May 22 2015

Do you get a thrill from being vindictive?

What makes people so vindictive and so willing to hurt others, especially those that have a connection with one another such as children? Do you get a thrill of knowing you know how to push just the right buttons to cause emotional pain to that person?

You have situations such as couples having a child together, all the family members and friends get along to some degree and things are going great. Then *bam* everything starts to fall apart and the couple is no longer a couple. Uh oh, what happens now?

Well, it’s definitely not the parents sit down as adults and work out how to raise their child and who does what when and how. No no, the father of the child has to bring up something that happened years ago that the mother did and clearly never forgave her for and starts to tell everyone how unfit she is to raise the child. The father then starts trying to take steps to cut the mother out of the child’s life, but also telling the mother of the child that he would do everything possible to make sure she gets to spend time with their child even though they aren’t together. Mixed signals much? Lets make matters even worse and now throw in the family members of the father of the child. Since the couple is no longer a couple then *hey* who cares about the mother of the child. You’re no longer with our son so we’ll just help try and keep our grandchild away from you.

Seriously are these people not thinking of the child? Is all that goes through their mind is how best to hurt the mother?

What about married couples that have children and things fall apart?

Sadly you get the same thing and sometimes even worse! Mothers that use their children as weapons to hurt the father by turning the child against their dad. They’ll tell them things like your dad doesn’t love us or want you and that’s why he left or you’re dad’s a bum and we don’t need him.

There’s cases where you see joint custody with the parents and the grandparents for whatever reasons, best interest of the parties involved at the time of the family dynamics falling apart that also can turn ugly. Life moves on, the parents mature and grow in their new situations and it’s time to explore outside of everyone’s comfort zone. *whoops* the grandparents don’t like this idea very much and start making up lies and twisting facts to try and prevent this from occurring.

Again I ask do the vindictive ones not stop and think of what harm they are causing? Do they really not care? Is it really all about them?

May 20 2015

First follow up visit from Leader Dogs

Whew, time definitely needs to slow down a little. How can I keep people up to date on things if time keeps getting in the way?

So last week Luna and I had our first follow up visit from Leader Dogs. I was a little nervous about it since Luna was definitely out of sorts work wise last week. I’m pretty sure it was due to the heat. she really hates it and man I surely don’t blame her, bleh!

So late Thursday afternoon early evening John, sorry don’t remember his last name, but not John Bertram came to see us. I was taking Luna outside when he showed up and ended up getting lucky that he got to see Luna in one of her dog distraction moments. Luckily it wasn’t one of her *super* distracted ones* but enough to give him an idea of what I deal with every once in a while.

Before we started the lesson I wanted to work on he showed me how to do the *touch* technique. He was pretty sure that Luna already knew it and he was right. As soon as John told me what to do and I tried it Luna hit it right on first time! I’ve heard of the technique before, but it isn’t anything we learned.

Psst, Jessica John says Leader should add this into the training!

Now, it’s route time.

Tim Hortons/Wendy’s route
The problem I was having with this particular route was that I didn’t understand why Luna was crossing the way she was and swerving more than she usually does. I wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong or if there was something that bothered her. Instead of continuing to work on it with the mobility instructor here that doesn’t let me know we’ve missed something until a few steps later like blended curbs or tell me that she’s way off where we need to be but not explain what she is seeing I figured getting someone from Leader would be much better and could give me the feedback I needed before and not after the fact and making things worse. Don’t get me wrong the mobility instructor here is totally awesome, but she isn’t quite grasping that the way Luna works is a lot different than my last dog and where Noah didn’t care that *whoops* I past that and she didn’t say so until 5 steps later, lets do it again. Luna is more like *oh no* what did I do wrong and *why* are we doing that again, didn’t I do it right the first time? And *why* is my human getting frustrated?

Ok, enough background, sorry for that. ☺️

Turns out that this route really is a weird crossing and will take some patterning her to *find the* areas instead of just find the curb. For example, I’ll have to work with her on *find the gap* instead of find the curb because at the curb is a manhole cover.

NEWS FLASH! Luna absolutely without a doubt seriously hates manhole covers. She will not step on them what so ever. This is feedback that I didn’t receive with regular mobility and couldn’t figure out. Every few steps on this route there are manhole covers. Sadly one of them is right in a straight line to the curb going to and coming from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s and Luna will go around them which causes us to go off track. But Luna being Luna once we’re past the horrible things all is right with the world and off we go.

Another crossing on this route from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s Luna will not make a straight crossing and John believes that it may be to her the cars are way too close for her liking and she tries really hard to keep me away from the traffic. He noticed she does this even when we’re walking down the sidewalk.

So, despite the fact my little pocket rocket didn’t go flying down the street like we usually do due to it being too warm for her the visit went great. I learned something new about Luna *manhole covers* are horrible! We now include *touch* in our daily routine.

I haven’t had a chance to see how the *touch* technique does when she’s seriously dog distracted, but I’m sure that time will come. Until then, see you at the next update!

May 11 2015

Luna and the pigeons

Hey, pssst, I got another funny tail to share with you. Are you ready? No, then hurry and put down that food or swallow that drink. I don’t need you to choke or something.

One of the funniest but nerve racking moments during training with Luna at Leader Dogs was the day when Luna picked up the name Luna the Terror and the following day when instead of my sweet dog back our class got an army of tormenting squirrels

Now, you have those moments fixed in your head, right? Good, lets take you back to present day!

Luna and the pigeons

It’s 6:30AM and it’s that time where I curse and grumble and let Luna drag me down the hall, in the elevator and outside for her to do her business wagging her tail the whole time. HMPH! Oh how I miss those mornings I could just kick her out the back door, lol.

I’m working on cruse control here. In the mornings we don’t have any problems with distractions or anything so me half there usually works.

Step out the apartment building

Pigeons, *coo coo*
Me, Holy cow there’s a lot of pigeons out here this morning!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*
luna, *wag wag wag* goes the tail. *bounce bounce bounce*
Me, Yeah, I don’t think so Luna lets keep moving.
Luna, But but mum all the moving toys for me! *spins around*
Me, *groans* This is not going to end well.
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*

I manage to get my infatuated pet away from the pigeon convention and over to her park area. Of course once they are out of sight they are out of mind and she happily does what she is suppose to and is ready for breakfast.

That pigeon had a death wish

I get a firm grip on my lovely four legged creature knowing what I have in store on the way back to the apartment doors.

Me, Ok, Luna inside and kindly leave the pigeons alone.
Luna, *pant pant pant* sure, whatever you say mum. Where’s my breakfast?
pigeons, *coo coo coo*
Luna, *wag wag wag* goes that tail
Me, Nope, leave it and lets keep moving!
Pigeon, *flies right at Luna’s face
Luna, oo a snack! *leaps forward*
Me, Shit! *nearly loses leash* Whoops, there goes that firm hold! Damn bird, no Luna, leave it!
Luna, mine mine mine!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo* sits on the rail in front of us now
Me, *curses*
Luna, walks calmly by the pigeon as if it’s not there wagging her tail. See mum I’m a good girl I left it!
Me, Why me?

I’m afraid to find out what’s the next animal we’ll encounter this month!

May 06 2015

snake distraction

Dogs, cats, birds, children and all the other typical things that may distract our furry little pals you expect to come across at some time throughout your day, but what about a snake?

Yes, you read that right. A snake!

A few days ago I took Luna out to do her business and she was doing her spin around in circle thing when all of a sudden she stops in mid-spin. i didn’t think anything was wrong then since she does that sometimes. She gets distracted by kids playing on the playground across the street or another dog may be outside in her line of sight and totally forgets what she is suppose to be doing. But this time was different. Before I could refocus her Luna *growls*

Um, what the heck! Luna never growls and this isn’t a nice friendly lets play growl. This is a low growl. Luna growls! I’m shocked.

I call her name to get her attention and she plants her feet and continues to growl.

I’m wondering what the hell is wrong since it’s definitely out of the norm and how the heck do I get Luna’s attention refocused on me when a guy finally decides to say, “oh, I have a snake here. Don’t worry I won’t come any closer.”

YIPES! A snake. I hate snakes! Who the hell cares that he wouldn’t come any closer…a freaken snake! This is just great. Luna’s pissed and refuses to move and there’s a snake! This is something I definitely didn’t learn about at Leader Dogs. I think Jessica forgot that part of my training. I want my money back, lol.

Apparently firm tones and tugging her another way with the leash wasn’t doing the trick so I didn’t even bother trying that again. Besides, I wanted away from that snake!

Me, picks Luna up and quickly carries her over to another patch of grass not far away.
Luna, *growl, snort, yip*
Me, whoops, sorry didn’t mean to squeeze that hard
Luna, *snorts* and ignores me after I put her down and pees on my shoe
Me, *groans* Luna! Did you have to pee on my shoe?
Luna, *grumbles* and walks to the sidewalk to go back inside.

Can we kindly *not* have this distraction again?

Apr 01 2015

Remembering Prince Noah

Warning, this is a long post and for those receiving this via email there is a video. Sorry so far I still haven’t found something that allows videos to play in the email version.

April 1, 2014 was a day I will never forget. It was the day my previous guide, my white golden Prince Noah was put to sleep. Today marks the first full year without him and thanks to my new best furry pal Luna it’s not as bad as it could have been.

I received Noah shortly after I moved to Ottawa from Canadian Guide dogs and boy was he *huge* I remember when I got him wondering how in the world this big dog would fit anywhere, but he did! He could curl up into the smallest ball that shocked me even at times.

I sadly didn’t get to write much about Prince Noah and his funny ways because I didn’t start writing until August 2012 so missed out on some great memories.

But I’m so glad I have ones like telling Noah not to dance and most certainly the very first time I decided to dance with him

A great shout Sister Choir story:
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!

Unlike my current stubborn mutt Luna who would just grumble and snort at me if I had the nerve to leave her at home the vindictive Prince Noah got his revenge! Oh yes, he would find things to run me into like *huge* snow piles or *big* cold puddles of water to make me walk through and he’d be wagging his tail the whole time!

i remember during training Tim our trainer and I trying really hard one lesson to get Noah to not jump over or walk around a puddle, but he was having none of it. He refused to get wet if he could help it, lol.

Here is how Prince Noah got the title of Prince:
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.

On March 14 our partnership abruptly came to an end and then I had no idea how I would recover. To this day I still wish I could have made it all better and i panic if Luna seems even slightly out of tune. That part will probably never change, the worrying and wondering what if or could I have.

April 1 will always be a day to remember and a day of celebration!

Prince Noah
may 13, 2009 to April 1, 2014

Apr 01 2015

Happy birthday LD luna Moon!

I think one of the worse days to have a birthday is on April Fools Day even for a dog, but that’s what today is for my little pocket rocket!

Luna is now 2 years old and she had to spend part of it working. Isn’t that horrible?To make it even worse is she had to sit through Anatomy and Physiology. Oh the horror! Today she made sure that she got all sorts of attention by giving everyone big sad puppy eyes until they gave in and asked if they could pet her, lol. My girl is too smart for her own good!

Today was pretty rough for me as well, but this galloping bundle of joy still brought a smile to my face.

To her sibling that hopefully made it to a great working dog like her, happy birthday to you too!

Mar 20 2015

Is a guide dog still right for you?

Warning, this will be a long post.

Recently a person wrote a blog entry stating why having a guide dog is a terrible idea
and caused quite a stir.

Having a guide dog is not for everyone, but unless the person is a totally idiot to animals I will never tell them that having a dog is a terrible idea. Just for the record there is only *one* person that I would tell that they just aren’t right for a dog and that’s only cause they have some serious growing up to do and I’ve seen how they treated previous dogs, but anyways.

just like choosing a school to get your dog from, the choice of getting one is an individual thing. you should never ever base it on what others say, think or feel. It’s not up to them! Just because a dog works for your best friend and everyone tells you that you should get one, *does not* mean it is what’s right for you! If your friend had a dog before, but it didn’t work out, why? Was it because of their lifestyle, family and friends getting in the way, the school gave them a bad match/ if so, that doesn’t mean that *you* would have the same experience. Choosing to get a dog should be something you research, ask all sorts of questions, figure out if you can afford it, can you handle the responsibility of caring for a dog? Are you strong enough to deal with the public, tis includes your family and friends when it comes to standing up for you and your dog in what’s best?

In the blog entry I directed you to at the top of this post i found their 5 reasons rather interesting about why having a dog is a terrible idea. Here are my thoughts.

1. expensive
Yes, caring for a guide dog can be expensive. I recently had to buy Luna some more heart guard and man that stuff is definitely not cheap! But I know that either every 3 or 6 months depending on how many I choose to buy at the time I know that’s something I know I have to budget for. The only time that I want to cry is when something happens that I didn’t plan for like those unplanned vet visits.
This person also wrote that you must buy better than average dog food and that’s not true. You don’t have to feed your dog what’s outside your range of what you feel like spending. All schools feed either Purina *yuck* Iams, Natural Balance, Science Diet and so on. I choose not to go this route and buy Fromms for Luna. The most expensive bag for her is over 100, but that’s my choice and not something you have to do. You can stick with the food the school already feeds the dog or shop around and see what fits your budget and still keeps your dog healthy.

2. inconvenient
The things mentioned under this section I see as sacrifices. Look at what the dog does for you? They help you travel safely, enhance your mobility or hell for some people their mobility is bette with a dog than it was with a cane.
Yes, it is definitely a pain when sick and you are probably the only one to care for your dog and you wish you could just curl up in a ball and sleep until the world is right again, but unless you’re sick 365 days a year then what’s a little sacrifice?
Inconvenient in finding a trash can. Simple, train your dog to find one and have a party when they do, especially if they happen to poop near one. that’s what I did with Luna. Well, and if that doesn’t work, well there’s probably a washroom around somewhere, right?
The other big thing that new or even some old guide dog handlers are concerned about is time. For me it was never an issue since hell I don’t sleep much anyways so Luna’s schedule is pretty much the same as what it was during guide dog training time at Leader. Except on the weekends. Then I adjust the schedule a few hours. The latest she’ll let me slide is 8AM. after that I definitely have the howling going on. But I know a guide dog user that doesn’t have her dog on a schedule at all. for me that would be more nerve racking because you never know exactly when your dog has to go, but it works for that team. i know another person that for whatever reason their dog can’t hold water and they have to go out like every hour or so. It’s all about finding out what works for you and your dog in the end and what you are willing or not willing to sacrifice.

3. time consuming
Hmm, this one I just don’t see as a reason for not getting a dog. Hell if I don’t want to go out, we don’t. simple as that. I take my dog out to do her thing and we come back in and do whatever in the house. As much as she loves to work, play time is just as important in having a guide dog. They need the down time and love and attention just as much as they need the work. Here is when it’s very important you let the school know what your lifestyle is like. If you’re a person that just doesn’t like to get out much, then let them know. There’s dogs out there that are trained to just be easy going and walk with you from the corner store and back home. Then there’s ones like mine that has to go go go like I do! Time, effort and energy is top of the list for things you should consider when thing of getting a dog.

4. unwelcome attention
Another one where I don’t thing the wording fits, but that’s just me. It’s no more unwelcome attention than having people stare at you cause you’re going sighted guide or cruising down the street with your cane and people run over and grab your arm insisting they must help you cross the street that you really didn’t want to cross in the first place. The sighted public is a problem no matter if you have a dog or not!
Dog hair. Well, you’ll have that anyways if you have family and friends that have dogs, so what’s the difference? Sadly there’s nothing you can do about this problem if you choose to get a dog. Grooming your dog daily will keep down on the hair, but some will still magically show up on your clothes. I think lab hair is the worse, lol. My suggestion for this is invest in great grooming tools like the zoom groom or do what I did with my last dog and drag out the vacuum, hahahah.
Time for that sense of humour because your dog will get noticed way more than you will. He or she will be the star of the show and 9 times out of 10 will be spoken to before you. If you’re the serious type then all you do is say hello to the person like they spoke to you and keep on going about your day.

5. dirty work
Ha, now this section was my favourite. It most certainly is dirty work. Nothing like cleaning up after your dog. For those of you that have kids like I do it may not be a big deal. We had to change diapers, right? No different. Just grab a bag, hope it doesn’t have a hole in it *gags* and there you go! Now for those hard to clean up times one guide dog user said they have a water bottle with them and they just dump the water over it and washes it away best they can. Hmm, not a bad idea. Luckily Luna hasn’t had this problem in a while, but definitely something I’ll keep in mind.

These reasons aren’t so bad after all right? It’s all in how a person voices them and their reason behind saying why a guide dog is terrible. Just something you need to keep in mind when making that decision. Do you want a dog? Do you want to go through all this again if you’ve had a dog before? Hmm, maybe consider a different school?

Luna is my best friend and having a dog is part of me. A choice I have never regretted since dog number 1!

Mar 11 2015

despite being blind

I don’t think I have ever seen a blind or visually impaired person ever write this line until now. That being me of course, lol.

*Despite being blind or visually impaired*

So to you sighted ones out there, do you ever stop to think how this sounds or how it makes us feel? Did you ever stop and think that maybe you’re also putting people down by saying “despite being blind” they can do this, why can’t you? How about those that do things that don’t have a disability?

Have some examples:
1. Despite being blind I went skydiving! Man it was a total rush. Nothing like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
Oh crap! That 99 year old guy just jumped out of an airplane right after me! Now that is freaken impressive. I always say that I can’t see the ground coming at me so what do I care. That makes the jump loads more thrilling, but whew jumping at 99, I don’t know! I think I’d have a heart attack before reaching the ground. The 99 year old guy didn’t of course and just like me he wanted to jump again, lol. Go figure!

2. Despite being blind I got married and had kids.
Oh wait, so did my deaf cousin and she has 1 more kid than I do. Now how fair is that? I mean I can’t get my third no matter how hard I try. It’s a conspiracy! Well and that marriage…well, I probably should have stayed away from that too, but then I wouldn’t have my adorable princess. Ah well, can’t win them all.

3. Despite being blind I’m going to school to make something of myself. Well, sadly I’m going to school cause I really have no choice. Everybody and their uncle wants things on paper these days. Just FYI, books smarts is no where close to personal experience in some cases.
Also, I’m no better than the person in a wheel chair that was a roommate of mine that is going to school to become a lawyer. Whew, more power to her! I don’t think i can take that much of school without wanting to pull my hair out.

4. Despite being blind joe from California started his own business to support his family. Seriously, what does his blindness have to do with him starting his own business?
A sighted person from the UK, deaf person from Canada or an one armed person from Alaska could do the same thing. Maybe the specialty is blind/low vision related and therefore Joe is better in this particular field, but anyone can start up their own business in the field they love and have plenty of knowledge in.

5. Despite being blind you know how to cook?
Um yeah cause if I don’t I’ll either go broke from ordering out all the time or die from food poisoning if I let James anywhere near the stove even to boil water and he’s blind too! I don’t think our insurance covers him setting the place on fire from trying to cook. Too bad!

So see, not *all* blind/visually impaired people are the same. We aren’t all dare devils, we don’t have goals of owning our own business, we don’t all know how to cook and hell we aren’t all helpless either, but just like the non-disabled we do what has to be done to enjoy life! So how about trying some other line for a change besides “despite being blind or visually impaired” when you’re writing about us. I’m sure there’s plenty out there!

But wait, maybe there is something we can teach you sighted dog handlers!

6. Despite being blind you clean up after your dog?
Well duh! I mean I know I don’t want to have to accidentally step in it the next time I take my dog out *gross* Nothing like getting dog crap all over your shoes when you’re running late for work or school or who knows what. Or even worse, finding that lovely surprise without any shoes on! What a way to make your day, right?

Mar 01 2015

Hard work pays with super impress me results!

I am so extremely proud of the team luna and I have become. We have not quite reached the 6 month mark but yesterday showed me that I must be doing something right.

Everyone has either heard me talk about how good Luna is or seen it on videos of how she is at choir shows, but during those times she’s not really working, meaning there’s no harness on her then. I’m extremely proud that she is very well-behaved during those times. However yesterday takes the cake for being in harness!

I do obedience with luna a few times throughout the day, some off leash and some with the leash and she does a good job with lots of snorts and grumbles at me. Especially when I decide to do some at meal time. Man, she really hates me then, lol. One of the things I work on only at home because it’s a controlled environment is not holding her leash and giving her commands, sit, down, come and stay. Stay is the biggest one I work on since she does the others with no problems what so ever. The longest i’ve gotten her to stay without me near her is 5 minutes. Not bad!

Now that you got that little background, here’s the story.

Yesterday was an open house at International Academy which is the school I attend for Massage training. I wasn’t too sure at first if I would take Luna because I knew that I at the very least would want to get a mini massage and I wasn’t sure where I would put her. In the end of course she came with me. Ha, she would have had a cow if I would have left without her, lol.

I’ve already had one classmate tell me that she didn’t even notice I had a dog and she sits right next to me, smiles. Shows how good my girl is. Not a peep out of her. That’s definitely the way I like it.

Anyways, off track, sorry!

Luna was on her best behavior the moment we got there. When I stopped to talk to instructors or staff or students she either stood quietly by my side or she sat down. I gave her verbal praise for that.

Here’s the start of when Luna impressed even me!

I decided to get my mini massage and I had Luna sit out of the way under the table and told her to stay. I had no idea how well this was going to work since the student therapist has to move around and possibly step very close to her. This was not a controlled environment. it is a big open room with people coming in and going out. Clients getting on tables and chairs and student therapists moving around. So nerve city!

I told Luna to stay once more and I climbed on the table. For the whole 15 minutes Luna did not move a muscle! The person giving me the massage told me that she had her head laying on the little ledge under the table watching the room and that was it. she didn’t even move when the student stepped close to her. I of course was shocked! 15 minutes Luna did not get up once! She waited until I stood up before she got up. I praised her like mad and gave her treats of course. That was worthy of a party! Never ever have I gotten her to stay still at home that long. Yay Luna!

For that test only students and some staff knew she was there and Luna was praised loads from them as well.

Test 2
I decided well lets try again and see how things go because I wanted to try out reflexology. something I never had done before. This time there were some from the general public in the room and of course everyone says how cute and well-behaved she is. *beams* of course, that’s my girl!

This time I’m in a chair so she can see me and I’m pretty close to the ground in this chair. So once again I’m a little nervous cause I started a bad habit at home, but shhhhh don’t tell Jessica my trainer, lol. At home there’s a rocking chair that I sit in and Luna loves to jump in my lap and sit up there with me. see where I’m going with this? *chuckles* So yeah was a little afraid that once I sat down I’d have a dog in my lap.

Luna showed me once again that she knows when to show her good side, lol. She checked out what the student therapist was doing, figured it was safe and I wasn’t dying and she laid on the floor next to my chair. I didn’t pay any attention to her at all until I heard this from a client in the next chair, “that dog hasn’t moved at all since they sat down.”

I reached over and sure enough Luna was laying nicely by the chair. She lifted her head and wagged her tail when I touched her, but when she saw we weren’t moving, she laid back down. she did not get up until I stood up. Once again another 15 minutes of me not holding on to her she showed that she could stay still. But in this one there was an added test. The client that said she hadn’t moved walked over to her when he was done with his session and wanted to pet her. Because it was a first time in public with me not holding on to her I didn’t want it to turn into failure so I told him that she was working and he was fine with that and waited. He was very close to her partly kneeling in front of her and again, she did not move! So for the second time she got a super praise party.

The third time was pretty much like the second time except she was sitting under my chair instead, but the result was the same. Luna did not move for 15 minutes. She waited until I stood up or reached for her leash!

I am so proud of my girl! I was afraid to try it because of the result I get at home, but I guess that when she’s in harness she will surprise even me and shine bright! Three 15 minute sessions and she was absolutely *terrific*

Also I got lots of comments about how mature she is and loads of surprise when I said she’s not even 2 yet. When luna has her harness on she is night and day. A holy terror when not working, but super impress me dog when that harness is on.

Thank you Leader Dogs for such an awesome girl! I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.

Feb 24 2015

The Day My Life Changed

This is one of those rare moments that I take the time to write something very personal about me. So hold on to your hats!

I get asked a lot about how I lost my sight and the group it has the most impact on are young school aged children. This is not a story to engender pity, but to educate, to drive home that tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere.

As a child we always think nothing bad can happen to us. We go through life thinking that anything bad will happen to everyone else and that there are no consequences to our actions.

I remember the age of when my life changed forever! I was 12 years old when my world was turned upside down. A teenage boy was dared by another teenager to push me off the top of a slide. One of the very tall twisty ones. During this time slides were on concrete and not soft sand. There was no where for me to go. I heard the dare, flying through the air and then waking up in the hospital.

I woke up strapped down in a hospital bed and everything was black. I panicked! I called out and no one answered for at least 5 minutes. When they finally did I was told what happened, that I had patches on my eyes and was strapped down so that I wouldn’t try and take the patches off. Of course this just made me more upset and I panicked even harder.

For a long time after that event I was severely depressed. I had no idea how I would cope. For me my life was over! Thanks to 2 very good friends of mine I was made to see that I could still do all the things I loved. I just had to find another way of doing them!

As you can see my story was not an accident, but done on purpose. Maybe that boy didn’t know how bad things would turn out, but he had to know what he was doing was wrong somewhere. All the times adults say “don’t rough house in the playground” is for a good reason.

Tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere!

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