Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

August 11, 2010

Learning with Banjo

Hi, this is Sophia. Timber and I graduated in January as a CVC dog team. OccuPaws decided we were doing well together and gave us the chance to work toward being an independent team. COOL!

Timber is with the Weils now so they can teach him to be a guide dog. The Weils said I could use Banjo while Timber was away. It is fun having Banjo here! He rests at my feet when we are not working just like Timber does.

Yesterday the Weils came to my house to start teaching me how to work with a guide dog. I have to concentrate more than with a CVC dog. Even though it is more work, I feel a lot more freedom when it is just the dog and me. It feels awesome!

The Weils said soon I get a different harness with a real guide dog handle. They said it would help me feel the dog’s pull better. Right now, sometimes I want to walk faster than the dog. Mr. Weil told me I need to slow down and let the dog do his job. There is so much to think about!

Banjo now knows how to get to my best friend’s house. I also want to teach him how to take me to the library and maybe even the bait shop where we get ice cream!

I’ll write again soon.


Puppy Raiser said...

Sophia - Thank you SO much for writing about Banjo! We helped raise Banjo since he was 8 weeks old. He's been to 7 different states and Canada. He flew to Washington DC with us and walked everywhere, even into the White House, and he's an expert on trains and subways and buses and road miles of escalators. And you probably already know this, but he might seem familiar to you because he and Timber are half brothers, they have the same Mom! Hope he is being a good boy for you. We look forward to reading your next post! Lisa & Jeff

Allison Nastoff said...

Congratulations Sophia! I don't know if you have heard about me, but I was the first official student to graduate from Occupaws after Nicole. My guide dog is a yellow lab named Gilbert, and after receiving him, I could definitely relate to the feelings of freedom and independence you described. Are you going to take Timber to school once he is a guide dog? If so, you will also get a wonderful sensation of feeling grown up as you will advocate for Timber by educating people about what he is trained to do, and deciding whether or not people can pet him or give him treats, a responsibility that can be difficult but also exciting! I wish you the best of luck! You sound like an amazing and mature person, and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Marlette + Casey said...

Sophia, You are doing so well with Banjo for your "temporary" guide dog! Keep up the good work and training! We look forward to hearing more from you again.
Marlette & Casey "guide dog puppy in training"