Guide Dog Training, Day 2

I am completely exhausted!

Had a really sleepless night last night. Poor dog was so restless and unsettled and so was I.

But we did more short handle walks today followed by the first walks with the dogs.

In my short handle walk, my instructor was glad to see my straightness was coming back and I had a good practice with the handle. Then it was time to get the dog out of the car and work him. Felt very strange but exciting clipping a shiny new harness onto a real dog again.

I happened to have three walks as my instructor has only had me the past two days. My muscles are crying out for a nice hot bath which I am hopefully going to get shortly.

The first days of training generally include just a quiet walk around the block they use for training with the dogs. The idea is to give the pups confidence with a new handler in an environment they are familiar with. The GDMI [guide dog mobility instructor], keeps what they call a support lead on the dog, attached to a second collar that gives the dog that bit of a hand if and when it needs it. the first few days are really about you and pup finding your feet together. A good speed, a feel of how to follow the dog, behaviours they may have, etc. It’s very basic in order to build a solid working relationship. Very few corrections are given by you the handler at this point and the instructor is helping out with the dog where needed.

We did these block routes, one one way round and the other two the reverse. It felt so weird to follow a different dog but oh so good to. I found his speed a little daunting at first but think that was my lack of confidence more than his speed. And having have five months off working a dog, takes a bit of time to adjust.

Pup seems a bit more settled in himself today and has played and worked hard so hope he feels a little more settled tonight and sleeps well.

His second pooh was late though and so far haven’t seen a evening pooh so hope he goes when I take him out at 11. I hope I can stay awake that long. Feel so exhausted. This little lad pees a lot so I hope he’ll be OK until the morning.

I plan to take him out around 11 and then he’ll only have to go for 7 and a half hours. Hope he doesn’t feel unsettled tonight and gets up for a spend. I really need some sleep and so does he lol.

Walking with him was pretty good today. He’s a lovely fast positive boy with boundless amounts of energy. I keep trying to get a cuddle but no joy yet. lol.

He will chase and chase his toys until he’s shattered. Bless him. He’s lying on his bed now and just chilling out. Please chill until morning after your last weewee little doggy.

Hugs MJ

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