The last couple days have been really busy, as evidenced by the fact I haven't blogged in a while. Here's a quick re-cap...
Mall work: A mall food court probably offers the most distraction for a Seeing Eye dog than anywhere else. A close second might be Petsmart. Anywho, we went to the food court to grab lunch and work the dogs through it to see how easily they'd distract on food debris. Just think of all the crap on the floor in the food court and, well, you get the picture.
As with most everything, Garrett did really well NOT distracting on the tasty morsels. He eyed a piece of chicken at one point, but didn't lunge for it. A good walk around the food court gave a lot of confidence for more realistic situations. I can't think the last time I actually ate in a mall food court (probably a airport mall somewhere), but knowing G-Dog won't be sniffing on leftover French fries while we walk along is a great thing.
Yesterday was kinda the capstone of Seeing Eye dog training: New York, New York. With some potential plans of relocating, this was especially helpful. Thanks to a major back up on the George Washington bridge, our training time in the city was reduced. Still, Garrett got to experience the Port Authority, the subways and a good walk up 8th Avenue. With holiday shoppers everywhere, NYC was a little more challenging than I anticipated. Yet again, Garrett took it like a champ!
A handful of classmates who live within a drive left today. Brings our group down to a total of about 14 souls. Most of the rest of us leave tomorrow, but a few are still here until Thursday. When I had my exit interview with Seeing Eye president, Jim Kutsch, the first question was: do you feel confident enough to return home? I like this. After all, our whole goal is to learn to handle a Seeing Eye dog with competence and confidence. Garrett's attentiveness to NYC and pretty much everything else gives a lot of assuredness that home will be no problem.
And home awaits! It's been just under three weeks since I arrived at The Eye. From then until now? 180 degree turnaround. Garrett is a fantastic dog and I think our life together is going to be even more fantastic than I'm currently thinking. So, without further ado, I've taken my suitcases out of the closet for Garrett to sniff. Later today, we'll start packing those and be ready to get outta Dodge!