I’m writing at around 4AM, drinking coffee while my dogs snooze on the other furniture. Today, my sweet retired Bianca turns thirteen. How amazing that is to me. She’s still in great health, still has lots of spirit and is full of her usual joy. How I love that crazy dog!
Olga, my 8-year-old working guide has a urinary tract infection. No wonder she’s been peeing all the time and anywhere. sigh. She’s on meds finally, so it will get better soon. Still, my application for training continues. Olga hasn’t really been a strong worker, and I haven’t been as 100 percent confident in her as with some other dogs. But she is a sweetheart, a completely good girl, good companion, never any trouble but the off and on house relieving.
so, how’s the process going?
Guide Dogs of the desert
That application seems to be moving the fastest. They’ve sent reference forms to those on my list and my friends have returned those already. I’m sure they’ve contacted GDB by now, but of course, I have no idea how that went. I have my medical appointment on the 20th of march, and my friend’s son will do the video, as soon as I can tie him down to do it. Yes, GDD needs a video, because being a small school, they can’t easily send people out here to do an interview.
It’s funny, once upon a time, GDD had a bad rap in the community of guide dog handlers, but over the last few years, I’ve heard good things about them, and I’ve seen some good dogs. and damn1 they still train goldens. I want a golden!
That process seems a bit slower. But they did indicate to me that they’ve decided not to send out personal reference forms. I imagine that’s because of my long time history of being a solid handler–39 years now. I have their medical forms and of course will get them filled out next month. There will be a home interview, but as of yet, I haven’t heard from anyone regarding that. It’s probably the fun weather.
Guide Dogs for the Blind
My guide dog alma mater. It still boggles my mind that I’m considering going elsewhere. Never dreamed GDB could do anything that would cause me to choose another training school. I already had follow up scheduled and I requested it to be a home interview instead after submitting a retrain app. That is happening on March 9. Nancy Denier, from the Oregon campus will be here. I got along well with her when I worked at GDB, so fingers are crossed.
Still, my conscience troubles me. I am so deeply unhappy and troubled by the changes at GDB. and yesterday, they issued the news that they’ve finally hired a new CEO. she has no human services or blindness field experience. she does have animal experience, since she’s been some kind of executive with a bay area humane society, and she has good business background. but that doesn’t mean she’ll be any good as a CEO when it comes to making decisions and planning direction that is for the good of students and grads. Last year, I protested the changes with letters and signing petitions. Now, it feels as if I should protest with my business. In other words, take myself and my support elsewhere. I’ve seen GDB go through many changes in 39 years, but what they did last year upset me too much, and I feel there is no true graduate services and support anymore.
On the other hand, GDB knows me, inside and out, when it comes to knowing what type of dog I need with my arthritis and all. They have the best dogs, and I love their training methods. It’s scary starting over somewhere new and having to explain everything about my physical condition all over again.
Oh well, I shall go forward with my applications and see where it leads me. I wonder if I should also apply to guide dogs of America.
Mmmm, time for more coffee. Feel free to follow this blog and to comment as you desire.
Sherry, February 27, 2014.