Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


First off, the recall list for April came out and Rocco IS NOT on it. Hooray! But, Pauli and Amici are both on it. Looks like Kendrick is going to be getting some of his friends up at GDB soon. :) Since Kendrick was in evaluations until recently he's going to be in 0 until the new recall kids come in so all 3 of these boys might be graduated at the same time! Good for me at least. Anyway, as most of you know I am trying to convert this to not only my Guide Dog Puppy blog, but to a blog that is following me trying to become and O&M Instructor and learning more about blindness and people who are blind. Hence the Blog's title, A Study in Sight. Yesterday I got to talk with one of my friends who is blind. I've known her since I was real little. Of course when I was little she was just blind and I didn't think anything of it. But now that I'm considering a career path in blind rehabilitation, I talk to her from time to time about different blind things. We ended up talking about White Canes yesterday. I was considering purchasing a cheap one to take with me to Guide Dog talks at elementary schools and other things, just to teach the kids the modes of travel available to blind people. She told me that straight canes were generally used for kids, though you could find some tiny folding canes if you really wanted to. Straight canes are canes that don't fold. She told me her O&M instructor as a kid threatened to take away her folding cane and give her a straight cane if she didn't start using the cane at school. I remember walking home with her from school and she always used the cane then. I asked her why she didn't like using the cane when she was younger. She told me that blind children are often made fun of and as a kid she didn't want to use the cane so that she wouldn't be made fun of as often. If the fact that kids will tease other kids about being blind, a condition they have no control over, she told me that if the sighted kids were particularly bad they would sometimes take the cane away from the blind child. Was Erin enraged a little by this realisation? YES! I mean, I was teased often as a kid. I am blond so there was an endless stream of dumb blond jokes in my general direction. Besides that I have very large teeth and I had an overbite. This cause my two very large front teeth to stick out when I wasn't paying attention. It made me look like a bunny rabbit or a squirrel and the kids picked up on that. When I was older and my face grew a little longer I looked more like a horse...I was also teased about that (all I can say is thank god for braces). I'm tall and gangly, as a young girl I was more interested in dinosaurs than princesses, and I wear glasses. I was teased plenty, but I never had my glasses taken from me...or my retainers or anything like that. I say it's high time to visit around to elementary schools and educate the little monsters some (I say this and I really do love children). She says that now that she's an adult she doesn't mind walking with her cane, but she does prefer travel by dog. After talking about the cruelty some children can inflict she told me about the different kind of canes. There are aluminum ones which she says are good for children. Then there are fiberglass and graphite canes. She said she loved the fiberglass canes when she first got one, but by far her favourite is the graphite cane. She says they're a lot lighter and you get better "tactile information" from them. As a mostly sighted person, I am not able to explain how a cane gives you tactile information, but she did promise to show me the difference between the canes when I came home. She also that she doesn't like it when people call the cane a "stick". Hear that people? Don't call it a "stick". We also talked about guide dogs and the puppies in my group. It was just what you imagine two people who love dogs would talk about. Next time she said we would talk about different cane tips and that that could be another blog post. I think she was joking, but being the nerd I am, I'm actually interested. I'm also interested in her take on either a folding cane or a telescopic cane. I hope you enjoyed the different flow of today's post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kendrick's in 0

Hooray for Kendrick! The training department liked him so much when he went in for evaluation about a week ago that they decided it didn't matter if he drooled a lot for food. They've given him the chance to be a Guide! Hooray! This week he is in Phase 0! He's just gonna zoom through his training! He's such a good boy.

(Kendrick is littermate to fellow blogger Kyle)

Monday, March 21, 2011

14 Months

Yesterday Rocco turned 14 months old. How time flies. I know that they haven't heard anything about his recall date yet. I'm not too sure when I'm hoping it will be. If he gets recalled between April and June there's a good chance that he will graduate before I leave California to come back to Scotland (I know, I know. Going to California for the summer then back to Scotland for the winter doesn't seem like a good idea, but I'm working with what I'm giving.) Then there's always the possibility that his recall won't come until the middle of June when I'm home for the Summer Holiday. I would love to be there for his recall, but that could possibly mean that I won't be able to see him graduate. If I had to choose between recall day and graduation I would choose graduation a million times over. As soon as I know his recall date, even if it's a tentative one, you will know. Below are some pictures from the meeting at the airport this past Tuesday. His new puppy group, my group, and the other group in our town got together at the airport to teach the puppies how to go through security. Rocco didn't get to go through security, but he was interviewed by local news stations. :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Volunteer Fundraising Pack

A few days ago I got my fundraising pack from GDB. I was very, very excited when I got it and wanted to tell you guys all about it right when I got it in the mail, but I've been so busy this week. But that just means that I get to show you guys just what was in my packet instead of doing a really quick, little post the day I got it. So, here we go:

The front cover
Inside the front cover there's a little thank you note from a Guide Dog
Fancy huh?
My numerous reading materials to get me started in fundraising
Some suggestions and guidelines for fundraising
More suggestions and some info about what the fundraising team does
Two of the brochures. (L) gives information on how to lead a blind person and (R) is about how you can apply to get a Guide Dog and how you qualify
These three are all about different ways I can fund raise. I like some of the ideas and might borrow a dog from a friend to "Go for Walkies" to raise money.

This is the one I'm particularly interested in. You can Name a Puppy as a way to raise money. Meaning that I give them so much money and I get to name one of the puppies and throughout its life as a PIT I would get pictures and report cards and get to meet the puppy on different occasions. It's a lot of money though.
(L) Invites to Fundraiser and (R) Tickets to Fundraisers

Info on how I get the money to GDB
Really cool paper. I'm not sure what it's for, but I'm probably going to be making copies of it.
Hey Look! More guidelines and regulations concerning fundraising.
Finally, a business card for the regional developer
It's even in Braille
So, yep! I'm finally a part of GDB here. It definitely feels good, even if I don't have a puppy to raise right now. I'm hoping that I don't have to take a 4 year break from it. I miss having a puppy, but what is suppose to be will be I suppose. There's a fundraising meeting on the 5th of April. It'll take me an hour to walk to the place, but I'm definitely going. Hopefully there will be a few puppy raisers there and I can love on a puppy and get my dog fix. I run into a dog walking up High Street occasionally. His name is Alfie and he LOVES attention. I stop every time I see him and talk to his owner (shame I don't know her name) and love on him. He always give me kisses. He's a great dog fix as he's so sweet, but I haven't seen him in a few days.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Official

I'm officially a part of the Fundraising Team for GDB UK. Hooray! The only thing left for me to do is to have an in person meeting with my district leader, person, thing. I'm pretty excited.

I met to PITs the other day. Denzel and Billy. They were both yellow labs, Denzel is male and Billy is female. Denzel is just a little younger than Rocco, but he's definitely more mellow. Haha! Rocco's a mellow guy when he wants to be, but is a real energizer bunny when he doesn't. I talked a while with the raisers. We talked about normal things like how hard it is to give up your puppy, but you really wouldn't want to do anything else after seeing the good they do. I definitely hope I get to work with these two puppies during my volunteering work. I also found out that Lisa is not allergic to dogs (or cats or horses) so if my landlord agrees (that is assuming we find a house by next year) I might be able to raise a puppy here! Pretty cool I think.

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to blogger and puppy raiser Megan. Congratulations!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Say It Ain't So

So, this was my thought process when I went to the PAWS website and looked at their "Puppies in Training" section;


Do you all see the puppy that shouldn't be there!? That's right! I was shocked too! I mean APRIL!? They'd only be...like...15 MONTHS!?!?!?!? When did that happen!? *starts to hyperventilate* Seriously, what am I going to do? I *most likely* won't be there with Rocco when he's recalled for training. How is going to know how much I love him and how much I need him to behave and be good and race through his training?

They're too young I say!

See? He hasn't even grown into his paws yet!