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Today has been exhausting, at least mentally. I ended up getting to sleep somewhat late last night and then was up by 4-something this morning. Juno obedience went well, (Alumni Hall is huuuuuuuuuuuuge, not to mention FREEEEEEEEEEEEZING!!!!), as did breakfast, which consisted of eggs, toast and bacon. We then loaded up into the vans to head to White Plains to do Juno walks. I was scheduled the last group in the afternoon and so had the whole first part of the day to relax. The Juno walk went well, I think. I was actually glad to get outside. For the record, it is amaaaaaazingly cold in the White Plains lounge! Being outside for that short a time made coming back inside seem warm. It felt way too weird not having a dog at the other end of the harness, though, even though I was full aware it was a Juno walk.

Lecture was held after everyone was done route, at the lounge instead of back at the school. We went over the four basic obedience commands--sit, down, stay and heel, (this last actually being a new one for me, I'm used to 'come)--and then got a preview of how the rest of the day/night/start of tomorrow would go. We then loaded back into the vans for the journey back to Yorktown. We had some time until it was shortly before five, when we headed up to the dining room for a quick schpeel from the volunteer coordinator and I think another person. Becky also told us how to work voicemail - Thanks, Becky! Oh yeah, I forgot: lunch was burritos and black bean soup, but I opted for a ham and cheese sandwich. My drink of choice was coffee. Dinner was sesame chicken, but I wanted mine grilled. I also had string beans and iced tea to drink. Dessert was ice cream sandwiches, but I declined.

After dinner there was the usual pre-dog-day retrain session, which I did attend. I do think it has helped me put some things into perspective. It was also nice to be around people who have been through it before, to share good times and not-so-good times. Yay for moral support! I know we'll all be fine. We just have to be patient with our dogs and, perhaps most of all, ourselves. It will all be okay. Really, it will!

After the retrain meeting, I went and hung out in the coffee room for awhile, before coming back here. I went and figured out voicemail, and I want to thank both Britt and Leslie for the calls. Yes, Leslie, I was in the retrain session when you called. I appreciate the message all the same. I also appreciate everyone who is reading and commenting. I was unsure as to whether or not I would get an entry done tonight, but persistance prevails, I guess. I have not looked at e-mail at all today, and really don't know that I want to at present, (I'm too mentaly drained at this point; yeah yeah, "...but it's only day two!"), so if someone could take the liberty of posting a link to this entry to the Juno list, it would be greatly appreciated. If not, I will see about getting around to it perhaps tomorrow, but definitely as soon as possible. This entry is also scattered, but it still works, so we'll go with it.

In other news, New York is expecting a crapton of snow to be dumped on us later tonight and into tomorrow. As far as timing goes, it's pretty fantastic, seeing as we're on grounds all day tomorrow what with it being dog day. (Thank gosh for my new warm, insolated winter boots is all I'm sayin'!). Speaking of dog day, I am finding that very hard to believe. I think I'm more nervous than anything else. It's really surreal. I know I'll get through it, but it's actually figuring out how that I'm struggling with. I think of tonight in a similar way that I think of Christmas Eve, except instead of Santa Clause, the trainers are spreading the cheer, if you will. Regardless, due to nervous and emotions being on high alert, I am finding it hard to settle. I really cant decide if it's easier to be a first-time handler or a retrain. The jury keeps wavering back and forth on this verdict.

Wake-up tomorrow is at 6:00, followed by Juno obedience, breakfast, lecture/practice, lunch, the Sorting Ceremony, (when we find out which dog we will be getting), and then the Christening of the Leashes, (when the instructors come to our rooms with our dogs and attach them to our leashes). After that, the fun begins! The afternoon will be spent bonding, and then...drum roll...DINNER! I.E. the first meal with our dogs. I'm not sure what will happen after that, and that may not even be exactly as it will go, but I think it's a pretty safe guess.

With that, I will end this and attempt to try and wind down. Oh yeah, this morning I had a rather interesting incident with my shower in that I couldn't figure out how the heck to turn the shower part of it on. With the help of another classmate, though, I got it. Liz 1, Shower 0! Take care all, more soon.

Date: 2011-01-12 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unsilenceddream.livejournal.com
I caved in and opened the e-mail client after all, and so a link to this entry has been posted to the Juno list!

Sleep well!

Date: 2011-01-12 03:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you for keeping us posted despite your emotional exhaustion. It means so much to me to hear how your days are going! It must be nerve racking thinking about meeting Newdog tomorrow....all the fears of if you will bond, will she work well for you, will you ever find room in your heart to love another dog as much as you love Liv. I am feeling my own anxiousness waiting for Olivia to arrive..will she bond with me, will she be happy here? Why do we worry when we know it will all work out just right as it is meant to be. Trust is what these beautiful dogs teach us, trust in ourselves, ability to love ourselves as they love us..unconditionally, the ability to live in the moment with no worries of what is ahead or sadness of what was left behind. Let us learn from their example and slumber deep, awake in the morning wagging our tails and ready to meet the adventures that lie ahead..Lots of love, jane

the night before dog day

Date: 2011-01-12 04:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Liz. I had three different experiences with dog day. My first was in June of 1995 at Guide Dogs of America. Although I was full of anticipation, I slept well and remember a classmate saying over the intercom the next morning which was dog day: "Get on out of bed and greet your dog with a smile!" That afternoon, Tasha, a little yellow lab came bolting into the room to meet me. Tasha and I worked for 5.5 years and she made getting around NIU so much easier. After Tasha, I took a break from the guide dog sceen and decided to try again so I went to Seeing Eye in 2007. My second dog day was in January, 2007. The night before, I was so nervous that I didn't sleep at all. In fact, I spent most of the night listening to a talking book. Needless to say, I felt exhausted the next day which was dog day. That afternoon, Morgan, a black lab/golden cross came running up to me in the lounge. At Seeing Eye, you come to the lounge, call your dog, and then, take him/her back to your room. Although Morgan was a good little worker, I couldn't go home with her because she developed aggression toward other dogs. A year later, I found myself at Guiding Eyes and my third dog day. This was January 2008. I found that going through the transition session helpped a bunch to put old feelings of my previous dogs aside in order to open my mind and heart to dog number 3. This time, I took 2 tylanol to help me sleep so I wouldn't be so tired. The next afternoon, I met Lava, the most amazing guide of all. I was down on the floor and when Woody brought him to me, he rubbed up against me, kept wagging his tail, and licking my face. I kept telling him that I was his new mommy and I swear, it was love at first sight. Lava was a big black lab as you know. Although he only lasted 7 months, GEB certainly made a good match and if I ever go back and try again, I'm totally confident they will do their best to give me a good match again. So that's my experience with dog day. Have fun tomorrow!

Date: 2011-01-12 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soprano1790.livejournal.com
Oh goooooooood luck tomorrow! Actually, I think you will need more luck for the first dinner with your dog. Lol! That is really an experience.

I can't say whether it would be better to be a retrain receiving a new dog or a first timer. I've only ever been a first timer, but I would say that as a first timer, you do have no idea what to expect. That, more than anything, is scary. At least, you who has been through it before, knows how it's going to be a little bit.

Yeah, I had trouble with my shower too. I lived in the newer wing when I stayed last time, so mine may have been different, but I remember having to yank really hard on the shower thingy to work.

I learned heal wwith Brie a few years ago. So was come suppoed to mean the same thing as heal? I honestly don't know. Lol!

Date: 2011-01-12 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reborn-spirit.livejournal.com
SQUEA! I'm so excited for you! Dog day always seems like an eternity.
I was really nervous about getting Railey. I felt like such a failure after having to retire Santana so early. I think maybe the nerves might be at about the same level for rookies and retrains, but the reason for them might be different. I don't know. Just a thought.

dog day!

Date: 2011-01-12 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi, Liz: I'm approaching my one year anniversary with Elijah, my fifth guide dog. He's my second guide from GEB and is a delight. Dog getting day was a bit different in Feb. 2010 than it was in Sept. 2000. The practice dogs were eliminated from the routine last year. We had the collar and leash stations and then the game to figure out who our dogs were. That may just be one of those fun things Melinda Angstrom does. At any rate, Elijah cane running over to me and gave me a big kiss. Then he walked around the room and kept on pacing. I got enough exercise that afternoon for a normal route. Dinner wasn't that big a deal. I positioned him under the table and beside my chair where he stayed. I am hoping that in another 10 years the session for retrains still happens. My other experiences were at two different schools. But, dog day is always exciting no matter how often it happens. It's much like Christmas Eve, only more exciting and nerve wracking at the sametime. Looking forward to hearing about your new guide.

Ginny Alverson

dog day

Date: 2011-01-14 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hey, a fantastic day for you. As being a sighted former raiser/brood foster I can feel for you as we feel the somewhat same way when we get a pup. You will have a great match I am sure. I think you stated you only have had male dogs and hope you don't get a female pup. No difference between male and female IMO but just the way each dog goes. Having a mother/daughter combo here in my home, Finesse and Ina, and each a female and each related, are so different from each other. Will be waiting to hear each day that comes. I love it when you all show us in your own eyes how it goes. Thanks again. Hugs, BJ and girls

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