turtlechelle (turtlechelle) wrote,

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follow up

here is a long post combining messages written to my guide dog list I'll cut it since most of you are on there.
day 1
We walked about a mile to the left of my hown. There are several streets with
blended curbs and lots of driveways with steps down in to and up out of
them. There are also many narrow places where bushes or mailboxes or on
Monday garbage cans block the sidewalk. So, its a slow walk. Flora didn't
stop for the first narrow place but did great on all the others. She missed
a few driveways and ran a few curbs. But did great reworks. Although she
missed things she got more things right than she missed if that makes sense.
She did poop in route, but she'd just eaten about a half hour or less
previous and although she'd gone before route obviously there was more in
there. I may have to do some tweaking to her food schedule when school
starts if I do morning volunteering as I'd hate that to happen at school!
She sniffed a few times requiring harder correction than I like to give so
Heide brought out the pinch otherwise known as a prong collar. That thing
feels so mean, but boy what a difference. She says not to use it all the
time or she'll just learn to ignore it. So we didn't use it on our second
route which was about a half mile to the right of home. She gave me pointers
on the difficult to cross streets It'll take some practice. Flora got
distracted by a squirrel and veered a bit crossing a street away from
traffic fortunately but she straightened up and found the curb. For a second
there I thought she should've been a star in Up!
We also had several dog distractions. on our routes today. Mostly they were
across the street on the golf course. Heide watched the first 1 and for
all the other she would have me make Flora do sits and downs until the dog
went by. Flora was not pleased LOL but it does keep her focus better and its
better not to try to keep working her when she's likely to lose it if she
hasn;t already.
Heide says Flora looks good. The stopping is her being overly careful, so
she doesn't want me to correct for it though I should indicate with the
leash that I want to continue forward. The clicker and treats can be used if
need be.

When we got back home Flora went wild bouncing and running. Heide has some
of it on video. Maybe I can get it posted somewhere. She recorded a bit on
our second route but nothing really interesting first route would've been
better for actual recording of working. However I do have friend that can
record for me so maybe some time soon I can get some stuff up. I think her
raisers and others would enjoy it. So, we were both pleased with the routes.
Heide says she can tell we are still learning each other and to be patient.
We went out to lunch at my favorite place after routes the Tea Room and now
Flora is crashed on my bed and I think I'm about to join her.

days 2 and 3
Flora is currently laying on the floor panting. When we came in from our last route with Heide she went nuts running jumping and bouncing. Its a wild kind of playing that she only does after having to be serious for a long time, or what she thinks is a long time LOL. I'm waiting for her to calm down and cool off then we'll both be eating dinner.
Anyway, here's my rambles on the rest of follow up.
Sunday we walked the golf course. She helped me in a couple places, but mostly just watched. I started a podcast with her on that route. That afternoon we went to lunch with my parents which was enjoyable.
Today we went down town. Now don't everybody think that means anything major. Its really small. A few of the streets have lights and at certain times of the day its quiet busy. It was very busy while we were down there. We had to walk a couple extra blocks out of our normal route because of construction and there was a burglary that the police were dealing with at 1 intersection. Danielle 1 of my care providers came on the walk down town with us. Heide was able to answer some of her questions and explain things like why its good for me to make my own decisions about when to cross the street how I'm trained to listen to traffic and stuff. Flora earned the prong again because of sniffing.But after that went on she did a really good job.
We came home and after a bit of a break headed out on our last route a route with no sidewalks. Flora did wonderfully and we did more talking for the podcast. It'll take a lot of editing and may in fact go up as 2 or 3 short ones. We'll see.
I'm very very glad she was able to come out here. I feel like I've gained tools for working with F. and I'm not just talking about the pinch collar though that is a help But what I've learned would be hard to put in to words without a ton of ramble.
She says she can tell we are still coming together as a team, but that things look really good.
Heide is as always a wonderful encourager. Its nice to have someone who's known me since the beginning who knows how far I've come, someone who isn't afraid to point out my weaknesses, but makes more out of my strengths. She will return in ten months to a year and we'll do it all again. Shelly
Tags: flora
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