Well its been a busy few days but we have had lots of fun and are both very tired….
On Friday our Guide Dog Mobility Instructor’s Manager came to see how team Mabeline were getting on. He watched us on a harness walk and I think we impressed him 😉 Both of them agreed that next week we need to get tougher to keep Fable from sniffing and faffing too much – I think we may have a tough week ahead of us but its what we need to make sure we are the best team we can be.
On Saturday I left Fable for an hour while I went shopping with my parents; one of the pitfalls of training at home is that you have to shop, cook and clean, but for me I think the advantages of getting Fable settled so quickly far outweigh any of the disadvantages. She coped really well as usual. This weekend I have been able to take Fable out for short walks using her hauti lead and my long cane. We did this twice yesterday and it went really well, until a little dog decided to growl at Fable making her hide behind me and move to the right by the cane. Its a good job my Mobility Instructor from Guide Dogs taught me excellent cane stills; I managed to keep us moving away from the dog, got Fable back to heel and managed to stay upright – I bet anyone watching had a bit of giggle at us 🙂
Today was a very exciting day; my Brother and Dad build a fence around my flat to give Fable a secure area within the communal gardens. I needed to get permission from the managing agents but they were really helpful and none of the other owners had any objection. While the boys were working hard (a massive thank you to my Dad and Brother; we are both very grateful), Fable and I visited my parents house for the first time. We did our first car journey to get there which was also a big success. We had to sit in the back seat with Fable in the foot well as there are airbags in the front which would cause Fable significant harm if they were to be deployed. This arrangement is fine for short journeys but for longer journeys she will either need a car harness to travel on the back seat or she will go in the boot.
Fable had a bit of a “free run” in Mum and Dad’s garden which is fairly big. We practiced some obedience training and some recalls with the whistle and cheese; once again she was brilliant! Fable and I were also able to have a proper game of tug for the first time as we had the space to do so – I love having fun with her.
Then my sister in law brought my nephew and niece (aged 5 and 2) to meet Fable. They were so excited. We had tried to prepare them to be calm and quiet and to wait until I said they could stoke her. I have to say I can’t believe how good they were; both really calm and they got to say hello to Fable really soon after they arrived. Initially I kept her on a lead but after a short time I was able to let her off the lead as everyone was so well behaved. My nephew really wanted to play with her in the garden but I had to explain that she is very new to all this and we need to take our time; I think he understood. I can’t wait to show him Fable and I at work, he is so interested in her as a guide dog.
Poor old Fable is once again exhausted; I think I’m going to have to wake her up for her dinner. I’m also really tired today; I think I need to relax a bit more and not be such an anxious mum but I guess that will come with time and confidence.
All in all a very successful weekend and I’m looking forward to an exiting week of training.