So, you can all stop watching this space for the appearance of a, no doubt extremely cute and clever, guide dog.
I called Guide Dogs Victoria the other day to enquire about the status of my matching with a suitable dog. There is a training class starting on Monday - they go for three weeks and it's a live in situation between Monday and Friday for each of those weeks, so as a PhD Candidate and a mother of four, there is a lot of forward planning that needs to take place before I 'go away' to train. Over the past five months I've been putting a lot of things on hold 'just in case' I get the call that they think they've found me a match. I had a vague hope of getting in to the September/October training course, but that didn't eventuate. I thought I might have a better chance with the November course, but when I hadn't heard anything by Monday, my hopes had all but disappeared.
I needed to know at what stage before each training course I can stop putting my life on hold. As it turns out, it's several weeks before each course, so waiting by the phone for the past three weeks has been in vain.
The next course is in January, and the co-ordinator said they'd begin matching dogs for that round at the end of November with a view to having completed matching before the end of year break. She was noncommittal on the likelihood of me being matched for January, though she did tell me to 'hand in there, you're moving up the list as we speak'. She then told me that the round after January would be February/March, then April, and then May/June - I gathered that giving me all those course times sort of indicated it could be that long before I was matched.
Obviously, I am a little disappointed. A guide dog means so much in regards to my confidence in mobility in unfamiliar places, or even in familiar places - Deakin University, for example, has a LOT of construction going on all the time, with barricades constantly moving about. I find navigating the wire barricades quite a challenge because, to me, they often look 'open' where they are actually 'closed', if that makes sense.
There is a silver lining though. Besides knowing that I will have plenty of time to arrange things at home and at uni before entering training, I can also just let it go. That is, I can give myself permission not to think about it, not to be so intensely excited at the prospect of getting a dog 'soon'. It will be a while, I think, so I'm just going to put it on the back burner in my mind and focus on life in the here and now.
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