Any guide dog owner who tells you after the initial bonding period that they have never had any issues with their guide is either lying or very lucky.
I have, on the whole, minus Bailey’s early on injury of mystery been very lucky in our working relationship. Sure, he can be a stubborn so and so and I have a check chain to give me extra control which we needed a lot during the early years due to his over excited nature. But generally, our relationship has been your average one. We have the odd bad day, either due to his own issues or mine but no huge problem.
I think part of that is because whenever something is starting up, I tend to seek advice. Like now. A few times Bailey has snuck the odd morsel of food from under tables or bus seats or on the floor as he’s walking. I’ve always corrected this if I’ve known about it. However, this food obsession is getting worse. It used to be a rare occasion but now it’s happening far too frequently. So last week I called my instructor and asked her advice. Much to Bailey’s disapproval, she’ll be arriving this morning to talk and do some exercises. Often, Guide dogs issue gentle leaders to prevent the dog dipping its head but she believes, and I agree he’d refuse it now. So we’ll see what wonderful things she’s got to test him with today.
Apparently, if they’ve been on steroid medication, which he has in the past few months, it can lead to this new scavenging behaviour.
Another thing yesterday happened which I shall bring up with her, although I don’t think it’ll be a huge issue providing I do and don’t do a few things. You all know, if you’ve read this blog that Bailey’s terrified of my parents cheering at the football on television. Well, yesterday was taken to new heights. He’d started bouncing around when I got his lead to take him for a wee so I decided to go for a walk with him to get him away from the football. That worked fine until we were coming home and he refused to cross a road. I told him off and sent him into his bed, only to realise when I was blubbering in my room and he came tearing up the stairs breathing funny that he had been scared to come home. So, note to self, never take him out when he knows football is on because he won’t want to come home. Poor pup.
I’ll let you all know how the visit goes this morning. Marie