I apologize for my extended absence. In addition to putting the finishing touches on my wedding (scheduled for less than 2 months from now), and looking for consulting gigs, my fatigue has been terrible the last couple of weeks. I won’t spend this entire entry talking about fatigue, but sometimes I’d give anything to be able to take a vacation from my body. Now there’s a business idea. Rent a body. I think it has great potential.
I’d like to say I’ve just been enjoying the lazy days of summer, but the 90+ degree heat is actually starting to get on my nerves. As much as I detest winter (and believe me, that word doesn’t begin to cover it), I’m looking forward to the beautiful Minnesota fall–with day time temps in the 60’s. I have been feeling so bad for my poor little doggies–both pet and guide dog. It is nearly impossible to walk them with any regularity in this heat. I woke up at 5:30 one morning, with hopes of beating the heat. It was already over 75 degrees, with 80% humidity. I’m not sure what other dog users do when the weather is extreme, but extreme temps are an instance when I am very thankful that the Mall of America is near by. Because of it’s huge size, I am able to walk Kaylor for hours without getting bored. The work is also challenging enough, because of the crowds, noise, and food distractions, that he actually gets a good workout while we’re at it.
Several years ago, when I lived in Toronto, I used to take my GSD into what we called “The Underground City.” It sounds rather ominous–bringing to mind dingy tunnels with low ceilings and dripping water, but it’s actually a labyrinth of underground shops, offices, and immaculately kept corridors. In fact, I’ve heard that there is approximately 16 miles of twists and turns–connecting much of the downtown portion of the city. It was a great place to take my dog when the weather was too cold to do anything else–especially since she was one of those dogs that *needed* to work. If I waited too long between workouts, she would actually put her paws up on my lap, and slap me in the side of the head with one of them–all the while uttering her various Shepherd grunts of displeasure. And talk about challenging. My O&M instructor actually had to figure out how to navigate it himself, before he could show me how to get from point A to point B.
I am much more fortunate with Kaylor, in that he is an excessively patient dog. I am also lucky because he can go for several days without difficult work, and then breeze through downtown Minneapolis as though he does it all the time. Speaking of Kaylor, he celebrated his fifth birthday last Friday. He enjoyed some wonderful venison medallions in honor of the occasion. This was a special birthday for me, because my previous two dogs were both retired for health issues before the age of five. It felt good to reach that milestone with a dog again.
He also received a very nice phone call from his puppy raisers. They are the nicest couple, and they spoil him rotten every Christmas. Last Christmas they sent him a doggy bed that could easily fit two of him–from LLBean, no less.
Now, I say this with the knowledge that I have been extremely lucky in the puppy raising department, but I actually like knowing my dog’s raisers. I love hearing all those fun puppy stories, getting the puppy photos, and hearing about what my dog liked to do as a puppy. For instance, without contact with his raisers, how else would I know that Kaylor visited the historic library at Yale when he was five months old? Or that he used to like to hunt small mountain creatures with the family Newfoundland? Explains a lot about the rabbit killing incident…
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Seeing Eye is an amazing program. I have even considered trying them when it comes time to get my next dog. I only mention TSE, because I am familiar with their puppy raising policies. At the same time, the exercise of sitting through a graduation is quite tiresome. I love meeting my raisers–I only wish I could just skip graduation and go straight to the dinner or other social activities I have done with them in the past.
Well, I’ve gone on long enough for now. Barring future bouts of extreme fatigue, I will attempt to post far more regularly than I have in the last several weeks. Hope all are well, and managing to stay cool, and out of the path of storms.