Ann Chiappetta

Making Meaningful Connections


| Filed under Guide dogs writing


Dog Day and wiggly Yellow Labradors

Tuesday early morning:

Okay, folks, before I announce my new partner, I want to describe a little bit more about things during guide dog class. The first thing I’d like to say is that life here for the next ten days for me and the other students in residence is structured. We get up at 6 a.m.; meet the instructors for morning obedience practice and other instruction depending on the day. Prior to getting our dogs, we learned about the equipment and practiced with simulated dogs either acted out by the instructors or on a stuffed, life-sized dog. Today, for instance, we got up, met for instruction, then drove to White Plains, took one training walk, half with the instructor being the dog, then an actual dog taking us back to the training lounge. This is called the Juno walk; when the instructors pretend to be the dog and the test drive when the actual dog takes you along a short route. I huffed and puffed up the hill but even though I had to stop twice, it felt great to be moving again.


So, tomorrow morning I will know if the dog I met will be my buddy. There could be a change or the dog could be matched with me. I won’t know until Tuesday afternoon. So, come the morning my life will change and a dog will be meeting me. Will it be the wiggly, yellow, male Labrador who walked me up that hill and back to the lounge? Only time will tell.


Tuesday Afternoon

Yes, folks, it’s a male yellow Labrador. I can’t reveal his name to promote bonding and until we know for sure the match is a solid one. He is larger than Verona, different as cheese and chalk and that’s totally fine, I wanted that. A dog too similar would confuse me more, lol. Right now he’s lying down at my feet and hasn’t whined for his trainer in at least 20 minutes. This is good. I am growing a fondness for him already.   Our first training walk along a quiet street on campus was great and I can’t wait until my stamina returns and we can walk until our hearts’ content. Verona was so slow, I hadn’t realized I was walking at a snail’s pace until now.


Stay tuned for more adventures, when I may possibly reveal Mr. Wiggley’s real name. Until then, woof!




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