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I was too tired to post an entry yesterday, and so this entry pertains to the events of Friday, January 28. I tried to figure out how to backdate this from within the client, but it doesn't seem like it wants to cooperate. I can always try from the website if it's that crucial, which I'm not all that sure it is.

Yesterday was a very good day, and an excellent end to training. All routes were awesome. I worked Dalton in his booties to see if he would be more willing to go through the slush and puddles and the like, and those made all the difference in the world. I'll have to remember that from now on when it's not so nice outside. We orked the route from hom eto school, and he did fine with that. We then worked to the student union, (I had to go the bank, anyway, to deposit a check), and he did fine with that, too. At one point in the wide, open area, to signify a needed turn, I noticed that Dalton flicked his head in the direction really quick before proceeding forward, and so I need to be more intune with that as that is apparently his way of giving me heads up. We came back and grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant that was within walking distance. I had never been to it before, and so the only orientation to the route Dalton and I had was in going there. On the way back, though, Dalton showed his true colors in that he reversed the route with no problem and was all proud of himself whe we reached the building where my classes are in. It was a fantastic feeling, really it was! From there, we worked home, which also went without incident.

Last evening, the field rep and I gave a presentation on guide dogs to the Advanced O&M class, and I think it went very well. Everyone seemed receptive to it, and I enjoyed doing it, too. Speaking of dog guide or guide dog, that's one thing I'm really trying to figure out as people say both. Is there a real difference, and if so, is it really that crucial? I have heard that guide dog is a term for dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind, and if that's correct, then I guess the more generic term *would* be dog guide. I've been saying "guide dog" for years, though. It's a hard habbit to break. As I said countless times in class: They don't call us retrains for nothing. Haha!

The rest of my day will include doing some more schoolwork, (I spent the morning reading), a conference call and hanging out with a friend. My energy level isn't at its highest today, but I guess you have that coming off of about a straight month of being busy. Relaxing is also a good plan, I think, and luckily the weekend affords me the opportunity to do some of that. This is officially the end of my training updates, but I hope to update more frequently than I have in recent history. I appreciate all who have taken the time to read and/or comment. It means a lot. More soon.
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I actually almost forgot to write a blog entry for today. It's hard to believe, I know, but there it is.

Today was so-so. There were good parts and not-so-good/stressful parts, but it all ended well, which is what counts. The weather today was ridiculous, snowy and cold. Working in said weather wasn't too fun. I could tell that for some of the routes that we did today, Dalton wasn't as on-task as he could have been. He was on task when I needed him to be most of the time, though, including getting me through two traffic checks all within the span of five seconds or so. In the first one, the people in the car admitted to me that they were in the way. Well...if you know that you're in the way, then get out of it! Jut sayin'. Crazy weather brings out crazy drivers, or something. Both traffic checks weren't even in the street, but rather in driveways.

All in all, though, Dalton's work was fine. I mention Prince Dalton, because he had a strong aversion to the slush and puddles that were on the ground. He even went so far as to jump some of them. I'm going to work him in booties tomorrow to see if that does anything. I really can't have him jumping things like that, especially at down curbs, which did happen once. All of the mounds of snow that were on the ground made for interesting travel, too. Is it Springtime yet? I say that, and then I really don't mind the winter too too much.

We again visited the pet store, and he did fine there. I am in the midst of deciding whether or not to switch his food or keep him on the Iams which is fed at the school. I'd like to get a better quality food, but a lot of them are pretty expensive, and he does do fine on Iams. The other issue is if he is switched to a different food, what if it isn't available when I travel? I might have to pack a whole suitcase just with food! Things to think about...

Class tonight went fine enough. I'm still trying to get everything sorted for this semester, but it's slowly and surely coming together. I had a meeting with my advisor today, and that left me with some relief on things as some were straightened out and/or clarified. I have no classes tomorrow, which I am very appreciative of. This weekend will be devoted to I hope relaxing as well as doing work. Both are of crucial importance. I really feel like I have been running nonstop for the past month, and in a way, I guess it's true. It's all good, though. I can't think of anything else to add, so I will end this. My brain is tired, and I need sleep. Take care, thanks for reading and more tomorrow.
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With each day, I don't think that I can get any more tired, but lately that seems to be the theme here. This is nuts...

Today was a very good day, both in training and also as far as class was concerned. Training included working the route from my house to school, (which went very, very wel and actually left me in shock when we reached the class building, because it meant that I had crossed CrazyIntersection and was still alive to tell the tale; okay, so maybe I'm exagerating a bit, but still, it was big for me!), trips to two pet stores, a walk downtown and practice lying quietly in a restaurant. We also worked the route to the student union and practiced turnstiles again. Dalton is still a little hesitant on them, but I'm thinking with practice, say in a subway station and such, (when there is reason to use them and a destination on the other side), he will be fine. I definitely wouldn't blame him; I would be a little skiddish, too, if I went through one of those and got caught on it. Poor boy! The route to the student union is very wide open, though, and it's still not my favorite, but with practice, I think it will be fine. At least the route to class is set up nicely, and we have that, which is the most crucial thing of all, in my opinion.

The trips to the pet stores were fine. Dalton behaved himself very wel. I even included some obedience into the deal, and he was fine with that, too. In Petsmart was when we came across this really weird salesclerk guy. He first said something about his grandmother being "that way", (in reference to my eye condition; I didn't know I was any particular "way" - To All Blind People: We Are "That Way!" Didn't you know?). He later referred to my dog as a "seeing blind eye dog" or something. That's definitely a new one in my book! People never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I've seen it all...

Class went well, as I said. Dalton laid quietly at my side, being a good boy. I think of all of my classes, Low Vision will be the hardest, at least in terms of conceptual things. I shall try my best, though, which is all one can ask. I understood everything that we went over tonight, so that's a good start.

I don't know that I have anything else to add, so I'll end it here and post more tomorrow. Take care, and thanks for reading.
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Today has been exhausting, both mentally and physically, although in a good way. Not only did I put in a few hours of training with Dalton, but I also had classes to attend to. All of that combined makes for a very long day.

Training went very, very wel today, all things considered. Dalton seems to already have down the route from my house to the building where my classes are, the classes themselves, and the route home. He was much more controllable today as far as pace went, save for one time when he was just being silly. I thought he had to park, and so stopped and took the harness off, but he then just proceeded to play in the snow. Crazy dog! I worked him some of the time with his booties on, because of the salt that was put down on the paths and such. After doing the route to school, we then went over to the student union. He did well with this route, too. A good part of the route is in wide, open space, and Dalton will take the initiative in picking out which way to go. I really don't like to depend fully on him like that, but sometimes it can't be helped. To me, I feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere. I am getting an idea for distance in relation to the various turns and such, which does help. Inside the student union, in the bookstore, there is a turnstile to get into it. There was an unfortunate incident the first time he and I went through, in that the turnstile came back and caught on Dalton's harness. He was then a little shy of it, but some counterconditioning made him less so. We plan to go back to the bookstore tomorrow to try and reinforce positive associations with that.

Classes themselves went fine and without incident, unless you count for whatever reason Dalton deciding to pick up a classmate's braille eraser that had dropped to the floor in his mouth. Can we say awkward and slightly embarrassing? While apologizing profusely, I was able to extract the eraser and all was well. I have no idea why that happened; maybe it was a sign of stress? Who knows. Dogs... My first class was Activities of Daily Living, and then I had Assistive Technology. Both seem like they will be fun. I started to target one specific chair in the classroom that I nine times out of ten sit in, (there is one classroom for 99% of my classes - it's a small department), and he picked up on that quickly. It really is amazing to me how quickly he picks up on things. When I was doing the route from school to home for the first time today, he was fantastic at knowing just what to do and when.

I'm honestly at a loss of what else to write about. Oh yes: we did some practice with the 'follow' command in various places, and Dalton did a good job with that, too. He also had no problem settling in while classes were happening or while I was getting coffee prior to said classes.

I think I'm going to call this an entry and do I'm not sure what. I'm utterly exhausted, and so the better idea for me would probably be to sleep, but I do have some reading to finish for tomorrow - the same from the other day. The other side of that, though, is if I read now, how much of it wil I retain? I may be making more work for myself by trying to read now versus later when I'm in a better, more awake frame of mine. I shouldn't be this tired! Alas...

The plan for tomorrow is to do more work with my dog in the morning and then eventually end up at the pet store. I need a few things, and what a great place to practice dog distractions! I have Low Vision class at 6:00, which ends at twenty to nine. Hopefully I'll be more rested and can get through that class more alert than I did tonight. It's a nice thought, anyway. Right, I'm rambling; more tomorrow.
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The rest of the day after I last wrote has been...I'm not even sure. I'm feeling incredibly exhausted, which might have something to do with it. The field rep did finally call, and so we got some work in today, which was awesome. It went amazingly, too. Dalton and I worked up to the class building, which included crossing CrazyIntersection, and al went splendedly. Dalton picked up all of the curbs and the island that comprised the intersection like a pro. It was really reassuring and awesome at the same time. Upon arriving at the class building, (yay for targeting, which proved helpful in pointing out the building), and worked inside, showing Dalton the rooms that I will be needing to go to in there. He was spot on with everything. The only thing I can say that needs to be worked on is steadying him down, although I think some of that has to do with not working in two days or so. We'll see what happens tomorrow when we go over things again. He was definitely proud of himself, that's for sure. I could tell by his work. We reversed the route, and he actually took me to the correct house door, this without showing it to him or targeting it at all first. I expected that I would have to do it on the way back, but no. He found it for me right on. It will be interesting to see if he does it again tomorrow. All in all, I am very pleased with how the first day of home training went. We start again at 9:00 tomorrow morning. I also have two classes tomorrow, one from 1:30-4:00 and another from 6:00-8:40. To be honest, it hasn't really sunk in that another semester is starting. Perhaps that will change tomorrow once I have attended classes.

I'm exhausted, (I really really hope that this time change thing evens out soon, because otherwise class will be interesting), and so I think I wil end this here and go wind down. I should eat dinner and maybe try for sleep early. The thought is at least nice. More tomorrow.


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January 2012

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