Monday, February 4, 2019
Feb 4./day 8- Night walk!
6:00- wake up- Donna woke me up knocking on the door this morning. ;p Yeah I was tired after watching the game and the culmination of the last week are catching up to me. Got myself ready and my stuff together for the day. It's supposed to be near 50 today in NY so a heat wave here!
6:45- feed, water, break the dogs. Fed AJ and she inhaled her food as usual but refused her water again. Hopefully the test results on the sample come back today. We'll see with it having been the weekend. We go out to break and we gt a pretty small spot again for the pee and she went poop too. I know it's crazy I'm listing this but when you become a guide dog handler- these things take on a whole new meaning of importance! LOL! We work back inside, leash guiding and ditch the coat since it's like a spring day out and make our way to the dining room.
7:20- Breakfast is a fruit cup, eggs, and a sausage patty. We are to be out back to the break area at 8am.
8:00- We work through the obstacle course on the way to the van routes. To make things interesting, we also had one of the instructor's dogs running off leash and playing with a thrown ball as a distraction. The obstacles were large obstacles made up of barrels and cones, forcing us to work off the sidewalk, into the street and back onto the sidewalk.
Being honest, I was a little nervous. I thought she would do fine, but she is still young and she had shown some interest in the toy yesterday that was laying on the ground. So we make our way across the parking lot to the square where the dog is running and chasing the ball. She looked a couple of times but a NO! and reinforcing Forward quickly got her back to her work. We make a right down the next side of the block and Carmen is there with a toy flapping it at her and she does turn towards that and because of the change in our direction, I immediately went to a leash correction, which she immediately re-directed and went back to her focus on getting to the obstacles ahead of us on the sidewalk, which crossed over the entire sidewalk. She took me to the curb by the barrels and we step into the street, I take the leash in my right hand, and repeat over and over, Over Right Find the sidewalk, Of which SHE did a stellar job. I on the other hand, was fumbling with my footwork for some reason.
We work to the next corner and continue to the angle off and the other set of obstacles, which is a barrel and a white pvc pipe elevated and positioned across the sidewalk. I thought she was going to try to take me under it but she walked right up to it and came to a dead stop. I told her to Hup up/Find the way and she was so proud of herself.
9:00- We all load up in the vans for our last daytime walk in Huntington. We go out and AJ was slow starting out. Then she pulled over and pooped before we could get the harness off. I'm finding that she normally poops first thing in the morning and at the 8:30 break time. However, she did not go last night at the 8:30 time, so my guess was that they may be between all the extra kibble she gets from working stuff and working on our homework project.
This was a really good and really smooth route this time. We quickly made it to the first down curb, crossing the street, and to the up curb to make our way down the second block and to the down curb there. We passed trainer Jody M and her dog in training and went up the curb and made the right hand turn to the perpendicular curb. We waited for the light and she wasn't trying to charge ahead as she'd been doing. The light changed for us to go and we smoothly went across the street. Then came the stretch of more narrow sidewalk with the store front on the left and poles on the right and some things set at the curb. We pass the string hanging down again and she has been super good about being cautious with me and pausing at the little bump up before we turn into the store.
We get into the store and smoothly work through the store and while I cued her to the wrong aisle we easily found our way over and to the door outside and landed at athe curb. Made our left and went around the pole there and back to the center line of the sidewalk and she carefully took me around a person and a sign on the sidewalk too. We got the the down curb and then waited for the audible light to cue us that it was safe to cross the street. Once across the street, we made a left and we were back to the wide sidewalk and worked to the first down curb, crossed the street, and worked to the second down curb and came up behind Dan and his dog in training. She worked beautifully right next to and stood at the curb and moved forward at the cue as though they weren't even there. We continued on and she started to sniff a bit at the same spot on the left on this block and a No! put her back to work and we kept good pace all the way back to the Panera. Rivi, the training manager complemented us saying that we made it easy. :) Instead of going into the party room, we went ahead and went through Panera and as she has done each day, she showed me the railing on the ramp to the door. Out the door we went and to the van to load up and head back to GDF.
11:45- We arrive back at GDF and work through the obstacle course, working around the square, around the bars hanging over the sidewalk and the barricades across the sidewalk, forcing off curb work around it and then back onto the sidewalk to the Break Area. I let her go pee and we head in and then to lunch.
12:00- I honestly cannot remember what Lunch was.... :P Here is a picture of AJ instead.
1:00- We all load up in the van to head to the bus stop and plan to take the bus to the mall. However a mistake had been made and we'd just missed the right bus just before we arrived. We didn't realize this though and we had 8 people lined up along the wrought iron fence there on the street waiting for the bus for nearly 25 minutes. When the next bus arrived, they looked up the bus times and realized we had another 20 minutes until the next bus. So they brought us all back around to the other side of the wrought iron fence and we did some obedience. :P We were to keep our dogs at a sit or down and stay and they went by with toys, treats, bouncing balls, trying to pet the dogs, and so forth. AJ did really well to my surprise and a No quickly re-directed her.
3:30- We finally arrive at the mall on the Barnes & Nobles side. We walk through the mall and to the food courts in doubles- where one team leads off and then they switch and the other team leads for a while. We get through the mall and with the time lost because of the bus hang up, we work our way on out to the vans. We get back to GDF and work on using the clicker for targeting. We are given some time off to chill before dinner and going on the night walk.
4:30- feed, water, break- she peed a little spot again. Still no word on the test results yet. Hopefully tomorrow.
Here is a photo of the break area from the parking lot. We were sitting in the van. Photo shows a covered roof extending out like a T from the residence room building.
5:30- dinner- Kevin spoiled us with nice thick BBQ ribs and mashed potatoes. There was veggie too but I can't remember what for now. Then I had a caramel cheese cake for dessert.
6:30- We head back to Huntington again for our night walk, with six students, six dogs, and three instructors in one van. Three students and 2 instructors in another van and Brad in his vehicle. We unload and work our way into Panera and the amazing volunteers Ed and Joyce are there again to help us with drinks and to stay in the room with us as the trainers are out working students. I order my usual iced Caramel Latte and Cristina goes out with my student partner.
When they go out it's our turn and we turn on the little light on her harness and take off. She does really well through the whole route again. AJ did pull over this time when she had to poop and we got the harness off and let her go and then she was off to the races again. We only had one issue where we bumped a stack of boxes that had been set out for trash on the narrow sidewalk. She worked all the street crossings and through the store beautifully. I was very impressed with her work. Then as we got back to Panera, Cristina had me work my way on out to the van again to start loading people up. We arrive back at GDF and everyone works their way into the break area and let the dogs go potty and then head on inside for the night.
We both quickly crashed for the night.