Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day Six at Guide Dogs

Saturday here is much less hectic. The exacting instructors are cut loose by lunch time, so the morning is taken up with minimal lecturing and training. However, they do not go gently into that good afternoon without the announcement that Monday will begin with evaluations that are disguised as informal chats.

By 2pm, there's an informal hour's seminar on canine massage....otherwise known as "petting your dog". Having interviewed a dog masseur on the radio talk show I occasionally host, I am somewhat versed in the theory. The practice, however, is much more silly and theraputic. Seven grownups rolling about on the carpet massaging dogs of various sizes, while a facilitator explains techniques like "Tiger's Paw" and "Cow's Licking Tongue", is simply too much to take seriously. The dogs, of course...think it's heaven. The humans do too...although the are loathe to admit it. One very tough, street-wise African-American gentleman, from the urban jungles of LA, falls and master spooning on the floor. This was also an excellent opportinity to meet the kennel staff, who have been raising our dogs from puppies. In fact, our dogs snap to recognition at their very presence, and we get to hear all the kennel intrigue. It seems that Burgess and another dainty morsel named Tiki, who was given to my fellow student, Greg...have had a kennel romance going since they were puppies. you'd never know it...they're so discreet now.

the latter afternoon was taken up with myself and Burgess, strolling the beautiful sunny grounds of the campus. I took along my grooming kit and he obligingly let me pretty him up... ahhhh, a dog's life.

Four of us guys, somewhat fed up with the idyllic simpishness of all of this, decided to sneak off down the road for some beer. The only place around was a Rite Aid that sold it. Imagine if you will, four grown men...two legally blind, and two profoundly blind, of different races and decades, tappity-tapping their way down the road to buy a half-rack and consume it, somewhere that they won't be seen.

It was a comedy of epic proportions.

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