Life, The Universe, CSUN, Trixie, Guide Dog Class, And Everything

Here I am again…much sooner than last time but still taking a long time between posts.

CSUN was amazing. Damn I wish I could go every year. And I really didn’t get to see much of the exhibit hall since I was in so many sessions.

It was weird basically having to make your own lunch break. There were always sessions going on, so you just had to decide which ones you were going to have to skip…which was really hard. I thought my brain might explode with all the information I got…now I just have to find a way to apply it and not lose any of it. Holy crap. Just…so cool.

Something funny happened at CSUN that I feel I have to write down and try to explain. I was walking with some coworkers and other folk from the conference to a restaurant. We had to cross this gynormo street that was, for lack of a better description, scary as hell. As we crossed, a few other attendees from CSUN were coming the other way. Well I think they were from CSUN, they all had white canes and were heading back towards the hotel. One of them veered off course, which you don’t want to do in this insane street. My one colleague saw what was going on, and tried to direct her back to safety. The woman probably couldn’t make her out and wondered what all the fuss was about…after all, she was back on the curb, so what was the problem? The problem: That ain’t a curb, that’s a median! In desperation, my colleague, not knowing the name of our disoriented blind buddy, yelled “Woman! Turn around!” Which made us laugh our heads off. She eventually ran back, and got her back on track. But every time we ran into a particular fellow conference goer, he would say “Woman! Turn around!”

This was tweeted, and apparently everybody took it totally wrong and got all pissy about it. You know what? My colleague was saving that lady’s freaking life. That road was huge, with lots of lanes of traffic, the light was about to change, and the lady was headed for a median. Desperate times call for desperate measures. She was hoping to get her back on track as fast as she possibly could.

And another thing. That whole don’t grab rule? In that case, especially if I’m seconds away from getting smucked by an oncoming vehicle, goes right out the window. Go ahead and grab me and explain it later. I might be a bit confused and freaked out for the moment, but I’ll be confused, freaked out and alive.

Oh, one more thing. If you’ve ever rescued a blind person from something like that, you might think we don’t appreciate it. Oh we do, very much. But we’re so embarrassed that it might not appear that way. Let me explain it like this. We deal with a lot of people who think we’re incompetent. Now we’ve just screwed up, and at least I personally feel like I’ve just cemented in my rescuer’s mind that in fact I am incompetent. We work so hard, all the time, to show that we’re just like everybody else and very capable. When something goes wrong, I just want the earth to swallow me up. So sometimes I’m so embarrassed that social graces go out the window. So, don’t think you’ve done the wrong thing, and don’t stop doing it. Just understand that my pride is a little hurt because of my own screwup. I hope that makes sense.

Back to CSUN, my body was a jerk though. It kept waking me up at around 6 Eastern. so…at 3 a.m. there I was writing notes for myself. Of course that didn’t end well. By the time I got home I was exhausted. But I’d do it all again.

I had to chuckle. There were lots of dogs at CSUN, and I got sniffed quite a bit. The funniest was I was wearing this fanny pack. Keep in mind it has never held dog treats. But it didn’t matter. Dogs would gun for it, then notice it didn’t smell like the good stuff, and back off. It was pretty funny. I’m always the one trying to keep my dog from sniffing folk, it was kind of funny to be on the receiving end of a few sniffs.

You’re probably wondering how Trix is doing. She seems to be enjoying herself. Man has she ever got her energy back. It’s amazing, and kind of scary, how much all that stress was totally knocking her out. Now, she goes on huge hikes, and Brad says he’ll tire out before she does! Trix will turn 8 in about a month, and she seems like she has the energy of a pup again. I see her regularly, since Brad stays with us once a week for the next little while so he can go to his placement in Waterloo, and it’s pretty cool to watch her so full of life again. It also feels good to see her quite bonded to Brad. Sure she’ll hang out with me, but she watches him like a hawk. Brad is her man. I’m just somebody fun to play with.

And, ready or not, I’m headed for dog class. March 24 is only 2 weeks away. I have my plane tickets. That’ll be one hell of an early morning.

I’m a whole mix of feelings. I’m excited to be walking with a dog again. I’m scared of the exhaustion that inevitably follows class, combined with the fact that I’ll be headed pretty much immediately back to work. I’m also scared of what this new dog will be like in our house. I’m nervous that I won’t be able to give this pup the variety of routes that Trix had. I’m curious if I’ll know this pup’s raisers since I know a lot more people now. It’s just one great big emotional stew.

This experience will be totally different from my training with Trixie. First off, it’s only 2 weeks! My time with Trixie was a month, and retrain classes were 3 weeks. Second, the dorm’s still not built, so we’re living in a hotel. Very very odd. This also means no ready access to laundry. *boo* apparently someone else does our laundry for us. Bleh. Not looking forward to having to coordinate with classmates on when I get things washed.

On the upside, we will all have our own rooms, so I won’t be bothering my room-mate with calls home etc. Also, I know a lot more people, so maybe I’ll actually have a few friends at graduation. Trix’s graduation was a kind of solitary experience. Being so far away, no one could attend to cheer me on. I had Trix’s raisers of course, and her other puppy club members, but they were there to cheer Trix on, not me if that makes any sense.

I’m going to try to journal my experiences and put them up. I even got myself a cute little mini bluetooth keyboard for my phone so I won’t have to do everything via the screen. Fleksy is great, but if you have a long something to say, and you change your mind from time to time, it’s a bit of a pain. And this time, I can put this up myself! Yea WordPress app!

But no guarantees how well I’ll do. I imagine myself being a lot more exhausted this time. We’ll see.

So yeah. Life’s a blurr. I think at the end of 2013, all I’ll have to say about the year is that it was a blurr. Everything kept happening super fast. Hopefully I’ll post again before I leave for guide dog training…but we all know the chances of that.

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  1. Holy smokes woman! This post made me exhausted!
    I really don’t know how you do it, but you act like freakin super blind woman!
    I wish you the best of luck with training since it’s not far away! I will be checking for updates on you from class here on the blog since I don’t read the GDB mailing list much anymore!
    Glad Trixie is adjusting/adjusted nicely!

  2. HAHA, well, you are doing a darn good job of it!
    I’m content with pulling my hair out over school work for now! Probably why I’ve decided to extend my college career to include a Masters. 🙂

  3. It’ll be fun to be as surprised as everybody else when a journal goes up. I didn’t mind doing it since it was such an important thing, but I can’t say I’m going to miss spending the better part of an hour fixing broken notetaker formatting each time. Hahaha.

    I know you’ll do fine. You do well at pretty much everything you do. Just give yourself some time to adjust. Like I always tell you, how it is now isn’t how it’s always going to be.

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