Monday, May 23, 2011

The wake up dog.

With each new guide dog I've had, and I've had four, it takes a while for us to get to know each other.  Read each other's signals.  I was thinking about this the other day.  It was very hot outside and tulia had drunk a great deal of water.  We were walking along and all of a sudden she stopped and would not go forward along the sidewalk.  I probed with my feet and hands to see if there were any obstacles.  There were none.  So, then I wondered if she had to pee.  guide dogs aren't supposed to pee in harness.  They learn that they have to wait until it comes off to releive themselves.
This makes it less likely that they will go in buildings, stores, restaurants, or just whenever they feel like it.  I took the harness off and she did pee almost right away.  You grow to understand their movements.  HOw they think.  How they move around the house.  Where they like to sleep.  A prime example, is Tulia's first-thing-in-the-morning behaviour.  When the radio turns on or when I stir around 6 AM.  Yes I like to get up early.  She gets up from the doggy bed at the foot of our bed.  I hear her collar jingle, and she gives a long stretch with a vocalization which goes from high to low.  Then she walks over.  Tulia has an interesting sounding walk.  It is almost like the shuffle of someone wearing slippers.  Not sure why.  None of the others have made a shh shh shh when they walk on carpet like she does.  So she comes over beside me and she sits down with her head in reach of my hand if I choose to extend it.  She doesn't bug me.  She sits there and I hear a swish swish of her wagging hind end on the floor.  I put my hand out.  Stoke the head and velvety ears.  Then she gets up and shh shh shh shuffles back to bed.  Turns around and I hear a contented sigh as she lies back down.
It isn't a demand I get up.  It is just a sor tof,
"Wow it's another day.  I love you.  Good morning!"
It makes my morning bright and I would miss it if she wasn't here.
Those little things become so part of your routines.
And each dog has different ones and each dog finds their special place in your life.
And each dog leaves you richer for having known them.

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