How my guide dog got me back to the gym
My world is getting fuzzier. It is strange, I caught myself squinting to see the blurs. That isn't going to make a blur clearer, just habit perhaps. I had no idea how much smoother my life would be with my dog. I could write about this forever because each day is like a gift with him. I am more confident where I didn't know I had lost that.
He is learning things at a rate I cannot comprehend. The brain of an animal is phenomenal. He has learned to locate the grocery basket, my grocery items by word (only the most common ones of course) and when I say time to pay…he finds a check out. We can be downtown, leaving Walmart or Costco and he has been able to locate my daughter's or my husbands vehicle. It becomes mind blowing. If we have been to a location once he can remember the aspects of it. In strange locations he finds most things I could ask for.
I have begun taking him outside of my home gym to a different location to do machine work. It is such a smooth process, he tucks himself in beside where I am working then guides me to the next area. I no longer am scared of tripping or running into someone. I have learned that not everyone likes having a dog in a public area, whether it be a gym, a hotel or a restaurant. But that's OK, acceptance is not what I need, its safety. Education will bring the acceptance and still some people will never like dogs and that's fine too.
Having a safe workout, in a location other than my home, by myself, is a win. I even somehow survived West Edmonton Mall. I would rather never do that again, but we made it. I never ran into a single person thanks to him but the sounds and the zooming movement is a lot for me. He is very sensitive as well, I have some vertigo/exreme lack of perception, which can make me feel "sideways" and tense. Objects appear closer than they actually are or I feel tippy. My dog will stay very close and into my legs until I begin to relax. Ridiing in the car, it's easier most days to shut my eyes and he will scoot until his head rests on my knee when he knows the movement makes me sick. When it comes time for me in the kitchen, he curls up in the corner so I can do my thing. Now that I have some more freedom in my world maybe I will be back to creating.
"Sometimes we have to lose something precious to gain something priceless."