Skip to main content

Two weeks until guide dog school!

After last night's (early this morning) anxiety post, I'm back just a few hours later to say TWO WEEKS UNTIL GUIDE DOG SCHOOL!

Harlem's puppy raiser posted this picture of him nine days ago on Facebook (don't worry, I didn't use my mad stalking skills to access her account, this is a public photo). Gosh, he's so lovely!

I'm still anxious about becoming a handler. I have stomach pains from the anxiety - a sort of cramping around my diaphragm, this happened when I presented at the conference in New Zealand as well. I've been trying (all night, next to no sleep) to focus on the good stuff - the not scary or intimidating stuff - like having so much more independence. I've seen a few videos of handlers with their dogs and they get about so confidently. They walk so fast and with confidence, not second guessing every step. I'll be able to go to new places with feeling like I might trip and fall at every step.

Losing my vision has been so taxing. Literally every step requires my full concentration - it is easier in places I know well. There is constantly new construction everywhere. Melbourne has gone mad with new construction so, often, even familiar place become a obstacle course to be puzzled out. With Harlem I'll be able to tell him to 'find the way' and he will find the best way around an obstacle and he will know where I can't get through. The number of times I've walked into a fenced off dead end at Uni, or on local footpaths is really not funny.

I'll have a lot more confidence crossing roads, knowing that even when I think the way is clear and instruction Harlem to cross, he'll see when there is traffic I can't see or hear, and he'll refuse to move (this is known as intelligent disobedience).

Also, there is the companionship. The agoraphobia I suffer means I feel very uncomfortable alone in public. I don't feel lonely - I quite like my own company - but unless I have a distinct errand to run, I often feel like a nuisance. I feel like I'm taking up space I'm not entitled to. This stems from walking into people, or being in people's way because I can't see them trying to get past me. With Harlem, with him acting as my eyes, I will navigate through public spaces with crashing into people or being in people's way. And people will see me because they'll see him. I realised recently that part of the reason I wear so many bright colours or, previously, 'odd' alternative clothing is because it meant I as conspicuous. People would move out of my way because they couldn't miss seeing me.

I need to get Harlem a few items - he comes with a bed, a bowl, a harness, a lead, a toileting harness, some grooming tools, food, and heartworming tablet (I think, or flee treatment, one or the other). So, I need to get him boots for when the pavements are very hot in summer. I'm getting these:

Ruff wear summit
He will also need a raincoat for winter:

Dapper dog raincoat
And, of course, he'll need a nice collar (okay, he comes with a good collar, this is just about me). I'm considering these:

These are all from Collar Mania - the place we got Jacob's collar a few years ago - the quality of the last collar we bought there has been great! I'm leaning towards the last one. I bought him a second bed in one of those teal/turquoise colours.

Sadly, I have to wait to order any of these because I need all kinds of measurements. Oh, the tedious agony of having to be patient. Two more weeks!


Popular posts from this blog

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...

At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?

As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …