Recently, I got to chat with someone from Guiding Eyes who shared the family information for both of my guide dogs.
Oleta was born on October 23, 2009 to parents Loren and Mark. Her siblings in birth order are:
Osa (released, but became a different sort of service dog)
Oak (retired guide dog)
Oleta (retired guide dog)
Ogden (retired guide dog)
Prim was born on October 21, 2015 to parents Peter and Daphne. Her siblings are:
Peyton (in training)
Peace (working guide dog)
Pongo (detection dog)
Pearl (working guide dog)
Prim (working guide dog)
Pumkin (working guide dog)
It’s great to know where my sweet girls came from. I’m hoping we can meet some of Prim’s siblings! We already know her sister Pumpkin, who was in training when we were in class in September. It was pretty clear they knew that they are sisters, judging by how much they wanted to play together every time they saw each other. ❤
So thankful to Guiding Eyes for breeding, raising, and training so many fantastic dogs.
And so it begins. Just as there was a second journey recorded on this blog in Scotland absent of Oleta, my darling first guide dog, here commences yet another second journey in her absence, that is, my second experience at guide dog school, and a new partnership with another wonderful Guiding Eyes dog. I plan to keep a careful account of my training and related musings in the pages of this blog. My hope is that it will prove useful both for me as an opportunity to reflect on the things I am learning and feeling throughout the process, and for others who want to discover more about guide dogs and guide dog training. When I was a teenager preparing for my first guide dog at 16, I scoured every website I could possibly find related to guide dogs. Training blogs like this were one of my favorite ways to learn more about guide dogs in general, as well as specifics about the varied training philosophies and programs in existence. If this account is as interesting to someone else as similar blogs were to me as a first time applicant to guide dog school, I would be humbled (and also impressed that your attention span is that long because seriously I am a wordy writer. Haha. Prepare yourself!)
See you in New York!
You’ve seen me in them multiple times this week, and yes, it’ll keep happening… It’s the same comment every time. “Aw, that dog has little shoes!”
There are two problems with this… no, three.
1. They are called booties, not “little shoes’. I make this distinction because
2. ‘Little shoes’ sounds cute. They are not cute. It’s easy to become confused, I’m sure, considering my high level of fashionality, but they are part of the job. They protect my paws in extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and from salt and chemicals on the road in freezing conditions.
3. Also, they are highly uncomfortable. We dogs are built much sturdier than you humans, and while getting salt stuck between your paw pads or dancing on street corners because of the heat is definitely unpleasant, I almost prefer it to wearing such a ridiculous form of attire. During booty season, Shea is fond of telling me, “Oleta, it’s really not that bad. I wear shoes every day!” But here’s the thing… I don’t!
Admittedly, there is one slight benefit to wearing
booties. They give me all kinds of traction… which means wherever I want Shea to go, she goes. Now, I don’t take advantage of this very often. Usually, it’s helpful to keep both of us from sliding on ice, and so much more fun than slipping around on the slick tile in those college buildings of ours… at dinner time though… we’re goin’ home, and with my four-paw drive, there’s not much Shea can do about it. Hey, don’t judge me… this is a give and give relationship. Shea gives me booties, I give her attitude. Fair is fair.
That said, booties are part of guide work, and I love my job, so as much as I detest them, I will keep wearing them for the sake of keeping Shea safe… don’t tell Shea I said that though.
The title of this post is, yes, a play on the show title “Breaking Bad’, because my chosen career is so bachelor of arts (BA) in general, but it’s really more about my sincere desire to actually break my booties. Just thought I should clarify. Until next time, over and out.
Wow… It’s been a while, but Shea is currently working on a speech, and ignoring me I might add, so I thought I might contribute to the blog, since she’s been such a terrible blog authoress (blauthoress? I like it.) She’s been a terrible blauthoress, so I’m lending a paw to the cause.
The speech on which she is currently working happens to be on the subject of guide dogs, a subject on which I happen to be well versed. Her professor is always talking about how one should have “expert testimony” to support their claims. She is concerned, because she was crazy this week with midterms and didn’t have time to call and interview a guide dog trainer as she wanted to do, but I think she is missing a crucial detail here. SHE literally lives with an expert on guide dogs and guide dog training! Hello… why bother calling a human guide dog trainer when you can just interview the guide dog? Sometimes Shea makes no sense!
So, I just wanted to let you guys know, if you ever need some expert testimony on guide dogs, I would be more than pleased to offer my expertise.