As those of you who have been following this blog will know Trigger is not a horse, rather he is a brindle guide dog, at least he was when I last looked several minutes ago!
Today is my fourth day of training with my new guide dog, Trigger. He continues to work well, however he is distracted by the Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (he slows down and looks back at her periodically). This is not surprising given that she trained Trigger for a long period and he has, as a consequence built up a bond with her. Yesterday we discussed the possibility of using walky talkies to keep in touch. This would have the advantage of allowing the trainer to follow at a distance (although out of sight of Trigger thereby avoiding distracting him) while, at the same time enabling me to keep in contact with her. It sounds a good idea and has been successfully used by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the past.
Trigger is settling in well into his new home. When he is off duty he loves to play. As with my previous guide dog, Drew he loves squeaky toys. Again, as with Drew he would play with them until they break if I didn’t remove them from him in order that they might live and fight another day so to speak!
Last night I left Trigger for an hour or so in order that he gets used to being left alone. Obviously the whole purpose of having a guide dog is that he/she goes with you to most places, however there are times when it is necessary (or easier) to leave your four legged friend alone for a couple of hours. By getting the dog used to being left alone, for (at first) brief periods and then gradually extending these to a couple of hours the owner avoids allowing the animal to become anxious if (and when) it is left alone.
I’ll close now as a walk beckons.