Wednesday, February 6, 2019

 Feb 6/ Day 10- To the Big City! Taking on Manhattan!

5:45- wake up early as we are leaving at 6:30 to head into the city.

6:14-feed, water, and break the dogs and make our way to the vans.  AJ is back to drinking water and peeing regularly again so the meds are kicking in for her. Yay!

Brad was sitting up front so we were able to coax AJ into the front row of the back of the van. She was balking at getting in and had done well with getting into the front.  They gave us our breakfast sandwiches that were Ham, egg, and cheese on a roll and orange juice for breakfast

A view out the front window of the van as we are driving through the streets of Upper Manhattan- Tons of vehicles and tons of people everywhere.

We arrive at the lighthouse for the blind after passing the today show plaza and NBC studios on our way through upper Manhattan     We unloaded from the vans and made our way into the building, going up to the 3rd floor and Vocational Rehabilitation office let us hang out in their conference room.

Because we have had 3 students go home early and one student was not well today, there was just 6 of us that went to Manhattan.  I hung out in the room while everyone else went on their walks.  Barb said if she got back before Christina, she would walk with me.

Barb made it back first and we were headed out the door when the others came in but she said she would take me.  Which I was glad as it gave us a chance to visit and talk too since she has been in a different van throughout training.

We first walked about a block to a playground that was bustling with kids yelling, screaming and running all over.   AJ walked through like nothing even mattered.  We walked to the back of the park by the basketball goals where some teenage boys were playing street ball and we sat on a bench about 4 feet directly behind and to the left of the backboard.  The scuffling feet, bouncing balls, and yells didnt even phase her.  She was more interested in what she could find on the ground to chew on than the stuff happening around her.  We sat there for about 15 minutes and then we walked over to another area of the playground where there were younger children running and playing and swinging.   She walked through here just like she did before, calm and collected and nothing rattled her.  We sat on another bench close to some slides/climbing equipment and a young girl ran past and jumped over AJ's back end/harness and she just watched her and didnt move.   After the playground seemed to pretty much clear out in about 10 minutes we got up and went for a walk.   I told Barb I didnt need super crowded area, as most of my crowded areas are usually inside buildings- such as when at church.

So we took off back the way we'd come and went 3-4 blocks to the Hudson River.  On the way there there were lots of dogs and lots of smells.  I was about to pull out the gentle leader as AJ really found her nose but we were able to manage it pretty well and she got better the further along we went.  We did have a human traffic check where a woman was walking several dogs and the dog came over towards us so AJ went left to avoid the dogs, but then another woman was coming from the opposite direction came right up to us and we nearly ran into her.  AJ stopped dead in her tracks as we nearly collided with the stroller she was pushing.  I apologized and worked her out of the way of the stroller and on down the sidewalk. 

We crossed over the street and then went down the river walk and there were lots of people walking two and three dogs.   One lady had two large dogs and a smaller dog and even pulled over to let us pass.  As we were going past, one of the dogs lunged toward and barked at AJ and she did really well with only a look back and then kept going.  Which is really, really good with a dog coming at her of that size.  Barb was like Praise her big.  so did so and we continued down the ramp to the river front.  we walked on over and out on a pier like outcropping that took you out over the water and could see up and down the river with the Manhattan skyline one way and the George Washington bridge the other way. 

Photo:  Kacie standing on the pier in a orange jacket and blue jeans.  AJ, a petite black lab sitting in harness at her right side.  IN the background is the Hudson River and way off in the distance is the George Washington Bridge.

Photo:  Kacie standing on the pier in a orange jacket and blue jeans.  AJ, a petite black lab sitting in harness at her right side.  IN the background is the Hudson River and Upper Manhattan skyline.

Photo:  looking over the river walk- there is an elevated roadway or rail way and under it you can see the walk itself along the River.

It was time to head back towards the light house so we took off and worked our way back up the ramp to the street level.  AJ is a smart cookie and she was behaving, but she was moving over so that her nose would run right bast the large concrete flower boxes so she could "sniff" as she went along.  I was watching her but as she was still walking and doing so in a straight line it was hard to correct her.  I finally asked her to move over away from the boxes. 

We walked the couple of blocks back to the light house and I ate my lunch quickly as we were next to the last team to come back.  It was such a good feeling to get out and walk and see some things too.  Our time in the city had come to an end though and we loaded up in the van and started back to GDF.  Got a couple of other pics too but not sure what they were of.

I believe this is the George Washington Bridge- as we had followed along the Hudson River.  

 We crossed over this bridge but I don't know which one it is....

2:30- We arrive back at GDF and worked to the break area,   We went on in and just kind of chilled for a bit.  I went to the training office and asked about plans for the afternoon and Cristina said if she needed me she'd come find me.   She did hand me a pair of ear muffs for AJ though.   They are thinking that she is a somewhat sensitive dog, so the starting pistols at the track meets may be a little too much for her.  So will try using these to help with that.

Cristina came to talk with me and showed me how to put the ear muffs on AJ.  She let me know that she had talked with Brad and we would be doing the traffic checks again, but just not sure when since he was going into the city today with a couple of the students that were going back in to do more city work as their customization.   So we will either do the traffic checks again either Friday morning or in the afternoon.  I explained to her my concerns with how the traffic checks and that I am confident that AJ can do the job, but we need to make sure she will stop sooner/harder so that I am aware of her making that stop when we do have a traffic check. She understood where I was coming from and we will see how it goes.

The other half of the day, Cristina wants to take us to another larger mall to do more indoor work with stairs, escalators, and it is more crowded too so will be good work for both of us with our dogs.

Here she is with her ear muffs on- photo of a black lab with ear cups over both ears and looking at me wondering what the heck Im doing to her.  But if you give me food and click I'll stand here for you. 

Black lab looking downward- with black ear cups over her ears and two velcro straps going over her head and one under the chin.

4:30- We fed, water, breaked the dogs and it was somewhat a chill afternoon.

5:30- dinner was amazing steak and asparagus.

6:15- water the dogs.

6:30- I got a call from AJ's puppy raiser, and learn a little about her as a puppy!  Her raiser and the parents will be coming to Celebration Saturday.  I am really excited as this will be the first time I actually get to meet a puppy raiser at the Celebration.  In the past I had done combo training with my first three dogs and with Boomer, none of his raisers or sponsor was able to make it. :(   So really looking forward to meeting her raiser and parents!

8:30- final break for the night.  We come back in and I call home to talk to Mike and the kids.a bit.  I hang up with them and start working on updating the last couple of days of blog posts.  last check on the clock was around 9:30 and I woke up at 12:30 sitting up and with a crick in the neck. :P    So I put up the laptop, set the alarm on my phone and we try an experiment on my homework on what I've been working on with AJ.

Night to you all!

Close up of AJ's upper body, laying on her blanket on the raised bed with both bones tucked under her chin on the blanket beside her.