My Journey at the Seeing Eye

Days 22 and 23 at the Seeing Eye

Saturday couldn’t come soon enough. I really needed a break. I did lots of personal stuff on Saturday:

* I did some obedience with Rory

* I groomed Rory.

* I did three loads of laundry and packed all three of them into my suit case.

* I packed many other items. I am almost packed accept for technical gear and some personal items I still have to use while I am here.

* I caught up on last weeks Survivor episode on This Sunday is the final episode of the season but I doubt I can convince people to watch 3 hours of it ;).

I spent other time talking with Keri on the phone. I really miss her and the kids. It will be good to get home soon.

I spent time talking with friends, tweeting on Twitter and checking into stuff at work and following up on a few items.

The rest of Saturday was pretty much just resting and taking it easy. One of the instructors came in and asked me some questions to write a letter to the puppy raising family that raised Rory. That didn’t take to long. She did help me get blood out of Rory’s mat from her foot and I ran that down to wash it (part of the three loads). I went ahead and packed it. I actually think I will wrap the USB keyboard I brought with me in it to better protect it.

On Sunday morning Barb took me to the grocery store and to a drug store. I bought some groceries and then went to the other store to buy a ball for Rory. We will try that a bit later.

Lunch is at 12:30 today and then this evening we will be having another pizza party. Let’s hope that the pizza is better this time from the last order we placed ;).

After today we have three days left and they couldn’t take place fast enough. Let’s get home!

See you all on day 24.

Day 21 at the Seeing Eye

Karen woke me up at 5:00 or so. I could hear her XM radio or laptop playing music and she was quite chipper for 2:00AM Tucson time. I bet Joyce is really thinking she and Darrell are crazy with that sleep schedule ;).

Today started with a yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, cinnamon bun and bacon. Yummy stuff!

Barb and I went out and worked on clearance work as well as the court house. We got back about 10:15 or so and I spent some time calling Apple to try and figure out why I can’t delete items off of the Touch from the device. You have to do it through iTunes with the iPod in manual mode.

For lunch we had chicken breast sandwiches.

In the afternoon we did a solo route to a bank and worked on some clicker targeting.

Later after I got back we did more games with Lucas and “Touch the Tony”. This is getting better and better as we work with him on her fears.

It is almost dinner time where we will have meat loaf and mashed potatoes and pees (yuck).

The rest of the evening will be spent doing laundry so that I can spend Saturday relaxing as much as I can. I do want to catch up on this weeks Survivor. Sunday is the final episode of the season.

Saturday I will be spending packing as much as I can for the trip home. I really don’t want to wait for the last minute on that.

See you all on a combined post for days 22 and 23. From that point it will be a down hill from there to home.

Day 20 at the Seeing Eye

Today was the day to do country work and escalators.

We got up about 5:15 and I gave Rory her pill for her foot and took her out after giving her food and water. Breakfast was at 7:00 and it felt odd having so many people already gone. Rick would be leaving at noon our time today so he was at our table but many of the retrains had left for the airport and many of them were already in the air.

After breakfast I went and checked email and groomed Rory and we played some.

Barb got back from taking someone to the airport at about 9:00 and out we went to do country work. It went fine.

We got back in time to soak Rory’s foot and then it would be lunch time soon after. Many of my classmates went to New York City (just two) but I staid here. I relaxed a bit before lunch and then took a nap after lunch. I needed it. Rory kept me up most of the prior night.

Barb woke me up at about 2:30 and we went to Century 21 and to the drug store that was right next door to it. She did great in both locations.

We did have a bit of a dog distraction issue at the corner after leaving the drug store but we got through that (be it a high collar correction needing to be used).

I got back and we again soaked Rory’s foot. We then went down to get our dog’s food and fed them and took them out to PARC.

We then had dinner. We have no lecture this evening so it is great that I have some time to myself. Lucas is here and we are going to again do “Touch the Tony” again in a few minutes. Lucas is now reading the blog, so “Hello Lucas” :).

See everyone on day 21.

Day 19 at the Seeing Eye

Today would be bus day and pet store day.

I got up about 5:10 and got ready for the day.

After PARC Shannon noticed some blood on the floor as I went upstairs from the PARC door. It was from RORy’s foot. It seems as we found out later to be a puncture from her stay with the other dogs. We are treating it now twice a day both with soaking her foot and pills. She just loves those, not!

Rory and I went down for breakfast at 7:00 and then waited to go on the bus at about 9:30 with Rick. The bus trip went well but she kept turning around when we entered the bus looking behind us for Rick and Barb. Some things I noticed about the bus ride:

* They don’t announce the stops or if they do (we hear something over the speaker once in a while) it is very distorted and not understandable.

* The seats are very nice unlike the seats on most of the buses at home.

* They drop you off and just sit there and you have to walk up a hill and wait for it to pull around. That seems silly to me and also to Barb.

We got back around 11:00 or so and took our dogs out to PARC. Barb brought me a crate to try with Rory.

At lunch we sat at our normal tables but it would be the last time for the majority of the retrains as they would be leaving in the morning. Lee and Harold left on Wednesday with Joel leaving on Tuesday.

After lunch we went to the pet store. That was very much uneventful.

We stopped and got a treat on the way home and then it was time for “Touch the Tony”.

Tony is the security guard that Rory is afraid of. She growls and barks at him when she sees him in the building. Lucas Franck suggested we play a game with her using clicker and make Tony a target. He called it “Touch the Tony”. It was pretty funny.

So, we started by any time Rory looked at Tony we would click and treat. Then she had to touch his hand and then we would click and treat. We did this for about 10 or so minutes and she was wagging her tail. After PARC we did it some more but this time had him stand and move around a bit but keeping the focus on fun. We will continue this process to see if we can manage to break her fear of him. She is getting there. She only quietly barked when we left dinner, which, dinner description is next.

After the first week we moved into the small dining room (it is the second one past the larger dining room). The purpose of this is to simulate a restaurant type atmosphere. The Seeing Eye staff eat in the larger dining room so we have to work through the area to our assigned seats.

Anyway, for dinner we came back out to the large dining room and ate with our original classes since the retrains would be leaving in the morning. That was fun indeed.

We had no lectures this evening so we played, soaked Rory’s foot, I did some emailing to work and called home to talk to Keri and the boys.

I went up before PARC to see the gang in the common lounge. Dawn was looking for me so I went to see her.

I called Karen after PARC and wished her a safe trip.

I went to bed and listened to the news and tried to sleep. Rory made this difficult as she kept moving around in the crate making life quite interesting. Suffice it to say, I am quite tired this morning.

More to come on day 20. Today is Country Work and escalators.

Days 17 and 18 at the Seeing Eye

Monday was solo day for the Elm Street route.

I got up pretty early and got ready for the day. In the morning Barb and I went out on the first trip and it rained for most of the route. It went very very well. I told her what actions I would take at each corner and ran through the route rather quickly.

We returned for lunch and I was going to do the solo later in the afternoon after she took care of the other students.

The afternoon came and off we went. On the first block she bumped me into a 4H family member (I think it was the father). I re-worked the incident and kept going. Things went well including a very aggressive traffic check from Tom Pender right after a natural traffic check. Rory ran all the way back to the curb. I think she has Tom figured out. Thank goodness there are no more routes.

We got to the final crossing and this is where things kind of went wrong. Rory has some issues with dog distractions and due to this fact we veered into the street to the left. Luckily, there was no danger and we reworked the issue. Then I ran into some sidewalk construction that was going on in the afternoon which made for some interesting navigating to our final destination.

Overall Barb said that the solo went well. It is best that we find these issues out now and not later when we get home.

After dinner and a lecture on going home Karen and I spent some time playing with the iPod Touch. Rory saw the security guard sitting behind the desk and started to bark at him. We went and got Jim (another instructor who actually trained Jacinda my last dog) and he worked with me to try and determine the issue. Rory was afraid of the security guard. We had him feed Rory some treats and this seemed to resolve the issue somewhat. We did more on this later on day 18.

I got to bed about 9:30 or so.

Today, Tuesday I got up at 5:15 and got ready for the day. I did obedience and groomed Rory in the morning. I left at 9:15 to begin freelance work with Lee. This was going to be a fun day. We were going to work on street crossings today (I wonder why ;)).

We first stopped at a bakery on the route and picked up a doughnut (courtesy of the Seeing Eye) and we then got started. We crossed many many streets each with different complexities (lots of traffic, very wide crossings, angled crossings, islands, etc.). It was a bit tricky but she did awesome!

In the afternoon we were going o go out to eat at Friendly’s. It is a ice cream and burger place. So, at lunch I didn’t eat on the campus. We left at 1:00 and did a partial South Street route and had to workaround a very large truck parked on the sidewalk coming back to Maple after turning left after the crossing at South Street. The trip went well. Lee and me soloed it with Barb watching.

We then went to go eat. I had a burger and fries and many others had ice cream type stuff. It was a lot of fun.

We got back in time to PARC our dogs and head in for dinner.

Before dinner I worked with Tom, Barb and the security guard to see what we could do to get her to not be afraid of him. You see he is dressed in all black and he is a very large man (quite tall as I understand it). She did quite well outside but did bark at him as we re-entered the building. We will continue this effort on Wednesday with the use of Clicker and we will see how it goes. This should be interesting. Now a security guard will become a target :).

I then went down for dinner and again didn’t eat. I wasn’t hungry.

We had a lecture on dog attacks and for many it was a tough discussion.

On Wednesday we will be doing bus work among other things. The retrains are about to go home (some left today with some leaving on Wednesday and the rest on Thursday). I have to stay the extra week.

More to come on day 19.

Day 16

Today turned out to be a pretty busy day at first.

I got up to take Rory out to PARC.

I took her down stairs to groom here.

I did obedience.

I then played with her for about 10 or so minutes.

I then threw in a small load of laundry (actually two loads but both were quite small).

I then showered and got dressed for the day and went for breakfast.

I got back to my room and then hung out in the lounge while the cleaning staff worked. Before I went back to my room I went down and collected my laundry.

The rest of the day was spent pretty much relaxing. I listened to some radio dramas and some music on Mushroom FM.

This week will be filled with completing the Elm Street route and then freelance activities. I am looking forward to that.

See you all on day 17.

Day 15

Today is Saturday and I had to work it like a normal day due to being slightly behind in class.

We got up at 5:30 (actually I was up at 5:05 and was dressed and ready to go by 5:20) to take our dogs out. Breakfast was at 7:00 and I was told that Barb would pick me up at 9:30 to do the Elm Street route. We would end up doing it twice that day.

The route had more dog distractions the both times that we did the route then normal throughout the week. She has some significant dog distraction issues but I can handle that, no worries.

The afternoon was spent relaxing. We got read our puppy profiles and she actually emailed them to us and I already posted it to the blog.

I took about a 2 hour nap and got ready for PARC and then a short visit to the dining room. We all ordered pizza for dinner instead of eating the normal meal. They say it was the best pizza in NJ but I am sorry, it really wasn’t that special :).

I answered some phone calls I had received and now I am writing the blog post.

We get to sleep in until 6:30 on Sunday which is awesome. I am quite happy about that.

See everyone on day 16 which will probably be very boring. It is relax time!

Rory’s Puppy Profile

Rory was raised in Pennsylvania by a family with 4 children aged 8 to 15. They had 2 other friendly and affectionate dogs but no cats. She was a good eater and was clean in the house. They took her outside to empty on a regular schedule so she didn’t need to tell them when she needed to go out. When her family was not home Rory was left in a crate.

Rory and her family went many places such as church, malls, hotels, baseball games, movies, on elevators, to school, and after school functions. Rory was friendly towards children and strangers.

Rory’s family said she rode in the car a lot and enjoyed the rides. She liked to have her belly rubbed, and to play fetch with tennis balls. She did also like to eat the tennis balls though.

Days 13 and 14 at the Seeing Eye

The next two days at the Seeing Eye were pretty uneventful compared to the last few days :).

We started the South Route on Thursday and soloed it on Friday afternoon.

The first two trips went without a hitch. She is really focusing on curbs now and doing a great job. I did notice that her pull was slowing a bit near the end of the route but I wasn’t concerned because I knew it was not her normal pull.

Thursday morning and afternoon I had to continue to heel her around the building. Starting at PARC time I was able to start using the harness. I could work her to and from the shuttle when we were downtown though which was nice.

Lucas Franck and I did a double Clicker training session to try and get caught up. That went well and boy is she a quick learner.

Thursday evening we had a discussion about the harness and giving free water and freedom in the room. I can not start these activities quite yet as she is quite new still.

I got to bed about 9:00 or so and boy was I tired.

Friday we continued the South street route. Barb was going to be going to New York City with Lee in the afternoon so we did a practice solo before the real thing in the afternoon. It turns out I would be doing it with the class supervisor Tom Pender. Talk about nerve racking :).

Both routes went great. We had some dog distraction issues and a couple of clearance issues on the solo but over all the day went great!

In the morning on Friday Lucas Franck worked with me on Clicker training with the new seats in the dining room. Again, she picked that up like a charm.

We got back and I had to work with Rick on cleaning her teeth. That went fine, she honestly doesn’t mind her teeth done unlike all of my other dogs.

After this it was PARC time and dinner. We had to go to our new seat locations and she did it very well.

The evening was spent dealing with some personal things going on at home and then went upstairs to discuss the pizza party we are trying to plan for Saturday. We are not sure we can pull it off.

At this point it was PARC time.

I got to bed about 8:30 or so. I was very tired. I laid there and made a few phone calls and fell asleep around 9:15 or so.

This brings us up to Saturday. Some students have today off and some have Sunday off due to when instructors are off. Barb and I will be doing the Elm Street route twice today to try and catch up. More on that later.

I did find out that I will be staying at the Seeing Eye until 5/20 instead of 5/13. This is making for a very long trip :). Poor Keri.

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