Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Final Interview Call from Guide Dogs for the Blind

The final call of the interview process before going to Guide Dogs for the Blind for training came late yesterday afternoon.

It was a very pleasant conversation with two of the staff who will be my trainers for the next couple of weeks.

The main part of the conversation revolved around my expectations for the training, what I feel I need and particular concerns as to the kind of work that my new dog and I will be doing when we return home.

Being able to see a little caused me some problems during my home visit. I tried to follow my own lines instead of being guided by the instructor and "Juno" ( the harness with no dog". The answer then was to close my eyes, but it was great to find out that guide dogs for the blind have a training program geared to my particular needs as a partially sighted user. That will certainly help in my training.

During the interview I was also given details of the daily routine for both weeks. Week one is geared to more general training with week two aimed at providing training in areas where students feel a need. So for instance if you regularly travel by subway train, instruction is geared towards using a subway system with a guide dog.

Class begins after breakfast on Monday, my instructors provided me with a list of study questions, all of the answers are in the MP3 files which are accessed from the GDB website homepage. So having listened to those MP3's several times now I am fairly confident that I know the first days class work.

We will meet our dogs shortly after lunch, about 1pm and have some time to become a littl acqainted, before doing some more classwork in the afternoon. There are also some evenings when we have classwork too but as of the writing of this blog I don't know the exact details.

So now it is just a little more waiting. That is the hard part right now. I know the really hard work begins Monday, building a new guide dog team will not be an overnight process, nor will it be easy.

It is a little like an arranged wedding where neither bride nor groom have ever met, spoken or even know if they are even the same gender. Fun eh?