Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Monday, May 16, 2005

 

New Seeing Eye dog

In a message to friends and family on May 13, 2005, Mike May wrote:

”I got my first dog Totie in 1973, Rickie in 1983, Utah in 1985, Josh in 1993 and "Miguel" today. Can you believe they gave me a dog-named Miguel? I am still figuring out if the dog speaks Spanish or not. Three Shepherds and a Golden Retriever.

Miguel is a Golden and Lab cross. His fur is soft like a Golden but shorter. He is blond on most of his body and more rusty colored on his back and head.

The Seeing Eye knows me pretty well after 4 dogs over 30 years. They know I like a strong pulling fast dog that can rise to all occasions. Before the final decision is made, the trainer takes the student, me, on a walk. He holds the harness like the dog and I hold the handle. As soon as we finished a near sprint around the grounds, he said rather breathlessly, you just confirmed which dog is right for you.

Day 1: At this early stage, Miguel just wants his trainer but he is putting up with me rather graciously. The trainer said Miguel was the same with him at first too so the transfer of affection will take a few days at least.

I am in Morristown NJ for a week and then another trainer will meet me in Davis to work for a second week.

After 2 and a half years since Josh died, I decided to get another dog because I still rely on a cane 90% of the time for the path in front of me and that missing 10% can be dangerous. I have learned not to trust my vision when it comes to curbs, obstacles and overhangs. Therefore, if I am going to rely on a cane, why not rely on a dog instead? Dogs have been part of my life forever and I miss the companionship an excitement of sharing the mobility experience with a dog. It is so amazing how a dog can work if you apply yourself to the challenge and work together. They assure me that Miguel and Michael are a team that will grow together. It doesn't hurt if he is a good family dog a chick magnet as well as an awesome worker.

Day 2: For the 4th night on the road, I got only a few hours of sleep. On this first night with Miguel, every time I would roll over, he would pop up and lick me, not something I am used to at home. I didn't know if this signal meant he needed to go or if he was simply bored. We aren't supposed to take them out until the official "park" time, 6:30 AM on Sunday so we dragged through the night.

Miguel's trainer has Sunday off so I had another trainer work with us on the trip to town this morning. This made a huge difference because Miguel wasn't looking for his trainer; he just put his head down and focused on his work. Unbelievable worker! He really loves guiding. He was doing normal new-guide things like not hesitating at the up-curb and getting distracted by squirrels but I experienced his drive and it as much or more than any of my previous guides. Lots to learn but I now see the potential and the loyalty one doesn't normally associate with a lab or Golden. I do hope we get some sleep.

Archives

August 1997   January 1998   August 1999   December 1999   January 2000   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   March 2005   May 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   November 2005   May 2006   June 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   October 2008   January 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   March 2010   April 2010   July 2010   October 2010   December 2010   February 2011   May 2011   July 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   July 2012   August 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   March 2013   June 2013   July 2013   August 2013   September 2013   October 2013   November 2013   December 2013   January 2014   March 2014   April 2014   August 2014   September 2014   October 2014   November 2014   December 2014   February 2015   July 2015   August 2015   September 2015   November 2015   December 2015   January 2016   January 2017  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?