Friday, 21 November 2008

Thursday 20th Nov 2008

The Day before returning home - I got up went for breakfast was served by a lovely waitress as always and me and my friend got a lovely box of chocolates from the cleaning supervisor how lovely is he a really lovely man, we then went out for a walk and the guy was taken first and then me and my friend did tandem walking which was so much fun and was a real success that we did the same that afternoon. Before the afternoon Tandem walk the dog care and welfare advisor came along to talk to us and another guide dog owner about dog health and welfare and then we all sat and had lunch before the second walk of the day which again was really successful and then before the evening our trainer spoke to us about going home, the do's the dont's etc and then it was time for dinner which was really nice as our trainer came along for the last meal, we had a nicely laid table with hearts and balloons and a celebration cake and we also gave her some chocolates to show our appreciation and again we had a lovely waitress then got to my room watched im a celebrity then took Pearce to the spending pen but he refused to go so tough wait till morning and off to bed we went.

Friday 21st November 2008

Today we went home and glad to be home I was and I saw my Toby again as I missed him so much and my mum was glad to have me back and I was glad to be back but what a wonderful hotel experience I would do it all again. Good Luck to all those waiting to train I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wednesday 19th November 08

We did traffic training again in the morning till about 12ish and afterwards we headed to pets at home to buy a few things for our dogs, i bought a little pocket toy for after Pearce has worked as a reward for good behaviour and an assorted pack of chews. Then we got back and had our lunch a well deserved ham, cheese and tomato pannini, then the trainer took the guy first and me and my friend are going out at around 3:30pm. We went to Abington park again and did a walk around the shops and back again first me then my friend and then we headed back at about 5:30 and chiilled till dinner at 7pm and I had chicken breast with new pots and cabbage delicious lol, starter was melon and afters fruit salad very nice. I then went back to my room watched a bit of football i must have been bored to watch football lol and then decided to ring home to find that the washing machine had broken and mum had just spent £275 on a new washing machine just after sending off the deposit for our annual holiday to Cornwall I knew this would happen I was shocked but mum said we cant live without a washing machine then put the phone down took Pearce to the pen and went to bed.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Monday 17th Nov 08

Its a new day and we went to do buses today which I thought would be so much fun, Pearce was very well behaved and we just did a short journey there and back before heading back to the car so that my friend and her dog could give it a go so in the car I just played games and started off the diary for that day.

Then we had lunch before heading off to do Off Kerb Obstacles which are obstacles that block the whole path which means the dog has to take you round on to the road to get around it using initiative.

Then we did obedience which is very important but very boring and everything has to be done in steps such as down you have to make them sit first and it got me in a total muddle, then we did stairs which was a little more interesting and they all excelled at it, then came back for dinner.

Tuesday 18th Nov 08

This morning we had breakfast before heading off to Milton Keynes to do traffic training with the dogs which is learning how to deal with near and far traffic in the worst case scenarios, a very scary experience but we all did really well and stayed calm and we also got to meet our DM before heading back for lunch all very interesting and after lunch we did another new route before finishing for the day, i was so tired but i decided to ring my mum to find out how her day went as the kids were off school that day and everything fine but I was missing the dogs at home I have to say my wonderful boy Toby and couldnt wait to see him but only a few days left.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Saturday 15th November 2008

Today I got up at 7am took Pearce out to spend him then washed, cleaned and beautified myself before breakfast and I also fed Pearce before my friend came and knocked on my door to say “Are you Ready” I said “Yes coming in a minute” and we both went down for breakfast together as Andrew was away we took both Pearce and my friends and our GDMI was looking after Fairway at home. At 9:30 our GDMI came to collect us to do a new route with us and we went to Wolverton and went through the Agora shopping centre which was different and a lot more interesting and after we had finished we went to a field to free run Pearce and her dog and they had such a great time splashing through the river and playing with sticks and even Pearce stole a stick off a Border Collie Bless the poor Collie was lost without it what a bully he is. Then we came back Michela took Fairway out for a free run and then we had lunch together and then work was finished for the day and we could have a restful afternoon until dinner and then it was time for bed.

Sunday 16th November 2008

I got up, fed Pearce and spent him and then took him down for breakfast and I had Bacon and eggs. At 9:30 our GDMI came to take me and my friend out to do the shop route in Wolverton again and we then had lunch but my friend wasn’t feeling right so she didn’t come down to lunch and the guy returned and I met his friend. Then we had a lazy afternoon and my family came to visit at 2:45, My mum, dad, sister Jenna 13, and brother Daniel 16 came to visit and they took me out for some fresh air and then when we got back my friend came to visit with her dog not at first but mum wanted to see her so my friend brought her in and at 6 they disappeared and I watched Tv for a while until dinner, then had a bath watched I’m a celebrity get me out of here until 10 and then went to bed.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Thursday 13th November 2008

I woke up and fed Pearce then spent him and then took him down to have breakfast and the guy took his dog. After breakfast the GDMI came to take my friend and me on the first walk and Andrew on the second walk and then it was lunch and after lunch again she took Elsie and me on the first walk and the guy on the second and we went to the same place to practice the route again. Michela went home, we spent the dogs went on the treadmills in the gym and then I watched Simpson’s and then fed Pearce, spent Pearce and took him to dinner with Elsie taking Yazmin and this time Andrew also brought Fairway and everything went well no problem caused, came back watched TV had a bath and spent Pearce then went to bed.

Friday 14th November 2008

Today we went for 2 walks in harness and in the morning we went to a different area to do some work around a mini shopping area in Wolverton where we walked through the Co-op and Pearce knew where he was going I was very impressed and In the afternoon we went back to Abington Park to do a walk in the dark and we came back around 5:30pm so me and my friend went onto the treadmills for 30mins came back rested for an hour and then went down for dinner Pearce and her dog in tow then watched some TV spent Pearce and went to bed for the night.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Wednesday 12th Nov 2008

First went down to have breakfast took Pearce with me and the guy had his dog and both were very well behaved.

At about 9am our trainer came to collect me, my friend and our dogs to go back to Abington Park to do another walk and as it was bin day it would be a big test to see how well Pearce would do in leading me around all the green wheelie bins and as it was autumn alot of leaves were on the floor too and what a fantastic job he did, my trainer was laughing histerically as Pearce was trying to lead me around every bit of litter, every single leaf and anything and everything that was on the floor how cute is that, he certainly was looking after me, he got lots of encouraging words and I know he listens because my trainer told me that his right ear goes flat against his face and the left ear is turned slightly so that he can listen to every word I say and he also loves me to tickle his back every so often which tells him he has been a good boy.

We then came back for lunch and me and my friend went into the wrong bit of the restaurant as we were meant to be in the Cafe but as someone moved the tables for us we were allowed to stay there because the dogs were settled and then after lunch we were taken out for another walk before dinner and then we were so tired we all went to bed.

Thursday 13th Nov 2008

Went for two more walks today nothing exciting happened just the same route again but tomorrow apparently we will be doing a longer route through the Agora shopping centre in Wolverton.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tuesday 11th Nov 2008

An exciting new day of starting training and the relief that now your life will be changed forever is exhilarating and you just know that now you will be able to go out and be free and not have someone with you all the time,

We did some obedience work before lunch and then at lunch I was sat next to the older lady and my trainer was sat next to the gentleman and we had a good laugh that day I was laughing histerically at the stories I was being told about her, her dogs and her previous experiences during training.

After lunch the trainer, the lady and myself and Pearce and the lady's dog drove to abington park in Northants to do our first walk of the day, its an amazing experience your first walk with a guide dog, life changing and people may say its difficult to trust a dog and at first it is but now I trust my Pearcey completely and can count on him to take me where I want when I want and know he wont let me down. Thats the end of day 2.

Monday, 10 November 2008

hotel training

Monday 10th Nov 2008

I got up feeling very nervous but excited all at the same time as today was the day I was to start training with guide dog Pearce. I packed my bags and then sat down with mum to say a prayer that the training would go well and that I would enjoy it. Then Dad came at around 11o'clock to pick us up and to take us to the Hilton hotel in Northampton where we would be met by our trainer and the 2 other clients I would be training with. We arrived and said our hello's and then went to my hotel room with mum and dad to sort everything out before coming back to the cafe for lunch, mum and dad then left us and we all sat down to have our lunch and to get to know each other a bit more, Pearce was an absolute darling throughout this lying quietly beside me without any fuss. After lunch we went into my bedroom where the trainer talked about the training and what it involved and we were given lots of equipment such as lead, 2 collars, the harness body, a sash which said "guide dog please do not feed me", 2 bells so we know where they are when they are free running and a whistle, we were given the "do not distract me, im working sash and the handle on another day. Pearce was demo dog during the talk and he behaved impeccably and listened even when he wasnt supposed too, we all burst out laughing. After the talk we had a few hours to ourselves until 7pm when we all went down for dinner and I again took Pearce as the others had only just been given there dogs who needed time to settle in and again what a star he was. After Dinner we all went back to our rooms, I spoke to mum and told her all about my first day and then I ran a bath for myself and watched TV until 10pm when I took Pearce out to do his business and then it was time for bed and at first pearce wouldnt settle down but in the end I moved the bed closer to my bed and he settled for the night but in the morning of Tues 11th Nov he had a wobbly tummy and had a big accident on the carpet by the door, I was soooooooooooooo embarrassed that it had to be me and I knocked on the trainer's door and she kindly came and picked it up for me and we got a cleaner to clean it up properly and she was really nice and said "we get a lot worse" so that made me feel a little better but it still worried me but I was told not to take him out too often. Tuesday the beginning of training.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Thursday 06th November 2008

Today was the day Pearce was to arrive home for the weekend, All the kids and dad had gone to school and work apart from my youngest sister Jenna who was ill and mum and me of course who cleaned the house and sorted out last minute things, baked cakes and then the phone call came at 2:16pm saying that she was bringing Pearce round for 3pmish and so mum started rolling with the vacuuming cleaner, I washed and dried the dishes from making lasagne and Jenna cleaned the cooker as she was feeling brighter and then Jenna wanted to go on my DS but couldn’t find a game so I had to go upstairs to help find it and the doorbell rang and mum answered and when I came downstairs they were inside talking about the parking at school picking up time and they went on for hours and I was just waiting for her to bring in my Guide Dog, she told us what we must do and not do and then she brought him in took him in the garden and then she left us with him and he took to us immediately no problems whatsoever a bit wild at the beginning just wanting to play with Toby and Pip but them not wanting to but then he settled, unfortunately we can’t take him for walks until training is over with so that was a shame but he was ok overnight as well just a bit of howling but mum said “NO” from her bed because she couldn’t be bothered to get out and he was quiet.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Monday 13th October 2008 - the big day

On Monday morning the kids and my dad went off to work and school and again I was here at home with my mum clearing the house ready for Guide dogs who are coming at 11am. First thing I did was clean up the utility vacuumed the floor and cleaned out the kitten pen then I vacuumed mum and dad’s bedroom because one of the foster cats had made a mess with litter on the floor. Then I went out to get some Milk from the local shops came back was welcomed by our two lovely dogs Toby and Pip and then Mum said I should take them for a walk so that they don’t get so hyped up when meeting Pearce. By this time mum had cleaned the bathroom vacuumed the rest of the house and then we sat down to pray together that this matching visit would go well. Then there was a knock at the door and it was the Guide Dog mobility instructor who I spoke to on Friday and we shook hands and went into the front room, she told us all about Pearce, his character, his working style, what breed, colour and size dog he is and then we went outside to do a trial walk with him to see how we both got on with the instructor by my side and mum a few metres behind because she wanted to see how it all worked. She taught me the different commands to use with Pearce such as Forward with hand signal (arm swing forward), Find right or left with a tap on your leg, straight to kerb, steady if you want them to slow down, hup up if you want them to carry on or walk faster and they can learn many, many more commands. Then the decision was taken that he would be a perfect match for me just the right size, right speed and right character. So we then took him into our garden through the back gate and let him sniff around but instead he went straight to the bird feeder and ate every single piece of bread that had fallen to the floor and then he started looking around, sniffing, marking the garden and he even went twice into the front pond. After he had taken to the garden we decided to bring Toby our 11 year old border collie outside to meet him and they checked each other out but Toby made sure he was top dog, while inside Pip our 3 year old Bearded Collie cross was whining and scrabbling at the door wanting to come out so my mum let him outside and tails were wagging and again they checked each other out Pearce wanted to play but Pip wasn’t so sure as Pearce was much bigger than Pip so they just sort of played in the garden following each other around and then we left Toby and Pip outside and took Pearce inside so he could meet the cats and again he was absolutely no problem whatsoever and so when that was over we let our two dogs back in and went into the front room so that she could read the consent form and me sign it and then they left at 1pm and we went straight out to little fishes at our local church to help out and everyone there wanted to find out so we had to tell them the news.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Friday 10th October 2008 - The phonecall

It was a normal Friday morning and the rest of the family had gone off to school and work and it was only Mum Silke and Me remaining in the house. We started to clean Mum cleaned the upstairs Bathroom while I cleaned the Utility Room and when we had finished cleaning Mum said get ready we are going to a few supermarkets to do our shopping. We went by car and parked in the car park and got a trolley and entered the store, now I realised that there was a sign on the shop door and I asked mum what it was and she said it was a no dog sign with no words not even except Guide Dogs which I found very obscure so I kept that in mind while going through the supermarket. I was pushing the trolley while Mum had the shopping list and was collecting the items that we needed and we had just taken out a whole frozen chicken and 3 packs of chicken fillets when my mobile rang, I picked it up and said “hello Lena speaking" and the person on the other side of the phone said they had a Guide Dog that they think would make a good match for me and she told be more about this Dog. He is a Black Lab X Golden Retriever and he is very sensitive and is fine with other dogs and animals but apparently he is totally adorable, she also told me that the other day when she was training him a confident cat came out of nowhere wanting to be stroked and he weed himself lol poor dog. His name is Pearce after Pearce Brosnan from James Bond and then she asked if I wanted to meet him and I said YES I’d love too and she asked if Monday 13th Oct 2008 at 11am would be a possibility and I said yes that should be fine and so it was put down for that date. The rest of the day was filled with Guide Dogs and I had to tell mum and she said he sounds the perfect dog but I have to see on Monday how I walk with him. Fingers crossed it works out. It sure did!