I think it has been about a week and a half since I have updated my blog regarding my guide dog training. It has been that busy coming home and sorting stuff out that I simply have not had the time to write an update.
So Pete and I spent the last few days of last week focusing on my routes around Lygon Street. Varek seems to be going quite well with the routes, but I still seem to have issues with encouraging and trusting him to make the right decision. As Pete says it is a work in progress. Therefore as it was coming towards the end of my formal class training, he has restricted me from working him at all by myself around Lygon Street until I see Marita in follow up.
On Wednesday afternoon Jordie came over as we were both free. She came over to GDV a few weeks earlier with Kaz. I thrive on one on one discussions, not groups. I found it cathartic to spend some time with somebody like that, who is a friend, and understands exactly what this is all about. When Jordie rang the doorbell nobody heard it as Jenny was over in the administration building and I had no idea where Christina was. So I answered the door and Jordie and I did the whole doggy meeting thing we learn in class. Basically the goal is to have the dogs settle down. So they need to meet on mutual territory. We got Varek and Rob to meet by touching noses and sniffing each other, then we made our way inside. Jordie left Rob in the office.
We were in the lounge for a while. Stef and Lisa came in with Jhaneen and offered for us to go with them to look at the Amsden Honour Garden. It is an amazing place and I did get a bit emotional reading all of the tributes handlers have left to their retired or passed guide dogs, who have faithfully guided them.
Jordie and I groomed Varek and then we got Rob and Varek settled in the TV room and we chatted in there.
Thursday night was our restaurant training coupled with a class dinner and a night walk! We went to The Harp of Erin Hotel in Kew East. Graeme and Jenny both came along as they were both part of the class in the first two weeks. Kaz, Graeme’s partner, was going to come along too. I was looking forward to that as we get on well and I did not have anybody coming along. Sometimes I find it a bit lonely not having a partner or significant other who is happy to come along to events like that. But it was bad weather on Thursday and GDV were not going to allow Kaz to stay overnight, even though it was fine for Graeme to stay. The excuse was something about insurance.
On Friday morning we were busy packing and saying our good byes to each other. It was a bit sad saying good bye to the people you have been basically living with for a month.
Pete and I took Varek down to give him a bath. Pete told me we were going through a room called the Meat Room, which is where they used to cut up the meat for the dogs, before they switched to commercially available dry food. They have a special room where the dogs go up a little staircase to a platform with sides where they stand to be bathed. Varek did not mind his bath at all. Pete showed me how to get the soap through his hair and avoid his head.
Then Pete drove me home with my stuff. He helped me bring it up to my apartment and then we went through the vet book and sorted out his food etc. We went for a walk again and Varek did well.
Aaron called and we decided I should go to Moe for the weekend so Aaron did not need to pick me up on Monday. I called Carol and she picked me up and drove to Moe. Along the way we let Varek do a wee. Mum brought Qesta out onto the nature strip so she could meet Varek. We went inside and Varek was very excited going from room to room to have a look. After about 15 minutes I settled him down on his bed in the kitchen.