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Caitlin's Guide Dog Journal

Moving Forward in to the Future

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WELCOME!!

You've just stumbled across my guide dog training journal. This journal chronicles my experiences working with and attaining my first guide dog. I will be receiving my first guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation in Smithtown, New York.

I am scheduled to begin my training on July 9. The training ends on August 3. Guide dog training is an emotional 3 1/2-week rollercoaster, which I am alternately looking forward to and fretting about.

One of the reasons that I am keeping this journal of my experiences is to keep the anxiety from completely consuming me. I'm getting my first dog. At times, I'm sure it will be difficult; it's always nice to vent to paper, even cyber paper. I'm getting my first guide dog, and, at times, there will be victories; both big and small. I want to record the victories and the errors, to have a written log to look back and reminisce upon years in to the future.

When I was contemplating getting my guide dog, I found training journals seminal to my decision about the acquisition, which school might be right for me, etc. I hope that all those contemplating getting a guide dog will find my experiences helpful, in some small way, to their own journeys, as well.

For the experienced trainers, I hope that my first incounters with a working dog spark memories of those good times when you were ignorant as to everything about your dog. "I remember when something like that happened.", I hope you say. And I hope that you smile.

I suppose that I should actually *tell* you all about myself, too. My name is Caitlin (Cait for the user name) and I'm seventeen. I will turn eighteen a mere two days after I return home with my first guide. My house is very near the Guide Dog Foundation (referred to in my journal as "GDF" or "the GDF"). The close proximity to my home may be a good thing, I'm not sure. It wasn't the final reason I decided on GDF, though. GDF just seemed like the right place for me, right now. It also came out shining in the recommendations of friends and "experts" in the matter of guide dogs. I suppose that I will not know until I get there.

Currently, I am the only one able to post updates to this community. You can reply to any update; even if you don't have a Live Journal. Just check the box that says "anonymous" and reply away. Also, feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or harsh criticisms of my attrocious grammar. I love hearing all three.

I hope you enjoy my journal and thanks for reading!

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