The Babs Journal: Day 13 (May 21, 2005)

Well I’m tired today…started off tired.

My dog has strange habits. Did I tell you she likes to lick my jeans? She also likes to try and sniff my crotch, especially while I’m getting dressed. Really, not necessary there Babs. A little too personal for me thanks.

This morning it seemed Babs needed a little more love and attention than usual. She’s a funny girl. When I took my morning pills, I took her to her bed and told her to stay and she did.

Oh another cool thing she did this morning was I forgot to grab my food whistle when I was coming to feed her. But she sat and waited while I went to get the whistle. Yes! She’s not testing me that way
anymore. She’s still playing the leash game, but we’ll get over that one.

We’re going out early for a group walk. Heehee wow! Mom and dad said they’d take student Tim with us for lunch if he wanted to come. I have to get instructions from instructor Tim about how to get here from Renfrew.

Another funny thing Margery says is warsh instead of wash. It kills me whenever I hear her say it. Warsh. Hahaha. Well I should probably get my hair into something a little more presentable. Rat’s nest just doesn’t appeal.

That was cool, for the most part. Even got a comment from a passer-by that she’s the cutest guide dog he’s ever seen. The only booboo, major one anyway, was this one street crossing which was a fine example of my screwuppitude. I was pulling my dog out into the street! I thought she was being a real sniffer, so I was like straight. She wouldn’t have any of it…dragged me back onto the sidewalk.

On the way down, she was sweet awesome cool. Focused as focused could be, sat at the curbs, was a doll.

I have to stop here, and talk about the sitting at curbs thing. Why why why why why why did they make handlers tell the dogs to sit at the curb? If we didn’t know the curb was there, how are we supposed to issue a command for it? Dumb. Dumb dumb! This applies to steps down as well. Triple dumb!

Then we did a back turn and she thought she’d just diddle around. Sniff sniff try and lead me up driveways, refused to sit at curbs, went past one curb, sniffed the other dogs’ butts cause we were all out together, and then because of all that, when it felt like she was going more left than straight, I was pulling her right. Dumb dumb. But she was stronger than me and got me up onto the sidewalk. Then I heard Tim, “Give your dog lots of praise cause she was right.”

Next time, she did try to pull way too far to the left. But I was a lot less hard on her and just sorta waved my hand and said straight. We got to the other side. Wow. That was damn cool.

Poor Margery though, she could only go the first 8 blocks and then she had to sit on the bus bench
and wait for us to come get her. Instructor Tim is a smart man. he put her at the back. We all got up to the corner and then we waited for her.

There was one street where my legs hurt like a son of a bitch. I wonder if my feet have changed shape or something because my orthotics seem to be bugging me. Damn it I don’t wanna have to make an appointment with the foot people. They’re a pain.

Right now Margery’s out free running her dog. Then we eat lunch and then I think we free run our dogs and then at 2 student Tim gets to talk to Willow’s walkers, and then we go on a walk I think and then Sharon calls Charity’s puppy walkers…and then we have supper.

We also weighed the dogs. He didn’t tell me the weights. I wanna know I wanna know. They say when they first get home they lose weight cause of all the stress. Good to know.

But my poor Babs only gained weight. I think it was because of all her tumours.

After I took her out to poop, and according to Tim she pooped and peed, yippee, I brought her back here and gave her some water. Oh she was happy to see water. Such a thirsty girl.

Oh we stopped at Timmy Ho’s and I got a small French Vanilla capachino. Student Tim bought the coffees. I was like aww you’re so sweet. I owe Sharon some money from the cheesecake..and the groceries…and the anka gift. Did I mention that we got the Anka gift pretty much bagged? We decided to get the mug and coffee and then get the chocolate as well. So got the mug and the coffee last night.

Wow Babs is flopped out. She was so vocal this morning. It was so cute. Well that’s about it for now. I got directions on how to get to this place from Renfrew so I better email those off before I forget.

Anka continues to crack us up. Sharon said something about going to cry in her room. Anka said, “that’s alright, in my country, if someone cry, we say, that’s alright, means less to pee.”

This afternoon was interesting. After lunch, instructor Tim’s wife and son showed up and ate lunch with us. His son is cute. Maybe 6 or so. Babs loved him. She ran over to him and tried to say hi. I felt bad having to hold her back.

Listen, past newby self, don’t feel bad. That was your problem. You felt bad about controlling her. She shouldn’t have reared up on her hind legs to kiss the little guy, whether she knew him or not. Not cool, not cool!

Eventually I did get her to settle. After lunch, he told Margery how her puppy walking tea would work. You come in with your dog, and then Sue takes the leash and gives it to the puppy walkers and lets the dog be silly for a while. After a while, they hand the leash back to you and you talk about stuff and there ya go. I guess we all get puppy walker thank you cake. Mmm…puppy walker thank you cake. I would have loved to see Babs’s reaction to seeing her puppy walker.

Apparently, according to the scales, she’s 49 pounds. Didn’t I say before she was 52? He says that’s some kind of scale messuppitude so we have to re-weigh on Monday. He says they lose a pound, but not 3 or 4, and all the dogs seem to have lost 3-5 pounds.

Then after lunch I tweaked the directions for mom and dad. Before I did that, the dog played a new leash game. I gave her her bone, and she had nothing to do with it until I picked up the leash. Then the bone was a great toy. Then I took the bone away. No more of that crap.

After lunch and the email, I took her out for a poop. We waited for student Tim to finish up his call, and then we all took off, except for Margery because she had her puppy walkers coming. Off we went for a walk in the rain. Yick. Wore my rain coat, should have worn my rain pants, but didn’t.

We walked down and crossed three streets, then turned and walked and crossed three more, then turned, crossed two more, then turned and got to the next down-curb and turned and said “find the bus,” and she did.

Some minor screwuppitude on my part, made her sit at what I thought was a curb and it was a driveway. Woops. Was nervous on a crossing, but it went ok, she sniffed to beat the band, but what can ya expect after the rain?

Actually, from Babs, you can expect complete and utter loopitude, including but not limited to: extra sniffing, not walking in a straight line, not getting back up on the sidewalk, and other horrors. You would learn this when you got home.

Jesus murphy my legs hurt like sons of bitches. Holy man alive. I don’t know what’s happening. I need these suckers looked at cause this is nutty crazy wacked out. I was dying at one block, so much so that I made her sit.

Oh man. At one point, after Instructor Tim said “jeepers,” both Sharon and I said, “twist?” Then we all started laughing. Sharon got to hear Margery say “Damn sam.” She busted up right in front of her.

Now I’m waiting to free run Babs…yick she’ll be a muddy muddy mucky mess. She already smells like wet dog. I toweled her off some, but it was hard.

This was funny. After our afternoon walk, the routine is poop, feed, poop, lounge, right? Well I thrrew her for a loop today because she’s going for a free run so you can’t feed her for like an hour after the run, and certainly not just before. So I took her for a poop, and just for good measure, I kept telling her to steady. Well, that was necessary because she was trying to rip my left arm off. But I was slowing her down, etc. I took her into the room after her poop, well I don’t think she did jack diddly because she was so bent she was going to get food. We came in here full speed, I was trying to stop her so I could take the collar off etc. She ran straight for the dish…which only had water. I’ve never seen her put the brakes on so fast. Oo she was so disappointed. I just stood there and laughed. I felt sick for laughing, but it was just so funny. I took the leash off, I think she’s so confused. Poor thing. So confused. Man that was funny. She would not even take her bone. I offered it to her, she sniffed it and threw it down. It’s llike, “are you trying to trick me? Is this food? You asshole! How dare you!?!?”

I think that’s about it. I felt a little slow on the afternoon rain walk cause at one corner, instructor Tim said, “Tim and Sharon have already made their turns. Go ahead and make yours.” I felt like Margery. I asked Sharon, was I jeepers twist slow? cause we had to wait a good long time for her, and she’s like no. Don’t know if I believe her. We’ll see what student Tim says, I think he’ll be honest.

This is the point where I look at the reflection of my past, raise my open palm, slap that face and yell “shame on you! Shame on you for being such a catty, shallow, stupid human being! What does it matter if you were Margery slow, or if she was slow for the love of Pete. She was 72. I think she had earned the right to walk that slow. Why would you sink to that level of under-handedness? You are better than that, and you know that! This isn’t a competition. You’re all trying to get a dog. Get over your insecure self and get on with the task at hand!”

Well Margery’s puppy walkers just finished up. Arg Sharon’s at the phone! Why isn’t instructor Tim coming back for me? come on I wanna free run. Gotta take my play collar and the whistle.

Oh, tired. Free ran her. We took her out into the paddock with the whistle in pocket. First you do obedience so you know pooch will come when you call. No listening, no free run. Then you keep walking to keep the dog checking in. Well first you take her into the paddock, with the leash still on her, you put the play collar on. Then you take the leash off and hold onto the collar. Then you say “free” and give her a shove. She should take off. At first she just sniffs around. Then she takes off like a shot. From time to time you whistle at her and have her come, but that doesn’t mean the walk’s over. We gave her a piece of kibble each time she came and praised her like mad. You have to keep moving. Then at the end, you put the leash on, grab the collar off her and lead her home. She didn’t wanna leave. Brought her in and went to take her out for a poop but Tim stopped me. He showed me how to leash-relieve her.

We interrupt this program to look at the day number on this. Day 13. I would be going home in six days, and just now, I am starting to leash relieve. At no time would I be supervised to be told what my dog was doing. I would have to figure this out all by myself.

So we start that tomorrow morning. you move the d clip up to the other ring so she has a longer leash. Then you take her out and then say “busy busy.” She peed and I didn’t even feel her sit. Didn’t have a clue. He showed me where the bags are. So tomorrow morning, I will groggily pick up poop. It begins. I hope I’m half decent at it.

God my feet are sore. Ouchy ouchy papa.

Anka really doesn’t like the f word. Every time she absolutely needs to use it, like if it’s in a story, there is a long pause and then she says, I’m sorry, I have to say…and then she says it. She’s really cute. I think she’s afraid to swear around Margery, or “mrs. Margery” as she calls her.

Tired, sore, sore, tired. Ouch ooch eech. I think I’m going to drag myself to the computer and check email for real. Not much more can happen tonight. Might try and make some calls…maybe I should do laundry and get it over with before tomorrow. Na. I’ll do it after mom and dad are gone.

Ya sure you wanna do that?

And I still have to groom this one. We did obedience already as prep for free run so I won’t bother her with that. Sore and tired, tired and sore.

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