The Babs Journal: Day 18 (May 26, 2005)

Well it’s over. It’s all over. And I leave tomorrow. Scary eh? Ready or not, here I come.

Looks like we were heavy on the not ready side.

Today was fun. In the morning we were real weasels. We managed to take a walk near where we got our photos done. The reason? There was a chip wagon there. Getting chips means we wouldn’t have to eat sandwiches. So after a pretty cool tandem walk, except for one point where my dog and I screwed up a left turn, we come back with the chips!

I must explain how one screws up a left turn. In Ottawa, you do left turns in the dumbest way possible. In order to make a 90-degree left turn, you have to make a 270-degree right turn! That’s correct. You have to turn right and keep turning until you’ve made a left. That is the most disorienting way to make a left ever. Dad called it the square dance. He was pretty accurate.

Also our driver didn’t show up, so Jane, not scary Jane, but another Jane, drove us to our walk spot.

there was a funny incident that happened with that. Margery and I went out to go in the van, and there was no driver. Margery asked if she should lay on the horn. I laughed so hard and said no, I’d go to the office and find someone. Just as I headed back in that direction to get someone, instructor Jane came out. Lay on the horn! Cute, but nope.

So anyway we get back and that was all cool. Then in the afternoon, we all waited around for Scary Jane to do the signing stuff. In the meantime Instructor Tim went over the reports we have to send back every month for the first six months.

Here I am again, because I have to point out something stupid there. We had to send monthly reports on how the dog was doing. That’s not a bad idea except for one question. They actually ask that you go to a quiet street and urge your dog forward when a car is moving through to see what happens. They don’t ask that you get a friend to do it, they ask that you make it as natural as possible! That’s a little too natural! It’s one thing to make a mistake and your dog does what they should, but to tempt fate on a weekly basis is pretty damn weird!

Then one by one we trickled in to Scary Jane’s office, and I zipped by the office to pick up the stuff I bought. Then I went and signed with scary Jane. And then I got my qualification package! Heehe! She told me our team number, but I forget, I was just so gitty that we were legal now. I got my ID card, the medallians for the work and play collars, and did I say ID card? Yeah. So I left. I asked Sue about the lump. She says it’s likely just a fat lump and to keep an eye on it. So they’re not ignoring it.

That would be incorrect, they’re sweeping it under the rug. they want you to think they’re dealing with it. Young dogs don’t get fat lumps. That is nothing but a lie!

She also wrote me a letter for ODSP if they give me any trouble.

We hung out in the lounge, and then I took Babs out and she pooped, and I could tell. Yea!

Oh we gave instructor Tim his gift too, which was cool, and he loved it.

So after a bit of lounging around, he talked to us about our aftercare stuff and what to do when we get home, and then we started having appetizers. Then we had this big steak dinner and all the staff came. We sat around and Scary Jane, Sue and Tim took turns speaking. Then after a while I took her out, groomed her, then we all sat on the patio, all except Margery, who seemed completely dog tired. She got a phone call and when we said it was for her, she was like “oh god.” So we sat out there. But it was geting cold.

Anka’s hillarious. Whenever Sharon talks, Anka imitates her by squiggling up her nose and talking in a high voice. She imitated me once. My dog was sniffing, and I said, “Oh shniff shniff shniff” the way I do. Next thing I hear Anka going, “oh shniff shniff shniff.” I almost doubled over laughing. But the dogs listen to her. Once, Babs, Willow and Charity got in a little romp and we were laughing and trying to control them, and Anka walked up and said, “stop!” That’s all she had to say. All the dogs stopped, parted, and it was over. Anka, give me some of that! I’ll miss her, but at least I have her email address.

I forgot to mention that when she broke up the doggy melee, she grabbed Babs’s leash and said “Yes. You do have the right dog!” I guess she didn’t want another Willow/Charity swap.

Then we came in and I almost fell asleep in the lounge. By tomorrow at this time I’ll be at mom and dad’s place. Wow, I can’t believe how fast it has all gone.

Funny story time! I came back from washing this one’s dish and found a surprise. I left the closet door open, woops, and I wasn’t really thinking about it because all that was in there was my cane and a closed garbage bag. But I forgot about the cong I saw in there. Well I came back and opened the door and heard this growl coming from inside. I was so scared, I stopped in my tracks and looked down, and there was Babs, with a cong firmly clasped in her jaws.

I took it from her because I wasn’t sure it was a cong. It was after all, but holy crap she wouldn’t let it go. I have a couple congs waiting for her at home. Thank you to other guide dog handlers who gave me quite a starting pack of good stuff!

So today was a slow day, but lots happened on it. Now I just have to finish packing and that’s it. Gotta remember to grab my card reader from the grooming room and some food and her dish. Yeesh I am so happy mom and dad are driving me home. Eeks.

Well I’m tired. Should crash. This wasn’t much of an update…maybe I’ll elaborate when I’m mmore awake.

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