Day One at the Seeing Eye

Well, we made it! This was a journey unto itself. Suffice it to say, I have been proven yet again why “I hate space travel”, oh, wait, that’s a different sense of reality isn’t it 😉. Seriously, my faith in the airlines and their associated apps has been tested yet again. I spent the night before I flew trying to determine why my flights were being canceled. It turns out they weren’t, but other computer issues were giving me false alarms. All of this to say the trip process started a bit rough.
Keri and I left the house about 11:30 and grabbed cash and a few snacks for the trip. We arrived at the airport, and all was well going through security. By the way, if you don’t have TSA Pre-Check, get it! It is the best money I have spent from a travel perspective.
I am a strong believer in tracking my luggage when I travel. So, Air tags went into everything! My former Seeing Eye Dog Rory’s Air tag was in my main bag, so it made me smile to see her travel once again.
Once I arrived in Phoenix, I needed to pick up my bag from American and move it to United. That was a bit of an adventure as they really didn’t want to take the bag that early since the flight wasn’t leaving for another 8 hours. Reluctantly, they took the bag.
Karen and I made our way to her home where we spent some wonderful time just talking, watching old TV shows and just truly enjoying the early evening. I left for the airport and left for NJ around 12:30 AM, about 45 minutes later than we expected. I arrived in NJ at about 8:00 or so and after retrieving my bag, yes it made it, we made our way to the school.
The first surprise was seeing Lukas Franck just as the doors of the van were opened. That truly made me smile! For those that do not know, Lukas is retiring from a very long career at the Seeing Eye, and he will be missed. Lukas, we love you and truly cherish all that you have and will continue to do for each one of us.
The next few hours were spent:
• Meeting with the admission and training staff.
• Getting a tour of my room and the entire building.
• Unpacking and of course setting up technology on my desk. I must say, I did this backwards this time, meaning my clothes and other things got unpacked before the technology did.
• We did the traditional Juno walk in the driveway at the school to check pace and pull as well as correction strength. I am a very fast traveler with a dog, so my expectations are broad as far as my needs are concerned.
• I spent some time exploring the building and getting in enough time at their small gym to meet my exercise goals on my Apple watch. I must keep those rings going you know! This shouldn’t be a problem starting Tuesday.
• We ate both lunch and dinner at school. Lunch was a traditional turkey or ham sandwich along with ice cream for dessert. Dinner was a full-fledged turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
• In the evening we had our welcome lecture and then were given our leashes.
All activities ended at about 8:00 PM and I went to bed! So, that is day 1.
Here is what is on tap for day 2:
• After breakfast we will make our way to the training center downtown where we will do our morning Juno walks after a manager’s meeting with Joan Markey. Greg Marino is my instructor.
• We will return for lunch and then work our way back in the afternoon for more Juno walks.
• At 4:00 PM the instructors will meet to determine the dog assignments and we will meet with Dave Johnson for another lecture.
• After dinner we will have a wine and cheese social. I think this means I will go to bed early in preparation for Dog Day on Wednesday.
See everyone later with a summary of day two!