The Babs Journal: Day 11 (May 19, 2005)

Man I didn’t sleep well last night. I couldn’t get to sleep. Sometimes at night I worry about what will happen when I get back home. I worry that then, when I have to take care of all my other stuff and her, will I be overwhelmed? And will I be able to know what to do if instructor Tim’s not there to help me out? I mean I think I do ok, but he’s there to sorta guide me. I guess I’ll find that out this afternoon because we do the first tandem walk. I know I’m just worrying too much.

I also wonder if I’ll find places for all her stuff. I’m not too worried about that, but it pops into my head. Stupid things. I know I just worry too much. But you sorta think about those things when it’s getting closer to the end. I know I still have a week, but this week flew.

I also get scared about what Tim thinks of me. He’s so respectful to all of us, even though Margery’s doing things that i’m sure are making him go, “holy crap will you be able to handle a guide dog?” If it isn’t, I’d be wondering. He’s very observant, and knows I second guess myself. I wonder what else he thinks. I would love to see inside his mind.

Babs is starting to play funny business with me. When I get my leash, she rolls around on the ground and avoids me. Testing level 4. Silly girl. I’m just hoping that’s not a sign of something else. Ah, probably not.

God I’m still hungry. I had the usual bagel and tea and stuff and I’m still hungry. Is my stomach expanding or something?

I have an idea for Anka’s gift. Maybe mom and dad could get it when they’re down.

Anka’s getting vicious with her jokes. I think she’s just kidding, but Tim was going to order some chips and she said, “No chips. Look at your stomach, it’s on your legs. You shouldn’t have chips. You’re like my daughter.” So he jabbed her back because she started coughing. Oh it just kills me to hear her cough. Anyway, he said “stomach on my legs is better than hack hack hack.” Then we all started
laughing about shishkahooq again. Stupid commercial.

I can’t believe it’s Thursday. God I need to be in a better mood. The radio isn’t helping. Oh well.

I don’t know if Babs likes being groomed anymore. That makes me sad because every other dog seems to like it, what am I doing wrong? And I feel too embarrassed to ask instructor Tim to watch me do it. How hard is it to run a comb through a dog’s hair? Like hell how hard is that? Part of me wishes there were more newbs in the class…but then again, maybe they wouldn’t be brave enough to ask either. I should just swallow my pride and ask. People said to ask about whatever before you go home.

And I hope I’m not hurting her when I’m walking her on leash. Sometimes she overextends herself and I feel like I’m pulling on her. But I guess instructor Tim would tell me if he saw something wrong.

Is it normal for me to lose confidence in everything I’ve done so far? I’d love to know, but am a little nervous to ask. Maybe if I catch Sharon or something. I dunno. What the hell is with my mood? Maybe Amy’s blues are catching.

Oh, the plague of the newb. They’re all too afraid to show weakness, even though they’re probably showing it in actions instead of words. Just ask the frickin question. That shows more strength than you know.

Gotta remember to ask instructor Tim about how you cross at mid-block crossings, where there’s a pole in the middle of the sidewalk with a button. There must be a way to cross those even if there’s not a downcurb there. I don’t know. Gotta ask him because I cross those a bit. He better not say, “you just don’t do them.” I’ll be sad. I doubt it though.

I really hope it warms up to what they say it’s supposed to. That would be nice. I wish we could watch the news tonight while we eat dinner. I wanna find out what happens with the budget vote. I don’t wanna have to vote again. Arg! They’re all slime, I tell ya.

Ber it’s cold in here. I should take this one down and do obedience and grooming, provided she doesn’t find grooming torture. She must enjoy it, she stays still for me, except for sitting down whenever I go to comb her tail, but I know no dog likes her tail combed. I just worry when I’m combing her underbelly. I should just swallow my pride and get instructor Tim to watch me because I’m worried. I don’t wanna hurt her. I wish I could read her mind. Well I should get my butt in gear, then maybe I’ll cheer up.

Well I did. We went on a great walk, and Margery says Babs is likely just testing me with the leash thing. Silly girl. We went and did more traffic work, it wasn’t so bad as I thought and then we did a bit of off curb obstacles. Tim must work with some real nutjobs, because he thought he had to remind us what an off-curb obstacle was. And to think about safety when going around them. Well no shit sherlock. If there’s fense and construction up there, there’s no way in hell I’m stepping out into the street. Jesus Murphy.

Did I write about how Anka gave Tim the razz about having a big stomach? We have a couple options about how to get Anka’s stuff. We might get her some chocolate. That would be damn good. And there’s always the mug and coffee.

Oh, and instructor Tim says you can do midblock crossings at the pole thing. Rockin awesome cool.

It’s such a nice day out there. I might have to go out and sit on the patio and soak up the sun. Oh there’s Babs in her bed. Silly silly girl.

Poor Margery’s watch is threatening to die. I might lend her my clock radio so she has something to check the time. It sucks having nothing to check the time.

We might have pie for dessert tonight. Mmm…pie! drool drool.

I’m starting to think like a dog. If I smell something down the street I think, hmmm if I were a dog, I would just be in sniff heaven. Better tell her to leave it. And sometimes, when I have to go to the bathroom, I wonder if she has to go too. She really does change your life.

This afternoon should be interesting. Wonder how long we’re walking for since we both get out together.

Margery scared instructor Tim I think today. She almost took her dog out into the middle of the street. Man alive that woman is going to get herself killed.

Apparently we’re all loud, we laugh so loud you can hear us through the whole building. Sharon calls me the birdy because I whistle and sing all the time. I must drive them all looloo. Well I should do a quick email check and then I might go out to the patio. Ooo sun on the patio!

Interesting. I’m called birdy in one place and Twinkle toes in another. That kind of makes me giggle.

Well this afternoon was the most amazing feeling in the whole world. That was the best. Oh it was my first real puppy walk because there was no instructor Tim leash.

Compare that to the Trixie days, where I got her on day 4 and started walking without the double leash in the afternoon of day 5.

I completely controled her myself and it went damn well! There was only one street I screwed up on but it wasn’t your conventional street crossing. We did perfectly. I wanted to run down to the end of the street just to see what was there. I felt like flying! It was awesome!

Margery and I both got out of the van and we both walked our dogs, and we had to keep one behind the other and switch positions so that the dogs took turns leading and following so one wouldn’t get lazy. I wanted to just sprint. But I had to slow down, and managed to slow her down, and felt in complete control. Her sniffing didn’t even bother me. I was able to bring her back under control.

The apprentices just watched and it was great. one funny thing happened. When we came back to the bus, she almost gallopped to it. Mark says, “Get on and ride!” We had a good laugh about that.

She’s the best damn dog in the whole world.

Well, she tried. Poor beast.

We walked for an hour and I didn’t even feel it. The poor dogs were puffing and panting. We gave them a bit of water just to cool them off a little, but not too much because they might bring it all back up. Then we brought her back and I fed her and she actually behaved herself rather well. She’s starting to realize that when mom says slow the hell down,
mom means it and if you keep bolting like a wild beast, you have to wait longer for the chow down. She’s starting to sit if I just say door. It’s great.

Student Tim, Sharon and I had a little confab about Margery. We think she’ll be on about as short a leash as the dog when she gets home. Instructor Tim will come see her and then either say she’s unsafe or tell her she can only take the dog to certain places. Poor Margery, has such trouble. Then Sharon and I had tea and that was cool. Ooo, have to remember to wash my mug.

Some of the dogs had a little play in the hall and the leashes got all hooked together. They managed to get them unhooked though.

I thought Anka was going to eat us alive just before dinner. We were sitting in the lounge watching the budget vote, and she came in and said, “come and eat or if you don’t come in two minutes, there will be no supper for anyone.” We all got up and looked like little kids. “Yes ma’am, yes.”

We still don’t know what Shish means in her language, whatever it is, she’s from Bosnia. When student Tim joked about wanting Chicken Shishkahooq or whatever, she erupted into laughter and said we were being silly, and said we must know what Shish is in her language.

Dinner was absolutely delicious, probably because I was so hungry from the walk, and then we had pudding for dessert.

Heehee I’m excited, tomorrow night we go to Timmy Ho’s. Then the next day, well, it’s a bit chaotic. We have a morning walk and then we come back and get our dogs weighed, and then people see/call their puppy walkers, sniff sniff, and the rest of us go out for walks, and what the hell is Saturday night? I can’t remember. Then Sunday is visitors’ day. Then Monday is the holiday but we do more work and then we go out for Chinese, on CGDB’s dime no less. Then Tuesday I know we’re going for a country walk in the afternoon, don’t know what’s going on in the morning and then we’re having a chat with the vet. Maybe I can corner her about Babs’ lump. Then we go out to Swiss Chalet because student Tim was craving it. Then we go on a night walk! Hee hee! A night walk! All together! Heehee! Don’t know what’s up with Wednesday, but Thursday we graduate and then Friday it’s all over. Yeesh! Oo I’m so excited to see mom and dad. Heehee. I think that’s about all for today.

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