Archives for December 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and yours a very safe and joyful holiday season!
Me and Yara sitting in front of our decorated tree[Photo courtesy of the wonderful Megan, our Fidelco instructor.]

Yara and I have a busy schedule through the holidays, starting off with my uncle’s wedding this afternoon at The Belvedere Mansion. Which is to say, we’ll probably be rather absent for a bit; but fear not, we promise to be back in the new year with many a witty post and adorable photo. :)

W00T!

Today is a momentous day because Yara ate all of her breakfast this morning!

That is all.

“This must be what going mad feels like.”

I think Yara is trying to drive me insane tonight. She’s fine so long as she’s not anywhere near the front door. She’ll lay quietly and chew on a bone or contentedly bat a toy around or even snuggle up close to me. But the second she gets up for any reason she inevitably heads for the front door; where she camps out and starts up that obnoxious whining thing of hers. Literally, I’ve gone to fetch and distract her away from the door six separate times tonight.

Oddly, the whining isn’t even the thing that bugs me the most, it’s the camping out by the front door because she starts growling and barking at anything she thinks is on the other side. It’s really just the worst habit to let her get into, especially as a guide dog.

I feel it’s a loosing battle, though.

Just Say No (to Distractions)

There are a fair number of things people have done to me and/or my dogs that are greatly annoying. People pet the dog even when I very politely request they not. Some try and feed her1 regardless of my pleas. Others still are just plain rude or inconsiderate. However, in my very humble opinion, the most unacceptable thing to ever do to a guide dog is to distract her while she is very evidently working. I’m all too used to explaining how much “work” it is for a dog to be calm and merely sit or lie down at my feet, but I really think it’s rather obvious what a guide dog is doing when walking with a blind person in harness!

Today, for the second time in my years working with a guide dog, I had a person stoop down and pet my girl as I was in the middle of crossing a street. Both times I’ve wished we were in a less dangerous and busy place so I could share a few choice pieces of my mind. Probably it’s been a good thing all around that I haven’t. Yet, it hardly changes the fact that I think of such a heinous thing to be right up there with suddenly clapping one’s hands over the eyes of a person driving a vehicle. It’s literally that amount of stupid and unsafe.

You could say these people were not thinking or that they were just ignorant of proper guide dog etiquette. I agree and yet I don’t. Was I the only little girl taught not to go up to strange dogs I don’t know and pet them? I think not.

  1. One of the most appalling examples occurred while I waited for a bus. A woman walked by us finishing off a barbecued chicken wing and tossed the bone to Dolly. Thankfully, a friend was with me and retrieved the bone before my girl could potentially choke on it.

Yara vs. the Fish!

I believe round one goes to the curious dog. I watched her as she sidled up to the aquarium and observed the goings-on of the tetras within. She sat there silently for a good ten minutes or so, until something required the need to stand up and bark vigorously.

The cutest part was when I tried to divert her attention to quiet her and she trotted off to the front door to give it an obligatory woof. I guess one could argue that there was possibly something outside she was barking at the entire time. But it’s just as likely that once she realized she was caught in the act, she felt the need to hide the fact she was barking at something so beneath the necessity she had to cover it up!

Either way, I got a good giggle at her expense.