Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kids- 20, Dog and Handler - 0...

This is a way behind but wanted to share.

Back in April (yeah I know, over a month ago) KT had a school portfolio night and bookfair. We invited grandma and grandpa to go with since the plan was for hubby and AC to be at soccer practice. However, work ran over for hubby and he wasn't home in time for soccer practice so hubby and AC went with KT, MD, the grandparents, and Rei & I to the portfolio night. It was nice weather out so we made the short walk over to the school without a hitch, other than AC needing to be carried since Rei was walking her speed zooming speed and he wasn't able to keep up. LOL!

So we get there and head to the cafeteria first to take a look at the artwork that KT has made. She did a really neat drawing of a snake in a southwestern motif, which Grandma was immediately interested in buying (they framed the art to be purchased as a school fundraiser) since it will fit nicely in thier house and thier southwestern motif that is throughout the house. :) Rei was doing very well guiding me through the tables and such and we weren't having too much interference. So then we head around to KT's classroom.

As we are walking the halls to the class room, it was the usual gasps and "Look! A dog!!!" froma lot of the kids and we just kept moving in stride. However it seems with the white walls of the school and the white tiles of the floor, I was really having a hard time with my perception of my place in space (if that makes sense). It all seems to blend together and I have a harder time being able to navigate and with all of the kids darting in and out, really was beginning to stress me pretty good. We had a couple of kids come up and ask to pet, which I said No, since we were walking and heading to KT's classroom.

Once in KT's room, Rei and I had a repreive from the kids, as all of the kids in KT's class are VERY respectful and have remembered since our presentation that they must ask first before they pet and to not distract Rei when we are walking. So we got to look through KT's papers and found that she's now doing awesome with her reading and is at a lexile score of over 1000! After we looked through the stuff there, we then decided to head to the gym for the bookfair.

We start off down the hall and goodness, kids were diving in from right and left to pet Rei and I had at least three kids run up and ask to pet as we were walking down the hallway. Grandpa said later that he was trying to manuever himself to block some of the kids but they were quick and determined. Once into the gym, with even more poor lighting, I was throughly stressed by this point with all the distractions, the sense of a lack of orientation from the lighting/white walls & floors, and all of the loud noise of kids running all over and clammering. I have to say that Rei did AWESOME though, and stayed focused and kept moving despite the hands that kept petting her and she did her job so well.

Once in the gym, hubby took KT and was looking at books for her. Grandma took MD and they were looking at some beginning reading books for her, and Grandpa had AC and they went to the side and was playing so AC would stay out of trouble. Rei and I kind of took a breather and immediately had a circle of kids around us, which was ok as we were still and I was slowly regaining my bearings since the floor was wooden and the walls are white. After a good while and a lot of requests for petting, we finally wrapped things up and headed on to make the walk home. Once home, Rei got a long belly rub and play session and I crashed on the couch thoroughly wiped out from the whole trip.

Talking with Grandpa the next day, I recalled that I was really surprised at how much difficulty I had that evening and how much it bothered me. I'd not experienced that before, at least not to that level with my guide dog. So that was a new experience overall for me and I was really glad to have Grandma and Grandpa along to help with MD and AC, as it freed me up to concentrate on Rei and getting around.

So I guess it was Kids-20 and dog & handler-0 that day....

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