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Day 20 – Taking trips, Getting security concious, Freelance and buying Smart for our Dogs

We are almost done! Today started with a discussion about taking trips with our guide dogs. All of the basics were covered: feeding, watering, relieving, riding in cars, cruses (they should have asked Marlaina to do that one ), planes and much more. After that we all went to the airport to practice going through security with our dogs. Frankly, I am not sure who this was for more, the airport staff or us. For me it was for sure for the airport staff. I had a great discussion with Kim at our table about many things along with other classmates.

After lunch it was time to load into the busses and go to Gresham. I just did a very simple freelance route. After this the gang went to Pet Smart. I staid on the bus. I really didn’t need anything and the outing was strictly optional anyway.

We all said our goodbyes to Sioux, as Jim will be returning on Friday. Again, she worked with Mary to train Harold and she really was a great help to me this week. I gave her a hug and thanked her very much. She did awesome with Harold as well as Mary of course.

One thing I learned about Harold is that he was one of two dogs in class that went through the “accelerated training program”. GDB is doing these trials where they cut the training time in half for the dogs by taking them out 2 times per day, 6 days a week. So, Harold left the Goldstein’s on 10/31/2008 and entered class the first Thursday that I was there. Talk about quick! To make it clear, all of the same training is done as well as testing, it is just done in less time and more often.

This evening I gathered contact information for the entire class and will be emailing it out to the gang. Another classmate, who has simply been a God Send to me in class as far as helping me with some things, wrote cards out for all of the staff here at GDB. I will comment on this later.

So, the last formal day is tomorrow, Friday. Here is the schedule as I know it:

8:15 – Obedience and transitioning to your home area
9:00 – Head to the mall to do last minute shopping
1:30 – Review packets, development discussion and graduation review and practice with mics and other items.

To answer a question that I have received by many, yes, the blog will continue with Harold updates as well as updates on my personal life. Many have also asked if the blog will return to a focus on technology type topics. The answer to this is an emphatic “NO”, unless it is such an item that could dramatically impact my life personally. In that case, I will.

See you all the next day for another review.