Edinburgh Guide Dog training: Day 3

Annie the guide dog laying on the floor

Annie chilling before work starts on day 3 of training

I had a very restless night with Annie who was pacing a lot. I took her for a busy in the middle of the night because she hadn’t been since I had got her at 2pm. She appears to have a bladder of steel because she didn’t do a little busy after that until 2pm today. Giving her lots of opportunity to use the run has given us a chance to really practice our obedience. Annie has to sit at each door and wait until I tell her to come. She also has to walk nicely along the corridors without pulling.

Our first walk was by the sea in the mist. It was a good long straight stretch with not many crossings. It felt amazing just to be striding out confidently again rather than walking slowly and clumsily with my cane. Annie feels different in harness to how Connie felt. I can feel all of Annie’s body movement rather than just the front like I did with Connie.

After the walk we had a grooming lesson, the only new thing for me was using our fingers to get out some of the dead hair before you start with the zoom groom. I know a few other people who do this including Jenny and Jaynie. Annie was a big fur ball and I swear I could have knitted a scarf with the amount that came out.

I took Annie down to the bistro at lunch time, this was the first time one of us had brought a dog to the table. She was very well behaved and just lay there quietly.

Our 2nd walk was in the opposite direction to the first but this time it was bright sunshine. We practiced turns and also varying Annie’s speed. Slower for busier conditions and faster on the open pavement. I got well into the walk before realising I had been so worried about doing brand new routes and I had been striding along confidently. Doing new routes means that I am unable to give Annie any clues about what is coming up. We did a good long walk for about 45 minutes. When we got back I tried to play with Annie but she was worn out so when I threw her toy she ran over picked it up and then lay it between her paws with her head on it.

I went to the gym while Annie was resting, it’s quite a well equiped gym and it was quite quiet. Then it was tea time for Annie who ate most of her tea after the long walk. She also managed a busy before bed so that was a relief.

About Beth Dawes

I have no eye colour but I do have an iPad, a guide dog called Annie and a pink long cane.
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