Given the snowy weather we’ve had the last two days it wasn’t a big surprise to hear Jason say that we probably wouldn’t be doing much if any street work today. Kind of a shame because that straight curb-to-curb stuff tends to be the easy thing for a guide.
Instead, we braved the mall. Anyone that knows me even a little will know that I loathe and detest malls as a general rule. But with a guide dog they can be a big pain what with the open spaces and random stuff lining the middle of the floors and all the inconsiderate people. But there wasn’t anything substantial shoveled and the snow was still coming down so what choice did I have.
Uschi approached the mall with a level of boredom I’d expect of myself and by our third lap around Colonie Center I think she was starting to get sick of the whole thing. She did remarkably well, though, and didn’t seem at all stressed during our few hours wandering about. She did misjudge a window display and cracked my shoulder into the glass, which actually happened with Yara her first time at the mall, too. She’s pretty confident in harness and doesn’t need much then a little verbal nudging to get her going. And even when I am nudging her on, I don’t feel her taking that stressfully and dragging me along by the harness. I thought it was kind of funny that she started doing one of Yara’s little quirks, where the walk became so routine that she started indicating practically everything . . . especially the escalators. Why my guides always love to show me escalators I’ll never know, but they always seem to love them so much more than I ever do. Anyway, obviously we didn’t attempt those today. And hopefully the sidewalks will be cleared tomorrow so we can finally get some outside work done.
We also did some obedience stuff this morning. Nothing major really, just showing Jason the things we’d done last night: sit, down, sit-stays, and down-stays. We also did some come-to-heels. Already I’m seeing that Uschi is very responsive to me, even with our instructor around. I know a lot of handlers let obedience fall by the wayside — sometimes very quickly — but I’m a firm believer that it’s a foundation that only builds that bond and plus I hate having a housemate with bad manners. Anyway, I’ve always made it a priority to keep an obedience regimen with my guides and I was actually taken aback to have our instructor comment that it’s obvious I do so!
So, all that aside, I thought I’d share a video of Uschi hamming it up with Yara’s squeaky Wubba. In fact, I think it’ll serve as proof of why I may have to impose a moratorium on toys with noisemakers because good grief is she obnoxious!1 Sorry that it’s so dark, but I’m sure you get the idea from the sound alone:
- Actually that toy was mistakenly left when packing up Yara’s, so I’ll be relieved to send it to Dad’s. I’m sure Yara will be happy to see it again! ↩