Days 7 and 8 at the Seeing Eye – Soloing we have gone and Entering Elm we will go!

Yes, I am behind a bit so combining two days.
On Sunday we got up at the normal time and prepared to venture out for our South Street solo. We did quite well as a team. Lots of people were bustling about on a Sunday morning so we had people distractions, dog distractions but less traffic as there were more people walking about. We did have one crazy lady yelling at people as we traveled near the end of the route which distracted not only the dogs but us humans as well which required some rework at one of our last turns on the South Street route.
In the afternoon we reviewed:
• Clicker! Yes, we started with some very basic clicker work, mainly loading the clicker and doing some simple targeting work in our rooms with a targeting stick. We will do more of this on Tuesday to target our chairs in the dining room. My dog really doesn’t need that targeting work as the dog finds my spot at the table with significant ease!
• Equipment for purchase. I purchased the light from Ruffwear that attaches to the dog’s harness, a harness pouch and two collapsible water bowls. BTW, if you have not signed up as a Guide Dog user for Ruffwear’s discount program then I would highly recommend it. For privacy concerns I will not provide the link here but if you know how to reach me then please do. I will send it to you privately via email or text. They are very quick at onboarding you into the program and you get a 40% discount off many of their products.
• We received a bell and shoes for our pups. We tried the shoes on and walked around the building a bit. My dog was fine with me putting them on but walked very funny in them as we moved about the building. This is very normal. At the end of working in them my dog jumped up on the couch and refused to get off. My dog loved my bed the first day and I think still does. This may be challenging when we return home next week. Something tells me the cats won’t allow the dog on the bed and nor will I. There isn’t room for a fifth member of the family in our bed!
The rest of the day was ours to do as we pleased. I did some work-related activities and relaxed a bit. It has been a long week for sure.
Now, this brings us to day 8, the Elm Street route! This route is approximately 1.4 miles in length, and I will post more details on its make-up a bit later this week. It is a bit complicated and the written description I have needs some touching up due to changes in the route that were done after it was written by our training manager. This route has the following characteristics:
• Dog distractions
• Silent car traffic checks
• Much more complicated traffic/crossing patterns
• A round-about to contend with
• Some Clicker-like commanding to find traffic polls
• Much tighter spaces to navigate and much busier environments to navigate.
• A lot more people that are traveling the same walk path.
As you can see, things pick up a lot during this route. We have worked this path twice on Monday and we will do it twice again on Tuesday. We will solo the route on Wednesday morning. After this route it is off to freelance. This is a lot more relaxing.
After we got back in the morning, we had our dog care lecture. For those of us with dogs this was pretty much a repeat. We pilled our dogs, washed out their ears and received other information pertaining to the upkeep of our dogs.
When we returned from our afternoon trip, we had dinner followed by the vet lecture. A couple of things to note here for those that have been at the Seeing Eye before:
• Microchipping is now free at the school.
• All the information pertaining to our dogs will be supplied in written and electronic formats. Yeah! This is good!
After the lecture I took the furry one downstairs to groom the puppy.
After we took the dogs out for the last time I returned to my room and prepared for the next day, which would be Tuesday, July 25, what would have been my Mom’s birthday.
OK, so I think we are up to date. Again, we will be continuing to work the Elm Street route again and will probably do a practice solo in the afternoon like we did for the South Street route.
See everyone in the next post!