Aug 18 2014

My summer experience at Carleton University

Well, today ended my first summer at Carleton University

My first class was Childhood in the Global Context and did not go as well. The instructor was not a great teacher in my opinion or from the opinions of many in my class. She may have knowledge of her subject, but teaching and getting students to understand needs work. She definitely lost points with me when she ignored the fact that I was blind and didn’t make any effort to make sure I even remotely understood the corse content. Her and her assistant constantly addressed those that were visual learners.

So, before the class was even halfway over I didn’t wish to be in the class any longer which was too bad since the topics looked interesting if taught better. I was seriously thinking that attending Carleton was a very bad move on my part.

Then came my second class Ottawa, Exploring National Institutions. After the horrible experience of my first class I didn’t go in thinking things would go well either.

The class definitely had lots of visual aspects, but still turned out to be a pretty good class. I’m not one that goes for government and politics and all that, but I love history so I really did come away from this class knowing more than when I went in. The best thing was my instructor for this class also had a disability and taught the class a more like a conversational class. He stated that he wanted to try and teach us in a way that would interest us and not be boring.

He was also more willing to work with me when it came to exam time since our ADD symptoms are pretty close. He didn’t give me a different exam, but gave me an oral one. It was no different from the other students and he didn’t give any more than what he may have done for the rest of the class. Well, except for the fact we had Starbucks first, *smiles*

Now don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like summer classes. They are definitely too intense for me and doesn’t give room for if something goes wrong or if disability services fall behind, go on vacation or anything like that. So now to the fall and what they may bring.

Aug 14 2014

Strange questions guide dog handlers get asked


Now here is another great topic that just has to be a blog entry. I hope you enjoy!

How does the dog know which color of clothes to help the handler get dressed.

How does he know how to cross the street.

How the guide dog drove the car….

The ever popular is that one of those blind dogs?

If my dog could cook other cuisines?

Do I use shoe polish to keep my dog black?

Where do I rent my guide dog?

How does she help me tie my shoes?

How did I teach her to telepathically to talk to me? 3 hours ago

“Does your dog get to go home with you at night?”

“are you training him?”

“does he know any tricks?”

“do you play with him at home?

Do you get to pet him?”

“what is your dog plugged in to?”

how does my dog know colors,

if my dog know when the street lights changes color.

Does your dog tell you where to go?

Is your dog imn training? Can’t your dog just take you anywhere you want to go like to the cafĂ© for example?

Aug 14 2014

One month to go!

Time flies when you’re having fun, so it you don’t mind time…go just a bit faster!!!

Yesterday was suppose to be my last day for my summer class at Carleton University but noooo, I had to miss it thanks to some pissed off skunks, yes you heard me, skunks under our porch! I don’t think it would have been cool going to class smelling like a skunk or 3, do you? The smell in the house alone was horrible and has lasted for hours. Seriously, I know I always joked about wanting a pet skunk, but *whew* this is over kill…or more like over stinky!

So, except for the final I have to do on Monday I’m all done with school until September. I’ll have exactly 1 week of classes and then I’m off to the most exciting part of getting my new furry friend from Leader Dogs So if you haven’t subscribe to my blog yet via email, then get to it if you don’t want to miss any and all updates I make regarding my experience with a new school, getting my new puppy and so much more! September will be the month that gets the most post. Unlike when I got my awesome golden Noah, I have a blog this time to put down just about everything. So, subscribe now!

cane under train in one month!

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*

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!

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.

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.


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*

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