Quite a Surprise

The trainer, Journey, and I have practiced going up and down the four flights of stairs in case of a fire drill–or worse, a real fire. The Management has one drill mandated by county or city ordinance per year. There’s a total of 75 stairs so once a year works for me!

Our training schedule has typically been from 9:30 or 10 AM until 12 noon-ish, go grab lunch at a restaurant (a few of those on Guiding Eyes dime- thank you!) then take a 90 min rest break (both Journey and I grab a nap), then another 90 minute work session. During our rest break on Tuesday or Wednesday during our rest break and after a vigorous game of toss-and-return-the-squeaky-squirrel, both Journey and I fell asleep on the living room rug. Suddenly there was a loud WACK! WACK! WACK! which was the fire alarm! Trying to get rid of my foggy brain, I had to decide if I would harness-up Journey or just grab the cane and leash. I also had to prepare for the piercing, shrieking sound of the alarm in the hallways and Journey’s reaction to it. Pippi would freak out and run to the stairwell dragging me behind. Journey was definitely surprised and looking like she might run too. I grabbed my coat (temp low 30’s with wind chill in the low teens), cane, and hooked on her leash. I was talking to her in a calm voice saying “it’s okay but it will be loud in the hall” as we exited. The alarm is right across from my door so it was painfully loud. She did run us down the hall but knew exactly where the exit door was located. Once through it, she headed to the stair railing and I started counting the stairs (it helps me to not miss a stair.) We were a bit rattled but were heading down. Maintenance and Management were heading up to check the electrical rooms on each floor. I asked if it was a drill or real fire. They said they didn’t know which translates to either it was real or some fool pulled one of the wall alarms! (They never did find out if someone pulled the alarm or some other unknown cause happened.)

For the secord work session of the day, my trainer suggested trying the stairs again. I suggested we practice finding our way around the synagogue instead because climbing up and down 75 stairs twice in a day was more than these old legs wanted to do.

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