I’m going to refer to my trainer from when I was at GDF at Mr. T., partly because I did not get permission to use his real name, and partly because he does not resemble Mr. T in any way, other than being male. I like him. He’s GDF’s very own emo kid, but he’s a damn good trainer. You either get along with him or you don’t. But if every dog I ever had were to be trained by him, I’d be in pretty good shape. His dogs think. They solve problems. They can get you out of potentially dangerous situations. They are trained solidly and crisply, and you can rely on them absolutely. This is not to say anything disparaging about anyone else’s dogs or training. But I have complete faith in his.
Mr. T is a curmudgeon. He told me right off that my biggest problem was going to be falling in love with my dog, and he was right. He told me to remember that she’s my employee first. I had a bad habit of looking at the ground when walking (from years of having to do that), and it doesn’t work well with a guide dog. “She’s ugly!” he’d yell when I looked down at Ms. Pup while we were walking. “Don’t look at her!” At one point, he threatened to pin my ponytail to my backpack, so I couldn’t look down.
But I could tell he liked Ms. Pup, because he would say things like, “She’s okay, for a girl.” And he didn’t say that about every dog, not even every girl dog.
I am forever grateful for his training and his hard work with my dog and with me. It couldn’t have been easy in either case.
And speaking of gratitude….HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE, WE BROKE $1000! (Thanks, Mom! It was your pledge that did it!) YAY! Thank you so much!
Think we can keep going? Surprise me. 😉