Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day Ten at Guide Dogs

Sad news began the day,

One of our group was sent home without their dog. Although conciencious and well versed on paper, my classmate could seemingly not make the transition from theory to practice. Their dog seemed to confuse them. The basis of guidework is obedience training, and that is where the problem lay. To be fair, the dog was also not in good digestive health...however my classmate fell into a couple of traps. One was the aforementioned inability to grasp basic doggie obedience procedures...the second was more personal. My classmate let things get to them..personalities...past events. After all, this is a learning experience, and one must be flexible of mind and spirit to learn. My most vivid memory is the little video camera this individual carried to record their daily experience and progress, along with many of the tender, impromptu moments that occur in a setting like this. My hope is that, rather than view these images as a painful reminder, my former colleague will see them as a springboard to future, better, triumphs. They will be sorely missed.

As for Burgess and me, our day took us on more practical adventures, such as would be found in daily life. While walking through downtown San Rafael, instructor closely in tow, we chanced to pass a movie theater. I felt Burgess guiding me in a half circle around something, and my instructor said, "Oh, my you know what that was?"
"What?" I asked. "It was a mountainous pile of dog poo!" Burgess proceeded to perform this blessed service once more within the next two blocks.

I tell you this dog is golden.

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