This morning was an incredibly early start 5:30am! This was to allow the instructor the chance to visit everyone and assist with feeding the dogs. This went incredibly well for me and I was cleared to begin feeding Ascot on my own.
Feeding the dog like anything with a guide dog has a set process. The majority of the process in the hotel is simply a mobility one. Positioning yourself and the dog in the right place to enable feeding. Once you have the dog in the right position you blow a whistle 3 times and the dog is allowed to eat.
After the morning feed it was time to learn about grooming. Again this is a long process and also takes in a mini health check on the dog. Checking all its muscles and coat to make sure its in top condition. Initially brushing its fur in the opposite direction with your fingers then repeating with a brush. Then using a comb brush the fur the right way, then repeat again with a brush. Finally finish off with a shammy cloth in order to pick up and loose hair.
We then learnt the next step in our obedience training, teaching the dog to stay from a distance. This involved getting the dog to sit and wait while you extend the lead to its maximum and attempt to keep the dog in position. Then repeat with the dog laying down. After this the dog is rewarded with a little play time. This is an excuse again for Ascot to chew me to pieces.
During lunch we received a lecture on dog welfare that focused around noticing issues with the dog what to highlight and when to take to a vet. After this talk was when we would get out first experience of our dogs on a harness.
Late in the afternoon after I had practiced my obedience dog training outside, it was such a nice day seemed a waste to do it indoors. Me and Ascot sat on the step outside waiting for our turn to be taking out for harness training.
After a short van ride we arrived at a small street block where we would practice walking round. Utilizing only the forward and turn right commands. This went incredibly well and I was pleased with my progress with Ascot we are beginning to bond and he looks forward tome returning to the room when I have popped out. He certainly likes to be around me when off the lead as he always curls up on my feet, so no need for socks to keep me warm anymore! But it feels great to begin to build a bond with a dog that will assist me in my daily life. I can already see that he will mature into a great dog and I will master me training techniques and we will grow as a team.
Also I was so damn hungry tonight I nearly ate his food!!!
(p.s. still bloody ill this virus is kicking my ass!)