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Day’s 7 and 8

This entry is being written on Saturday afternoon, just after lunch. I am just about to go and groom Harold before we take the loop around the campus.

Day 7 actually kind of starts with the evening of day 6. Harold and I went to bed around 10:30 after I finished doing laundry. I was laying on the left side of the bed, if you were facing it, and I gently reached down and gave Harold a long pet. I then attempted to sleep. Harold had other plans ;). He wanted more attention and wanted to play. This really didn’t surprise me as he was probably a bit nervous in his new situation, it being the first night and all. Suffice it to say, I got some sleep but Harold kept me up a bit. He whimpered when I wasn’t petting him and he didn’t stop for quite some time and then would start up again later in the night. I think he missed his friends down the road a bit . Poor Harold. I am a bit ahead of my self in saying that on Friday night he slept like a baby and I didn’t hear a word from him. I was very happy about that, both of us slept like babies :).

We went out at 6:45 to take our dogs out to relieve and then we went to breakfast at 7:30. Due to the new matching of Harold route work would be done with instructors as though we just got started. This is to insure Harold understands how I communicate with him and my gate as well as size. In the morning we did a quick route around the lounge and then in the afternoon we went to a bagel shop. The wind was bitter cold on Friday and according to weather reports will continue to be so next week as well. I switched to an offset handle which is something I never had with my other 3 guide dogs. I tended to crowd both Harold and Declan a bit on the left so the offsetted handle really helps. The only problem now, right side clearances. In fact, I fell down in the morning while working with Harold. It was really probably mostly my fault. I scraped up my left leg pretty good but Mary (the nurse) fixed me up. I felt like a little kid again with Mommy fixing up my scrapes as a kid :). The medicine she put on it stung like crazy and she told me”yup, your acting like a male alright”. I told her that she was no longer the number one nurse, the continuing running joke with her and Belva, the actual head nurse ;). The nursing staff here has been fantastic and I am continuing to see them about this on Friday night and Saturday morning.

After route work we got to experience the Toyota Prius up and close. It simply amazes me how quiet these cars are. Jim sped the car around in the parking lot and then gave a few of us a ride in it. With the windows rolled up you can not hear a thing until the engine comes on when needed. I will be doing traffic work with the 2 weekers that came into class this weekend and we will be using the Prius. The rest of my classmates did their traffic work on Friday.

I was planning a quiet evening until I was encouraged to join the Yoga class. Normally this wouldn’t interest me one bit, but I thought, why not. Well, it was all going well, until… You see, she had us laying on our backs and she wanted us to put our feet up on this bench in front of us. I had these eye pillows on my eyes and I had to scoot forward to place my feet on this bench. She came over and I was telling her that these are falling down. She said, “what, your pants”? Oh my gosh, that made the whole class just erupt in laughter. She got so embarrassed and it made my night. I doubt she will forget that one. She is coming back next week and I am sure I will come up with something clever to tell her when I see her again ;).

I got to bed around 9:30 and Harold did great! I was so proud of him. When I got up and saw him he was so very excited to see me. He grabs his bone and and jumps all around showing it to me. He certainly loves to eat but is really quite patient with his food being served to him.

After taking Harold out I stopped by to see Mary to have her examine my leg and we ended up talking for about 30 minutes. She loves to sew so I told her all about my wife Keri and how she loves to do this as well. It was a fun discussion.

Saturday morning was spent doing student interviews. We have this afternoon off as well as Sunday. My interview with Jim went well. My goals for the remaining weeks of class are:

Patterning

Refining foot positioning for turns

Mastering the different style of obedience drills done here at GDB.

Working on Right Clearance issues as well as just overall communication between Harold and me.

One last comment, I just checked my email and I am so very excited. Let me first say that I am so grateful for those of you that are reading the blog. Your comments are so uplifting. One special comment which is now visible on the blog is from Harold’s puppy raising family. I had tears in my eyes when I read it. I will email them shortly, but I want to say here and now a very very sincere thank you to them for the hard work and love for Harold that they will always have. I sincerely appreciate your hard work and willingness to serve and provide me the opportunity to work with the dog you raised, it means more to me then you know . I am eager to meet them.

One very cute thing about Harold is his tail. It has this very cute bend to it and it just looks so cute. I have received a number of comments from people here about it. It is a shorter tail but fat and fluffy. It is so cute .

OK, well, it is off to grooming land and after grooming Harold I will be taking him for a walk around the campus with a few other classmates. It is best to pair up around here.

Happy wagging everyone and keep a smile, I sure am!