May 9th, 2008

Fiona and me in the snow

Rain, Rain, and more Rain, the

I remember once when I was going between classes, and once when I traveled from class. Both of those times it was raining, and both of those times I dripped, but today, Velvet and I dripped. I probably could have drank the water that slid lazily off of my nose. I don't like to use the hood on my rainjacket because I depend on my ears to navigate and listen to traffic, so it generally collects on my head when it rains a lot and finds the path of least resistance and helpful gravity, down my nose and face.

I went on second trip, which was great since I got to take a nap. When we went out it was just sprinkling. When we got where we needed to be, it was still sprinkling. As I waited for the person in my group before me to go, it ceased to sprinkle and started to pour. Needless to say, by the time Velvet and I got back to the van after our trip, we were both absolutely soaked.

We did mostly practicing street crossing to try to convince Velvet to take initiative and go into the street when I tell her to go. It's hard to do this, especially when I'm trying to trust her that she's not hesitating for traffic issues by the method of intelligent disobedience. She did very well, and we're definitely progressing. We've got some ideas on how we might help her, and me for that matter, and so we might work on some things, especially when we go to New York City tomorrow.

Because it was raining, we did our street work for a short distance and then did inside work in the courthouse--stairs up and down, elevators, and metal detectors. She's a very cautious dog, and she didn't miss a down staircase or an up one. She also did perfectly in navigation in and around small groups of people.

Overall, the trip went well ... I just wish she would pick a spot to pee and just freaking pee, especially in the rain. When we got back, we stood out there waiting for some pee action. She squatted four times, but ... nothing.

I hope I get some new extra towels, because I had to use both of them to get us both acceptably dry. I still look like a drowned rat, but before, I think I looked more like a drowned hippo, and hippos are hard to look drowned. It's probably a bad analogy, but I think a picture, no matter how badly composed has been painted.

This afternoon we'll work, thank goodness, in the mall, so no outdoor work this afternoon. Back this evening.
Fiona and me in the snow

The pizza story, the mall, and other oddss and ends

I think that only a Seeing Eye grad and ex-college student would understand my predicament. Yes, I really like high caloric food with names I can't pronounce. Yes, it's nice to know I'm eating gourmet non-frozen food three times a day. And yes, when I asked them how their bacon was so flat and perfect this morning, they said they laid it out on parchment paper and put it into the oven to perfectly bake/fry. Ex-college students don't have time to go to such great lengths, but I enjoy cooking, and I greatly appreciate it, especially when we're talking desserts. But ex-college students, those of us who enjoy a spot of grease now and again, enjoy a spot of unhealthy artery hardening greatness from time to time. The more famous the fast food joint, and the most recognizable the food stuff, the better. What I'm trying to say is that this food is absolutely amazing. I forgot to post the menus thereby ruining the diets of many by temptation, but I hit the wall today and hit it hard, the Seeing Eye Fast Food Craver's wall that is. I had to have some grease, I was in the mall food court, and the time was well ... then.

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We've been given the power as of tonight to let our dogs off leash and see how they do for short periods of freedom around the room. Velvet has done well with this so far, and I'm getting good at keeping her excitement level down a bit so that she doesn't cannonball around the room going crazy. She responds very well to spoken scolding, and I think if I'm consistent, she'll be golden. Fiona is very sneaky about getting things like food from the table, or generally misbehaving. She knows that she's not supposed to do something, but she knows that if she does it really quiet, I won't catch her. Velvet's much more direct and loud about things, and I hope it stays that way because I'll be able to nab her and continue to lay down the law.

Today was, minus the rain, a very good day. As with all trainees and dogs here at The Seeing eye, we have peaks and valleys of greatness. we all go through good periods and bad--especially when we first start training, and also when we get home. I'm just goad that we're away from a trough now, and headed uphill Let's just hope that the uphill trend continues as we travel in New York City tomorrow for the ultimate test of our progress. It's hard to imagine that I got Velvet on the 28th of April, 11 days ago. We've taken a few steps backwards from time to time, but we're so so far ahead of where we started. We've got a ways to go yet, and it won't be all roses and tulips, but I think we're headed in the right direction now.

I don't know what we're doing in the city, but whatever it is, it promises to be pretty fun. It might even involve a trip into Central Park, which I've never been to. I'm headed to bed "early" tonight, because I don't think I'll have time to take multiple naps tomorrow, so I'll close here. Onward, upward, and most importantly "FORWARD!"
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