Day 4: All New Places

Yesterday we were tweaking the Guide Girl’s schedule a bit. Each morning she has been on a mission to get outside and pee. We are measuring out the amount of water she’s getting for reference and cut off access to water by 7:30PM. We also moved her last park time from 8:30 to 9:30. She was able to wait to get up until 8 AM and we just walked down the hall, not raced. We’re trying it again tonight to see if that works for her. Not getting up until 8 AM definitely works for mom! (Guide Girl had been getting up at guide school at 6 AM! Nope, that doesn’t work for me.

First we went over to the gym I go to every Tuesday and Thursday morning. My personal trainer has a sweet dog named Piglet that comes with him and she loves to meet new dogs and try to play with them It’s not a mega-gym but 5 people + trainer can comfortably work in it with all the equipment. And sometimes a couple dogs chasing each other. Guide Girl and Piglet did the typical hello- sniff noses, sniff butts. Guide Girl and I found the chair where I collect my coat and bag then I had her lie down next to the chair. Piglet kept trying to urge Guide Girl to play but she was in harness which is work mode and playing is a no-no. Piglet tried 3 times, even hugged the Girlie but she was having none of it. Had our conversation with my personal trainer on how to shape my workout to focus on stamina for the uphill road then left to go work through the synagogue.

We arrived just before the preschoolers were leaving. That was good because we missed the shouts and screams about “a doggie!” But my Guide Girl is a big licker (too big of a licker) and she would have loved to clean the food off those 3 and 4 year old faces! We practiced finding the door to the sanctuary and the seats where my friends and I sit to keep Guide Girl out of the way. We also practiced finding the ladies’ room and where Guide Girl could go to the bathroom too. I didn’t find out until evening when I attended a zoom synagogue service that one of the Rabbis had spotted uspracticing during the day.

Lunch time! I was curious to see how Guide Girl would handle a restaurant. Pippi, guide dog #1, had poor manners. She would put her face on your leg and look up at you with her most pitiful look. If it didn’t work on you, she’d try your companion. Not Miss Guide Girl. Her manners were impeccable. She went under the table, laid down and took a nap. The wait staff didn’t know she was there. I was delighted because Pippi also liked to stick her head out and sniff the wait person’s leg. She caused quite a few shrieks when a wet nose hit skin!

Mostly we spent time throughout the morning tweaking my actions. I need reminders for certain cues to the dog, or to be sure my shoulders and toes are facing the direction I plan to go. Also I need to work on consistently bringing my right arm across my body when feeding treats and place my fingers with the food by the outside of my left knee. That way, Guide Girl doesn’t lose her alignment with the direction we are traveling. These are nuances but important.

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