Monday, March 14, 2011

New Friend

March 14
Wow! What a long day of work! My brain and feet are very tired, but I feel good.
This morning, we met as a group and learned obedience and guide work commands. When I am only holding the leash, the commands I give are called obedience commands, but when I am holding onto the harness, it is guide work. Usually, the dog is wearing both, but if I want her to guide me, I have to be holding the harness handle. Get it?
Then, we found out the name, gender and breed of dog we would receive, and after lunch, I met my new buddy. She is a black Lab named Nadine. Now, I was thinking I’d get a dog with some cute fluffy name, and when I learned her name was Nadine, I have to admit I was disappointed. I mean, really? Nadine?
However, when the instructor brought her to me, she was so happy and greeted me with excitement. I mean the dog, not the instructor. She is adorable. We spent the next 8 hours getting to know each other, and doing both obedience and guide work. Nadine tested the limits to see what I’d let her get away with, and I had to really work on my corrections. That means not allowing her to be in charge. There are certain ways of communicating with the dog through appropriate corrections with the leash.
Guide dogs walk on the left side and the handling is most often done with the left hand. I’m finding that my left arm is very weak, and my muscles are sore. I’m sure I’ll be so buff when I get home.
I have five other classmates- all women. We get along great and have a lot of fun together. Three of the ladies are retraining. This means they have had guide dogs in the past, and are getting another one. The other three of us are just a bit clueless and very brave.
Tomorrow, we’re up early, and off to work all day down town Portland. Wish me luck!

9 comments:

Sheba said...

Wow! So excited to get to meet Nadine. We've already nicknamed her at the House of Nick Names...Nay, Nay. Yes, very original. Maybe this idea of the guide being on the left explains why I am always running you into things. I should have been on your left. Which side is your left? Stage left or audience left? Your left or mine? My brain has left so I'll leave now and go to bed. Love you and am so glad you are where you should be.

Renel said...

Nadine?
Nadine! A very strong yet pleasant name.
There is something very familiar about this name. Quite a retreat with great food, private room, exercise program, and a new BFF.

You are my BBFF. [BraveBFF] Way to go!

John Hilton III said...

Glad to hear things are going well Kris! This is great! I'm excited to meet Nadine.

deanne said...

We must get together with our dogs soon, Kris! (I'll bring the bones)

DeAnne

Ms. Clickety Clack said...

Kris I'm so proud of you and your buff arms! I already know you have a buff mind and spirit and this will be fantastic! I love the name Nadine! Our family is wired, we always name our dogs regular human names like Bob, Barbara and Delores, so Nadine is Fabulous! I can't wait to see her and you! I talked to Benji yesterday and he is pretty excited too. Miss you! Have fun and enjoy Portland! Steph

mr. underhill said...

Welcome to the family Nadine.

sierra said...

Felshaw?

The Mormon Pensieve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurel said...

I just know Nadine and I are going to get along perfectly! (grin)

Hope you are enjoying this experience. I have no doubt it will be an adjustment. I'm so proud of you for taking this step.