Last Updated on: 8th May 2023, 10:51 am
First day with the big beast, and it’s a good one, even though I’ve been awake since 4.
About the big beast. He’s the tallest dog I’ve ever had. He’s 25 inches tall. He stood beside me and I couldn’t believe how tall he is. I worry he won’t fit on Tansy’s bed or in her crate. But he’s such a good heeler. Just for fun, I decided to put his food down and then heel him from his crate to tiedown, just to see how hard he would yank if he knew there was food over there. He was excited, but totally manageable. He’s already not drinking as fiendish an amount of water as he started doing. Did I mention that last night when he went out for final relieving, he peed a river? Maybe that was less than awesome so he didn’t think he needed that much water.
They tell me that he pees like a girl. No wonder I can’t hear him going.
I’m writing this at the end so I hope I’ve got this all down. We had lectures about guidework commands like forward, left, right and stuff. Then we headed to Gresham to do some Juno work on those commands. I was feeling pretty good about that. I had to make some small tweaks but nothing super massive. But I was having more trouble learning my way around the lounge. I don’t remember the San Rafael lounge being so hard for me to learn.
Another thing I’m finding hard is knowing how much to kibble for good heeling anymore. If he’s heeling well, you don’t have to give him kibble a bunch, but if he’s slipping, then you have to reward him more to get him convinced that heeling nicely is worth it. And then I keep tightening up on the leash too much. Ack this beginner stuff is hard. I’m finding that I don’t have room for stuff like new routes and stuff.
He’s a bit of a jack in the box. He mostly settles under the table, but sometimes he rolls around under my feet. It’s weird. He also scratches and licks a lot. HIS fur is covered in random crusty spots. I hope that’s nothing.
So we did a bunch of Juno where I practiced turns with a plastic dog on wheels that was about my dog’s size. So we think we’ve got the right harness handle size. I also did some Juno walks where Juno was bad and I had to do various kinds of management. Then after lunch of a grilled zucchini sandwich and a cupcake, when I think the pooch might have eaten a crumb, arg, we went back to Gresham and finally I went on a walk with the pupster.
As walks go, it wasn’t bad. We had a few miscommunications and some distractions but it was pretty good. I kept not gripping the harness hard enough and my hand kept sliding to the right side of the harness. I can hear my Tansy supervisor saying “Hand in the middle.” Oops. This first walk felt more exhausting than I remember, even though I fell on Trixie’s first walk. But I think things are going well, even if the instructors have to remind me over and over and over again.
After that, we learned about playing tug of war and I got those invincible chains which is a set of rings that they can tug on. He kept going back and forth between violently shaking his head and just licking the toy. I can’t figure out what makes him happy. When he does play, he likes to pop his big brick-like head up and bean me in the chin. Hopefully I can figure out how to get bonked less.
When they said to bring a backpack, they weren’t kidding. Often times, they’ll give us more supplies at the lounge. I just figured it was for carrying stuff like rain gear et al so I didn’t carry it today. That was a terrible idea. I was carrying my cane, my braille display, plus I got the new harness and a tug toy. Ok ok ok changing my plans.
We’ve had awesome weather. I say it’s because I went and bought rain pants. If I didn’t get them, it would have rained every day. I’ll take this for sure.
Finally, we learned about dog grooming. His golden coat is going to need more attention. I found a mat in his fur and they showed me how to get out. Also, his tail needs daily combing. He’s a little rascal to groom. He won’t hold still for anything. Am I going to have to install a tie-down on the balcony for grooming?
I’m so happy that he likes his crate. He just runs right in there.
I had two near brushes with poop today. Once, I almost trailed my key fob through poop. Another time, I forgot to grab a bag and of course he pooped. I thank him for picking a spot near an easy landmark so I could get a bag, and walk back to the spot with my legs spread apart.
Dinner was a delicious steak stir fry. I couldn’t possibly finish it. I think I’ll have to start getting half portions or something. After dinner, I once again became a zombie. I could barely stay awake to check my email. I did hear from Chuck and that was cool.
I think that’s all I can remember from today. I’m toast once again.