I was just reading over my journal, and I forgot to thank you all for congratulating me on my acceptance and my class date. I really appreciate all of the support and all of the love you guys are giving me; near and far.
I should say that I don't know anything about the dog. All I know is that it will be beautiful and mine and inteligent and sweet and, hopefully, it will love me as much as I already love it. GDF breeds and distributes (cuz ya know distribution of dogs is quite common) labradors (yellow and black), golden retrievers, standard poodles (though solid standard poodles are few and far between), lab/golden crosses (called goldadors), and lab/poodle crosses. The most common breed is the labrador, though. GDF does not disclose any details to the student until they arrive.
I arrive on campus (a mere 5 miles from my house) on Sunday afternoon. The first day of class is mostly spent learning the campus and meeting our classmates and instructors. Monday morning, we wake up at six, have breakfast at seven, and do more orientation within the campus. We also do what are called Juno walks on Monday; Juno walks are where the instructor acts as a dog, and the student holds a leash/harness as the instructor guides. These, if we all remember, were done at my home interview. However, the instructors want to know that they matched us with the correct dog based on our walking speed, strength of correction, etc. Juno walks are done on both Monday, and from what I can gather, Tuesday morning, too.
Tuesday is what ev eryone in the GDF family calls "Dog Day". The morning, as I have already explained, is more Juno walking. Around eleven, students gather in the Leather Lounge (a gorgeous windowed room with tons of leather couches and armchairs) where we learn the name and breed of our dogs. Also, we receive information on what to do when our dogs come to us later that day. Then, it's off to lunch, and then we go to our dorm rooms to wait for the presentation of the pups. I have heard that nobody wants to be the first to receive their dog, but nobody ever wants to be last, either. The time is spent in concintration of the dog or playing solitaire on your computer, if your nerves don't get you first.
And, if I have made any mistakes in describing *anything* here, please, one of you lovely lovely *lovely* GDF grads, please let me know how I have wronged you. For the rest of you all, this is all the information I could remember. More fun facts as well as common procedures on meeting guide dogs and such can be found over at the GDF web site at
And for those of us with eyes, be sure to examine the dog pictures. Sister says they're all quite cute.
I think that's about it. Oh, I lied. My trainers when I go will be Barb and Jody. Jody, I met when I visited with the fine miss squonk in Fe bruary. She was sweet, helpful, and seemed very maternal. I have heard Barb can be very stern, which scares me just a little. Got to give her props, though; she's been doing this now for 37 years, which is longer than some of my friends parents have been alive. (Thankfully, mine are not that young.)
I got some new clothes for dog school today. Mostly jeans and tanktops, since I'm pretty much adverse to wearing shorts this summer. Shorts can rub; rubbing leads to blisters; blisters lead to a not happy Caitlin. :) So, yay, new clothes. Yay, five days!!!
Hope everyone is doing well. Be safe out there, kids, and happy Independence Day for all of you Americans out there.