has no accent whatsoever. And that’s what makes it funny. And Anka. When you finish one glass of something, you feel like the cup is bottomless, because quick as a wink, there she is filling it again. She seems tired these days. I worry about her. Her doctor is making her get blood tests done, don’t know why. Really hope she’s ok.

Our driver’s very patient. Don’t know who’s driving us this afternoon. Maybe it will be Peter. Guess it was last Wednesday that we had our very first walk. Holy wow. It is Wednesday today? Right? Yeah that’s right. In the words of Margery, Jeepers Twist. I think the transition is starting to happen in my head. I’m starting to not think of my cane. There were moments where I’d still think of myself walking with the cane. And I had to say consciously, “no, with my dog. Dog!” And sometimes i’d go to leave and think, “Where’s my cane?” It’s starting to change. The apprehension is starting to go…although the curb-missing makes me a little twitchy. But we’ll get it going. At least my legs didn’t hurt so much today. I should ask him if yesterday’s walk was up a steep incline or something. I feel like an old woman. But I think Margery is finding this a hell of a lot more draining than I am. She looks so tired in the mornings and sounds so haggard when she talks to Amy. Maybe I should go pet Babs and then we’ll go down and sneak an email check. Heehee. and then maybe it’ll be time to take her out for a poop. And then off we go again.

Well today was an interesting day. I headed out for the van..and it wasn’t there. So Margery and I waited close to the building. Then the dude who drives pulled up and we thought it was Peter. So we called him Peter the whole time. Turns out it was Marol or however ya spell it. But it sure wasn’t Peter.

Now was the time to play with cars. At every road crossing, Sue would drive in front of us with her car and when Tim tapped me on the shoulder, I was to urge the dog forward, and gently encourage…and praise the dog for waiting when I said to go. My dog was an angel. Tried to go crooked, but that’s about it. Would not move if there was a car. Then we came back and Sue said that we were all doing well, congratulated us and told us to remember we’ve only had the dogs for a week. Only a week, and we’ve progressed this much. Of course she had to remind us that our dogs have limitations and we still have to be smart. Duh. But ya have to say it or we’ll have some nimrod crossing the street willie nillie saying, “oh my dog’ll stop, I don’t have to think.” Sue’s really nice.

We came back and fed, etc. and Tim helped me put the reflective sleeve on the harness so we can be seen bettter at night. We were afraid it would be too big because we had to make the harness tighter for my little woof, but it seems to be fitting. Then student Tim started giggling about some commercial we all hear while waiting our turns for our walks. It’s for this farmboy grocery store. And this kebab or however ya spell it. These salmon shish kebabs and chicken shishkehooq or something. Don’t ask, it’s a radio commercial. So he starts saying that he’s going to say to Anka, “it’s my birthday next week, can we have chicken shishkahooq?” Just to see what she’d do. He did it, but we were all laughing too hard for her to take us seriously. Plus, she knew when his birthday was, I guess it’s in our files, so knew he was pulling some kind of prank.

Anka keeps calling Sharon cheesecake because every dinner, she asks, “Are we having cheesecake for dessert?” So every dessert she serves, she says, “cheesecake” when she gives Sharon hers.

We don’t know what Anka lives on. It looks like she doesn’t eat anything…just smokes and drinks coffee. She and Sue Hawkins too. Very strange.

After dinner, we watch Margery get all lost while looking for the bathroom, or Mrs. Minnifer as she calls it. So Tim and Sharon and I all just get talking and laughing and then I slip to the bathroom, come back, and then Sharon has Charity loose. Charity who’s real name apparently was Varity but they had to change it because they had another Varity. Anyway so we’re all petting Charity. Then just as I go to get Babs for a poop, Tim and Sharon both decide to be bad and let their dogs loose. So Sharon puts Charitty’s play collar on with bells and the race is on. I try to come through the mayhem with Babs, and she breaks
free! Now all 3 dogs end up in tim’s room, having a grand old time. We finally get things back in order and Babs and I go to the room where her run is, laughing so hard. Now she’s exhausted, she’s had a chew of her bone and she’s snoring like a baby.

So tomorrow morning we do more playing with cars, only the playing will be made more natural. Then tomorrow afternoon we try our first tandom work! Ooo! That means two of us with woofs. Two woofs without instructor Tim holding a leash! ooo!

Check the day number on this. It’s day 10 of training, and this first walk without an instructor holding onto a leash didn’t happen until day 11! We have less than half to go, because there’s a day of rest in there, and one of those days we’ll be heading home, and just now we’ve been given some freedom?

And then tomorrow night is a hangout night again and then Friday night we go out for dessert and coffee at Timmy Ho’s. And then we come back and do doggy store shopping. Sniffle sniffle, I don’t get to talk to my puppy walkers until Monday! Sniffle sniffle whine! Oh well, it’ll be worth the wait.

Still no word about the lump! I just want to hear, yes, or no! please! Pronto! move! come on! hop up! Ok enough. Not really much else going on. Should probably go send this off and come back here. Babs is exhausted, chewed on her bone and now snores. Can’t remember if I already said that.

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