Today, Makiko and I went to another puppy raising meeting with Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers, the Texas puppy raising group for Guide Dogs for the Blind (Guide Dogs for The Blind).
This is a great opportunity for Makiko and I to keep our skills and techniques sharp, learn new tricks that could help us, and even sometimes get a chance to share with puppy raisers how it is applicable. They also often talk about it in each meeting. Today, I shared about how Makiko can stay in her bed for hours on end, despite me walking in and out, consumers with significant disabilities coming in and out and making a lot of noise, etc. She can stay there for hours. Now, I do give her a chance to go to the restroom but she will just stay there until commanded to come. They were talking about “go to bed” and I explained how important this is to my daily life.
For example, they teach the dogs to “come” and line up right in front of the raisers legs, pretty much between them, so that the blind handler will know when they are there. Makiko pretty much does this but each handler has their own preferences and things are kind of adapted. Makiko comes to me and touches my hand to let me know that she is there, which I love. I think it is just so sweet and fulfills the purpose.
Steven, my boyfriend, came to the meeting with me today. He has come to one or two in the past. It was awesome to have him there. He gets really interested in the training of dogs and even calls me on my errors. 🙂 We have started talking about when we move in together, how we would like to have a guide, a puppy in training, and a pet dog. We will see!
LSGDR is truly an amazing club! They now have over 150 dogs and when I joined a few years ago there were only like 20. Such amazing people!