Day 11 at the Seeing Eye

Tuesday was a difficult day for me. We got up, parked our dogs and ate breakfast. I was going to go out with Tom Pender (the class supervisor) to work on pull with Vincent. I went in on the 8:45 shuttle and met Tom there. We drove in the Prius to Madison, NJ. He had me work with Vincent with lots of play and praise to attempt to increase his pull. At times there was some but for the majority of the time it was not very strong. I expressed these concerns to Tom while we went back to the campus.

He then did a Juno walk with me in the driveway and told me he would begin searching to see what he could find.

I spoke to Michelle and Lucas Franck as I really wasn’t handling the situation very well. In addition, those on the Internet with whom I communicate with were a huge help to me throughout the day.

Tom came on got Vincent just prior to lunch and boy did it feel weird walking into the first dining room without a dog. It felt like all of the eyes of the room were looking at me (of which they probably were not). I started to cry at the table a bit and then we had a guest so I had to quickly compose myself as much as I could. I ate my hamburger and fries (that was what was for lunch) and kept pretty quiet.

I went back to my room and checked email and then went down to the front lobby and watched a Start Trek episode on the iPod to try and get my mind off of all of the activities that were taking place.

The afternoon crawled and I honestly thought it would never end. I stopped by to see Michelle, I went outside to stand in the rain a bit (it was lightly sprinkling) and went to talk with Pauline on potential travel plans if a match couldn’t be found. I wanted to have all of the options on the table if worse came to worse. I am Grandfather Chicken Little and many know this about me. If the worse could happen then I tend to believe it will (one of my unwanted features). The Unwanted Features is something that came up in class at our table and I will BLOG about it later at some point, everyone remind me ;).

I was sitting in Michelle’s office and she received a phone call:

“Is Jeff in your office?”

I guess Tom and Barb were hunting for me.

I received the news that they had found a new dog for me and that I would meet HER after dinner.

I ate dinner and then went back to my room to wait for Tom to bring her to my room.

Her name is Rory. She is 21 inches tall and 51.2 pounds. I do not have a birth date yet but hope to get that soon. Verification that she is a pure Black Lab is also needing to be determined but we think she is.

The rest of the evening was spent bonding with her and then off to a lecture on more Clicker Training activities from Lucas. Lucas is probably one of the most dynamic speakers in the filed there is. He really makes training fun with his sense of humor and overall tone.

We then took our dogs out to PARC and I returned to my room where we played a bit more and then it was time for bed. It was a day that started with lots of tears and ended with lots of them but the emotion swing was completely opposite. Man, I hope I don’t have many more of those while I am here.

More to come on the day 12 post. Thanks for reading everyone.

1 thought on “Day 11 at the Seeing Eye”

  1. Fantastic news! Before you know it, you and Rory will be roaring down Maple Avenue. You are obviously a very competent dog-guide handler because no school in its right mind would take someone who is not and give them a replacement dog after a third of the class is already gone and expect them to handle the extra training pressures. This is precisely what happened to me in ’91 but for different reasons. I had to work nearly twice as hard over the next (second) week of training just to catch up so that by week three I’d be doing what the rest of the class was doing, and let me tell you, it made me dog-tired at the end of a hot summer’s day! LOL! But I know you’ll do it and come out on top.

    Keep up the great work and posts.

Leave a Comment