Trixie Gets A Novel

I don’t think Trix has gotten a post all to herself in a while. I think she’s due.

I always knew that she responded to different people in different ways, but I’ve noticed something else. Among the people she loves, even they get different kinds of affection.

There’s me. I get the dancing around me, the kisses, the nuzzle with the head, the asking for belly rubs, the sitting beside me. Pretty standard stuff. But if she sees Brad, she practically climbs in his lap and licks his face. I don’t think she’s ever climbed in the shoe thief’s lap, but she’ll lick the hell out of his face. He calls it the paint brush. Also, if she’s following him, she will get this husky-like pull going on and I have to tell her to steady. She will, and she’s good, but her pull feels totally different. If mom and dad are here, she bugs the heck out of mom. She will sit by her, and get a bunch of pets. But if mom stops, she will look longingly at her and poke her from time to time with her nose. When Barb’s boyfriend was here, she ran at him, barked at him and then ran in circles. And the other day, she fell madly in love with a guy in our building, and nibbled on his nose! Hey! I haven’t even been nibbled on the nose. I’ve been licked on the ear, but never nibbled on the nose! Silly poocho.

Ok, I have to talk about nose-nibblee for a minute. After that first day when they had quite the bonding session, I saw him in the building a couple of days later. We were walking, and he called out to her for a second and then said “You’re not even going to acknowledge me?” I told him that no, she was working, and when she’s working, she’s trying to keep her focus. We went on our way out to do business.

When we came back in, he dove in front of me and said “I’m going to say hi to you, then.” I was dumbfounded, and sternly told him to stop that. He stepped back in surprise, and then I talked to him like a normal human being again. I explained, more slowly this time, that when she’s working, she’s not a pet, she has a job to do, bla bla bla. Next, he looked at me and said something that always puzzles me when I hear it. “I should have known that, I know someone who trains police dogs.” Then you damn well should have! Would you seriously dive in front of a police dog? If you did, I should think you might need a few stitches.

I told him to never ever do that again. Just ask to pet her, and if I have a moment, I will take the harness off and let him. To prove the point, I took the harness off, and she lay down in front of him for belly rubs. Then he said “I was actually a little hurt that she ignored me, but now that I know why, I don’t feel so bad.” Seriously, man, Trixie can hurt your feelings? Those are some fragile feelings!

Trix goes through funny phases. Sometimes, she’s just content to sleep in a bed and chill. But right now, I can’t leave a room without having her on my tail. It’s pretty cute.

The time has come once again to turn my pooch into a shampooch. She got another bath. My sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, and I want Trix to be all spruced up for the wedding. The silly girl is starting to minorly fight me going into the groomers. This makes me sad. I was able to go there 3 times and she’d practically gallop in there. I’m going to have to maybe make an effort to treat her at every turn so she will have incentive to follow the correct path to the door, not, um, find deviations to make. She still leaves the place flawlessly and gets me to the bus stop to get home, but she’s started fighting me at the door, and giving me some resistance walking to the tubs.

I had to have her anal glands expressed. The vets did it in June, and the groomers at the place did it in April. This worries me that she’s needing them done this often. Somebody’s vet said as long as it’s no more frequent than 3 months, not to worry. Um, this is about every two months. Maybe I need to sit down and talk to her vet. She also has a small sebaceous cyst near her tail that I pointed out to the vets at her check in April. I wonder if it’s somehow contributing to the more frequent need to get the ol’ glands done.

I’ve noticed another sign of when she needs them done, though. Not only does she chew the hell out of herself, but she has significantly more trouble pooping. Yeah, Trix, don’t ya just love it? I’m mentioning the intimate details of your bowel movements up on the blog. But now that the glands are cleared out, she’s pooping normal again. She’s not straining, circling, and dropping a little here, a little there. That was really really frustrating.

So, I need to have a chatterooski with the vet. Hopefully there’s nothing to worry about. Probably not, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I’m also happy that those few extra pounds that Trix put on due to the construction and the weather are gone gone gone. Yea! Success is mine! It’s so nice to hear people saying she looks slim and trim. She’s back to being my lean, mean, guidin’ machine! Not that she had a giant pudge on there, but she was a wee touch heavier than she should have been.

My dad’s being all cute. Like I said before, my sister’s getting married in a couple of weeks. He said he saw another guide dog handler at a fancy event and he’d put a tie on his guide dog. He thought that was cute, and hoped to find something for Trixie, but more girly. I eventually found something. It’s a little fuzzy bow with a crystal sort of thing in it. But I found it after mom and dad had left, so I wanted to send them a picture. And here’s where things get fun. I managed to get the huppy’s dad to snap the photo, but he couldn’t figure out how to rename it. So not only did I not know where it was, but I didn’t know what it was called. So, I was looking through my phone, and looking, and looking, and I thought I’d found it! I sent it off to my mom, all proud of myself. what I thought was Trixie sporting her new collar

Then I thought I’d better check to see what it was. So, I sent it to RAIVE asking them what the picture was. Before they could respond, I got a laughing message from my sister. “What a cute picture of two pigs,” she said. “But I thought I was going to get a shot of Trixie in her new collar.” Oh dear, oh dear dear.

What I had done was send a test shot we had used to check if the camera was working. When I was at that conference, as I said in our long and winding audio cast, I went over to the Arroga table and asked if they could test for me that the camera on my phone was working. So they took a picture of something that had some braille, and a picture of two pink pigs on it…er something. I’m very lucky that she said “Let’s take a picture of these pigs here!” so when my sister mentioned pigs, I knew exactly what happened.

I eventually found the picture that the huppy’s dad took, and sent it, and yes, RAIVE said that it was a picture of a woman and a dog sitting on the lawn.Trixie sporting her new collar, at least I hope so.
Folks seemed happy with the fuzzy bow, so that was pretty cool. It was a success! At least I hope so! Can you see the fuzzy bow?

What was not a success, unfortunately, was getting directions to the pet store where I picked up said fuzzy bow. I have never met so many people devoid of the power of simple observation in my life! Usually I meet one or two, but not six!

I knew that it was along this one street, and the woman working there said the store was directly across from the Bookshelf. Ok. The Bookshelf was on Trekker’s maps, but not this place. So I would just stop when Trekker announced the bookshelf and ask if someone saw the pet store. Right? Right?

The first person I asked told me there was no pet store anywhere, he couldn’t see it anywhere. I was very puzzled. So, I walked up closer to the corner and ran into someone else. I told him I was looking for a pet store, did he see one. He said no. So I said where would 40 Quebec Street be? He couldn’t even tell me that! He said that I was near 15 Quebec Street so I should cross the street and continue up Quebec. Puzzled, I did so.

After crossing, I met a flock of people, and asked them where the pet store was. Miraculously, they sort of knew where it was. They proceeded to tell me that I have to go back from whence I came, and I will find it. Since I’m not in the business of repeatedly retracing my steps, I asked them what stores it’s between, and I get this informative response. “It’s between Salon de Tea and the other thing.” The other thing? What other thing? “The other thing! The thing! You know, the thing! There are a lot of stores down there. It’s near the thing!”

One of them whipped out the “you can’t miss it” line. I swear, the next person who says that there’s no way I can miss the giant sign or the giant display, I’m going to bet them $50 that I can. Come on! I’m standing here with a dog with a harness that clearly states “guide dogs for the blind” and you tell me that I can’t miss the big blue sign? Wake up!

I eventually gave up on them, crossed back across the street and walked until I heard the music from Salon de Tea. I stopped and asked someone else where the pet store was. “I don’t know,” they said. “I don’t see one anywhere!” I was gonna lose it real fast, when a guy came by walking his dog. I asked him where it was, and he told me. We were essentially right next to it! Lordy Lou! What an adventure.

This whole theme of my sister’s wedding seems to be driving this post. Bunches of our family will be staying over after the wedding, since it’s in Toronto, and…they’re not. So, we found a hotel that had a deal on. It’s the Sheraton Centre and it’s across from Nathan Philips Square. So here’s my question. Has anyone stayed there with a guide dog? Are the staff good at showing folks where a relieving spot is, or will they say something silly like “There’s a big park over there. You can’t miss it!”? Will they understand what I mean when I ask them where I can relieve my dog? Probably noone can answer this, but I’m taking a shot in the dark. I really really hope I can take care of Trix’s business without needing a heaping helping of help from everybody. When I went to Niagara Falls to visit Trix’s raisers, the only place we could relieve was across a giant street, through a gate and down a winding, disorienting path into a park. Since I was only there briefly, I needed to get the raisers to help me find it. This meant waiting for them to wake up before I could take care of Trixie’s basic needs. I hated that feeling. I’m hoping I won’t feel it this time. This should be an adventure.

It’s August again, so that means it’s that time when Chuck comes to see us. I think this is going to be the shortest visit ever, since he seems to have shoehorned me into a tight spot. Oh well. I’m a little mad that the day he is insisting on just happens to be the busiest day I have in the damn week. Somehow, we’ll survive though.

I’m really not sure where we’ll go. The only problem I have is Trix’s tendancy to stealth sniff things when we’re in a crowded area. She doesn’t even have to put her head down to get a sniff of something nearby. Or we’ll be navigating a tight space, and she’ll sneak a sniff. Devil!

I’m not even nervous about the follow-up. I’ve gotten to the point where I look forward to any tips or tricks he could give me. I’m just not looking forward to doing everything in a damn rush this time.

And I think that does it for Trix updates. That turned into a small monster!

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