26.2.11

You Snooze You Lose and other things

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(Via .)

You Snooze You Lose… GRRR

Title pretty much says it all. *mutter mutter mutter grump mutter*
I have been waiting on the edge of my seat to have the uber important big pre-class phone meeting with one of the poor souls who has to put up er um train me with my dog for like? Ever?

So what happens? Friday, yesterday, Benji and I snuggle up and fall asleep watching Dora on NetFlix and my phone goes missing among the bedding. Jessica one of the trainers calls me and I wake up and fumble around and around for my phone only to grab hold of it just as she was being sent to VM.

I rang her back, twice, and in fact have her extenuation memorized LOL. but she never got back to me yesterday. I am fully sure that she will reach me Monday as I told her afternoons were best as Benji normally is napping. Let’s just make a note to myself to insure that, until I speak with her, I do not. Also must put iPhone on charger stand so it won’t die on me when speaking with her. What in the bloody hell is this sawing wining sound? It’s about to make me lose my sh*t. GRRR it’s been going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on at the edge of notice just at that point it is irritating for IDK how long. Maybe mom is shreding papers or something? IDK IDK IDK. Anyway.

On the good side of things, I am sitting down and going over everything in my head and taking notes so when I have my phone call I’ll not sound as much like a blithering idget as I normally do.

Went food shopping today. Brought home mostly sweets… But it is month’s end and that’s okay. I got a small jug that fits in the door of my mini fridge so I can keep my lemon aide in my room. Save for anything that doesn’t require a freezer, I keep most if not all my food in my room. I’m not hoarding or anything, but I do have to keep my food apart from everyone due to foodstamp rules plus I know where it all is. Too bad they don’t have a chest freezer the size of say a small dog crate… Anyway.

After that mom took kids and I to PetCoSmart one of the pet something stores, I think this was “co”.
She had to get food and toys and treats for her lapdog. I priced items for leading labia lad or lass. OMG Ya’ll. The storage thing I want to get for doggie’s food is awesome and even though it is nearly 50 bucks it is a uber good choice. The one thing that just floored me? The cost of a bag of the brand dog food GDB uses whichh I think is Natural Balance? Is? Hella expensive! Well for like 30 lbs it’sI forget like 28 or something but for the huge bags it’s like 60 and that’s a lot of money… If this is the case I will have to see if there is a more fixed income friendly alternative or if my vet or an online shop has it on discount because I want my pup to eat well but I don’t remember food being this much…

Then again it has been an age sense the last time I’ve bought dog food and longer than that sense I had to worry about working it into the budget. I seem to remember that science diet and aims were that much and when I had to budget for that I had a heck of a lot less income and if I get in at the fancy go by your income to figure your rent apartments it should all work out.

Too bad there isn’t something to help with food if you ever find yourself in a bind. I don’t plan on this but it would be sort of neat if there were a food pantry bank sort of thing like there is for people only this would be for dogs and cats. I think pets having a dog or cat is very helpful to everybody and just because you might fall on hard times shouldn’t mean you shouldn’t have a pet friend. So a food bank for pets would be sort of neat. IDK. Oh might get Skye and Benji their own fishes when I get back. We saw some at the petstore. What I want to get at some point is maybe a kitty or at least some pet mice/rats/hampsters. I will maybe do this after I get a job or we could just volunteer to be a puppy raising family for whatever local service dog org. is around. It is naptime...

20.2.11

This Week's List

Hi all,

A very quick note about the list of dogs in the previous and this and most likely, one or two preclass posts. I am focused on all the labs. Ther are Goldens and Lab x Goldens but I skipped over them on my list.

Anyone who's known me know how much of a Golden lover I am. I'd love to have another golden but with two toddlers toddeling around and my being a single mom? I'm not saying it "CAN'T" be doneI just, given everything that has happened, don't "WANT" to deal with two active kids, life and all that lovely golden hair. For now... Next time? Who knows? Then again I might just be at the point I am now. I just want a dog, the "wrapper" is more or less not really "THAT" much of a big thing.

Also looking over the previous list. It seems a dog I am very much rooting for was left off.

She is a labbie lady called Nirvana. On the posting as of the 10th she was on phase 6 I think...

This week she has moved on to 7 so maybe? Just maybe? It wuld be lovely to get this dog simply because I like the name. Okay... I'm showing my age, but... Nirvana, the grunge bad from the early 90s? Remember? Plad hoodies, which I'm still partial too, jeens, etc? mumbeled lyrics? And oh that horrid mess in April of 04... When the lead singer of Nirvana killed himself. That was sad... Well that's not the onlhy reason I like th name, it is just a cool name and I bet the dog is cccool that goes with it. Well duh! GDB any dog I've met from GDB was nothing but cool... It is like buying a Apple computer and being shocked that it doen't crash. LOL Not fair right? Anyway, ever sense seeing this dog on the phase reports I took a shine to her.

There is another dog, a sweet labby boy called James who was in the GDB blog. He was graduated earlier, but over the hollidays his handler died, in like Mexico or something? And there was a huge effort on the part of several folks t o bring James, that's teh dog's name, James, home. I saw his story and fell in love with him. My mom said watch me get matched with him.

That would be fine, I have never had anything like any problem or issue with wokring with a slightly older dog, say one who had a few litters for GDB like two friends' of mine dogs have been, or a dog who either was issued in class and then was switched or went hme with someone and was either returned because the person figured out a guide wasn't fitting in their live or became too sick or died and couldn't manage and use the guide anymore.

In both of my previous classes people have received older dogs. I just think you might miss some of the cute "puppy" parts of having a freshly turned out dog, but with the cuteness, especially with Mr. Fleming the Flemboyant who was. A hand full at first but who, in my heart grew to be epic, some of the things that drove me straight up the wall with him at first turned into the things I loved most about him.

If I had another chance to work with a dog just like him, would I? Yes. But not right at this point in my life. I've already got my two two legged children to run after. And yes. Fleming had the very best in his puppy raisers' home and the bery best training at GDB Borring campus, he still took some time to get used to and to "mesh" with, when he was a tad older, maybe a year or so, he was working out to be a fine dog.

IDK if, having received him at the age we finally clicked would of well of corse it would of been different, but would I and Fleming of bonded like we did after all that hard stuff at the start? You know IDK I truly don't, but I honestly wouldn't mind a dog who has been out and back. I think perhaps thee very worst things that could happen. On the graduation end, if the dog was returned by te person because he or she didn't like the guide dog lifestyle upon returning, the puppy's raisers might be kind of reserved? or doubtful about the new partenership? Then again maybe not?

I'm not a puppy raiser so I couldn't tell you. If it were like trusting men after a crap relationship though... You know the ones. Everything starts out soooooo nice and it really looks great, but then. It just doesn't, so for the next person that comes along you think "Okay I'll give you a chance" yet you reserve a part of your self that you might otherwise not of? Well. that can be delt with as can this other.... You'll have to maybe retrain sooner than you'd otherwise have too.

Personally, the only drawback in this I can see is A. I have to leave my babies, and B. somebody else has to care for them. In eight or ten years, gulp! They'll bee. (cue the drastic music) Teenagers! and I'll most likely want t get away from them. LOL Hopefully I can find somebody who will make sure they don't wind up on teens gone wild, cops, AMW or in juvie court whilst I'm gone.

Other than that I love almost everything about going off to guide dog school, save for the flying bit. The rest of it? Bring it!!!

I have only 15 more days until I leave. 16 days before I meet my new dog, my leading labbie, and 17 more days until we have that first walk.

Okay all this blather, here is our list of phase 7/8 dogs

As I may or may not of explained, I put the list together earlier this weekend and lots of stuff has happened... There are some names not on this list that were on the previous list... I can only assume that these are the current dogs in class with their people. Nirvana and James are still on the list. There's also a dog named Dorra" that would be interesting as Skye and Benji love Dorra the explorer and "Doughwha" is one of the words Benji says very clearly.

I think for the most part I'm over my please don't let my dog get a hard name to deal with in saying or spelling. I couldn't spell/say Gerard at first and clearly I overcame that. LOL

So. on with the list. Sorry for all the prelist blather, I can not sleep and my room is hot and stuffy to say nothing of the two toddlers spralled out all over my bed. Okay here's the list. Enjoy. thanks too for reading. *smile*
Adonis 42W0 LAB M 8
Aster 4W28 LAB F 8
Autumn 413V LAB F 8
Bailey 48W1 LAB F 8
Bella 48W3 LAB F 7
Camille 464W LAB F 7
Cassandra 4W36 LAB F 7
Delaware 4W40 LAB M 8
Diablo 4W41 LAB M 8
Don 4W42 LAB M 8
Donner 4W43 LAB M 8
Dora 431W LAB F 8
Dynasty 44W3 LAB F 8
Fallon 45W9 LAB M 8
Flo 457V LAB F 8
Heather 4W21 LAB F 8
James 473T LAB M 8
Jedi 4W48 LAB M 8
Landry 468W LAB M 8
Lawson 411T LAB M 10
Leader 41W5 LAB M 8
Marlin 44W5 LAB M 7
McGee 4W66 LAB M 8
Mercury 454W LAB M 8
Mongo 4W68 LAB M 8
Monica 456W LAB F 7
Mulan 45W1 LAB F 8
Nadine 472W LAB F 7
Newman 4W56 LAB M 8
Nirvana 475W LAB F 7
Pavarotti 47W3 LAB M 8
Penn 48V9 LAB M 8
Penne 47W4 LAB F 8
Petunia 47W5 LAB F 7
Pinot 479W LAB M 8
Rockette 479V LAB F 8
Rolex 49V4 LAB M 8
Shelby 4W99 LAB F 8
Tabby 403V LAB F 8
Teka 405V LAB F 7
Toronto 482V LAB M 8
Torren 40W5 LAB M 8
Turner 40W7 LAB M 8

15.2.11

List of Possible Dogs

What follows is a list of dogs who, as of the 10th of this month are in training phase 7 or 8, thus making them dogs that will likely be issued in the next several upcoming, including mine, training classes at GDB. What I do not know is who is where. In other words, I don't know which dogs are on San Rafael's campus and which dogs are in Borring, Or's kennels.

A note on phases...

You don't just train a guide dog in one massive chunk of training. These dogs are smart but even they require things to be taken a bit at a time and slow. It is my understanding that a dog isn't advanced to the next phase until he or she has completely mastered the tasks in the phase of training they're already in. So you could have a litter of pups come back in for formal training and one dog will zip right through, and another will make steady progress and one pup will seem to stall out and stay in one phase for a really long time. Or you can have a dog who starts out like blazes and then they'll seem to be stuck in phase six or seven. There are in total 9 phases 0 - 8. 0 is when they first arrive on one of the campuses and is mostly stuff like medical screenings... Phase 8 is the phase everyone is waiting for, this means the dog is ready to go into class with his or her new partner. When a puppy raiser's dog reaches phase 8 it is a very very happy thing.

There are puppy raisers on my Email list for GDB grads and they are so happy when their dogs go into class with someone or are picked to be a breeder dog. When a pup is C.C.ed Career changed, this means they just didn't have quite the right thing, whatever that may be to meet the high standards that GDB has for their guides.

The C.C.ed dogs aren't stupid or anything. Many of them go on to do service elsewhere like a dog for a diabetic, or an assistence dog for someone in a wheelchair or for someone who is deaf. Some dogs go on to sniff out drugs or explosives for the police and some just become happy happy pets.

GDB has a program, I don't much understnad it completely it is called the K9 buddy program. I think how it works is this. Parents with a blind or vision impaired child apply and then if they are accepted they get a CC dog that their blind child can care for as a pet. This introduces the family to guide dogs as an option for future mobility and lets the child see what it takes to care for a dog.

There is another program where CC dogs go with their handlers and they give talks about GDB and the program I guess much like what I do as a handler with my dog only my dog is a official guide and the other dog is not?

Here is a quick overview of what each phase is. Then on with the list... I got this off of a website for a puppy raising club for GDB.

Phase 0
Training Phases - Quick Reference Guide
Health screenings (X-rays/eyes); agility; kennel enrichment; campus walks, community run intros
Phase 1
Clicker intro; tethering / collar response; food reward and refusal intros; obstacle course; first up-curb exercise; “over here” verbal cue; agility; back-up chute; harness exposure; treadmill; off leash recall; formal obedience begins; pattern training begins
Phase 2
Pattern training continues; second up-curb exercise; distraction route in town; responsible lead exercise; food protocol continues
Phase 3
Third up-curb exercise; dog boot intros; preliminary obedience and guidework testing
Phase 4
Interior building work begins; intelligent disobedience and overhead obstacle intros; traffic conditioning; natural traffic checks begin
Phase 5
Natural traffic checks continue; formal traffic training; total barricades; city routes; escalator intros; city bus route
Phase 6
City routes continue; sidewalkless training; platform training; light rail route; leash relieving begins
Phase 7
Advanced overhead obstacle training; more complex routes
Phase 8 - Finishing / Maintenance routes; Class preparation
Final tests: obedience, guidework, building, and final traffic; pre-class phone meetings with clients; hand and chair targeting intros; pole targeting; dormitory building exposure; pre class physicals; pre-class meeting with the instructor team, supervisor, dorm manager and nurses.


How exciting is this? To know my dog is in one of these last two phases right now? I checked the graduation schedule and the class right prior to mine started Monday. They graduate on the 5 March.

I don't know what dogs are in this class so likely some of the dogs on this list are already in class. Anyway, on with the list.

Adonis 42W0 LAB M 7
Amalfi 4R86 LAB M 10
Aster 4W28 LAB F 8
Autumn 413V LAB F 8
Aza 42W5 LAB F 8
Bailey 48W1 LAB F 8
Brannan 48W0 LAB M 8
Cancun 45W2 LAB M 7
Cassandra 4W36 LAB F 7
Chip 4W35 LAB M 7
Delaware 4W40 LAB M 7
Denver 43W6 LAB M 8
Diablo 4W41 LAB M 7
Don 4W42 LAB M 8
Donner 4W43 LAB M 7
Dora 431W LAB F 8
Dynasty 44W3 LAB F 8
Elma 419W LAB F 8
Faberge 4R44 LAB F 8
Fallon 45W9 LAB M 8
Fandango 46W0 LAB M 8
Flo 457V LAB F 7
Heather 4W21 LAB F 8
James 473T LAB M 8
Jandy 43W1 LAB F 8
Jedi 4W48 LAB M 7
Junebug 4W53 LAB F 8
Landry 468W LAB M 8
Lawson 411T LAB M 10
Leader 41W5 LAB M 8
McGee 4W66 LAB M 8
Mercury 454W LAB M 8
Mongo 4W68 LAB M 7
Mulan 45W1 LAB F 8
Newman 4W56 LAB M 8
Pavarotti 47W3 LAB M 8
Penn 48V9 LAB M 8
Penne 47W4 LAB F 8
Pepita 492V LAB F 8
Pinot 479W LAB M 8
Rockette 479V LAB F 7
Rolex 49V4 LAB M 8
Rosetta 401V LAB F 8
Shelby 4W99 LAB F 8
Tabby 403V LAB F 8
Teka 405V LAB F 7
Tibbs 402V LAB M 8
Toronto 482V LAB M 8
Torren 40W5 LAB M 8
Turner 40W7 LAB M 7

2.2.11

The Problem with doing a podcast in a non-podcasting world

After much farthing around about how best to capture the training tails as it happens, I mean besides my spelling error riddled pointless blathering on here on the print blog, I’ve elected to do an audio podcast. Okay perhaps “podcast” is far too fancy a word for what I’m doing, a great lot of blathering into my bookport plus in the guys of something with a topic. I’m still going to do my mini documentary, perhaps a grand title for a bunch of random video taking place in the same location as my guide dog training class, but I’ll compile it and edit it when I return back home.

The big problem I’m having with podcasting, besides feeling like a complete tat yobbing down the BPP is the fact my brother has been hulking around with his two boys and A. it has been noisy, and B. I don’t want to listen to him asking me who I’m talking to or why I’m talking to myself or whatever.

We have had a bit of a weather event in case no one has paid mind to the news. Mucho snow, cold temps. Dangerous all around. Which sucks as I seriously need to venture forth and get pull-ups for Benji to say nothing of some food. I mean we’re not starving but I’m out of good stuff… So I can’t start the podcasting thing until everyone goes away, back to work/school and this shan’t happen for several days now. I mean I’m not mad that everyone is home, it is loud but that’s to be expected. It is also weird doing my normal house chores around a big group of folks and I’ll have to clean this damned bathroom more often than the two or three times, granted Monday was sort of half assed, because there are three males using it non-stop now and boys are yucky.

Who said this blogging thing was gonna' be easy? Or consistent for that matter?

Pre-publishing OMG moment! Play With Me Sesame is on right now. Big Bird is talking to Elmo. He asked Elmo what he was doing and Elmo says "Elmo wants to know what it is like to be high!" Okay granted Elmo was hanging upside down from the top of the screen. But. C'mon ya gotta admit that's fricken funny! I now return you to your regularrly scheduled posting.

Hello? Ello? llo? o? ?o O?
*tap tap tap blow blow* Is this thing on?

Okay, right soooooooo. Kind of dropped the ball on being consistent where this blog thing is concerned. However! Dear readers, have hope! As I go to GDB in, about… *rummages around for iPhone to consult the lovely “Days until” sub-app in the “Appbox Pro” yes, for the most part it is accessible… Wait? Where is this phone? Where? *rummages around s’more. Under the sleeping 4 year old who’s temp has gone back up and to whom I need to give more meeds here soon? Excuse me honey Nope. However my poking about has caused her to wake up. Ugh, but she is in a good mood, not making sense in whatever she’s saying but cheerful about it non-the-less. So… Barney and friends. This is PBS sprout’s answer to late night toddler viewing? Could be worse, Can’t think how, but I’m sure that it can. What? Barney is on crack he’s leaping about and jabbering away at ninety to nothing. *rummage rummage rummage, where is this phone???* Yes! found it. Also answers the question as to what that noise was earlier when an unmanned object fell down behind the head of the bed. Anyway as I was saying.

*tap tap tap tap* upon consulting ye olde iPhone gasp! 33 more days until I go, 34 more days until guide dog somebodyorother has a name, a physical form, a color and gender! and 35 more days until we take that first walk.

This being the case there will be much more blogging ongoing here. I’ll try not to have too many O/T entries, would like to keep this as much of a “training tails” diary as possible. And, yes I do plan on finishing the tail er tale of my training with Gerard and Fleming. In fact in just one or two more entries I’ll pick up with Gerard where I left off an age ago.

The reasons for my not blogging are A. not important, B. boring to write, they were boring to live through thus dull as dirt to write and C. composed mainly of the simple fact I’m a lazy shit and sort of put this on the back burner. But as class leaps ever nearer we’re getting into the final weeks folks, I’ll blog here as I’ve driven everyone else in the R.W. quite demented going on and on and on about guide dog stuff… So? On with the shoooooooooooo!