My Journey at the Seeing Eye

Day 5 Part 2 at the Seeing Eye – Who nose what will happen that makes sense!

OK, this is actually being written on day 6 in the early evening. I will get to the activities we had on day 6 in the next post.
I forgot to write about an incident that took place in the later part of the morning after we returned from doing our route. A bit of description is in order here for those that have not attended the school before:
• The Seeing Eye building is in the shape of a capital H.
• After you enter the building, you turn right and proceed down the hall toward the offices of many of the trainers and admission staff members.
• The hallway is carpeted and also has tile to mark specific locations that are important.
• Once you reach the tile you can turn right and proceed down the hall to the nurse’s office, or you can turn left and proceed to the main staircase. An elevator is also close by for those that need it. BTW, I am not documenting all aspects of the building.
• After entering through a door to the staircase you can take stairs up or down. Downstairs is the door to the park area, and you can continue downstairs where you can find the laundry area, library, vending machines, gym and other facilities that are in the basement.
• In the case of my story coming up I went ahead up the stairs to the second floor and exited the stairway and traveled down the hall to the right. The woman are to the left.
• The common lounge is on your left if you are traveling right from the staircase.
• The common lounge is a rather large room with kitchen supplies, a machine that makes all kind of coffee and hot chocolate and, a very large fridge (I would not advise keeping things in it as it is public property if you do), an Alexa device is here along with musical instruments, CDs, movies and more.
• I went ahead down the hall to a door which under normal circumstances is closed. We will get to this more in a minute.
• If you open the door here, you can go ahead down the hallway where the rooms are. The rooms are equipped with: your bed, a desk with a NLS player located on it (and a thumb drive in the shape of a bone with all lecture material on it will be on top of it when you arrive), a dresser, two closets, lots of shelving, a fridge, an Alexa in your headboard, power strips are provided on the desk and by the bed and of course your dog crate.
OK, now that you have an image of at least part of the building let’s proceed with the story here. If you looked closely at the title of this blog post, you probably know what is coming up next.
After arriving upstairs, I issued a” Forward, Right” series of commands and we went ahead down the hallway, passing the common lounge. We then started to approach what is normally a closed door. However, the cleaning staff were in and left the door open. My pup walked right through the door and my face, specifically my nose, decided to become what was felt like a permanent fixture of the door frame. I normally don’t comment on these things but boy oh boy did that hurt! I didn’t feel well for a while after that, but all was well after lunch.
OK, let’s continue with day 5’s activities here.
In the afternoon my classmate and I worked the South Street route. It did not rain, and it was quite warm. My dog at least did not walk as quickly and frankly I don’t blame the dog one bit. The dogs do at least the Maple Avenue part of this route around 20 times, so they find it rather lacking as far as a challenge is concerned, so this sometimes shows in their work. Once we got to the South Street part of the route things for sure picked up in pace and pull. We had minimal issues on the route, and we were well prepared for the practice solo run for the South Street route on Saturday morning. For those interested, here are the instructions for the South Street route:
• The Training Center is located on Maple Avenue. halfway between Market and Dehart streets. The specific address is 14 Maple Avenue.
• Starting at the training center, walk down the alley towards Maple Ave. and turn left at the end of the alley. Maple is now on your right.
• Walk 4 blocks, crossing Dehart, Community, and Miller. Keep your toes up on these blocks. The sidewalks are tricky! Miller is a lighted intersection, and it is best to travel when traffic is front to back on your parallel. At the end of block 4, turn left at Madison Street. Walk one block to South Street. (Swiss Chalet Bakery is on this corner)
• Turn left at South Street and walk 4 blocks. Things get very busy along this series of crossings. Market Street is at the end of block 4. You will cross Miller, Community, and Dehart during those 4 blocks. Both Miller and Dehart are lighted intersections.
• Turn left at Market Street (Starbucks is on this corner) and walk one block back to Maple Avenue.
• Turn left at Maple Avenue. Half way down the block is the alley leading to the training center where you started the route.
We went ahead to come back to our rooms and feed and take our dogs out to park. After dinner we had a lecture on the senses. We were then handed out a ball for the dogs. I need to get the spelling of the type of ball that it is, and I will post this for all of you a bit later.
ACB aired the Friends in Art showcase on ACB Media 4 so I listened to this while I prepared for the next day. II went to bed at around 9:30 or so and woke up on Saturday morning around 5:15 or so.
Stay tuned for day 6 after we have our going home lecture. Going home, really? This early? I am heading to this now and will write more when I return. Be back soon!

Day 5 part 1 at the Seeing Eye – South Street and Crossings, oh my!

It is the middle of day five and I have a few minutes so I thought I would update folks about the activities that are happening thus far today:
• I got up about 4:45 and started to work on work related things that I was asked to complete. There is nothing like doing a web assessment at 4:50 in the morning 😊.
• I then got ready for the day and prepared my furry friend’s breakfast and took the pup out to park. We finished rather quickly. This probably was due to the weather, it was sprinkling, or the fact that the puppy saw the food being prepared. Either way, it is all good. I love it when we get out and back in before most of the class arrives.
• I then finished up writing up the blog post for day 4 and then posted it to the blog along with Facebook.
• I went down for breakfast and then returned to the common lounge and talked with classmates for a while until it was time to leave for the training center.
• We are now taking shuttles into town, so this makes it quite nice. In fact, as I write this it is after lunch, and we are the last team to go into town this afternoon. If we finish early, we can take the next available shuttle back to campus. This gives us more time to do personal things before and after routes.
• The morning route went fine. I had to deal with one small distraction issue and one stupid Jeff mistake when performing a crossing but other than that all was almost perfect! I for sure approached our class manager and my instructor to apologize for my mistake. I would rather be the one to own this than them coming to me. It is all about safety here and this was truly about me!
• We then had a small lecture on Clicker Training. The Seeing Eye makes this optional for students. Personally, if it is used properly and not abused or overused then it is a tremendous tool to have in your toolbelt. It truly makes a difference when patterning the dogs to landmarks, doors, light poll buttons, ETC.
• We then had lunch. After lunch I went down and groomed the furry beast!
I will write more later about the rest of the day’s activities.

Day 4 at the Seeing Eye – A South Street Route we will go!

We are now on day four and what a day it was. I was extremely tired at the end of the day, so it was nice not to have any lectures in the evening. Wait, I am getting ahead of myself.
We took the dogs out at 5:30 AM and then returned and fed them. I found it easier to do all the prep work before taking the dog outside so that things would be ready for mealtime. This also seemingly encourages the dog to part. I found that the dog was much more eager to complete needed tasks outside.
In typical fashion I completed some work and email before breakfast and then we were told about the schedule for the day. Here is how the day played out:
• We went into town after completing door work. We arrived at around 8:00 or so.
• We worked on the modified Maple Avenue route again to verify things with the new harness handles that were distributed to some of us. I am now using an offset handle due to me stepping on feet. I am hoping that this isn’t the case as these are a bit more difficult to travel with when getting dogs under chairs or tucked away. If it is needed then no worries. We will see. I will ask about this this weekend to see if a longer handle will work instead of the offset. We did these routes individually, more on that in a moment.
• We then returned to the Seeing Eye and had two class lectures. The first on traffic and traffic checks. The second was on the rules of working the dogs inside the house, which was scheduled for the afternoon, but we got it done early. Woot! More free time for us later!
• We then had lunch and then returned to the training center downtown.
• We were then paired up with another student and we were first on doing the South Street route. I will put the routes up here later for those that are curious. It is about a 1.25 mile or so walk but is a bit longer if you account for reworking issues and the like. It basically is about 10 blocks in length with the pattern for this route being four blocks up, turn left, 1 block, turn left, four blocks up, turn left and walk one block back to Maple Avenue. We then turn left to work a half a block back to the training center. I believe I have that correct but it is early so I will triple verify this and correct it if needed.
• Greg, our instructor, was very pleased with our performance on the route. We will solo the route on Sunday.
• We then returned to the training center to wait for our rides back to the school. All of us were extremely hot and tired from the afternoon route. Temperatures were up there, close to 90 with significant amounts of humidity.
• I came back and rested a bit before we needed to feed, park and harness our dogs up for working them in the building for the first time. We are now working the dogs throughout the building with one exception, that being if we are just on our floor then they want us to heel the dogs if we are not navigating to other areas of the building.
• We had dinner and dessert was delicious!
• We then had a small lecture on degree of corrections and worked with the stuffed dogs in the downstairs lounge.
• After this we were free for the evening!
Friday and Saturday will be pretty much the same as far as activities are concerned. I expect we will do the South Street route twice on Friday and once on Saturday. Soloing the route will be done as I stated on Sunday when we will put our eyes on the Elm Street route. Elm Street routes will be completed on Wednesday morning and then it’s freelance time! The Elm Street route is a much longer route, and it is much more complex.
Oh, rumor has it that we will get toys for the dogs Friday evening. This should be interesting.
See everyone on day five!

Day Three at the Seeing Eye – Dog Day

We finally made it! Dog Day! Now, no, I won’t reveal today the name, breed or any other characteristics of my dog, but stay tuned. All will be revealed in time.
I got up at 3:30 and proceeded to go down to the gym and get some exercise. I checked in on email and other work-related activities while I waited for the instructors to wake up the class at 6:00. Breakfast was at 6:45, a bit early due to them wanting to get things moving as it relates to dog day.
We then had a lecture at around 7:30 on praise, corrections and fears. After the lecture was completed, they gave us bones for the dogs, and we proceeded to our room to await our instructor.
Greg came to me first. Brian, one of the instructor assistants came into the room first to help with videotaping the experience for family with my iPhone.
Greg brought in my dog, and I connected my leash. Greg provided some visual descriptions of the dog and then it was off to hand off more dogs to students!
After this, he returned, and we worked on heeling the dogs down to the dining room. We are required to put the dogs at sit at the top of each set of stairs. Getting them under the table was a bit challenging but it all worked out OK.
We then took the dogs out to park and then proceeded to lunch.
All of us then got in the van and proceeded to work our way to the training center where we worked the dogs in harness for the first time. Lessons learned thus far:
• Pace and pull are coming along nicely!
• Crowding is a bit of a problem so we are going to try a few combinations of harness handles to see how we can deal with this. This may solve over time anyway as we work together as a team.
• The dog’s work is tremendously great with limited distractions.
We then got back to the Seeing Eye and worked on door control. Basically, this is to teach the dogs that if they are at sit and rest and someone knocks at the door it isn’t their job to be the greeter. This is a bit challenging for the dogs as they know their instructors well or at least they know our instructors well as they have worked together at some level. They want to jump up and go greet them at the door. It is all about discipline.
We then fed our dogs and took them down to park.
Dinner was right after park time. We used our gentle leader on the dogs down to the dining room. We were allowed to take it off once we arrived at the table. I can tell you that my dog and I had some conversations about the use of the gentle leader, and I don’t blame the dog one bit!
We then proceeded to have the grooming lecture along with grooming our dog’s downstairs. We were then free for the rest of the evening until park time.
I was extremely tired, so I laid down for a bit until park time and made a few phone calls to family and very close friends to talk about dog day with them.
I am writing this on day 4 now and I slept in a bit today, getting up at 5:15 this morning. So far, all is going well this morning and my dog slept very well overnight with no problems.
See everyone in the next post!

Day Two at the Seeing Eye – A Juno Walking we will go!

I am at the end of the day and staying up to do three days of laundry so I thought I would knock out the post for today’s activities.
I woke up at 4:00 in the morning and worked on writing Monday’s journal for the blog along with answering and handling several tasks for work at the University. Breakfast was at 7:00 and then we proceeded to get ready to go into town.
For those that will be coming to class, the address of the training center is 14 Maple Avenue. Using VoiceVista, I added a marker for the training center once I arrived. This will become more important when we start to do routes on Friday with our new guides.
I was the last member of our class to go out for my first Juno walk with Greg. My pace is very quick, and I love a strong pull. So, we walked about a half a mile one way and practiced corrections, hand signals and verbal commands that we will use with the dogs. Simple things like:
• Forward!
• Straight! This can be repeated as you are slowly crossing the straight with your right hand extended.
• Left and right turns. Foot placement and shoulder alignment are crucial for crossings as well as turns. Some of this becomes second nature with the team once they are well seasoned, but it is vital that we perform it the way the dog expects initially.
• Hup Up and Steady!
The first Juno walk went very well and the weather was amazingly nice for NJ. It was very humid, about 98% but the temperature was much cooler than Tucson, Arizona.
We then returned for a hands-on activity with our small class on harnesses, gentle leaders and collars. This was really meant more for the new people in our class, but it was a good refresher for those of us who have been around the block a few times at the Seeing Eye.
Lunch was delicious. I had tortellini soup for lunch. I then ran downstairs and got in a good work out on the treadmill. I saw two instructors in the gym, and it was wonderful to see them. Jim was crucial near the end of Rory’s life, and I so much appreciated his kindness during this difficult time.
We then returned to the training center in the afternoon, and I was the first one to go out for our second and final Juno walk before the dogs were matched. It was a shorter walk and we spent most of this walk working on harness feedback when crossing streets as well as verifying some things in my environment back home.
Once we returned, I spent some time catching up on email and work-related activities until we had our lecture with Dave Johnson at 4:00. This was mainly a history lesson of the Seeing Eye along with many of the more interesting things about activities that happened in the school in the past 20 years or so. I found some of this fascinating and some of this was new for me to hear. It goes to show you that even we retrains get much out of each lecture.
After dinner we had our class fire drill. I don’t think I have ever heard such a loud sound from a fire drill. It was almost to the point where it would have been difficult to navigate the building if we didn’t know it as well as we did. I certainly hope we don’t hear that sound again while in class.
Finally, we had a very small communication meeting about dog day tomorrow. The plans are this:
• We will be woken up at 6:00 with breakfast at 6:45. Breakfast is a bit earlier on Wednesday due to dog day.
• We will have a lecture around 7:30 or so.
• Dogs will then be given out to us after the 60-minute lecture.
• We will then spend time bonding with our dogs until park time. Park time is generally around 10:30 in the morning.
• The instructors will then take each student down to the dining room to work on patterning and getting them in place when we officially go down for lunch. We are all sitting in the main dining room and have an exact spot at the table. We will teach the dogs to find that specific spot and it will become second nature to them, until we change it of course. Later we will move into the second dining room. That dining area is a bit smaller and is a bit more challenging as far as placing your dog under your chair. This also gives us opportunities to work the dogs through a restaurant-type atmosphere as the staff will be eating in the main dining room after we move.
• Lunch will be served at noon, and we are having Mexican food for lunch.
• After eating lunch, our plan is to head into town to do a small and heavily modified Maple Avenue route. We will not be paired as students for this activity. I will write a lot more about this on day three’s post. Stay tuned to this!
• We will then return for park time followed by dinner.
• At the end of the day, we have a grooming lecture followed by park time.
I will fill in a lot of the details here on each of these activities Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
Please do not expect the name, breed of the dog or any other characteristics at this early stage. All will be revealed in time but for privacy reasons as well as protecting the matching process we are asked not to share this information until later in class. I will share as much as they will allow of me meeting my new guide. I am hoping to video tape the experience or at least record it from my Apple Watch or iPhone using Just Press Record.
OK, see everyone on day 3! Be thinking of us in class starting at around 8:30 or so when we believe dogs will be handed out.

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!

Seeing Eye Eve – the preparation and reflections of a Guide Dog User

Well, here we are again with yet another Seeing Eye journal as I undertake the journey with my new guide dog. This comes at a time in my life where I have been doing a lot of self-reflection with an emphasis on my family, my career and my activities outside of all these things as well. Suffice it to say, life has been busy for the Bishop family. I have moved back to Tucson Arizona, left Microsoft Corporation, returned to the University of Arizona, I now serve on the Board of Publications of the American Council of the Blind, I have gotten back on track with my exercise and health journey and so much more. Now comes another major step, my next Seeing Eye dog!
As I have been packing up my technology and other items for the trip, I have been thinking a lot about the guide dogs I have had in the past:
• My first Seeing Eye dog was Sunny. She truly was an angel and introduced me to my sweetheart and love of my life Keri. I was 19 years old and had a lot of learning to do in my early adulthood, but Sunny was there to assist me in college, the early part of my career and most importantly was a critical part of our larger family when I married Keri in 1988. Sadly, Sunny passed away shortly after we were married, and it was one of the most difficult times in my life. She taught me how to love and to truly cherish things that were important. Thank you, Sunny, I love you. BTW, Keri forgives you for eating her stuffed animals the day we were married.
• Tawny, Jacinda and Rory were all amazing dogs in their own special ways, and I could not have been as successful without each one of them in my life. Thank you, girls, for leading me, guiding me, teaching me and most importantly loving me for who I was as a person. I love you and miss each of you.
I will write more about each of them in future posts.
Today the journey starts with a flight from Tucson to Phoenix. I leave Tucson at 2:57 and arrive in Phoenix at 3:57. Then the waiting game begins. The flight to NJ leaves at 11:42 PM so I will spend the afternoon and evening visiting a family friend with the hopes of having a nap.
You might be interested in the tools I am planning to utilize for the posts to the blog this year. I am planning on using a combination of the following:
• Microsoft Word along with Writage.
• WordPress on my website.
• The Drafts iOS app along with the WordPress iOS app.
• I expect there may be some video posts late in the journey and I will use the iPhone’s camera along with other voice recording technology to bring some sound seeing tours and other activities from the Seeing Eye.
Note: I will get links in this post added later.
In class we learn by completing routes. This year I am hoping to utilize several iOS apps to assist me in this process. Before I list these let me first say that the most important is the work that we must do with our guides. Technology is not meant to replace the bond or the working relationship with our new companions. A close friend put it this way, “I don’t want to have to memorize the number of blocks and turns to complete a route. I want to complete the route with some slight guidance from technology so I can stay tuned to the important aspects of the process, that being the communication from the dog, the harness and the teamwork and bond that we are building”. “Well,” said Ms. Anonymous!
I respect the opinions of our instructors and their wisdom so I will determine what will be allowed when class starts but I am hoping that these tools can at least play a small part:
• VoiceVista – this is a new replacement of the former Microsoft SoundScape app. If you haven’t tried this app then you really must give it a strong look! On July 15th the developer added iOS Shortcut support for the app so investment in the app continues with lots of great features coming quickly for the app. I just wish it had a few more things to make it the gold star of travel apps:
o Better Street Map Preview support.
o Let me move to a place of my own choosing by providing an address and letting me plan routes from a distance.
o Better recognition and automatic adjusting of routes as you travel.
• GoodMaps Outdoors – This is another app you really want in your toolbelt. I don’t think it is as feature rich as VoiceVista, but I have used it with great success.
• BlindSquare – If you just want to know where you are heading and keep on the straight path then this is a tried and true up to have available.
These are the three apps I use most often. I am eager to hear from others on what you may be using for your travel and route planning efforts.
I have been preparing for class by picking back up on my exercise. All the moving activities and other things happening put 2 or three months pause on my exercise, so I needed to get the ball rolling again. After gaining about 5 extra pounds, it was time to get my butt in gear! This has been difficult due to the record level of heat we are experiencing in Arizona. Most days lately have been 105 or warmer so my exercise process has been done in the very early morning hours and late into the evening. I have been getting between 4.5 and 6 miles of walking in a day along with other exercise activities. All of this is paying off. I lost a total of 8 pounds so go team Jeff!
Stay tuned for more. I will try hard to keep everyone updated on all things going on at the Seeing Eye. Expect the next update to be posted Monday evening, probably after lectures are complete. Here is what I am expecting to take place on Monday:
• I should arrive in NJ around 7:40 or so and I expect to get to the school at around 9:00 or 9:30.
• Generally, the instructor will guide us to our room and will give us a couple of hours to unpack and get settled.
• I expect a Juno walk will take place in the morning or early afternoon. It all depends on the scheduling and arrival of other students.
• Lunch is generally around noon, and I am hoping to get a nap in for a few hours in the afternoon due to taking the red eye flight this evening.
• Dinner is around 5:00 or so and then I expect a lecture at around 6:00 or 7:00. This is or at least has been an introduction to class, a review of the rules and expectations for us while at the school and we may get some supplies at this first lecture. We will see.
We will see if this is true or not. I will report more on this tomorrow evening. See everyone then!

Completion of Day 26 and Day 27 – Going home

In the afternoon Kyle and I went to go see the Morris Frank statue. I have never seen such a realistic statue before. Even the textures will remarkable. The harness felt like a harness. The leash even felt somewhat like it also. The face and the rest of the statue was very cool to touch. We took some pictures of us there (I hope I can get them from Kyle).

We then went for some snacks with the rest of the soon to be graduates of our class. I got some fries and a drink. We spent quite a bit of time there and really enjoyed ourselves.

We got back to the school at around 3:00 and I began the last minute activities of packing. I showered, finished up the laundry, fed Rory her two thirds of a cup of food (slightly less then she normally eats), went down to have the Seeing Eye print out my boarding pass and paid for my bag for the flight and packed the USB keyboard into the suitcase. Everything fit. Shannon weighed the bag and it weighed 51.5 pounds. I was sweating it when we got to the airport. Thank goodness it weighed 47.5 there. The costs for taking luggage on the plane is getting crazy.

After 8:00 PARC time I went upstairs for a while and hung out with Shannon, Kyle and Kim. I finally left at about 9:30 and decided to check email for the final time and packed the laptop. I laid down listening to some OTR and fell asleep. I only got about 2 or 3 hours of sleep though. I kept waking up and checking the clock. I finally decided that enough was enough and started getting ready to leave at 2:30. Shannon wouldn’t call me until 3:30 but what the heck. I finished getting the last minute stuff into the laptop bag (Shannon took the big suitcase already to the front door prior in the evening). I then took the laptop bag to the front door but had to make three or four more trips putting stuff into it ;).

Shannon called as I was walking back to my room so I called her back. I took Rory out to PARC and she peed. I came back in and we did her ear (cleaning and medicine). I then went back to my room and waited for 4:15 to take her out again to she if she would finish her PARC schedule. With a bit of assistance from Shannon the mission was accomplished. I went in and sat on the couch in the front area of the Seeing Eye and waited for Jim to arrive.

Jim picked me up at 4:45 and off we went. We got there and I went to use the bathroom before we went through security and Jim went and parked the car.

Security went fine and so off to the gate we went. We sat for about 30 minutes and talked. Jim also wanted to play with the iPod Touch for a few minutes.

I got onto the plane and I think I have decided that I liked where I was seated. I had a who aisle to myself so Rory sat on the floor by the window seat and I sat in the middle and my technology sat on the left seat ;). I watched Star Trek episodes, listened to ABBA and the Beatles on the plane and the time went quickly.

I then took the Arizona Shuttle back to Tucson. The flight was very uneventful. Rory did awesome.

Keri met me after I got off of the shuttle and poor Rory started dancing as we got off of the bus due to the heat. Her boodies were packed in the suitcase and her harness also got messed up a bit so it was a bit of a challenge getting her to the car.

We got home and introduced her to the house, our cat and to her crate. The rest of the day went well. Later on in the evening Keri and me went to CVS to pick up some medications and Rory worked great in the store. We then went home and I fed and PARC’d Rory. It was then time for us humans to eat so we did that and I started to get sleepy.

I attempted to get my email read but we had major issues with Office so I sent Brian on a mission to get it fixed. Things are now working fine and I went to bed around 6:30 or so. Keri was up for a while longer (until 8:30). Rory slept through the night well and I got up at 5:00 this morning and got ready for the day. I fed her and took her out to PARC. She did awesome! I then came back in and did her ear and got ready to take the bus to work.

I am now sitting in the office as I write this and Rory is sleeping next to me on her dog bed. We will be leaving soon before it gets to hot.

More later and thanks everyone for reading the blog.

Day 25 and a partial day 26 at the Seeing Eye

I got up on Tuesday at about 5:15 or so and really didn’t want to get up. The forecast predicted rain all day so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that while it was cool outside it wasn’t raining, yet!

I met the guys down in the men’s lounge before breakfast and we chatted for about 30 minutes and then down to breakfast we went.

After breakfast I took Rory outside to PARC again before we left and guess what, the rain started. She wouldn’t go but I staid out there for about 20 minutes. I can’t blame her, who would want to do that in the freezing rain ;).

Barb and I would go work revolving doors in the morning. Oh the joy of that. The place we went to use a former mall which is now used for businesses. It was quite an interesting building and very quiet. We then worked back to the van and went back to the school.

In the afternoon we all went to the mall, the entire group. It was fun working through the mall. Barb picked up vacuum cleaner bags and other students picked up gag toys to play jokes on people and others picked up stuff to assist with their travel home.

One interesting thing is that we stopped at a glass elevator and you could watch it moving. When the floor was coming back up toward us Rory jumped back as though it were a traffic check. She is extremely alert and focused in her work (well, most of the time anyway).

In the evening we met with Lucas Franck (it was optional) and talked more targeting work, clicker and other situations we wanted to discuss with him. I started to do 2 loads of laundry and got them done around 9:30 or so.

I am writing this post on Wednesday morning at around 11:20 or so and did another very small load this morning. It is drying now. I will have to do one more load before I leave this evening but then the world will be good. I have all tech stuff packed accept the laptop which will take 5 minutes. I suspect I will wait to do that as late as I can honestly.

Barb, Kyle and me went out to do more country work in the morning today (Wednesday). We then stopped by the store and to that yummy bakery ;). We then stopped to get a large cup (so I can put ice in it for later) and the machines weren’t working so they let us take the cup for free. Very cool.

Rory went down to get her ear and paw checked and we will get the results soon on the slides they took from her ear.

I will write another update later today with this afternoon’s activities.

See you in a few hours.

Addendum to Day 23 and Day 24

After I got done posting the prior post I got an email from a distant cousin named Tommy who lives in Long Island, NY. He came to see me. I don’t recall meeting him before but my Dad says I had many many years ago.

Later that evening we again had pizza courtesy of the Seeing Eye. It was from the same place again. I again got some on my shirt so I spent the next 3 hours trying to get the stupid thing out of the shirt. I had to wash it three times but happiness prevails, it is gone.

I did watch Survivor while I was doing this and I was a bit disappointed in the result. I watched the first 5 minutes of the third hour and then went to bed.

I also tuned into ACB Radio to listen to some of Robert J Sawyer’s discussion. It was fascinating and I love his writing.

On Monday we did two routes. In the morning we went to a University to work on OCS (orientation, coaching and solo) or to those of us that are old school, patterning. That went quite well.

After this we went to the bakery we had gone to before. It was quite good.

I got back and continued to pack more tech things and started to get worried that everything isn’t going to fit. This is getting a bit scary because I probably need o decide today if I am shipping anything.

In the afternoon we went out again and worked a semi-solo small route (about 1 mile) where Barb used 2-way radios and signaled us where to turn. She remained a distance away so that the dogs wouldn’t see us. That went very very well and we sped around the mile quite quickly.

After dinner I went to the Going Home lecture again. I did start reading a new book earlier in the day and read about 45 minutes of it while waiting for the meeting to start.

After the meeting and PARC time I continued to read my book and fell asleep.

I am writing this now on Day 25 and we are expecting lots and lots of rain but none has fallen yet when we went out for PARC.

I will write more later.

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