Sunday, 23 August 2009

21 Days

I am home after 21 days in a hotel room with a large canine.

Pic of me trying out dog-bed in hotel room for potential river escape the night before the beast arrived.

It’s a bit disconcerting being home….I am horrified to find that when I leave my bedroom no one sneaks in and makes my bed. No one has changed the towels I threw into the bath tub. I sit down at my table and there is no waiter service…there is no chef. I have lost the ability to even wash up my own coffee mug.
I am worried I may starve to death in a sea of filthy crockery and dog grooming gear waiting like the Lady Of Shallot for room service. Tirra lirra.

And such a beautiful hotel....such veiws of the carpark..
(Actually hotel did brilliantly and everyone was very kind considering we took four dogs into their restauant twice a day...)

Grace however is settling in well. £54 worth of dog toys and we arrived back to find a 9’ by 6’ concrete base had been put down for the dog run in the corner of the garden where the tent had been for me birthday. (This wasn’t a shock. I had asked for it.)
The dogs are taught to pee and poo on command and on concrete in order to ensure that the handler knows at all times when and where the dog has done its ‘do’.
This means that handler and dog can then go out for several hours hopeful that the dog need not do the ‘do’ again out in public or somewhere hard to …errr..find it… (remember the handler is a bit short on sight..)

Plus of course concrete is easier to clean then grass. .

Unfortunately the command to do the ‘do’ or ‘spend’ as they say in the trade is ‘busy, busy’ to be spoken in a bright and upbeat kind of a voice even at 5:30 am (Grace’s preferred time of day)
‘Busy busy’.

Oh yep.

Apparently used because it is nigh near impossible to sound miserable when saying it. The dog’s need to know they are loved during this particular maneuver as they would much prefer to go on grass and are really doing you a massive ..favour….

You will note (some of you) that I removed my last post. It was written when I was tired and scared but that isn’t an excuse to have been mean to my fellow students. We were all tired and scared. None of us were getting more then two hours consecutive sleep a night with the dogs in the rooms. We were having to cope with isolation,fear, loneliness, confusion, bone-grinding boredom in between moments of nerve-wracking dog in traffic and group (dis)obedience training, a set hotel menu that didn’t change for 21 days and really hard water. And I mean hard. March is also Very Highly Chlorinated. My skin was a rash of nasty and my hair stared falling out. (The old guys didn’t have much hair to begin with so even worse for them…)

I wrote every minute I could and will post a couple of bits and pieces over the next week but for the moment just nice to be home and finally almost on top of the landslide of bills and worse I found waiting for me on my dining room table.

And now I am a dog handler.
A visually impaired dog handler who at some point is going to probably forget the dog tho’remember to hang onto the shopping or grab the dog and forget her house keys…

I still don’t know about this. Do I still have too much sight to really need all this? Could I actually cope with all this with LESS sight? Cripes Scooby! What kind of a fix have I got us into now?

But I know about Grace. She is smart as a chimp and funny and daft and knows her left from her right. She memorises a route after one single walk. At night when I am almost totally blind she makes me feel like I am flying.

So ..we’ll see. Or not (arf arf…did you see what I did there?)

Also folks I do apologise for getting out of touch with all blogs. The sodding hotel had no internet access?! March is just like being in 1985. they even played early Michael Jackson at breakfast and 10cc every evening....anyway..promise to read up on you all pronto!

Dog's Life apparently...

(All photos (C) Tanvir Bush 2009)