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|Tuesday, August 15th, 2006|
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So I've finally decided to post an audio file of Here With Me, very much against my better judgment. Although Christina and I recorded a bunch of takes of the song, none came out even remotely close to being perfect. All--and I do mean all--of them contain maniacal laughter, enraged shouting when we messed up, groaning guitars, cracking voices, chewing, gulping, gargling, giggling, etc. I could make some poor fool glean the good parts from the files and piece together a practically perfect product, but that's just tedious. So I listened to all the files and picked out the Top Three, and then counted up the Pluses (good points) and Minuses (bad points) I could find for each file, and this one won. It was one of the files we recorded toward the end of class, after four long days of practicing. This makes sense, as, by then, the song was memorized, with a strong foundation, giving us room to improvize and become involved in the lyrics. Since I am supposed to belt in three places during the song, my voice was completely shot by this time, and was pretty much shot for Grad, too, but all the fun I had creating the song was worth it. Anyway, with the forewarning that this is NOT my best singing, this is NOT my best composure, and this is NOT a professional recording, I give you Here With Me, which is on a YouSendIt link until I track down my Boss, and put it somewhere on his server.http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=A4B5189B0DFED1FF
In case you care, here is this file's Score Card.( My Thoughts On This TakeCollapse )
|Sunday, July 30th, 2006|
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Time: 10:17 PM
Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Various Files From My Desktop
In My Room
Today was great! Just awesome.
It's so weird and great being home. I've forgotten just how low the toilet is (my feet actually touch the ground). I've forgotten how nice real computer speakers sound, and how swift my home DSL connection is. I'd forgotten how gentle the shower's spray was.
I received calls from
and I also got a sweet voicemail from
and Esquire are doing well. Esquire had the runs, I think, but Lannie's stools were a little soft, too, and they're all just a little nervous, ya know?
Anyway, I spent most of the day just lying with Lannie, petting him and taking him out to play and relieve. I read my Guide Dogs literature and listened to the Home With Your Guide Dog cassette. Lannie continued to pee and poop on the grass, but my parents seem to be experiencing quite a bit of relaxation about this. Sure, they hose it down after every time, but that's their prerogative. I would do it myself, if I saw a single iota of practicality in it, but I can't seem to determine any. There's no more odor on grass than on concrete, and some people claim that grass harbors even less of an odor. My parents were also a bit weird about Lannie's refusing to drink water when the water bowl was in the little stand my Mom bought. He'll eat food from it, but not drink.
"He's used to drinking and eating on the floor," I said. "It's all about consistency," I continued to preach, sounding like an instructor, even to my own ears.
"He'll learn, you can retrain him," they said, like I was a child.
"I don't need to. He can do what he wants."
My parents are also already saying, "He sheds so much," and my dad ran the dustbuster around the kitchen. They are seriously so anal. I'm all about being tidy and stuff, but come freaking on. But no, they're being very good to Lannie. Too good. They pet him lavishly, and kiss him and love him. Courtney, too. They're pretty good about stopping when I ask, but Courtney is already quite attached.
This afternoon, I took Lannie for a spin around several blocks. I have decided that my neighborhood is weird. The sidewalks are very narrow, and provide very few landmarks. But I knew where I was going, and my mom, who wanted to come along, was very impressed with Lannie's work. Unfortunately, he pooped on route, but that was partly my fault. After he had peed before the route, he had headed toward the door, and signified that he was done. I should have ignored this and kept him out longer, but I figured he knew what he was doing, and so I let it pass. As aforesaid, his stools were big, but a little mushy. Thank God I was smart and brought along a bag. The cool thing was that I totally knew Lannie was going to poo, because he kept diving to the left into the brush. "He's going to poo, I know it," I said to Mom, who was behind my left shoulder, as I had instructed.
"He's not," she countered. But Lannie kept diving in and out, and eventually, he pooed. I was sort of proud of myself for knowing he was going to, heh. Loser.
We had a barbecue, and it was quite good. My appetite is slowly returning, as it did at GDB. I had no breakfast, and a small half-sandwich for Lunch.
I talked to my grandparents, and spent the rest of the night cuddling with Lannie and reading the friends page. Oh, I also groomed Lannie and brushed his teeth. My parents watched me and took pictures of me grooming. Honestly, I wonder when this ... I can't think of the word ... this fixation with the New Dog will cease. But I still do everything myself. Courtney is infatuated with Lannie. She was eating Fruit Snacks on my bed, and was all gleeful because Lannie just watched and didn't try to get them. Then she was yammering on about how guide dogs are like slaves, and how we're keeping them from having nice lives. Now, this is a reasonable thing to assume, but it's not true. Not only do the dogs like their work, but we handlers love them and play with them and feed them and groom them and keep them happy. In a way, guide dogs and their handlers are closer than regular pet dogs and their owner could ever be. Maybe this sounds arrogant or something, but honestly. Because you're both a part of this relationship. A pet dog gives love, and that's tremendous within itself, but a guide dog gives freedom and independence and safety and security, and oh my gosh I'm writing Here With Me all over again, but yeah. Uh. So I basically love Lannie.
for their congratulations in their LJ's. Congrats go to Heather and her new guide Bibby, and to
and her new guide, Paula. Also, to my knowledge,
is at GDF with a new guide named Laser, or Louie.
are all thinking of going to GDB.
Nna fot home safe; she wrote to the GDB list.
Jason is a meanie-butt because he made the Directory into an XLS file, and I don't have Office. Bad Jasey.
I am now a Teen Mother. Everyone at GDB called me that, but I neglected to write about it.
Tomorrow I am going to the dentist, which will be an adventure for Lannie. We were told to work them right away, but to do smaller routes and then work up to big ones. This may sound stupid, but I can't wait to get back to school. It will hold some much opportunity for Lannie to work, and it will certainly be a challenge for both of us, in many ways. Advocacy, navigation and assertiveness will all be prevalent issues at school, that's certainly definite. (Is certainly definite an okay thing to say? it seems kind of ... redundant? whatever.) But anyway, I'm actually hoping to do some shopping in the near future, so Lannie can practice navigating in buildings, and also maybe go to the city again, because Lannie loves it so much, and I do, too. I wanna take him on Bart, too, before school starts. In short, I don't want every day to be like today, where we just do a little guide work. I want him to have fun, be challenged and be driven to do what he was made to do: guide, and be himself. He did beautifully on the route today, for a first timer: sure, he veered in some crossings, and was a little tentative and sniffy--but he was not phased by a barking dog, he didn't run me into everything, his clearances were faultless.
Enough rambling for today. I'll catch up on comments soon. Whoever invented Spam needs to go jump in the relieving circle face first before the shovels have been utilized. Yay.
Ooh, and Lannie's Flexy is weird. It's ... short. Ish. But it's like 16 feet. But it seems short. Maybe I'm missing something. But now he's, like, scared of it. Well, not really, since he never liked it much anyway. Ah well, he'll play in time. Must get him a tug rope.
Ooh, and Jacque sent me more pics.
And Ronit is coming to Cali.
|Saturday, July 29th, 2006|
Today was amazing. Tiring, hard, emotionally crazy, but amazing.
It started at 6:00 AM. I let myself sleep late. I fed and watered and relieved, and then ate breakfast. I didn't feel nervous, but I could hardly eat anything. The rest of the afternoon was a blur; I got dressed, talked to Sam and Kaitlyn and my parents, ate a little of my grilled cheese, and then I was introduced to Jeannette and Patty, two raisers from the same club as Jacque. Jeannette is basically his secondary raiser. Lannie went mad to see her; I've never seen him so excited. He was wagging and being insane. He gets like this for Heather, too, actually. Anyway, it was beyond precious. We talked about how amazing he is, and I got a little photo album of him as a puppy. Then, after awhile, the ceremony began. I can't even begin to describe it. The weather was beautiful. Seeing the raisers with their eogs again was beautiful. Hearing all the speeches was beautiful. The atmosphere of support and love was beautiful. The most beautiful part, of course, was when Jeannette handed me my leash, and I felt that Lannie was now mine. My speech sucked, my own mother said it was boring, but what do I care? I was shy, unsure, I had to thank my sponsors, I was trying to be mature, serious and brief, like they told us to be. After everyone's speeches were done, Christina and I sang. It was far from our best performance, but everyone seemed to like it. I have a bunch of recordings of the song, but none is perfect. Whatever, I'll upload one. I'll paste the lyrics here, though. I wrote these, with Christina's input.
HERE WITH ME
Lyrics Written By
Music Written By
The sun is shining down on me,
Falling on my face.
I take a breath, and check to see
That he's in his place.
I raise my hand,
Give my command,
And sail toward the door;
And as I stand,
To cross the land,
I gain a little more.
The beauty of the night air, pouring through my veins.
Security to walk tall, and bravery that reigns.
The way the ground rolls by me, smooth under my feet,
And the feeling of great joy, as we cross the street.
It's all full of confusion,
Is this an illusion?
It isn't, it can't be,
He's really, truly here, with me.
Her face is shining up at me,
Leaning on my hand.
I know I'm safe, I know I'm free,
Now I understand.
I raise my hand,
Give my command,
And we are on our way;
And as I stand,
To cross the land,
I feel alive today.
The beauty of the night air, pouring through my veins.
Security to walk tall, and bravery that reigns.
The way the ground rolls by me, smooth under my feet,
And the feeling of great joy, as we cross the street.
It's all full of confusion,
Is this an illusion?
It isn't, it can't be,
She's really, truly here ...
We are held together by a bond that's made of steel.
We live for each other, and the love that we both feel.
I'm stronger, happier, when he walks by me,
'Cause he's the eyes that show me
The things I cannot see.
I raise my hand,
Give my command,
And sail toward the door;
And as I stand,
To cross the land,
I know what I live for:
The beauty of the night air, pouring through my veins.
Security to walk tall, and bravery that reigns.
The way the ground rolls by me, smooth under my feet,
And the feeling of great joy, as we cross the street.
It's all full of confusion,
Is this an illusion?
It isn't, it can't be,
He's really, truly here, with me.
The sun is shining down on me,
Falling on my face.
Yeah. Twas fun.
After the ceremony, I was descended upon by people who had come to see me. It was awesome to see them all: Grandma, Grandpa, Deborah K, my piano teacher from the past, Chris (Christina) L, my Aunt Linda and Mark, my parents and sister, a friend of Mae's, friends of Alison M and her mother who had come but had to leave early, Melanie P and her mother, Derek and his family, the instructors and trainers, Terry B, Jeannette and Patty, etc. It was great to see them all there, admiring Lannie and saying that the song was good, laughing about the funny parts of the ceremony, and just having a good time. (Kelsea W is a puppy raiser now. I went to kindergarten with her. How funny is that? Plus, Pete bought me my box of chocolates, and Heather called me Little C when she led me up, which is sooo cool! I tried to get people to call me that for awhile, but no one would. Derek's speech was amazing, and apparently he was smiling hugely and looked simply overjoyed.) Many pictures were taken, and many hugs and pets were exchanged. Eventually, I managed to take Lannie out to the Relieving Circle, but the people just kept coming and saying hi's and goodbye's. This is why I would never, ever want to be a celebrity. You never have a moment of peace. I loved that everyone was there, but Lannie really needed to breathe.
Then came the goodbyes. I hugged Darren goodbye, and he kissed Lannie goodbye. I said goodbye to Heather a ton of times. I love all the instructors deeply, but I feel a special kinship to Heather and Darren, because they know Lannie best, and he loves them best. I almost cried when I said goodbye to both of them, and when they parted with Lannie. He'd never be the dog he is today without them. Then I said goodbye's to the students. I felt horrible by that point. The graduation high was totally gone. I felt like I did when I first got to GDB--alone, sad, and like the people I loved were being taken away. There was no more eagerness about coming home, only an emptiness. GDB was my family, and I was leaving it. Sure, I was dying to be back with my family, but these people were my family. They cared for me and took me in.
Anyway, I got out of there. I was exhausted, and fell asleep part of the way home. I was worried that Lannie was uncomfortable and I kept petting him. Once home, I let him explore. It felt amazing to have a dog in the house. I took him upstairs, after giving him some water, and then he just sacked out like always, on his little mat from GDB. It felt so good to be home, with a refreshing breeze at the window. The rug was inviting. I curled up next to Lannie, and hugged and petted him. Then I turned so that I was back to back with him, and we just lay there. I wasn't bored just lying there, because it was like we were having a conversation without words. We were relaxing, settling into this new life together. We were bonding in a way that could only be done in our permanent home. He was so warm and still, lying there with me beside the bed, that I felt as though I could stay there forever. My parents and sister kept drifting into pet him, and he was already obsessed with them, but this only worried me a little.
I took him out to relieve after the water, but he didn't go. After dinner (I ate about two bites ... I'm still a nervous wreck about bringing him home, I guess, even though I can't feel it), I lay with Lannie more, and petted him. At 10:00, I took him out to relieve. I spent literally a half hour walking him in circles on the cement begging him to go. I even asked my mom to huide me around the block so he could heel and pee somewh else. I couldn't just work him around myself because they can't pee in harness. I mean, they can, but they aren't allowed to, and it'll send the wrong message. Finally, I begged to take him on the grass. "He went on the cement at school," my mom said.
"But the grass is easier, and he's not going," I argued.
"Okay, but you'll have to train him out of it."
I took Lannie onto the grass. Not only did he go, but he went in about three seconds, and he went about a gallon. He sure did not like our cement. Maybe he was nervous, or maybe it just was uninteresting or unappetizing. My mom hosed down the grass, like the anal person she is. I told her that not only did Lannie earn the privilege to pee on the grass, but he earned the privilege to rip it all up, as far as I was concerned. He could have anything he wanted, in my eyes. Maybe that sounds like I spoil him, but honestly. Think of all he does for me. The least he should get is the ability to pee on grass if that's what he wants. Sometimes people need to get their freaking priorities freaking straight. Yeah, I'm tired and in a bad mood about the grass, but otherwise, things are great. He seems very comfortable, and relaxed. My dad has been staring at him for the past half hour. He still is right now. I just looked over at him, and he laughed and patted my knee. He calls Lannie "Dog" and "Animal." Those are his affectionate names. And he has already kissed him. Courtney has let him into her room. He is totally in everyone's hearts.
Peace for tonight! I'll keep updatingcaitlin_gdb
for awhile, by the way. But when I stop updating it regularly, just readcaitlin45
which I will still totally update every day.
Thank you to everyone at GDB, essecially any instructors who are reading this. I know Heather said she was going to.
|Friday, July 28th, 2006|
This is the last night at GDB. I seriously cannot explain the scariness of how the time flew.
First thing's first; I have a lot of catching up to do, but a lot of people have asked me for a list of my classmates and their dogs' names, so here goes.
Regular Class (in no particular order)
Jason: Gregor (AKA Greg and Greg-Or)
Emil: Abba (AKA Abba Zabba, Abbey, etc)
Joe: Gillis (AKA Gilly, Gill, Gills, etc)
Me: Lancaster (AKA Lannie, Lans, Lanners, Lannie Caster, Caster, The Caster, The Lan Man, The Lan Meister, The Lannerator, The Lan Monster, Lance, Lannikins, etc)
Derek: Esquire (AKA Essie Qui Qui, if you're me)
Anne: Gazelle (AKA Gazella Bella)
Bonnie: Fabio (AKA Fobbo, Fobbo Wobbo, Fob, Fobs, Fobberator, Fobbers, Fob Wob, Fobster, Flobbio, etc)
Dorianne: Yvette (AKA Yvettie Bettie Spaghetti, Retzgala, Vetzgala Mamala Tatala, etc etc)
Maria: Pawnee (AKA Pawn Pawn)
Christina: Prize (AKA Prizey, Prizelet, Pocket Prize, etc)
Kimie: Agatha (AKA Aggie)
Cindy: Anders (AKA Andews, like when you can't say your r's as a little kid)
Retrains (also in no particular order)
Michelle: Garvey (AKA Garve)
Holly: Pollyann (AKA Pocket Pollyann, Pocket Puppy, etc)
Obviously, lots of the retrains could have nicks that I don't know.
People Who Sadly Had To Leave
Charlene: Tihoma (AKA Tihomes, Tihomey, Hemeys, etc)
Obviously, we've got lots of siblings here. Usually, if they start with the first letter, they're siblings. Since Lannie's a reissue, he doesn't have any family in this class. But Esquire, Elgin and Eureka are siblings, and Garvey, Gregor and Gillis are siblings, and Emil's first dog, Godfrey, was, too. But Gazelle's a reissue, so she's an exception. Similarly, Abba and Anders are not siblings, because Abba's a cross, but Agatha and Anders are siblings. Friar and Fabio are sibs, but I don't know if Foley is. Obviously, Prize and Pollyann are the Pocket Puppy Pals, and Pawnee hangs with them, too. One of the three is not a sister, though, but I can't remember which at present.
Okay, why am I rambling on about this? I should be writing about stuff.
* Rosie is at Guide Dog school now, same with Andrew and, presumably, Heather.
* Cortney G and Kolby G are both thinking about GDB, which is frickin' awesome.
* I bought a Pepsi here several times.
* One of my neighbors wants ! intro our dogs, which is a big no-no.
* Deborah K is coming to my Grad, squeeeeee! (She was my VI when I was little.)
* CKCALLED me awhile ago.
* I have a tendency to write e-mail addresses, notes about routes and random notes to myself within my LJ Notes. Can we say hurried?
* The other day, when I did that short bus-to-lounge route--the one where Lannie pooed--I need to go into more detail. Lannie may have pooed on route twice, but he jumps into a secluded place to do it, because he's special like that. So I have to brag about it.
* NNA showed me her Trekker, which is a GPS doohickey. I was sick with jealousy.
* Lannie now lets me brush his teeth with the toothbrush that slips over your finger.
* I freak out when Lannie starts panting, and think he's dehydrating.
* The lecture about the snow was actually quite interesting, even though I don't live near the snow.
* While trying to buy water and snacks one day, I attempted to put a twenty in the machine.
* On the way up to school, Esquire and Lannie lay with their paws touching for awhile.
* When I swatted a fly in the Relieving Circle several days ago, Heather thought I was showing her my version of a Jazz Hand.
* When I told Darren I already had Mrs. H's number, he gave me a high-five for being on top of things. A high five is, generally, nothing worth mentioning--it's just a common gesture--but I find it awesome that Darren never lets me miss high-fives like other people. He is truly a teacher of the blind. In more ways than one.
* We got our Puppy Fact Sheets, and Lannie's was very adorable and positive.
* Derek and I both got sponsored, which means that someone donated to Guide Dogs in their will, so parts of our training were paid for.
* I asked Heather if Lannie had worn down his nylabone, because there were little tinx pieces that were sharp. She looked at it, and said, "Oh, sweetie, no,," which I found very cute and amusing. I think people find it amusing and somewhat endearing how paranoid a parent I am.
* My new calling card is spiffy.
* Rachel posted when I couldn't, and Olivia commented, too.
* When they first put up the overhead thing to rework, Lannie stopped for it. The second time, I was confident that he was an overhead clearance genius. So I went strutting up the path, without bothering to put my hand protectively in front of my face. He didn't stop and I ran face-first into the padded overhead clearance, and almost fell over backwards with the impact. Lannie has never missed it since, although he still runs me into branches. The dogs are not really trained with overhead clearances, because the trainers don't know the height of the handler, so it's the handler's job to work on overheads especially diligently.
* Lannie supposedly got mad at Heather when she accidentally stepped on him in the airport. "We broke up," Heather said. But he still wags for her.
* When riding in the back zthe bus with Heather, I spilled water on my pants, played Trivial Pursuit, laughed, bznced and was jarred around by the crazy driving. Bonnie told Heather to "protect the kinder" from the rough spots, and Heather and I did this amusing cling-together thing, whilst we were laughing like silly people. Heather's eyes even started wateding. Peter said he was expecting wet seats.
* On the UC Berkeley campus, Darren taught me about the dangers of "Free Stuff" on campus. On the ride home, I talked about Worthless Facts, my being the Cookie Giver (which Darren now calls me), prepositions, Derek and I when we were little, etc.
* I call Jason Muscles or Muskles because he has huge muscles in his arms. Chris was supposedly offended because I dissed his muscles. He then said that Derek and I would get married, so I pushed him and he stumbled and was even more offended.
* Christina chased me down the hall, muttering, "I'm going to get you, you little minor ... watch out, you little minor ... I'm coming for you, you little minor." And it was the single most hilarious thing ever.
* Dorianne says Darren like Dair-Ryn. Derek and I tease her about it. Now, we say that there is "Dair-Ryn (Dorianne's way of saying Darren), Deren (with a more closer A), and Darryn (with an ah). We also decided that Darryn is the 666, satanic form of Darren, that no one, not even Darren, knows. Darren knows all about this, and thinks we're insane.
* Dorianne and Nna brought Gazelle and Yvette into the dining hall wearing their matching dog polos. Dorianne and Nna were wearing polos, too. When the two dogs came flouncing in, the hall went into pandemonium. No one knows why, but we'll never let them forget it. Perhaps it was a display of animal activism.
* The problems with the route !his Bakery were:
Running diagonal across a street. This was mostly my fault; although Lannie started crossing wrongly, I should have heard the traffic and fixed it.
Lannie stopping in front of a stationary car in the middle of the street, and not knowing how to get around it. I can't say I was much help, though.
Bumping into Esquire, which just happens during doubles.
* I got my two dog harness signs at Light House.
* The bakery has good bread, but they oved bread at Fabio without asking, which is a no-no.
* I ate a lollipop while walking Lannie. Obviously I couldn't hold the stick. Stephanie said, "You know, Caitlin, we don't really recommend working your dog with a sucker." She said it and laughed, but I knew it really was unsafe, and if I'd been working anywhere besides just inside the lounge, I totally wouldn't have done it, but it was funny.
* Lannie likes affection and cuddling, but even when I growl at him and try to wrestle, he won't. He won't tug or play Kong for long. (see the next point for more on this)
* I talked to mx puppy raiser today, and she said that Lannie doesn't play much, just hangs by himself or sometimes with other dogs, but is reluctant to really play. (more about Jacque, the puppy raiser, later)
* The Self-Orientation went like this, sort of:
Was told where I was
Took a wrong turn after going a block
Was told to go to the right back to First by Darren, who was pretending to be a pedestrian (meaning, a stranger who didn't know me)
Couldn't turn right because of brush
Walked three blocks
Was going the right way, but almost turned back
Decided not to turn back when Darren askked, "Where are you going, kiddo?"
Was grateful when Darren asked, "What are you thinking," and talked to me until I calmed down and figured out my mistake
Was amused because Darren said that I talk more on the bus than I do when I can ask questions about where I am
Eventually got to the lounge after Darren reminded me that I was on the opposite side when I made a dumb turn
Could have been worse.
* Darren gave everyone high-fives, and he tapped me on the head before administering mine, which was amusing. Georgie taps my head, too, people Maria pets my hair. I like being the youngest. Everyone pets me. Aww.
* After picking up Lannie's poo today, high five, tired lannie, singing, chat with micheI had the harness around my waist and Darren, reading the sign, said, "Don't pet Caitlin ... she's working."
And Pete said, "Yeah, don't disturb her. Oh wait, she's already disturbed."
And that's when I realized I had the harness on, with the sign.
* "The Caster is always right."
* Christina and I sang our song for the group of staff and students on Wednesday morning, and everyone seemed to like it.
* Pat calls me American Idol because of the above.
* Heather said the song made her cry, which was very cute and sweet.
* I practiced a lot last night, and we also had two sing alongs to the song.
* Betsy, the lifeguard, recorded Christina and I singing ghr song outside, and although it's bad quality, it's about the best recording of the song I have, which is kind of scary.
* Last night, I talked to the parentals, Farhan, etc.
* I'm excited to get Lannie home, but will miss "everyone.
* I packed fast, but couldn't fit everything in my bag. Thank gosh the parents are coming with a car.
* I went to the gift shop, and bought a leash luggage (little bag that goes on the harness, which can hold your Guide Dog ID License, law cards, explanatory Guide Dog cards, etc), portable water dish, extra tie-down and a Livestrong style bracelet that has "Guide Dogs for the Blind" in Braille carved into the rubber.
* We're to begin working our dogs right away once home, which is fun.
* I met Dorianne's best friend and her (the best friend's) husband, which was fun.
* On the way up to Muir Woods this morning, I fell asleep, the on the way home, I talked to Nna.
* Muir Woods was relaxing, cool and a lot of funen I wore my huge Singer Sweats, and Darren joked, "You know, those are just a little tiny bit too big." In actuality, they're about ten sizes too big. Heh.
* I actually still have quite a bit of food left.
* I'm starting to forget what I'm saying in the middle of sentences.
* We got to go out to the paddock in two groups, Bus 1 and Bus 2. As I predicted, Lannie Caster was fairly antisocial. He peed in the paddock, frisked around a little, but ran back to me every minute. Which was cute, and loyal, and aww.
* My voice is kinda reX shot.
* My mom is coming early to fuss over my hair. This scares me.
* My puppy raiser and I had an amazing conversation about Lannie, and she's really happy he has a young person as a handler. She can't come to Grad, but she's coming to a town near mine in a few weeks to go to a dog show, and we will probably meet up then. A woman from their Puppy Club is coming tomorrow, though, and she took care of Lannie one-third of the time, where Jacque was another third and various other raisers comprised of the final third. So Lannie knows this girl, (I think her name is Jeannette?) really well.
* I didn't get to call my sister, because I suck.
* I also didn't call Brett.
* I also never called Rebecca.
* I also missed a NABS meeting.
* I'm also behind on e-mail.
* I also need to finish my thank-you note to Colleen for letting me skip camp.
* I also need to tell Melanie I'm missing camp.
* And hunter.
* I need to transfer all my computer LJ's to the BN.
* I joined the GDB mailing list. There are many familiar faces, so to speak.
* I wonder how much e-mail I have at home.
* I need to go on Messengers more.
* I need to buy vanilla-flavored or mint-flavored toothpaste, because the chicken one is disgusting.
* My mom got Lannie food, dishes and a Flexy-Leash already.
* Cindy made an awesome roster.
* I'm tired.
* I'm done.
* This is my last night.
* I'm sad to leave everyone.
* I'm happy that I made it, and that Lannie is mine.
|Thursday, July 27th, 2006|
. I typed this on the computer, by the way. Because I'm too tired to do the BN-to-computer. Again. BLeh.
Hi guys! Another short one for tonight. I know I promised I'd write a long one, but really, things are insane here.
The good thing is that I'm basically done with training. I don't believe it, I really don't. I remember the first day I was here, thinking I'd nevermake it, I could never do it. But I did, and I'm almost home. In some ways I'm sad, but in other ways, I'm just super duper excited.
Anyway, this morning I had my exit interview, and hten I free lanced to LightHouse and to Bordenave's Bakery with Derek. The Lighthouse one went fine, because I just had to walk like a block, because they dropped us off close. I went with BOnnei and Emil on that one. But then, for Bordenave,'s, Lans and I had a bunch of problems, and i felt really stupid, and I was like, irrasionally panicking that they were going to take him away or something, because I was like doing really badly. Whatever. Uh, then, we had burgers for lunch and carried trays, and that was amusing, and then we did the Self Orientation. I was a nervous wreck, but Darren (I figured out I've been spelling his name wrong hte whole time; I"m so lame) followed me the whole time. I wasn't swupposed to knwo that, probably. But he was there the whole time. Heh. I'm a super-sleuth. NOT. Um, but yeah, he helped me a lot, but I made it, and I actually didnt' ask too many questions, but yeah, I was terrified. Heh. I know I shouldn't have been--it's not like it's a test or anything--but yeah. I was.
And then we ate dinner and sang a ton and my voice is shot. Minimal singing for tomorrow. I want to have a voice for Grad.
My poor puppy raiser has called me like five times, and I'm always out of the room. I called her back and missed her, of course. Phone tag is bad. But she seems really frickin awesome. Oooh, and we also had a lecture on "A Dog Is Really A Dog" in the morning, and on "Bringing Your Guide Dog Home" in the afty, and at the morning one, we each learned about our dogs' training a bit, and Lannie is basically perfect. Which we already knew. (gleefully smirks) Esquire's perfect too though. Except he eats pencils and apper. I found that awesome, and Pat said it'll be a good homework excuse for D. Except D doesn't use pencil and paper, and ther'es no way Esquire could eat the BrailleNote.
Anyway, I'm really, freaking tired. So, pip pip. I'll have a to of time to write tomorrow,I think. I think we have the aftrnoon off? Wow, this entry sucked. Um, yeah. Peace out.
|Wednesday, July 26th, 2006|
My computer is fixed, but I don't feel like BrailleNoting, hooking up, etc. I stayed up real late working on the song, and it's coming along heckuv well. Since my laptop is working, i'm going to record it, and everything. But yeah, I recorded our rough drafts, but none are perfect quite yet.
Quickly about today. I'll try to write in more detail tomorrow. In the morning we went to SFO, which went well. The peopel were nice and helpful. And then, in the afty, we went to UC Berkeley, after a lecture on AGS (Admissions and Graduate Services). Then we had dinner and a lecture on putting on Advantage and adminsitering the Heartworm pills and stuff. And then we sang.
Thanks to Rachel for posting to this journal when I couldn't do anything with it because of my laptop.
Hugs to the fam, who I haven't called again.
Talk to you all soon!
|Tuesday, July 25th, 2006|
I'm in the Lounge again. The downtown one, taht is. And I thought I might as well update while I had some time.
Today was pretty dang good. In the morning, we did some obedience. Lannie4 did really well, and then we headed onto the bus. Actually, we didn't include Derek and I. The regular people were going to Fisherman's Wharf, but Derek and I were going to our high school with the dogs.
Kelly C took us there, and it w2as a fairly long drive. When we got there, Mrs. H was there to greet us, and we took turns working our dogs through some of the routes at school. I saw Mrs. H, the mother of Lindsay and Nicole, who used to be our neighbor, and she was, of course, enthralled with Lancasster, which is always fun.
Then we got pizza for lunch, care of Nna and Dorianne, who ordered it. Derek and I paid our share, though. Anyway, Dorianne also brought me back some truly sexy (tghat's the only word that can adequately describe it, I swear) fudge from whe wharf. My gosh, it was, like, freaking to freaking die for. We were all, like, moaning in ecstasy as we devoured it. Mmm. And Joe and Nna and Dorianne ev een ate after me, and Joe joked that he coudl taste my germs, hehehe. It was truly classic.
Then we went to Corte Madera to practice rounded corners. Lannie kicked butt, and I was the water-giver-outer, which was heckuv tight. And have I mentioned that BOnnie calls me Kinder? As in, child in German? It's truly hilarious and i <3 it. Heheheh,. That means, I love it. Or, I heart it. Heheh. Isn't that jsut smashing? Yeah, I'm tired. Sorry.
So uh, then, we can home and watered and relieved and fed and then Christina and I practiced our song for various audiences, and it freaking kicked! Jason and Georgie were trying to fix my laptop, and they got it to work, but now Jason's insisting on defragging it, and he wants me to get Ad-Aware and SpyBot or whatever the flipper it's called.
Anyway, then after a spaghetti-and-garlic-bread dinner, which was also truly magnificent, we did a night route. We thought it might get cabnceled, because the roads were all blocked off for some reason, but it wasn't, and so we got to do this pretty straight-shot of a route. Lannie did well, except we had to rework the first crossing because he did a diagonal. Ben helped me, but like, it didn't work, because I didn't know what I was doing. And it was bad, and I felt all inadequate, but Ben was nice. Everythign else went perfectly, except that I bumped into BOnnie and Fabio (not literally) on two corners, and both dogs wagged like fools. And Lannie also thought it was his business to stalk poor Heather, but I hopped him up, and he was fine. And that's my last night route. Well, tehr'es another, but it's optional, and I'm really not interested in doing it, because I am turning into an under-achiever or something. No, I might do it, but I don't know. We'll see if I'm tired on that day in question.
I want to wrap this up in case we have to leave soon, but I have some extra notes on my BN. I don't know if I'll ever get around to putting them in a journal entry, but at least I have them. I don't have e-mail or any internet contact with anyone right now, but hopefully my laptop will be okay. It certainly seems to be on the mend. So hang in there, bear with me, and be patient. I'll try to update as regularly as I can.
Peace out, and I'll talk to you all ASAP! Hugs!
In a bit of a hurry here. Things have been busy, and it's soooo inconvenient not having the freaking laptop. I'm working on getting it fixed, but everyone's busy, not just me.
Anyway, yesterday was fun. In the morning, we did some obedience. lannie was pretty good, although I think he doesn't see the point of my making him do a bunch of sits, downs and stays, when he can do them well, and so he misbehaves sometimes. Like, he'll do it, but messily, and he'll take his time. It makes him come off like he can't or won't obey w3ell.
Anyway, then we went to Union Square in San Fran. That went well, and was fun. Lannie did a great job steering me around pedestrians and all that stuff. We even walked through Macey's. And there were these random people stalking Bonnie and Heather, which was annoying but funny.
Someone screwed up Jqaws, and it just says "up arrow, down arrow," and all this crap, and it won't read anything, and I'm getting angry haha. Stupid frickin' Jaws. So excuse typing.
Anyway, uh, then we had Lunch, and then we went to San Rafael and did a bus to lounge and Lannie pooed on route, and it made me flustered, and yeah. But it could have been a lot worse, and all in all, it went fine. Then we had a lecture on traveling with our guide dogs, and i had a shower and got my pictures and stuf. After dinner, Christina and I sang and jammed. I wrote a poem that will be a song about Guidee Dog School and Christina wrote notes for it. Well, we both did. And Maria was our, like, director, because she gave us advice. Anyway, by 10:00 PM, it was basically done. We jsut have to refine it. If we get it good enough, we may do it for grad.
Anyway, I was going to write more, and this morning before breakfast, but the floors were wet, so the maids asked me to wait in the foyer. Lannie and i sat by the chairs, and I was so tired I sort of dozed off. I get enough rest, but man, would I like to sleep in, just once. And we have a Night Route tonight ,and I'm going to my schoo. Which will be fun, but it's yet another busy day. Still, who's ocmplainging? This is all very important.
Well, not being able to edit is angering me, so tootle pip for now.
|Monday, July 24th, 2006|
My laptop is broken. Oh, joy of joys. So here I am, using Jaws again. I swear, ugh ugh ugh. But I'll be a good sport about it. At least Lannie's here this time, sitting neatly and prettily at my feet.
So yesterday was lots of fun. I had plenty of time to chill out and read and eat junk food and do lots of stuff like that. Rachel, my mom, my dad, Paul C and his daughters Pearl and Olivia, my grandparents, and Derek's mom, stepdad, sister Nicole, and Nicole's friend Ashley came to visit. Eric turned out to be unable to come, since he has strep throat. he just got back from Choir tour, and lots of kids were running around sick, so it's no wonder he contracted it. Tours are very stressful. Anyway, we missed him, but, as I told him in email, the priority is for him to get well soon. Aaaanyway, we all had lots of fun, just talking, eating, and calling Vanja. Heh. We also taught Lannie to shake hands. Well, Rachel did. And Lannie was all psyched when Heather came in, which my family seemed to find both cute and amazing. As for me, I think it's adorable, but it makes me feel badly. I mean, Lannie never wags his tail like that for me. He wags it for lots of people, but not for me. Maybe he doesn't like me. Or maybe he doesn't really like the work we do. I don't really know. But I guess time will tell. I've heard stories where guide dog users haven't been able to detect or feel the bonds between themselves and their guides for months. Not everyone feels an instant kinship and lifelong bond to their dog. I feel this, of course. I would do anything for Lannie, and I do think he likes me or whatever, but who knows? Like I said, I'll just wait. What else is there to do? I groom him and play with him and hug him all the time. Maybe he feels smothered. Heck, who knows?
I ate a liverwurst sandwich that the fam brought for dinner. I bought a Pepsi to go with it, and it was glorious. However, there was a fly in my room and it was annoying me and freaking me out, so I went into the lounge to finish my lollipop. Lannie came with, of course. Then, after that, I tried to start up my laptop. No such luck. It started up fine, with sound schemes and everything, but it just wouldn't load Window-Eyes or any other programs. I couldn't even get to the start menu. I asked Dorianne for sighted (okay, low vision) help, and she said that she couldn't close anything. Then I employed Cindy, Derek, Farhan and Nna, and all of them guessed that Windows had to be reinstalled. Great, just great! Especially since I don't exactly carry Windows Recovery Disks in my pocket, you know? Then Jason worked on it, and he went as far as to take the batteries out. I only let him because I figured he's very careful, and anyway, if it's screwed up anyway, why ever not let him try to fix it? Anyway, he thought the keyboard was broken, because he could get the mouse to work, but he said that the mouse only worked, like, half the time. I told him to keep it overnight and see what he could do, and I gave him the charger.
Meanwhile, Christina, Holly and Cindy were singing random songs, and Christina was on guitar. I felt left out, because they were singing songs i didn't know, ahha. But then they did some Green Day, and my favorite Alison Krauss song, and Amazing Grace, and it was fun, and we all sang. Yay! I love jamming. Then I went to the piano and played One Voice for Christina. I haven't played that since about seventh grade, and bleh, it sucked. Heh. I wish I could play the piano. Christina tried to give me a guitar lesson. I could hardly hold the frickin' guitar.
Then we went out for Relieving. And Heather asked us all how the paddock was going. Derek, Christina, Joe, Cindy, myself and a bunch of others hadn't gone yet. We intended to, but it was so hot, and our dogs were so tired that we hadn't had the heart to drag them out there. Heather said we should be going out there every day, which makes sense. So we made up our minds, then and there, to go after relieving. So we got our harnesses and some kibble, and got the Flexy from Heather, and trooped out. The dogs led the way there, practically. It was dark and cool, but not cold. No sweatshirts needed, or anything.
We took turns releasing our dogs in the paddock--Cindy, Christina, Nna, myself and Derek. I just now realized that Dorianne never went. Maybe she went before I got there. Heh. Anyway, Lannie loved it. He isn't very playful, but i tried him out on the Flexy, and he chased a big ball with holes in it a little. (We don't use tennis balls because then if the dogs see a tennis ball on the street, they'll chase it.) Anyway, then I took him off Flexy and let him run loose, and I would call his name, and run from side to side of the paddock, and he'd chase me and come every time, and earn kibble. It was lotts of fun.
While Derek was taking Esquire for a spin, the sprinklers came on. Like, randomly. And they were freeeeeeeeaking freezing. Everyone was yelling and running around like loons, and I was screaming like a girl. Lannie was ducking and huddling against me, and Nna teasingly called him the Wussy Dog. Pat calls him the Scaredy-Cat. He's not, he's brave enough to go in front of cars, isn't he? He's just a hydrophobe. Anyway, I got done screaming like a girl, and everyone was impressed by my scream.
"If you ever get attacked," Dorianne remarked, grinning, "you have nothing to worry about."
When Derek and Esquire were done playing (which, by the way, was very cute to watch, and went very well), we trooped back to GDB. Dorianne and the others had stood in the sprinklers for awhile, and were soaked. Doriannes' shoes were even squelching. So she took the lead, and we decided we'd freak Heather out and get her wondering exactly what had happened. Lannie cut in front of all the dogs, and wound up being the leader of the pack, but then Derek got wind of that, and said, "Esquire, hop-up, hop-up, come on ... pass these losers ... come on, hop up!" And in that manner, he pulled ahead and rushed for the doors. Once we got into the Loading Lounge, our wish to knock on Heather's door and present the sodden Dorianne was nullified when Heather came in, and asked, "What HAPPENED?" sounding scandalized.
"Well," Dorianne said, probably with a face as straight as a pin, "I had to rework Yvette when she led me straight into the pool!"
I think Heather actually fell for it, but eventually the whole story came out, and we all had a good laugh over it.
Then I went to bed, and in the morning, Lannie pooed for me, as he always does now. Apart from Saturday, when he deviated slightly from his schedule, he pees jjust about every relieving, and defacates first thing in the morning, and after the 4:45 or afternoon feeding. So twice a day. The last two poos I've picked up have been double-baggers, meaning that I miss a little and have to go back for it. His poos are big, and my hands are small, so I can't usually support all the poo with one mitt in one hand. Oh well, whatever works. I've got plenty of time to work the kinks out of my Poo-Picking-Up System.
Today we're going to Union Square in the morning, and doing a Bus-To-Lounge in the afternoon. Bleh, I don't like those. Especially since they're getting harder. But I'm going to do my best, I always do.
Only six days, counting today, until Graduation. I can't believe how fast this time has flown by. I'm looking forward to this last week of learning, but at the same time, I wish it would hurry up and end. I can't wait to take Lannie home, show him off, get him settled, and take him to all my haunts. It'll be a great experience, and a lot of fun. But I'll miss the students, the instructors, the campus, and, most of all, the independence I've gained here. In some ways, I wish I'd gone to the Oregon campus, so I could have really tested myself, being away from home and physical contact with the fam for a month. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing them--I totally do--but it was, in essence, like having a safety net. "Oh, if I need them, they're just forty-five minutes away."They've seen me every weekend, so it's not like I've really done this month-away thing alone. I've had countless visitors, and it's just not like I'm totally on my own. But at the same time, I've experienced the opportunity to make my own rules, my own bedtime, my own schedule, for the most part, and my own decisions about what to buy, what to eat, what to do in a myriad of situations. I've walked without someone hovering over my shoulder, I've learned to take care of a dog, and I've learned to do my best and not take constructive criticism to heart. I still have a lot to learn--we're never done learning--but this experience at GDB has already been a wonderful experience for me. Whether others see it or not, I have grown from it, and I'll never forget it.
I had a dream that Melanie C decided never to be my friend again, because I'm not going to Chorus camp. I need to call her, and reassure myself that this isn't a premonition. I had another dream that Derek had to go to the Middle East with his dog, and he became hysterical. And I had another dream that Lannie was crossing the street with me, and peeing all the way. I have really weird dreams here.
I'd better go, it's 6:58, and breakfast is at 7:15, and I want to get this posted. Peace out!
P.S. It's now 7:07, and I did a fast edit. I'll try to update as much as I can, so stay tuned. Maybe the laptop will get fixed, by some miracle.
P.P.S. It's now 7:28 AM, and we finished breakfast. I rushed out to post this again, since it wouldn't post the first thousand times I tried it. (whines) i want my laptop baaaack.
|Sunday, July 23rd, 2006|
Hey people. This is Rachel on Caitbug's journal. In her voice post she said she wished she gave someone her password and... here I is. So she wishes for y'all to know that she couldn't do an update today because her laptop broke and Jason's trying to fix it and stuff so she doesn't know how long that'll take and she might go into the computer lab tomorrow to do an entry but I'm just writing in here to tell y'all this stuff.
So I'm out!
Tis sleepy time.
Adios Current Mood: tired
|Saturday, July 22nd, 2006|
Today is too hot. Way too hot. Even now, at night, it's hot, and I'm overheated, and bleh. I want to be freezing. At least then I could put a jacket on. When it's just hot, you just have to swat it out. Literally. Garararargh!
I'm too tired to formulate a coherent, orderly entry that actually flows. So you get bullet points.
* After writing a letter and making my mom talk to "the grown-ups in charge," as Dorianne likes to call them, I was excused from Chorus Camp this year. Which is very good, because Lannie can now adjust to my house and to the new schedule I will make for him without being dragged off to the desert (well, practically) a week after getting home. Seeing as how he still doesn't have a regular poo schedule (more about that later), I can tell he's very sensitive to change.
* We did more sidewalkless work in the morning. I worked with Heather and we talked about Courtney and the fam, and how Lannie is loved by them all. She said I did well (it was country roads), and Lannie was an angel. He even waited for this car to pass and refused my right-hand turn, which they're, like, not expected to do. Genius dog. He knows heckuv more than I do.
* We thought we forgot Bonnie at GDB, but it turned out she was staying behind. We had a good laugh, though.
* After lunch, I hung out, read, talked to GDB people, and went on the computer (VT and e-mail, primarily), and then went with Bonnie and Maria to the gift shop, just as it closed. I was the only one out of the three to bring my dog. It was hot out, but it was a fairly shaded route we were taking, and I thought getting Lannie to work a little in the afternoon was better than nothing.
* Pat misted us with the hose at the 4:45 relief. Lannie ducked away from the water. I tried to engage him by dancing in circles with him and going, "Lannie, ooooooh, water," but he just tried to get out of the spray. About ten minutes later, Pat said, "Want more mist, Caitlin?"
"No, Lannie doesn't like it."
"Oh, come on," Pat said, and misted us. I sort of crouched over Lannie, shielding him with my body, and he ducked. He was already soaked from the first time, and he hadn't pooed.
"You're making him nervous, Patrick!" I scolded Pat.
"Oh, for the love of Pete," Pat grumbled good-naturedly, "he's fine."
* We had prime rib for dinner, same as the night we arrived. That night, I literally only took one bite, and felt like I was going to be sick. Tonight, I wolfed both ribs, and some potato, before I felt like I was going to explode with happy fullness. There was also some table shifting, because a bunch of people, including Dorianne and Nna, went out for the evening.
* Eric and Rachel are coming tomorrow.
* Alison U is going to Disneyland.
* Chris S called me.
* Eric T is coming tomorrow, which is freaking awesome! I am jazzed! He's bringing piano music, too, so we can sing! Squeeeee! (dies) Music is the bestist!
* Lannie wouldn't poo at the 9:00 relief either.
"It's too hot ... I'm afraid of the dark ... that water earlier scared me," Pat teased Lans.
"He's not a chicken, he just doesn't like water," I objected defensively.
Pat laughed. "I want to go to bed," he complained jokingly. "Hurry up, Lancaster."
"Come on, baby," I pleaded with Lannie, kneeling to his level and hugging him.
"Hey, there's a huge deer across the circle," Pat said.
It was one of those moments that's sort of surreal. There I was, Lannie sniffing at one side, Pat at the other, watching a deer, and the darkness all around. No one else was in the circle, and we whispered, so as not to startle the deer.
"It's bigger than Lannie," Pat marveled. "Like, a foot taller!"
"It'd come up to my shoulder," I guessed.
"More about to here," Pat said, touching my elbow. "It's eating the shrubbery."
"Couldn't you give it some food?"
"It has plenty. You want me to scare it so you can hear it run?"
"No!" I said, aghast. Then, as an afterthought, "I wonder what would happen if you hosed it."
"You say I'm evil!" Pat protested. "I just hosed old Lannie once, and he saw it coming, and now you want me to hose a deer."
"I didn't say for you to do it," I corrected him shrilly, "I just said I wondered ..."
Kimie came out to examine the deer, too.
* Lannie is snoring, and I'm about to, so I'm out.
|Friday, July 21st, 2006|
Today was fun. Lannie did a beautiful job.
First, there was this amusing thing yesterday where Daren was speeding up and slowing down in the car, and pretending to be losing control of the wheel. Today, he did that a lot, and ran curbs jokingly, and we'd all go, "Daren, no! Careful!" like we do to correct the dogs and rework errors. Very funny.
Lannie wags his tail for people he knows and likes now. Today he was wagging for Chris and Jason.
Today we had a lecture on Feeding Our Dogs, and Caring for them in general. Oh, no, feeding was yesterday, methinks.
Uh, then we worked on sidejalkless areas. Lannie did very well checking the curbs, following his line, crossing the streets, and stopping when cars barricaded the area. I had to do this really big hop-up once, because he was enthralled with a cluster of bushes. It turned out to be a double-handed, upward correction, and he did that panting thing, but he didn't do the full-blown, scary coughing thing.
At Relieving back at GDB, this cloud of bugs assaulted Lannie and I and I screamed, and Pat was like, "What's going on over there? Did you spook Lannie again?" Heh.
Lannie is developing a poo schedule, which is good.
We had coffee ice cream for dessert after yummy chicken.
We then went to the vet, and Lannie is very healthy. Lannie has had Growing Pains, Infected Feet, Ear Infection and Diarrhea (due to a one-celled organism disease that was spreading around the kennels). All of these are extremely common, and were treated fine, and now he's in his prime. The vet was the same one who neutered him and did his last physical. Lannie now weighs 67 pounds (16 more and he'll be the same as me, which is scary).
Then we went to San Ansalmo (I know, stop rolling your eyes at my spelling). It was, like, hot as helicopter there! Lannie would hit a hot patch and then run, and he was dancing on all the corners. I petted him and was all loving. Also, some evil woman left her lab in a car, with the windows shut. Some people are such idiots.
I took a shower after FWAR (Feed, Water and Relies), and then we had steak dinner, and Derek had a Family Reunion with Esqvire, Elgin and Eurek, who are bro, bro and sis, respectively.
I played the Lans and his kong, and it was fun. Then I talked to Mom, Dad, Court, Farhan and Rachel, who's coming Sunday, along withs parentals and grandparentals.
Things are getting much better with Lannie. They were always good, but this week has yielded a lot of growth. I'm much more swift and confident with my handling and corrections. Stephanie and Daren both said so (Stephanie did sidewalkless with me today), and I can just feel it.
Dorianne lost a sock now, and can't find it. How ironic. I'm proud of her. She is totally a member of the Blind Club, and she's gonna read my Bloggy! (waves)
I can't believe tomorrow's Saturday already.
People are being very loud in the halls. I just told Jason to stop shouting, and that people were sleeping. "But you're not," he pointed out reasonably.
"But others are," I countered.
I can be a bossy child when I want to be.
Peace ., more tomorrow! We're going to do Country Roads tomorrow morning, and then the CITY, or Muir Woods, since it's so hot.
|Thursday, July 20th, 2006|
Today was fun. Another calm one.
Beware! This entry is scattered, unamusing, boring and generally tired.
I forgot to mention that:
A: Derek went to the vet and found out that Esquire ate a battery as a puppy. Now Derek has nicknamed Esquire Electrovore, Dorianne nicknamed him Electra and something else I don't remember, and I call him Essie, Squi Squi and Qui Qui.
B: Dorianne teasingly and affectionately calls Poo Fingers.
C: Pat said, "Don't let him lick you," after the poo incident.
D: During the night route, there were these random drunk people who said, "Look at all the blind people," haha. And there was this random woman who went to the trouble of opening door her car door and yelling to me, "It's green ... you can go!" I know people are being helpful, but honestly! I know I look young. But that doesn't mean I'm incompetent.
E: Another person asked, "Do you want to cross with us?" on another street.
So today 1we went to Embarkidaro (shut up, I know I can't spell, heh) and we went on Muni. Daren said, "You did great on the night route, kiddo," which was very much appreciated.
Lannie did well in the city, except that he got frisky when he saw Dorianne and Derek (he loves them both), and he spun in circles and wouldn't behave. I had to give him the High Collar Correction of Doom, but only once. It was scariness, but he didn't squeal or anything.
We played Trivial Pursuit on the way home. Daren was really great at it, and I got some corrections.
Peter told me to hop-up when I had the harness around my waist at relieving.
After Lunch we went to the mall. I went to See's and McDonalds, and Lannie did beautifully. A mom told her child to "steer around the doggie," Pat carried my bags, and I talked to Michelle.
I picked up a poo neatly.
Peter calls me Trouble, and I explained how my Dad calls me Trouble all the time, too. Peter didn't even know about that, haha.
Daren said I "coddle Lannie," and I said he deserves it.
Lannie got spooked by my shopping bags, which was kind of creepy, and I felt horribly. He got his own back later, though, when he accidentally stomped on my middle finger. Youchers! He licked me when I went, "Owowowowwwwhwhw!" awww.
Daren calls me Trouble, too, after Peter. He knocked, and, when I said it was okaz, came into my room when I was eating my McDonalds haspy meal. We then had a meeting about going to our high school to practice on Tuesday, instead of going to Fisherman's Wharf.
I made my bed and did some e-mail, and listened to music. I found out that some puppy raisers are reading this journal, thanks to Margaret M! So thanks to all of you! Special hi to Thompson's (Lannie's dad) grandma and family.
Thanks to Nigel who renewed my LJ paid account oncaitlin45
. You are a life saver!
I met Daren's dogs, and they're cuteness.
Sorry this entry was weird, but I'm tiredness.
|Wednesday, July 19th, 2006|
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Today was really great, for the most part!
First of all, Dorianne and Nna got these polos from Nna's daughter. Polos for them, and for the dogs. And they took pics. How cuute.
Also, I wore my vanilla thing from BABW today and yesterday. Twas fun.
Also, my family thinks Jason is the bees knees now.
Anyway, today at breakfast:
Cook: Derek, would you like some more to eat?
Derek: Yes, please.
Cook: Would you like some more bacon?
Derek: Yes, please.
Cook: Okay. ... (walks over to me) Caitlin?
Whole Table: (cracks up)
We then discussed yesterday's peanut butter pie, and the subsequent groaning that ensued while we had eaten it. Dorianne said it reminded her of this one scene in "When Harry Met Sally.
Then we were discussing bringing our dogs to school, and Dorianne asked if we had benches or desks, and I found this amusing.
Then we hit town. I rode up next to Daren on the bus. Lannie kept nuzzling him, and it was quite precious. Daren's so cute with him. He'd say, "Hi, Buhbuh," or, "Hi, Lanners," and pet him and be all cute with him. Awww.
Daren also told me he has an iPod. How hip is that? And also that he stayed up practically the whole night before, taking care of a guide dog in training (GIT? heh). Anyway, he tried to sleep, but I don't think he was too successful.
Our first route in the Big City, AKA San Francisco, went very well. I worked one-on-one with Stephanie, and Lannie did a beautiful job. He was energetic and efficient, and he went around, like, everything. The only, and I swear it was the only thing he did wrong that wasn't my fault was that he tried to walk me right over this staircase's foot, and I had to rework it. Actually, I tell a lie--he ran a bunch of curbs, too, but that was because they were flat, and I made him sit at every one. But he did a beautiful job walking me through the pedestrians, dogs, strollers, shops, etc. And he was just an angel.
At one point, I passed Derek going the other direction, and Kimie was in front of me. I passed this store front, and some guy said, "Look at all the Mini Blind People!"
Oh, how I laughed.
Oh, but I forgot to mention that we had Obedience before we left and he was kind of naughty. He wouldn't go down, even when I corrected him. Then when I took him out to relieve, he did that same coughing thing. I think he just does that to freak me out and make me pity him, because I don't pull that hard. So I said, "Oh, stop coughing," in a tone that suggested he was fooling around, and he did. So maybe he'll cut it out. I hope he will, because it gives me a coronary when he does that.
At Lunch, Heather said I didn't eat enough, which was cute and amusing. Oh, by the way, I sat by Roee on the way home, which was fun. The buses were packed. And I teased Jason and Chris and annoygh them. Twas great.
Then we went downtown, and Dorianne and I freelanced to Light House. Lannie did great, except he went left sneakily when he was supposed to go forward, and took me down to Third Street instead of up to D. I suspected he'd done this, but it's really hard to tell sometimes, especially if you're kind of unfamikiar with the "turf." Anyway, Peter walked the rest of the way with me and helped me correct my error. It was so hot; Lannie was dancing on the pavement. Some guy creeped me out by walking with me for an entire block. "That dog is well-trained," he informed me.
"Thanks," I said, fighting back an urge to say, "Well, duh!" I'm so mean sometimes. But hey, at least I keep it inside, right? Heh.
Anyway, the people at Light House were amazing. Very accomodating. I held a sign holder for the harness, and a sign that says "Don't pet me; I'm working." That'll be great for school, I'm thinking. I'm also going to get one that says, "Ask her before you pet me," with an arrow pointing to the handler. That's a bit more friendly, for settings where people won't be so pushy, or whatever.
Anyway, the workers asked to pet Lans, and one of them recognized me from the BBF picnic. It was niftiness. They offered us water and everything.
Dorianne and I walked home as a double, with Peter's permission. Vetti saved Dorianne from a fatal encounter with a right-hand turner on her way to the Light House, so she was bubbling over with that story.
The route back to the Lounge went fine. Then we went back to the dorms, and Lannie was charging in there like a mad stallion. He wanted his food. Despite my steadying and correcting, he kept walking so fast I had to jog to keep up with him. I swear, I was doing what I was supposed to, correcting and steadying and being firm with my inflection. He's mad when he knows it's food time. My left arm is going to be made of steel by the time I get home. I should join the wrestlx team, or something. They'd poobably have to go to the elementary schools to find someone in my weight class, though. (pouts)
Relieving was fun. Or maybe not. Thank gosh I was in a good mood, or it could have been a real disaster. First of all, Lannie didn't drink much water before relieving. This isn't unusual; if he has to pee a lot, he drinks less, then drinks the rest when he gets back from relief. As a rule, I never leave the water bowl out on the floor with water in it, because that's just ... a stupid thing to do, you know, when you're blind? But I was like, "Oh, it'll be fine. I'll remember."
Anyway, I go out there, and Lannie poos. No problem. I go to pick it up. But it's in pieces, and it takes me forever to get it, and I need sighted assistance. When I have it all, and go to put the bag into itself, it rubs on the inside of the top. So when I go to tie it, guess what got on my fingers? Bleck, bleck! It didn't really gross me out--I mean, think how wholesome his diet is--but I had to go back to my room holding his leash and everything. So of course I made him sit, and then ran to the sink to wash my hands. And forgot about the water bowl, which promptly spilled everywhere. Man, I knew I shouldn't have done that!
I washed my hands about ten times. Rinsed the leash in warm water and hung it up to dry. Wiped up the water. Washed the water and food bowls, and got Lannie onto his tie-down. Then called Dorianne to agonize and laugh about the incident.
We had chicken dinner, and then I ate cookies and talked to my mom and sis, and showered.
The night route was awesome. I could see all the shadows and stop lights (although of course not the colors), and the whole walk was just enhanced. Crossings were the same in difficulty, but I could see better when Lannie veered. Which was good, because twice he tried to steer me into a back alley (what a little perve!). But man, it was sooo fun! Oh, and before we left, these adorable kids petted our dogs, but asked each one of us first. How precious is that? Aww. I love well-behaved kids. Oh, and Nna and Maria talked to me about childbirth, which was quite ... uh ... informative. We laughed a lot.
When I got to the Lounge, I hung with people, and Heather said we'd all done a great job. But she gave me a special hug, and said I'd done really well. Probably to make up for yesterday, when I'd been all upset. Awww! I love Heather. Affection is good. Yay! Nah, but it was really very sweet. I appreciated and needed it.
We sang on the bus on the way home. Poor Lannie was worn out, but he was very good.
Interesting stories about homeless people sneaking onto the buses and mirrors being snapped off were told by Peter periodically throughout the day.
Nna bought nine pounds of See's candy for her family.
A woman grabbed Emil's dog's harness and cussed Heather out. Some people!
Okay, well I wrote this periodically as we came back to the dorms.
That's it for me, because it's 11:07. Waaay past my bedtime! Tootle pip!
|Tuesday, July 18th, 2006|
So the rest of the day went okay. It was very tiring, really.
I had mobility with Kelly, which went really well, I think. We worked on veering, and stuff like that.
Then I got back to the dorm, collected Lans (I missed him sooooo much, and it was just, like, forty-five minutes), and then went to Lunch, where I had this awesome chocolate-and-peanut-butter pie. Mmmm.
Then we had a lecture about Problem Solving in the Field, given by Kelly. And we saw these little things called the HandyGuide and the something else Guide, that vibrate when objects are near you. Fun stuff! They worked, too!
Then we did a bus to lounge. I'm too tired to go into it much now, but it was definitely the worst I've ever done. I got totally turned around, and practically every instructor had to help me, and yeah. It was a disaster, and I felt stupid, and was pretty upset by the time I got back to the lounge. Dorianne comforted me, aww. And Heather was all 1concerned. But I can never stay upset for long. Dorianne, Nna and I freelanced to the pet store. That went really well, but when we got in the little tiny pet store, Mr. Lancaster thought it was his duty to sniff every single bag of dog food. I was at my wits end, so I started to get him to sit, but he wouldn't. Finally he did, and I gave him a kibble as a reward. Then he started sniffing again, and I corrected him, and he started coughing really loudly and scarily.
"Something caught in the throat," the clyb said.
"Is he okay?" I demanded, all panicked.
"Yes," she said, "he's fine."
I took Lannie outside, not wanting him to sniff anymore bags. Daren came and asked if everything was okay, but I was hot and bothered and ... bleh. It sucked. Lannie wasn't at fault for the route--that was all my fault, and he was actually going the right way and I was hopping him up in the wrong direction--but, yeah. It just was not a good day.
Then we got back to the lounge and got on the bus. Only guess what? It wouldn't start. Again. Even though it had just gotten fixed, supposedly. So off the steaming-hot bus, back into the lounge. By this time, I was sweating like a pig, and the dogs were panting like mad. We got them water in the kitchen, and they drank like they were going to die. It was about 5:00 by this time, and not only were we late for feed, water and relief, but my parents were coming to take me to dinner. We fed the dogs some kibble and took them out to relieve (which they wouldn't do at the lounge), but then Heather saved us, and we drove back to the lounge.
I socialized with my Mom and Court (Dad couldn't come today), and then they we had steak dinner. Gosh, it was amazing. I was so happy they could come, but I was soooo tired. I was probably not the most awesome dinner guest. Plus, I felt badly for ditching Lannie twice in one day. I was glad to get back to him, and we sat around chatting with Dorianne.
And now I'm here. So tired! So, more tomorrow! Peace.
|Live From The lounge!
Here I am at the San Rafael lounge, using Jaws. God, I'm so bad at it!
It took me forever to log into LJ. Know why? Because my laptop has its grave accent key in a really weird place, and so I kept on typing (or attempting to type) my password, but my numbers were all thrown off. When I get home, I'm never going to be able to use my comptuer successfully again. Heh heh.
It's really hot today already. The heat doesn't bug me, but a lot of other peopel are feeling it. Lots of headaches and tiredness. Not good.
Lannie isn't pooing, and it's making me nervous. I really, really hope I get approved to skip camp this year. if he's still nervous here with me, imagine how he'll be in cmap. I really dont' want to screw up this relationship, you know? As much as I love Chorus, my dog is more important, honestly. I mean, Chorus is great, and I love it. But Lannie is a part of my life now. He's like my kid, and my friend. I have to take care of him, and if that means sacrificing some things, then so be it.
Anyway, we worked on Obedience in the kennels. Lannie did very well; he got a little distracted, but that's to be expected. They had just washed down the floor,s so there was water everywhere, and bubbles. It was quite ufn. At least my shoes got washed, heh. Well, not washed, since i could only feel the water on my ankles, you know. But whatever.
Then we worked in Safe Way. lannie did extreeeemely well. He only stopped to sniff at one aisle. Three guesses which one? Yep. The Dog Food aisle. Hmmm. Heh.
Anyway, I dind't buy anything, cuz I didn't wanna. And I heeled and worked him in there. He did really snazzily.
Then we came here to the lounge. Everyone else is walking ot City Hall in pairs, b ut I'm going to work with Kelly C, the Mobility instructor (not the same one from school, obviously, just the coincicdence resurfacing again_), and we're going to work on Juno. Daren said he can take me to City Hall later, so that'll be fun.
Ooh, Heathe'rs oging to read Freelance stuff, so peace out, more late.r
|Monday, July 17th, 2006|
Today was fun, and good, and a lot of things.
In the morning we had Obedience. Lannie was perfect. I know I say that way too much, but he was really very good.
Then we went downtown and did a bus to lounge. I was the timer and I counted everyone down.
"Okay, Emil ... ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, ZERO!!!"
"Abba, forward!" Emil would command.
My route went okay. Lannie did great with the staircase and elevator in the Albert Building, where we all stopped. I lost count of the crossings on the final leg to the lounge. I was trying to get my bearings at E. As I was standing there cogitating, some guy comes up. "You have a green light--you're good to cross."
I knew this--I had arrived as the surge was going--but whether or not I decided to cross, I was going to wait for a fresh surge.
"Um, thanks?" I said, none too intelligently. "But I'm okay."
"Aren't you going to cross with your doggie?" the man demanded.
"Uh, well ..."
I was saved by Kelly, Pete's stand-in, who came and confirmed that I was going the right way.
After that, things went fine.
There was an amchsing incident in the lounge in which Fabio put his head in Lancaster's harness handle, and they fell asleep all snuggled up. Very, very precious. Then they woke up and Fabio wriggled away. I tried to get him back into place so Heather could see, and he snorffed at me and launched himself at me playfully, and I screamed like a girl and fell over backwards, hahahaha. I was sitting down, by the way, so I just landed on my back and bumped into a trash can with my shoe. Haha, everyone thought I was mental, and Chris told me to act my age, and Derek said 1he was one to talk, and it was just hilarious. Dorianne got a pic of the Snugglers, though, awwws,
Then Yvette and Lannie were kissing, and aww.
At Lunch, I saw Paulo, the guy who did my home interview. That was snazzy. Heather also teased me, and said I was supposed to "clean my plate," and that I was a traitor for eating the ribs, and that I needed to eat my beans and cole slaw. Heh. Yay for picky eaters united!
I've started putting my harness around my waist during relieving. Like, clasping it. I mean, it fits. PaUlo said, "That's an interesting way to wear the harness," which was amusing.
Then we went to the mall (it was sooo hot out that we put off City Hall til tomorrow). Heather took Nna, Dorianne and I shopping. I had the best time. Seriously, Heather is so much fun to shop with! We went to the pet store, and she showed us everything. Then we went to Bath and Body Works, which was even more awesome. She helped us all pick out lotions, and she helped us with samples and wafted all the different styles of lotions and sprays for us. She's seriously an angel, I don't know where she gets all her patience and energy. She helped me pick this cool Vanilla-And-Sugar Shimmer Body Lotion, which smells sooo good! Dorianne recommended the scent, by the way, and Heather recommended the shimmer. "At your age, you need to shimmer," she told me.
I seriously had the best time. Lannie led me beautifully, even though I was just healing him. Well, he led me beautifully until we were done. I picked up his harness handle, and he was following Heather out the door. He was so intent on following her that he crashed me into a display.
"No!" I said, like you're supposed to when they mess up.
"Are you okay?" Heather asked.
"I'm fine," I said.
She was about to tell me not to worry about reworking it, I think, but I dropped the harness handle like you're supposed to, heeled Lannie to my side, tapped the display, and cautioned, "Careful!" Then, I backed up up to work Lannie forward. I backed up ... right into another display. And some bottles bounced to the floor, and we all cracked up. Poor Heather had to go pick them up. But the important thing was that when I told Lannie to go forward, he went around the display perfectlz. The only reason he bumped it in the first place was because he was attempting to keep up with Heather. He's great at following people, which will definitely come in handy.
Did you know that there are bubbles for dogs that taste like bacon? I'm so going to get some.
Heather also said I should write about this fun in my Blog. (blinks) Who told her that I have a Blog? I know Jason and Christina know, but wow .... Um, Heather, are you reading this? Heh.
Anyway. I had my midclass conference when we got back. It went really 1well; I feel really stupid, though, because there was this annoying fly buzzing around the whole time, and it kept fluttering past my head, and every time, I'd wince and automatically swat at that. I probably looked like a demented Daren said I'm doing a great job--he actually said, "Kudos to you," which I found incredibly funny and sweet--and we talked about how things are going, Lannie, what to stress working on, etc. It went really well. I also asked about Chorus Camp--he says I can go, but that it might stress Lannie out. So I wrote a letter to Iris and the directors. I'm not sure if I really should go to Camp, because Lannie's already dealt with so much, and, although we're doing very well, I wouldn't say our bond is rock solid yet. Far from it.
Anyway, we also discussed coming to school, etc. I don't wanna go into it now, cuz I'm tired.
I talked to my Dad, and to Katie, both of which were long and awesome convos. Then I talked to my mom and Court after a lecture about Guide Dogs and the public. This one dog on tie-down barked during it, and there was this flurry of barking, and Lannie didn't quite bark, but he sort of ... half-barked very softly? I felt it more than heard it. Then he was sort of restless the whole time, and kept jumping up when the dog barked again. He's not a night person, and whenever this happens during the day, he's fine. After awhile, he put his head in my lap, as though to seek protection, so I petted him and held his muzzle and was all loving.
I call Lannie Big L. Yes, another nickname.
Someone told about this store that refused her entry with her dog, and they bodily pushed her from the store. They sued of course, but how horrible.
Okay, it's 10:30 PM, and I'm tiiiired. More tomorrow!
|Sunday, July 16th, 2006|
. Almost, anyway.
Today was fun! Very relaxing. I got up right on time, showered, dressed, fed, relieved, watered and ate breakfast. Then Derek helped me out with my laptop. We also figured out that the reason my connection is sketchy is probably because my dorm is at the end of the hallway, and we've been told that there are certainly weak spots in the wireless. Charlene didn't have any problems in her area of the dorm room, so I may go to her desk if I can't do e-mail again.
Anyway, then I read for awhile, relieved and watered when necessary, etc. At about noon, I got Lannie. I used the zoom, the wire brush, and the comb on him, gently but efficiently. I loaded the toothbrush with paste, and tried to brush Lannie's teeth, but he just licked the paste off. I dampened his doggie washcloth, and rinsed off his face. Then I gave him the once-over. He seemed pretty handsome.
There were lots of visitors today!
Mr. S, and his daughter Miriam and son Josiah
Derek's Dad, and his half-brothers Alex and Nicholas (called Nick)
Derek's Mom Kelli, stepdad Kevin, sister Nicole, and Nicole's friend Jenna
Joe M, our school buddy
My Grandma and Grandpa
My Mom and Dad, of course
It was great to see everyone, especially the newcomers. Everyone loved Lannie, and he took the visitors in stride much better than last week. He still wouldn't obey me quite as well as he does under ordinary circumstances, but I don't expect him to be perfect.
My mom is so funny. She obsessed because my sink was dirty, I hung my washcloth next to Lannie's, and made my bed messily. It was very amusing and mommish and cute.
I also got cake and cookies, and a sandwich.
I was so glad to see Mr. S and his youngins. The kids seemed a little shy, but very precious, and extremely well-behaved. Mr. S seemed quite enthralled with both Lannie and Esquire.
I feel badly because I didn't get to talk to Derek's dad at all, and I didn't spend much time with Joe either. But he'll have plenty of time to see the dogs at school.
After everyone left, I picked up my first poo. Dorianne helped me. Man, they're huge! It looks like one of those miniature hot dogs, or like a sausage. It wasn't bad picking it up, though. We have those little bag-scoop things, and you put your hand in it, kind of like it's a puppet. Then you scoop the poo, push the bag into itself so that the poo's on the inside, and tie it up. Pretty simple.
We then had some people from the gift shop come in and "pedal their merchandise," figuratively speaking. Michelle and I sat next to each other and were both taking notes on BrailleNotes. It was pretty hot, and I was all gleeful about it later, claiming that BN's are taking over.
I have no idea what to buy. I'm going to talk to the parentals about it.
Dinner was amazing. Cheesy chicken is good! There were these strange vegetables that looked like fingers, and I made Dorianne try them, and it was amusing. I also made a mess trying to eat the cake for dessert.
Then Heather took Dorianne, Anna (called Anne or Nna), Maria and I out to the paddock. Dorianne went first. It was seriously amazing to hear Heather playing with Vettie, whom she trained, and to hear Dorianne cry, "Yvette, come!" and to hear Yvette scrambling to her new mistress. I'm such a loser, I just about bawled. Seriously, though, it's really amazing. All us observers cheered, and Heather and Dorianne were over the moon.
I got to go second. Heather let me try the Flexi (Plexi?) leash, with her on the end playing the dog, and then it was time to practice. Lannie was already off leash, puttering around.
"I'll sniff the grass," Heather intoned, in her dog-voice. "I'm so mellow, and cool."
Heather ran off to play with Lannie. "Lancaster," she cooed, "oooh, come and play! Come on! Yayayay! ..." Then, in an undertone, "Call him!"
"Lannie, come!" I cried.
No response, and my heart sank.
"Lannie, come, come on!" I clapped my hands. "Lans ... Lans! Lannie!"
Then, out of nowhere, he was coming. He pelted toward me so fast he almost bowled me over. Heather ran over, and we both laughed. I sank to my knees and hugged Lannie, and said, "Good boy, good job!" and other variations, while holding out kibble. Lannie inhaled it. We tried again and again, and Lannie got more exuberant each time. He would come running at me with such speed that he would careen around me in a half-circle. He would gobble the kibble, and then frollick around me. At one point, Heather sat down with him. "Oh, Lannie, Lannie," she cried, and captured him in her arms. She hugged him. "Laaans," she crooned.
"Lannie, come!" I shouted.
Heather let out an amused shriek of laughter. Lannie had shoved out of her embrace and come barreling toward me so fast that his back legs couldn't keep up with his front. "He just did the Famous Lab Slide," Heather said.
I was overjoyed, and showered Lannie with praise.
Maria's dog, Pawnee, was good at coming, and she played like a crazy child, running like a maniac and getting really involved with a puzzle ball, trying to destroy it. Gazelle, Nna's dog, was angelic, and great at coming, and when she ran, she snorted like a piglet. Very precious.
We all thanked Heather and went back to our rooms. I talked to Charlene, my mom, sister and Jonathan, and Farhan. Kaitlyn also called me while Mr. S and them were visiting.
Tomorrow we work in buildings--The Albert Building and City Hall--and focus on stairs and elevators.
Bye for tonight, and thanks to everyone who visited! Ooh, and I made some headway on e-mails. Keyword, some.
Oh, also, in relieving, Heather talked about our dogs in community run, which is when they take them off to romp and stuff. Anyway, she said that Lannie was in her community run instead of Daren's, since he came out of foster care and back to the kennels, and she had a slot. So she and Daren both worked with him, she in community run, and Daren in training. Lannie was extremely close with both of them. He also went home with Heather a lot, because the kennels made him sad and scared, because the dogs got in his face and he was kind of stressed because of losing his first handler. When I heard that, I felt so sad, because Lannie's been through so much, and he's such an angel. I love him so much and don't want him to be sad, ever. I just hope I'm good enough for him, and that he's happy with me. How will I know? But I was so thankful to Heather of being there for him, and to Daren for teaching him, and to whoever his puppy raisers are for doing such a good job with him. (Did I mention that Alison M's mom babysat for Thompson, Lannie's dad, once? How wild and awesome is that?).
Special thanks to Katie for calling and checking in with Lannie and I, and to Mel C, who said Lannie's adorable. To Jonathan, too,, for the same reason as Mel. If you want pics, drop me a line.
Anyway. I should go. Tiredness. Peace out!
|Saturday, July 15th, 2006|
. Except for a couple things which I added in on this journal.
Today was awesome!
It started out the way it usually does. I wake up about every hour and check the time, but otherwise sleep very soundly. I always am afraid that I won't wake up in time, and Lannie will die of starvation. I would be a horrible, paranoid parent. Having a nog really helps me empathize with my parents. Maybe they think I'll die of starvation, too. Anyway, at 5:25, my alarm goes off. I know it's going to, and I know I have time, so I ignore it. Lannie doesn't, though. He starts flapping his ears and banging his tail against the wall. I pull myself out of bed and go to his corner. He licks my hands and wags his tail like a fiend. I slump off into the shower, get dressed and rake a brush through my hair. I yank on my jacket, sit and read for about ten minutes, dish up Lannie's breakfast, take him out to the freezing-cold relieving circle, get a nice fresh poo if I'm lucky, give him water, read for fifteen more minutes, eat breakfast, and go to lecture.
This morning was like that, except that I woke up in the middle of the night with one of my feet asleep. I guess all that walking had really worn me out. For some reason, I thought in my half-sleep that Lannie was sitting on my foot, and that I'd dropped his leash. So I started groping around for my leash. Realized I was in bed and didn't have the leash, pulled off my sock, and fell back to sleep. Yeah. I was delusional. So I wake up this morning, and can't find my sock. Great. I search high and low. Can't find it. Check the time. IT's 5:29, and I have plenty of time, but of course, I freak out and take a fast shower, because I am four minutes behind schedule. Can we say anal?
So then I go to breakfast and tell Dorianne about the sock thing, and because she's an angel, she comes to my room and "goes on probation from the blind club" to help me find it, since she can see a little. To my credit, it took her about five minutes to find it, because it got stuck between the covers and was at the base of my bed. Dorianne didn't even say my bed looked horribly made, which it totally did. She also didn't remind me that food bowls don't belong on the bed (I'd taken it away from Lannie when he was done because he had been licking it spasmodically for about seven centuries).
Anyway. Breakfast was good, and then we got into vans and buses and did a bus-to-lounge. It had five crossings, so it was in between the other two in terms of length. We had a lot of down time before it started, so Bonnie, Michelle, Audrey (a retrain), Beverly (another retrain), Emil and I all practiced Obedience. I played the part of the little kid on the street who is obsessed with dogs.
Me: (in a high voice): Ooooooooh! Doggieeeee! Mommy, can I go pet it?
Mommy (played by Bonnie): No, baby, you cannot! It's a working dog!
Me: (whining): But, Moooommyyyy! I wanna pet it!
Mommy: No, little girl! It's not a pet!
Me: I don't care! (runs over to dog) Hi, doggiiiieeee! Oooooh!
Handler: I'm sorry, this dog is working!
Me: Doggie doggie doggie!
Handler: (continues to give the dkg commands to see if it obeyed in spite of my presence)
So that was fun.
The route itself went the best out of all the three bus-to-lounges. Lannie's only, and I do mean only problem was that he got distracted by Heather, whom he adores. She was standing by a pole, and Lannie stopped and looked up at her. Good thing I didn't reach out to see what it was. I was just on the point of asking him to hop up when Heather started giggling, and apologized for distracting Lannie.
San Rafael has these really weird flat curbs. At one corner, Lannie took me to the center of the curb. It was such flat terrain that I couldn't even tell it was a curb. So I asked him to hop up, and he crossed the street! I was about to stop him when I realized it was actually an okay time to cross. So I was just like, "What the heck, I'll just go."
I was so happy to make it home (to the lounge) safe. I hugged Lannie and showered him with kibble.
We then had our escalators lecture and also went over the schedule for the next (last) two weeks. We're going into the city a lot, and doing work with Bart and city buses and buildings and supermarkets and everything. I am sooo jazzed! And I can't wait for the Night Routes! What an adventure it will be, walking in the dark. Of course, instructors will be there, but I can pretend they're not, and make like I'm in a rough part of town, or something.
Heather drove the van home; I got to ride shot gun, and Heather and I both petted Lannie, and talked about how he is amazing and not dog distracted. Heather told this really sad story about her pet dog who got malled by another dog on the beach, and how she screamed at the attacker-dog's owner and sued him. (I think she sued?). Anyway, Heather is really amazing.
Today was Fun Day at GDB. It's a day where puppy raisers come and do Juno-Walks and stuff, and where people who want to be puppy raisers can get puppies. I don't really know all about it, but there were tons--and I do mean tons--of people flocking our campus. Heather had to tell them all to get out of the relieving circle. This one family had a coronary because they claimed to know one of the dogs. As it turned out, they had raised the dog's brother. Hmmm.
Anyway, after we relieved, we went to the mall for Lunch. Lannie was great working through the mall, and I felt like an independent, grown-up big shot. If I'd gotten anymore pumped up, my head would have probably exploded. Anyway, I got a Kids Meal (and actually handled the cash transaction without looking totally "blind," if you know what I mean), and then sat down. Pat was a gentlemen and carried my Happy Meal box for me, aww. And Pete got me a chair. Cindy, Derek and I all sat together, and our dogs were very good.
There was a huge line for McDonalds, and while Pete took Derek and Pat took Cindy, a security guard waited with me. I don't know if Pete or Pat requested this, or if she took the initiative herself. Anyway, she asked Lannie's name, and asked if I was graduating, and if I was having fun. She didn't ask to pet him, and was very polite and nice. We also got a taste of the more uneducated public, though, when a man came up to Cindy, said, "What a nice dog you have," and started petting him without even asking permission. Luckily, Cindy figured out what he was doing, and said, very politely:
"I'm sorry, but my dog is working, so please don't touch him," and the dude went away.
Derek reported hearing a mother say to her son, "See that nice doggie over there? He's helping that young man."
Another mom said to her little boy, "Don't pet the dog!"
After lunch, those who wanted to work with escalators could go back to the mall. We were told in lecture that you have to work your dog on escalators regularly, because if you don't, they'll forget how to do it. I rarely go on escalators, so I just decided not to put Lannie through it. I'm afraid I'd get his little feet caught, and then I'd never forgive myself. I love escalators, but I don't mind walking stairs or taking elevators. Anything to keep Lannie safer.
So Derek and I both stayed behind, but if we change our mind, there's more practice on Tuesday. But honestly, they said, ideally, you have to work escalators once a week. Uh, forget it?
So I stayed at home (uh, I mean, dorm) and played on the laptop. Also ate junk food, watered, relieved, fed, listened to music, talked to Chris W, Nick, Chris S, Hayden, Lauren and Cortney, and ate dinner.
In the relieving circle, I chanted, "Two, four, six, eight ... it is time to defecate. Go Lannie! Yeah, yeah, go Lannie!" Pat cracked up.
Pat also told us about how this one class used to throw their poop bags at him. He let Dorianne try it.
"I'm going to bean you, Patrick," I told him.
"If you do, I'll have a little ... uh ... accident with the hose."
"Aw," I whined, "you wouldn't!"
Then I came back to my room, dawdled.
Lannie grumbled about me waking him up for relieving, but was actually pretty good this night. He's snoring now, every so often. Heh.
Maria came to say good night to me, and make sure I was okay. Everyone's so sweet here. Bonnie, Dorianne and Maria especially make a point to look after me. They say I say, "Oh, Lannieeeee!" just like Mary Tyler Moore says, "Oh, Roooob!" in that show on Nick At Night. Whatever, I've never even seen it.
Peace out for tonight, it's about time for me to turn in.
|Friday, July 14th, 2006|
Today was really amazing. We didn't have a lecture, and so we left for the lounge right away. Daren escorted Dorianne and I to Wal-Greens. It was a fairly lengthy walk. Daren told us where to go, obviously, which was very nice. The only hiccup was that there were about a billion dogs tied outside stores or on leashes. Now, I'm not a dog person. I love dogs who are calm and nice and friendly, but dogs that are barking and being spastic, like half the ones we encountered today, really freak me out. So you can imagine how happy I was when Lannie just waltzed right past them, like he was king of the world. I could just imagine this haughty expression on his face, and the little strutty way he was probably walking. Poor Yvette, Dorianne's dog, didn't like the dogs at all. She's a tiny little female dog, so x'; understandable that she was more intimidated. She was being all distracted and getting all upset. It happened mostly with this one dog, a chocolate lab. The lab in question was tied to a pole, and its owners were inside Starbucks. That's so cruel, ditching your dog like that. Anyway, Dorianne had to give Yvette the High-Collar Correction of Doom. Good thing Daren was there to help her with it, because Yvette squealed was very upset by the correction. It took a couple corrections to make Vettie pay attention.
Eventually, we got to Wal-Greens. Lannie was good about navigating and following Dorianne. Dorianne bought me chocolate kisses, and then I bought she and Daren drinks at Starbucks where we stopped next (I insisted that they deserved them, which they totally do). Daren also teased me and said that my backpack was about half my size, and that my shoes were too big. But anyway, I digress. It felt so cool just to go into a store with Lannie. I really never go shopping without someone with me. I still had Dorianne, but I just felt so much more competent and independent. I still wouldn't jump at the chance to shop by myself--I'm not a solitary person by nature--but it was just an amazing and alien feeling. Starbucks was awesome--Dorianne and I sipped our drinks and talked about random things--and then Daren came and drank his drink, and walked back with us. I told him about the rotweiller that had jumped on me when I was eight, and about my subsequent big-dog-ophobia.
Then we went back to the lounge, and shortly thereafter, went back to the dorms for lunch, and then back downtown for a bus-to-lounge. This time my bus was second to go, so we got the route and had to wait for like a half hour. THIS route was similar to the last one, but it had seven crossings instead of four.
Block 1: Went totally fine.
Block 2: Lannie wasn't yet focused and kept ducking into side alleys and stuff. I'd hop him up and he'd hop up but then do something nutso again. The fact that I was unfamiliar with the block didn't help. Daren stepped into help me, and I got across.
Block 3: Roee greeted me on the corner, but I crossed fine.
Block 4: For some reason, Lannie was standing a little crookedly by the curb and I couldn't figure out how to cross. Pat gave me a few tips, and I was fine. I was a little flustered at this point, but Pat assured me that no one would let anything happen to me. Which was nice. When I got across, Pat cheered for me.
Block 5: I met up with Cindy, and we crossed together. Cindy asked me what street I was on--I think she was trying to test me or something--and I was all flustered. I told her, and she didn't say whether I was right or wrong, and this made me freak out inwardly.
Block 6: I met up with Cindy again, but let her cross ahead of me, and then crossed by myself.
Block 7: I met up with Emil and Cindy. We were all piled up at the corner. WE decided that each of us would cross separately. Emil was waiting for a nice surge, and one wouldn't come. Stephanie jokingly asked if we needed to flip a coin to see who would go first. Emil told me I could go first after all, because he wasn't having much luck. So I did, and then I hung my left into the lounge and everything went fine from there. Lannie even stopped neatly at the curb instead of anticipating the right like last time. I praised him and gave him kibble and was very happy by the end of the route. I'd felt a little shaky in parts of it, but I'd done my best.
Our bus broke down, so we all piled into Bus 1, which was fun. Then we fed, watered and relieved. Some people had mid-class conferences, and Daren called my parents to give the report on how I was doing, since I'm a minor. We had dinner, and I went swimming. The lifeguard's name was Heather, and she was really cool. Derek and I had backflipping contests, and Emil, Jason, Bonnie and Michelle came swimming, too. I got cold after about 45 minutes. Heather was nice and brought everyone their towel as they hopped out. She took pity on me because I was shivering a lot. There's some dumb rule that you can't bring your towel to your room with you. Thank gosh I was smart and brought my sweatshirt. I put that on, and then just ran to my dorm, and jumped in the shower. I sang the whole time, and felt much better.
I got into my PJ's, and went online. I talked to Rachel C, Vanja, Jason (from GDB), Sam and some other people. I can't send e-mails because of the evil, wavery connection. I can receive them sometimes, though. Grrr!
I also talked to my mom and Court.
Today was fun, it really was. Tomorrow we're going to the mall (woopty doo?). We get to buy lunch, which is frickin' awesome. I want McDonalds!
Hi to Margaret M and all the other puppy raisers that my mom informed me are reading and commenting. And hi to everyone out there who's reading. I love you all, I really do! And I will read your comments ASAP, I really will.
Rachel's going to put an icon she made on this LJ. It's a pic of Lannie and I that she made into an icon, so keep your eyes out for that, assuming your eyes actually function.