Up the Road We Go

New day, bright sunshine, very windy but not too cold. Our goal was a 1/2 mile walk–uphill– to the bank, take out some money, then walk home downhill To my chagrin, despite going to the gym, we had to stop several times because I was winded. We will talk with my trainerat the gym on what I need to do to increase my stamina and decrease the pain at my instep.. But that’s for tomorrow.

Back to the bank… turns out walking across the driveway into the front of the bank isn’t safe so we twice a week and walking on the inclined treadmill, my insteps still hurt, my right hip hurt, and I got winded and needed to stop several times. The trainer and I decided when we go to practice

We walked around to the back entrance of the bank, got to the door and it was locked! A woman opened it and explained that the “lobby” was closed because they had no tellers! Did someone call for a sick-out week at Wells Fargo bank??? The woman decided that she wanted to talk to Guide Girl in a very playful voice that pitched higher. Guide Girl, despite being in harness got excited to play and tried to get inside to the woman. Three NOs and a demanded down finally got her under control (you’d think the woman could see she was distracting the dog and we told her the dog was in training and not to interact with dog but some dog lovers are “blind” to requests to disengage). We gained control by refocusing Guide Girl with obediece training–sit, down, stand. sit, down,stand. Personally, I think Guide Girl was thinking yeah, yeah, enough of this up and down, let’s move on.

We planned a quick run into Publix to pick up a prescription. The pharmacist saw I was not with Pippi and wanted to know about the new dog. (How she wasn’t in the middle of counting out pills!) We decided to “work the store” as if we were shopping so I named several products I get regularly and walked around. Of course we create excitement wherever we go.

I had a training
hiccup at night. I took Guide Girl out to park after her dinner and this time of year it’s dark at 6:15 PM. She found all her door and curb targets. I had angled myself toward the door when someone caller to me asking how to get back around the front of the building. Guide Girl held her position but mom had turned to face the speaker so the Forward command took us astray. Guide Girl corrected to follow me and instead of walking to the door, we approached a garage. There were garage doors on either side so I knew were in the wrong place. We tried going back to the cul-de-sac island and start over, but we couldn’t find the opening space. (Except for a 4 feet space, the island is edged with short prickly bushes like holly leaves. I couldn’t find my orientation and panicked. I decided this was the moment to trust the dog. I just said, “Guide Girl, take us to the door” and she did! We’d only been working together 2 days and only met 3 days previously but I trusted her to help keep me safe. She did. Needless to say there was enthusiastic praise, a treat, and I smiled and hugged her through a face-washing! t

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