We went to a nice little town today to do our day walk — Katonah, New York. I had never heard of it, which I find amazing considering I live less than an hour away. Hey — maybe the good people of Katonah have never heard of us from the city either.
We did one nice long route that Nash did well. It was much more suburban than our usual routes in White Plains. Instead of people obstacles, there were plenty of trees and different plant smells to distract Nash. He did have a few focus issues with the smells, but did pretty well for the most part.
We only did one day run as we had to get back for pictures. Yes, going to Guide Dog School is a little like camp. You have your schedule for the day with plenty of activities, but there is also a lot of extracurricular stuff like photos. I can’t wait for color war with a bunch of blind people. Red rover red rover send Brian and his guide dog on over.
We each had our photo taken with our dog, as we will have an identification card showing that our dog is a guide dog. While Nash and I were sitting there, and the photographer was snapping away, Nash decided to start licking my face. It was really cute and funny, and after all, a comedian can never take serious pictures. I guess Nash is just taking after his handler.
I still think when Nash looks at me he sees a giant pork chop. (Hopefully he is a vegetarian.) We also did a group photo of everyone and their guide dogs. I kept waiting for the photographer to say to all of the blind people, “Okay, everyone look at the camera!”
We went on our first night walk tonight. Yes, I feel like a vampire as I am a day walker, as I still have a little vision left during the day, but am completely blind at night. My friends used to kid me that I ought to be getting home as the street lights are coming on.
After my first experience working with Nash at night, I now know what most of the rest of the class feels like all the time, as most of them are totally blind. For the first few blocks I was holding on to Nash’s harness so tightly that only a piano falling from the sky on to my head would have separated us. Luckily that didn’t happen.
After a few blocks things started to feel normal, and I started letting Nash do all the work. Funny how Nash has the first job I have ever heard of where letting him do all the work is a good thing. Besides me stepping a little off the sidewalk into the grass, and falling a little, Nash did a pretty fantastic job. I guess that is all thanks to the dedicated hard work of his trainers at Guiding Eyes for the Blind.