Guide Dog: Take II: Day 3 Playtime

This was technically yesterday. I’ll try to write subsequent posts on the day they happen!

photoToday Wesley and I had some really awesome routes! It felt so good to be behind the harness again. Our paces match perfectly and I absolutely adore the way he works. He needs more encouragement than Retha did but he is so sincere in how hard he tries. Even when he is unsure of what I’m asking, he still tries to do the right thing. Working with Wesley is providing many opportunities for me to learn as well. I am working on making my voice intonation with commands more consistent and confident. This is something I never even realized with Retha but Wesley responds extremely well when my commands are firm but still encouraging. My instructor suggested thinking of Wesley doing whatever I am asking him to do instead of waiting to see if he will actually do it. I found this really helpful. It’s definitely something I will have to keep working on but Wesley is a patient teacher.

In between routes, Wesley is so mellow and relaxed. I had some homework to get done and he just laid quietly at my side even as other dogs came in and out. Occasionally he will become curious about what the dogs near him are doing but when I ask for his attention, he is quick to refocus. This level of consistency is so refreshing and exactly what I need in my life right now. I can already tell that he will do great in a class setting and in the dorms.

After returning back to campus from our away routes today, we received instruction with our grooming kits. This was largely a review for me but still exciting with a new dog. Wesley really likes being groomed but is very sensitive. Sometimes he gets unsure about what I’m doing but just looks around to check it out. His coat is so soft and fluffy and super easy to groom. Selfishly, I admit that I am really happy he has black fur because I can finally wear my large collection of black yoga pants that have been in the back of my closet for too long!!

After dinner, we were given Wesley’s favorite thing… toys!!! We have a bone-shaped tug toy, a kong and a nylabone. Wesley loves all three and is so gentle when he plays. He has such a soft mouth and likes to just run back and forth with a toy in his mouth. i threw the kong just a few feet away and he playfully ran to get it and bring it back to me. It seems that he really just wants to be close to me when we play. At one point, he was chewing on his bone a few feet away from me and I was sitting on the floor watching him. He then got up and left his bone, walking over to me and nudging my arm around him. He laid down against my side and took a little nap. I almost cried because of how precious this is. After some snuggle time, Wesley got up and went straight to his bed and fell asleep. Again this is just adorable.

Tomorrow we head into Portland to begin our new routes. I’m really excited to practice more with this sweet boy. With every minute of our journey, I adore him even more. Stay tuned!


About Ali S

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