Jul 26 2014

Where did July go?

Wow, July is already nearing its end. Where the heck did it go?

Well, it’s definitely been a fun and exciting month for me to say the least. Lets give a quick update shall we.

My second class started at Carleton University on July 7th and this time the instructor is pretty good and actually makes sure that he’s meeting my accommodations and listening to me when I make suggestions. The class this time is Ottawa, Exploring national Institutions and my favourite part is the field trips. No sitting in class every class for 3 long hours, *whew* But as I said, July is nearly over which means so is this class. I’m all done with it on August 13th.

Now, the more exciting news of the month!!! I will finally be able to throw my cane under a train! Yes, on September 14, 2014 I will be going to Michigan to get my new Leader Dog I’m soooooo excited! *dances for joy*

I started the application process with them on June 23, 2014 and by July 15, 2014 I got the call I had been waiting for. We have a dog for you!!!

I will be gone from September 14th to October 9th. This means school wise I’ll pick my secondary courses that allows me to have the video on demand part so this time around my time will be sort of split. I have to keep up with school plus give all sorts of attention to my new furry friend. As long as I didn’t have to do cane and snow, I’m perfectly fine with this arrangement, *bounces up and down*

Needless to say I am already counting down the days. As of today I have 50 days to go. Someone make them go quicker please!! So, the guide dog journey has come to an end, but make sure to keep watch to the LD training journals. Those will have all sorts of things in them I’m sure.

cane under train in 50 days

Jul 15 2014

and the winner is

*cheers loudly and bounces up and down*

I got the call I’ve been holding my breath for all day. With loads of jangled nerves I answered a call from Stephanie from Leader Dog at 2:45 this afternoon.

Congratulations to me, I will be heading to Leader for my next dog! I will be going either August 23rd which is in the middle of a class already started or the start of the following class, September 14th. *cheers*

Either way I’m super excited! It’s time to get the house ready for a dog once more.

If there are any guide dog handlers that have gone to get their dog in the middle of a class can you let me know what that is like. I’ve never done that before.

If I’m going in August I’ll be getting there on a Saturday. Do I get my dog like the next day I’m there and then more one on one or what?

So, the guide dog application process has come to a happy end. It’s now time for the guide dog training journey. Stay tuned for those updates in the future!

Jul 14 2014

guide dog application update time

It’s update time once again. Sadly, it’s not jump up and down report time. I’m still in the hurry up and wait stage with a shot of pissed off thrown in.

1. Leader Dog, finished my last stage of the video so now I keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. I hit it in time for the Tuesday admissions meeting. So maybe at the minimum i’ll know something by next week.

2. Guiding Eyes, my home visit is scheduled for August 19th. So at the most I won’t hear anything regarding them until September.

3. The Seeing Eye, I haven’t heard from them, but I know right now they are pretty busy with the conventions that are going on right now. I’m not sure what to expect in regards to this school. Only time will tell on which direction it will go.

4. Pilot, *chuckles* I haven’t a word at all so I can’t tell you where things stand. Contacting them keeps going unanswered.

Now for the school no longer in the running and the small shot of pissed offness. GDB denied my application and refused to tell me why to plead my case during the appeal process. I appealed and once again they denied it, but here’s where they pissed me off and made me see GDB as a lesser school completely.

In their letter to me they stated that there was insufficient information in my appeal to have them change their mind. Well, it’s kind of hard to plead your case when they refuse to tell you why they said no, but just appeal it and blah blah. A person can only go off information given to them. Kind of like working a guide dog. You must be clear on what you want from your dog if you want a good result, be sloppy and you get no where.

They also hoped that their feedback was helpful. Um, what “feedback?” There was no damn feedback. They outright refused to give me any information at all and claimed that it was privileged information. Now unless I’m mistaken I have ever right to know what goes on with my application, there is no “privileged” information on my own case.

Now what I don’t understand on top of why GDB refused to let me know their reasons and completely baffling me is that they are quite fine letting a client right back into their school that they know abused one of their dogs, but they refused me entry. Now, I’d be perfectly fine with them saying no if I was a shitty dog handler, had horrible mobility skills or hell they just have no dogs at the moment to match like what happened with Canadian Guide Dogs, but just stating it’s “privileged” information is wrong.

There’s another big issue I have with GDB in this whole mess, but it’s more a fight that I will hand over to another school that they purposefully made look bad. I will just say by them intentionally casting doubt on another well established school made them look less than the school they are in my eyes.

More to come when I know something. Hopefully the next one will be a cheering loudly post naming the school I will get my next best pal.

Jul 10 2014

funny guide dog stories

Hey there everyone. This thread was started on a group that I’m on and I got permission to also share some of their stories here. So I hope you enjoy them as much as others are. No worries, some of my stories are in here as well. If you have some you wish to share by all means jump right in!

For the privacy of people I am only posting their first name with their stories. Enjoy! I will add more to this as I hear more so make sure to check the comments section so you don’t miss any. *smiles*

May:
I’m in a choir called Shout Sister Choir. So one night we were doing a show and sometimes my lovely Noah sits between my feet and sometimes he lays down, either is fine with me since he’s a good boy. We had this one song called ‘Lay Down” hahahha, the first few lines of the song are of course “lay down” So before we started the song my Noah was sitting up and nice and proud in his black shirt and we began to sing, *snickers* “lay down, lay down, lay it all down” You guessed it, the command lay down and over 100 people singing it Noah let out a loud groan as to say “alright already, I’ll lay down” and he plopped on the ground. Talk about funny. All of us had a hard time trying not to laugh and sing at the same time. From that moment forward we couldn’t sing that song without laughing at Noah first.

May story 2:
Ok, here’s another Noah story. This one happened when we were actually still in training. We were walking down a busy downtown street, loads of people, tables, chairs and all those lovely obstacles that jump out at you in downtown areas *chuckles* Noah and I get about halfway down the sidewalk when he slams on the breaks. I put my foot out to see what’s up and see nothing, hold my hand out, nothing. Reach down check my dog and he’s looking off to the side. I’m now like completely puzzled and tell him to hup hup. Noah says nope, not moving. He then shakes himself and then looks back off to the side..not happy with whatever it is and shakes himself again even harder, then looks back off to the side. By this time my instructor has reached me and is laughing his head off and tells me what Noah is looking at. We came across a store front that had a window that reflected your reflection back at you like a mirror. I couldn’t help but to laugh and during this Noah gives one last big shake, looks off to the side and is finally happy with his appearance and off we go, bouncing down the street as nothing is wrong, lol. After that day he earned the name Prince Noah!

Sabra:
Janey is my first Seeing Eye dog. I was going to take a taxi a short ways because the place I needed was too far off the bus line to walk. The cab pulled up, and I told Janey inside, thinking she would put her nose to the door like in training. I heard a loud thud and felt the harness rise into the air, so I reached up to find her hanging half way through the cab’s opened window.

K:
Eve and I have been together since February. I have volumes I can write on her! this past Sunday, I led the children at church in a song. I usually don’t help with the music, but they needed some help that day. So, as I was leaving the music, all the little girls in my class were laughing. I couldn’t figure out what they were laughing at. I kept giving them the luck, but they kept giggling. Afterwords, I sat down by them and ask them what was so funny. They said that Eve saw a large and on the floor. She kept watching it, then she placed her paw on top of it. The and started crawling away from under her paw. Eve kept watching the aunt and she placed her paw back on top of it. Again, the aunt crawled away from under her paw. This kept happening until it got out of her reach. No wonder none of the kids were singing! Eve was entertaining them!

K story 2:
This is a story about my first guide dog named Riley. My husband and I were walking down an aisle at the grocery store. My husband was looking at the shelves to the right, never really noticing what was happening on our left. Suddenly, there was a small shriek and a woman was sprawled on the floor in front of us. Apparently, she had been bent over looking at something on the bottom shelf. Well, Riley reacted as dogs do and since there was a butt right in his face, he decided to sniff it. He totally goosed her

Jul 02 2014

guide dog application update

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve given a guide dog application update. I’ve been trying to wait on making this post until I heard something from Guide Dogs for the Blind but they seem to be taking their time.

So, when I first started this process I was still trying to get over the illness and death of my super boy Noah so only applied to one school, GDB. However, months have gone by and I’ve opened up the playing field and I also have applications going with a few other schools and each is at various stages.

Sadly, it looks like I won’t get the best time I wanted of August for a dog, but of course that was wishful thinking on my part. I just hope I get one before it starts to snow again. *grumbles* cane travel and snow is a royal pain in the ass!
So, I’m still in the waiting stage and juggling what courses to pick for my fall term at Carleton University that I can also do online whenever that call comes to say, “we have a dog for you.”

Will update more when I know more.

Jul 01 2014

Wow, we made it another year!

Can you believe it? It’s July 1st already. Today makes 11 years in Canada for me. I can’t believe that I’ve lived here for that long. Where in the heck has the time gone? Alberta and one failed relationship, to BC figuring out who I am, to Ottawa where I am definitely happy and in one hell of a relationship! Wish leads to . . .

The most important part about today, my 2nd anniversary with my lesser half James

The last year had some ups and pretty scary downs, but somehow we made it another year. I think we’re getting pretty darn good at this awesome relationship stuff eh? Here’s to another year to us and many more together.

Well, that’s after I leave you now remember with loads of noodles! Ha! *chuckles*

Jun 15 2014

Review of my first class at Carleton University

Well, as of Wednesday I finished my first University course at Carleton. I wrote a few times that I was looking forward to starting this course and that it looked very interesting and the instructor seemed very nice and helpful.

*whoops*

Wrong! The first week of class was the only good thing about the whole class. After that it all went down hill.

1. Before class started she seemed very helpful and willing to make sure that I had everything I needed to be successful in her class.
Well, that definitely fell flat. She didn’t honour my accommodations, for example, making sure I had the material ahead of time for class ust in case I needed the transcription department to put them in a format the worked for me. Instead she posted the slides up at the least right when she entered the class room. At the most maybe half a hour before class started.

2. She asked the class to give feed back on how class could be better and hold everyone’s attention.
Whoops, she didn’t really pay attention to those either. The class liked having a little lecture then a little group work. you know split up the 3 hour long class of just sitting there listening to her go on and on and on. Nope, instead she took out the group work and kept it straight lecture.
She was also reminded to not speak in all visual terms since she had a “blind” student at the very least in her class and pointing at things on the board saying, “you see this line here connects these two groups” is not very helpful. *sighs* in one ear and out the other. That made it very hard during one of the test where all the questions had to do with material that she only discussed visually. When it was pointed out after the exam I was ignored. Lovely for an instructor to do eh?

3. Speaking of ignoring a situation. My instructor assigned the class to listen to a podcast and answer some questions. Awesome, no big deal I thought at first. Come to find out that CBC is not as easy to manipulate when it comes to speech. There are some things that speech won’t tell you is on the screen. When I pointed out to the instructor that I was having problems with the podcast such as that I couldn’t pause, rewind or fast forward it, this was her response:

“Oh, the rest of the class didn’t have this problem. Maybe it’s cause you have to listen to it?”

Um, someone please explain to me how that statement makes sense.

*duh* of course I have to listen to it just like the rest of the class.

Great, the rest of the class didn’t say they had a problem with the podcast so just ignore what I tell you thanks a lot.

So after being ignored twice in two very important cases my confidence in this instructor and my willingness to want to go to this class seriously fell. How can you want to help a student when you ignore issues they tell you they are having just because the rest of the class didn’t tell you they had a problem? How is it helping a student by penalizing them on an exam when all the questions have to do with material that you discussed visually and then ignored when they asked to speak with you about the issue.

So, my first class, Childhood in the Global Context at Carleton didn’t go as I hoped it would. I most likely will take this class again, but maybe in the winter term. The course itself seems very interesting and I feel I could actually learn a lot from it if the instructor was willing to actually honour disability accommodations and not ignore the students. The instructor will also be different and it’s not so intense like summer classes. Not to mention this program, “Child Studies” is the program that I’ve been looking for like forever. It could finally get me going in the direction I want, working with children with disabilities.

I won’t let this colour my thoughts on my next class which starts on July 7th, but I do hope it goes much better than the one I just finished. He’s been helpful just like my last instructor and see where that got me, *sighs*

Jun 12 2014

20 most important facts Dog Lovers must never forget

The 20 most important facts Dog Lovers must never forget. Some of these will pull tears from your eyes…
Dogs are so loyal. They love us no matter what we do. But if we want to provide the best life possible to these wonderful animals, we have to remember they have complex thoughts and feelings, too. Here are 20 things we must never forget.

Don’t be upset when I jump for joy when you come through the door.

I only live for ten or fifteen years. You are what makes that time enjoyable. It’s hard on me when you go away.

Give me time to understand what you want from me.

I don’t always get it right on the first try, but I promise I’m trying as hard as I can.

Give me your trust.

Just like I trust you, I need you to trust me, too.

Don’t be angry with me for too long. And please don’t lock me up to punish me.

You have your friends and family to keep you happy and entertained. I just have you.

Take me inside when the weather gets bad.

The backyard doesn’t have air conditioning or a heater. You don’t have to let me on the couch, but a small part of the kitchen is much better than sleeping in the snow.

Talk to me.

Sure, we don’t speak the same language, but the sound of your voice brightens my whole day.

Comfort me when I’m scared.

You know a lot more about loud noises, strange people, and new places than I do. I need to know that you’ll protect me from them. I always feel safer when I’m with you.

Remember that I’ll never forget how you treat me.

Teach me that humans are made of love, not pain. And don’t ever let me forget it.

Come outside with me.

The sights, sounds, and scents of nature are some of my greatest pleasures in life. I don’t care if we play, go for a walk, or just sit under a tree together . . . I want you to experience them with me.

Let me make new friends.

Introduce me to other dogs, cats, or even bigger animals. We might not get along in the end, but having some more friends that look and smell like me makes my life that much brighter.

Give me a treat every once in a while.

Food is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I know you want me to be healthy, so I understand when you don’t share your own meals with me. But giving me a dog biscuit when I’ve been good or mixing tasty vegetables mixed in with my dinner is guaranteed to make me wag my tail extra hard.

Please don’t hit me.

I have teeth that can crush bone. Instead, I cover you in sloppy, wet kisses. Just as I choose not to hurt you, please make the choice to not hurt me.

Understand when I need my alone time.

I love you more than anything, but even though it’s rare, I don’t always want to play or cuddle. Don’t be sad if I’d rather sleep on the cold tile floor instead of in your bed on hot summer nights, and be understanding if I don’t want to play as much as the years go on.

Show me your world.

The house and yard might be the only places I ever see unless you let me come with you. A trip to the pet store, the park, or even just a ride in the car is exhilarating for me. I can’t wait to see what you want to show me.

Teach me new things

Learning new tricks keeps my mind active, but most of all, it gives me a way to impress you. I love showing off for your friends, looking up at you, and seeing how proud of me you are.

Let me get dirty once in a while.

Your world is inside, but I thrive outdoors. Sometimes I find a lot of mud or a lake that smells like all of its fishy inhabitants. I understand if you don’t want to wash all that stuff off every day, but as long as it’s safe, let me go back to my wild roots every now and then.

Touch me.

Nothing makes me feel more loved than when you take time out of your day to rub my ears or scratch that itchy spot on my back that I can’t reach. I can’t understand your words, but I definitely understand the feelings behind a hug.

Pay attention if I don’t seem like myself.

It might seem like I’m just being lazy or stubborn, but I might not be feeling well. I can’t get help for myself, and I need you to look out for me.

Love me when I’m old just as much as you did when I was young.

I might not be the cute puppy that I once was, but I still love you just as much now as I did then. Please take care of me when my body doesn’t work like it used to.

Come with me on my final journey.

I know it will be difficult, but I need you by my side when the time comes for me to leave this world. Every moment down to my last breath is easier if I have you with me.

With deep affection, love, and respect

May 09 2014

My first week at Carleton University

Wow, I managed to make it through my first week of class and it wasn’t too bad after all. It was a bit overwhelming for me, but I enjoy it.

i still have no idea what I was thinking to take my first ever university course during the summer when it’s quite intense. I have my first assignment due on Wednesday and it’s a writing assignment. *sighs sadly* I hate writing. Well, writing for school work that is, ha!

Then I have a mid-term May 26th, second assignment june 4th and the final June 11th. All of these I have to write write write. *cries* why me?

Childhood in the Global Context so far is turning out to be a class of debating. This past week a couple of topics definitely got the blood flowing for some people.

1. Should parents vaccinate their children?
2. child brides

After a long road I think I finally found the right direction I need to go school wise. This class and my class mates will be very interesting. Now to try and figure out this first assignment I must write.

May 07 2014

GDB home visit with Chuck

Well, last night I had my home visit with Chuck from Guide Dogs for the Blind and I think it went pretty good.

Meeting Chuck in person definitely erased the first impression I got of him which wasn’t in the best of circumstances dealing with a GDB grad, *smiles* It’s nice to see that Chuck is a person that definitely pays attention to detail when it comes to the matching process and explains things so that i wasn’t left wondering, “what the hell is he talking about/”

We went over a brief description of the 2 campuses, Oregon and California. Sorry, I still want to go to Cali! But I’ll take whichever campus has a match for me first.

He mentioned that GDB can have up to 137 puppies born in one month. *gasps* how in the world do you find a name for that many puppies? Like especially when you get to the letter x or z, *boggles*

Then he described to me the layout of the rooms and what’s in them. *wows* a flat screen tv, really in the rooms and a fridge? All I’ll need is my keurig machine and I’ll be set, *chuckles*

Then we came to the fun part, the walk and the Juno walk.

Chuck decided he would have me do a route that I haven’t done in like over a year, *cries*

Somehow, I managed not to kill myself, but I did have one scary moment. I thought that I timed a crossing wrong, but *whew* I didn’t die and Chuck didn’t yell at me, so guess all is right with the world and that car was just eager to get moving.
I did ask Chuck if he’d fail me if I managed to somehow throw my cane under a train, ha! He just laughed at me.

*chuckles* he thinks I was kidding. I really would have, but then I wouldn’t have a way home, *sighs*

Anyways, on to the Juno part!

o Juno took me for a walk down the street and he was a good boy until he confused me.

*scratches head*

What the hell is up with the way GDB holds their leashes? I think that’s the strangest way I’ve ever seen. You just put the leash between your index finger and thumb and it just hangs there. I can so see myself getting beat up by instructors for not holding the leash that way or having my thumb in the right spot!

I’m so not use to holding the leash that way that somewhere along the way I stopped holding part of the darn thing and it was just flopping around, *grumbles and curses* Who came up with this method?

Anyways, on to walking again. so we’re cruising along and Juno decides to get distracted, *sighs* distractions while I’m trying to wrap my head around this leash thing. anyways, right distracted dog, new command for me to learn, *cheers*

Time out!

What, what’s that?

Oh, well, that’s a neat little command you don’t say anything just do a few leash hand switching and stand there. Eventually you’re dog will settle down. *whew* one would hope so. If not, well then guess you’ll be standing there a while. Wish I knew about this technique with Noah and squirrels, hahahahha!

Sorry Noah!

Oh yeah, must remember to food treat Juno he starts to get cranky, *whoops*

So after I put Juno in time out, he decides to be a good boy, off we go again, but damn he goes and gets distracted again. This time Juno needs a leash correction.

*whew* he didn’t yelp so I didn’t manage to correct him too hard, but I got his attention and off we go. U-turn back home.

All went well, Juno and I survived and once again Chuck didn’t yell at me, *smiles*

However, he did have to go and put a concern in my head, *sighs* figures. Nothing can ever go really smooth eh?

Well, GDB makes contacts with other schools that you went too and I DO NOT have a good relationship or respect for the Seeing Eye since my last dog from them. This concerns me cause I’d hate for this one bad incident with the Seeing Eye to damage my chances of getting a dog from GDB. The Seeing Eye screwed up and tried to place blame on me to keep the story very very short and I’d hate to pay for that years after the fact.

Other than that huge stressful issue I believe the visit went well and now I wait to see what happens. Will update again when I know something.

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