had to repost. between my screen reader and word spell checker crashing, there were a few errors. I have a problem sometimes with getting the shift key for capital letters especially on letters with the baby finger like A and Q. enjoy this revamped version.
First Guide Dog Training
For those who read this who have had guide dogs, you’ll read about things like the instructors bringing us the dogs’ food bowls, meals already made up. And what is now called a patio outside the rooms was once a dog run, where we let the dogs out for the first two weeks of training. My, how things have changed! And though I don’t like all the changes, this is a good change, handling our dogs’ food ourselves and leash relieving from the start. Enjoy.
August 20, 1975
It’s the middle of the morning on Dog Day. We just had obedience practice again. I had Juno Underwood. He was very good, except that he did not want to sit one time. I gave him a good correction and he straightened up. When we were through Mr. Underwood told me that I have everything down good. We’re going out with the harnesses to downtown San Rafael in a while. First, the three instructors have to go have a “pow-wow”, (Mr. Ainsworth’s words”, with the big-wigs about their dog choices for us.
In just a few short hours I will have my precious Dog! I’m so excited that I wish I could just go to sleep till then, because the anticipation is super crazy. I even drank two glasses of milk to try and keep my stomach in line. That was at breakfast I had the milk. I’m so nervous too. Will the dog like me? What if the dog doesn’t like me? Damn! How I want that dog! God, please, let the dog like me!!!!!!!!!!!
This morning’s workout was pretty good. I was out with Juno Ainsworth. No more Juno! Hooray! Mr. Ainsworth told me that I am very intelligent and that I have a lot going for me. I was probably blushing a thousand shades of red!
We had a lecture on grooming when we got back here after the workout. It was hard to concentrate because I was getting super excited about this afternoon!
Mr. Post sat at our table for lunch today. He is as crazy as everyone says he is. He kept purposely messing up our names and cracking jokes. I like him.
I don’t know if I’m going to make it till I get my dog!
At 1:15 we all gathered in the loading lounge. We had a lecture about getting our dogs and how we would be doing that. I kept fidgeting around and wished he would just get it over with. People kept asking questions and I wanted to yell at them to just shut up so we could hear about our dogs!
Finally, Mr. Jenkins read the list of who was getting what. He called the name, then would say they were getting and say the gender and breed and name. Then he spelled the name and said it again. I was glad Gomes is near the beginning of the alphabet. Finally, it was my turn. Mr. Jenkins said,
“Miss Gomes, you are receiving a female black Labrador Retriever named Quincy. Q. U. I. N. C. Y. Quincy.”
Quincy! My dog is Quincy! At first I wasn’t sure I liked that name. It’s a boy’s name. But by the time I was back here in my room, waiting, I loved the name.
I’m now here in my room, writing this and trying to keep my mind occupied while I’m waiting to be called to the instructors’ room to meet Quincy. It’s not occupying my mind very much. I’m also listening to the movie Jaws. I snuck my tape recorder into the movie theater in a big purse and taped it. But it’s not occupying my mind yet. Not even Richard Dreyfuss can keep me from wishing they’d hurry up and call me! I wonder if pacing will help. Or tearing at my hair. Or biting my nails. When will they call me! Oh, God, I’m so nervous! I’m shaky, and there’s a sort of empty feeling in my stomach. I sure hope I get her soon!
I got Quincy soon after writing that part. Mr. Jenkins called me, and I grabbed my leash and practically flew down to the instructors’ room. They had me sit in a big chair against the wall, and they let Quincy in from the run and let her sniff around the room for a few minutes, while they described her to me. Finally she came over to see who I was. I petted her and talked to her. She’s so small and cute. And she’s all wiggly. After a few minutes, they told me to snap the leash to her collar and take her back to my room. We don’t have any workout this afternoon. We get to spend the time getting acquainted with our dogs.
I left the room and gave my first command to Quincy.
And we headed back to our room.
I sat on the floor with Quincy, petting her and talking to her in silly girly doggy talk. She would roll around and wag her tail a lot. Sometimes she would get up and pull on her leash like she wanted to go to the door and see what else was going on. She’s so small. But she’s happy and friendly. I think we’re going to do good together.
Between 4 and 4:30, Mr. Ainsworth brought around the food. The dogs’ food that is. They told us the instructors would go to the kennels to get the food and when they came back they would come in the dorm and yell “Chow!” when we heard that we were supposed to go to our doors and wait. The instructors would give us a bowl with our dogs’ meal and we would feed our dogs on their tie-down. I could hardly stand still waiting for him to bring me Quincy’s bowl. They started at the other end of the dorm. Quincy was bouncing around on her tie-down, and I was bouncing around in the doorway. She sure knows what chow means. Finally it was my turn and I rushed over to put the bowl down so my girl could eat.
After she ate, she got water and then Michele and I took turns letting our dogs out on the run. Michele got a yellow lab named Felix.
We went down to the dining room for human dinner early, so we could get in to our tables and seated and learn how to get our dogs settled. Quincy was very good throughout the meal. She didn’t get up and down like some other dogs did.
I called home after dinner. I talked to Suzy and Grandma I and Jerry. Poor Diana’s mouth was all swollen from the removal of three wisdom teeth. Dad was at the field watching Stevie play. Joey and Rosie went with them. They were all excited about Quincy. Then I called Barb to tell her every bit about today. She’s doing great and was super excited for me. I also got a tape from her today.
Later, Mr. Ainsworth came to size our harnesses. We had a lecture after that about the water and relieving schedule for the dogs. I think I have that down.
Wake up and offer the dog water then let the dog out on the run for ten minutes.
After morning workout, water then relieve.
After afternoon workout, water then food then water then relieve.
At 7 PM offer the dog water.
At 9 PM final relieving on the run.
Then we had to practice heeling our dogs. We walked up and down the dorm hallway, back and forth back and forth. It’s the length of three football fields. I thought we should have had marching music playing and it was super funny with us all walking up and down and talking to our dogs.
When we finished that, Quincy and I went down to the music room for a while and talked to Dan, and his yellow lab, Frisco. Frisco and Felix are brothers.
Now I’m back in my room. I’m going to finish this journal, get my tapes ready to mail and let Quincy out on the run for her final relieving and then go to bed. I’m tired now, and there’s a big day ahead tomorrow for Quincy-Girl and me.
I’m so happy!!!!!!