Day 13, More Escallators, learning new route for Saturday and romaing through the night

When I got up on Thursday I knew it was going to be a very long day and I am feeling it today (Friday morning).

After breakfast (I had cold cereal and toast) we took the dogs out and got on the busses to head to Portland. It seemed like a long ride. I listened to a station that was broadcasting a morning show from Tucson/Phoenix. It was fun to hear that show while I am here in Oregon. I stayed on the bus for quite a while and then it was my time to go.

We worked on escalators once more in the mall. This is a 4 story mall so we took the escalators up and then back down. Things started a bit rough but by the end Harold was fine. It really was just the initial ride that Harold didn’t want to jump on very quickly. Harold did an awesome job throughout the mall. He loves kids which is probably due to the great family he started with and their three kids. I am so excited that I will get a chance to meet them.

The only other situation we kind of struggled with was getting Harold to pull in harness. Jim showed me some tricks to get him to pull better but Sioux really the hit the mark on this problem. More on this later.

Wow, I just heard on the radio that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 hit the Seattle area. I felt nothing. OK, enough weirdness today, we can’t have more of this going on :).

We got back just in time for lunch. Jim sat at our table and told war stories all about Ms. Price, the cook at the California campus. I guess she had a heart of gold but man was she tough about her kitchen. She would lock the kitchen doors tight but the instructors would sneak into the kitchen and eat tons of ice cream. She figured it out too, and man was she not happy.

In the afternoon we worked freelance routes and I learned where Wall Street Pizza was for Saturday when a group of us go on our independent route. I am looking forward to that.

When I got back I fed Harold and took him out. When I got inside it was a frantic dash to get laundry done. I wanted to get it done so I wasn’t doing it over the weekend. I got it loaded into the washer and went to dinner. After dinner I moved the clothes to the dryer and went out for our third route of the evening. This route would be done in Gresham and would be a destination route.

When I met Harold for the first time I met his trainer Mary and her supervisor Sioux. Mary is a pretty new instructor but Sioux has been here with GDB for 15 plus years. Sioux would be the one who I would be working with for the third route. Jim will be out most of next week and Sioux will be taking his place. As Jim told me, “I don’t know your dog as well as others in the class but Sioux sure does”. This was very apparent when we went out on our night route.

Harold’s work was perfect during the night route! Sioux told me many things about Harold and how best to communicate with him. For example, she tells me that I get very strong responses from Harold with my “Good Boys!”, very good considering that our relationship is pretty new. He has associated the phrase somewhat to food, so she is suggesting that I use a different phrase after up curbs and forward commands too keep him moving. She also showed me techniques where I can get Harold pulling better, and man did they work. We were about to end a block but of course dumb me didn’t realize this, so I got him going pretty quickly. He stopped on a dime at the down curb and I had to react very quickly. As Sioux said, “Very good Harold, not so good Jeff ;)”. Oh well, at least I didn’t fall this time.

Speaking of falling, my leg is about healed up. You can still see where it happened but it is nearly gone, thank goodness.

When I got back we told war stories about technology issues and also discussed the non-starting computer in the lounge. It sounds like a bad power strip to me, but heck, what do I know about hardware. I am a much stronger software and development type person. Leave the hardware to the geeks out there that love that stuff. The monitor wasn’t even coming on. My guess is that even though the lights are coming on on the power strip that power is not moving to the outlets on the strip. Aaron, the RA will figure it out. She is quite tech savvy.

Today (Friday) we are going back to Portland and will do work on stairs and elevators. In the afternoon four of us will do traffic check work where basically GDB drivers come at us with vehicles to learn how our dogs react. I better be nice to Jim today, I hear he is driving :). This evening is Yoga and frankly, well, I think I will pass this time. Once was enough. I will probably cocome back to the room and listen to Darrell and Karen do the Desert Skies Show on ACB Radio Interactive, a show I normally do on Friday nights. If you want to listen, it can be found at I will be calling in and giving some updates as well, so stay tuned for that. I will try and do it in the second hour of the three hour show.

Keep a smile and keep those furry friends tails wagging.