Guide Dog Training, Day 23

Today was the most emotional day yet!

It started off with pup being less than enthusiastic and made the tension much less than it usually is which threw me considerably.

We walked through to the metro station and his work was really good down Market street and up to the Apple store. even coming out of the Arndale he was doing well but then the tension just laxed. I wasn’t sure why or if it was me, him or the environment.

It was the quietest today we’ve worked through Manchester. It just didn’t feel quite right. And I became an emotional wreck. My poor GDMI!

The worst thing was that I was to be being followed by my GDMI’s boss on what we would hope to be a qualifying walk. This is where it all officially gets signed over to us as the owners and the partnership is official.

I don’t think I was particularly worried about that as it was a route I have done most with pup but the bad walk from this morning really made me question if this was right for us.

I’m still not sure of that answer if I’m honest. And maybe I’m just expecting too much too soon. You forget when you’ve been a GdO before how the teething problems and the early days feel. You just remember the good solid partnership that you and your previous dog had.

I’ve had some fantastic walks with this young lad so I guess I can’t lay everything on a walk that was not as perfect. And in his absolute defence he was guiding just fine and my instructor said she felt it looked as it has done but for me something just wasn’t clicking on this walk.

I honestly, don’t remember that walk with Bailey and that’s not to say it didn’t happen, I’m sure it did but it was a definite “oh crap” moment.

The qualifying walk went really well and nothing was really amiss. Minus just the last part where he was a bit slower again but I can’t work out if that’s his conscientious side coming out and he’s just watching out for things or if it’s something else.

I guess time will tell and the next six months to twelve months will be telling.

The one thing that slightly worries me is that my instructor had said about his drooling yesterday when we’d done a walk through Manchester and today thought maybe it’d been just a bit too much with the crowds and such. My concern is, that if he doesn’t ever build that confidence, then what? I need my dogs to be able to work in busy areas. But again, time will tell. And if it’s not working, then something will have to be done. I can’t just walk on quiet routes, I definitely don’t have that luxury.

But when I think back to last night, he was pretty confident when we went to the library. He’d seen the stairs before but had never been asked to find them but found them just fine. As I’ll keep telling myself and you blog readers, time will be the telling and nothing more or less. Tomorrow is another day and he’s getting a break from Manchester which will be nice for him.

I hope it’s just him still settling and we have work to do together to build him up. This dog, really feels like he has a lot of potential and I know he’s still only twenty months old. I definitely wasn’t doing Manchester with bailey at this stage of our partnership.

Fingers crossed and even though I’m qualified, still a fair bit of training to do.



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