so, it is fighting through a great deal of exhaustion that i come to report to you tonight! yesterday was a big big biiiiig day for us. we started late, at 1130, thinking we were catching a break for a breeze of a day. NO. after a short lecture, we began the usual routine of breaking down and loading the wheelchairs, loading dogs into vans, and heading to downtown santa rosa. once there, we continued the habit of unloading dogs and chairs and assembling and settling into the chairs. here's where it got tricky....it was bus day. public bus day, starting at the very hectic very busy bus depot. so, we trotted off in pairs to our assigned bus routes. the task sounded simple enough -- load onto a public bus, get strapped in by the driver, and keep the dog in the assigned (verrrry tiny) spot for a round trip back to the depot. we were all pretty much petrified. VIGGO and i rode with holli (from alabama) and (black lab) NAOMI. both of us did very well parallel parking our chairs, and both dogs were very compliant....to our greatest relief! the ride was very very smooth, both dogs begrudgingly stayed within the available 1' x 1' area in front of our chairs between the anchor straps for the full 40 minute ride...hence the pictures!
anyways, this sounds like quite the day, doesn't it....if only. so after we all got off our buses, we headed a block to the movie theater (still in chairs, mind you). our group saw "the proposal" very cute, i recommend it. time to go home! NO. next we headed to dinner at the cantina. although the margaritas helped, this did not change the fact that we still, yes still, were not done. last challenge....the wednesday night market. i cannot explain this adequately but to say it is about 3 blocks of closed of streets with open air vendors...jewelry, clothes, food, produce, everything. tons and tons of people. and so we proceeded through, and 10 hours after it began our trip was over.
VIGGO did very well for me on these trips, but unfortunately his forging continued and had become quite a concern for the training staff. they did not realize how severe the issue was prior to watching my little self in my big manual chair try not to be pulled into every wrong direction. it's of particular concern because in every, and i mean every, other area, VIGGO is assuredly mere months away from being graduate-able. therefore, the training staff made the call to put him on a gentle leader. apparently, his class of puppies had been started on them, and he was taken off cold-turkey rather then by a fading-off protocol. if you're not a training sort of person and i just started speaking russian, don't worry about it! essentially we switched him to a head collar to get him back into good habits.
so today, very very tired, we all awoke to take our written final exam for this portion of the class. after a fair amount of stress from all parties, the test came and went relatively harmlessly. after this, eyelids barely open after all of the stress and arm workouts of yesterday, we headed off on our final official fieldtrip. we went back to a shopping center and ate lunch, then practiced performing and grading eachother of public access tests. i'm happy to report that with his gentle leader on, VIGGO was like a whole new dog next to my chair today!
so, i guess that's enough of an update for once...enjoy the pics of VIGGO and NAOMI on the bus!
Click to Help