The following questions were submitted by loyal reader Scribble:
So… Are there any pictures of Ms. Pup? I’d love to see some.
And something I’ve always wondered– I am assuming you are sighted enough to see a computer monitor. How does that work for you, exactly? How do you manage?
Also, you mentioned something about Ms. Pup and working on distraction training. I have always understood that if a dog is a ‘working’ dog, you don’t play with it, etc. and I’ve worked very hard to respect the ’space’ of a working dog and its person. Do people try to play with Ms. Pup, or is she just occasionally distracted by her surroundings?
First of all, there are pictures of Ms. Pup, and I will post some soon! She is adorable, and has incredible facial expressions, but she is also very dark, so sometimes she’s a little hard to photograph.
Second, I use screen-enlarger software that makes everything on the screen very big, so I can see it. People who can’t use that use screen-reader software, which reads the words out loud. When I use a Mac, the software is integrated into the OS. When I use a PC, the screen-enlarger is proprietary software that work purchased for me – you’ll note that these days I use a PC at work, and that’s about it.
Third, you are correct in that working dogs should not be distracted, in both senses – people should not distract them, and they should not distract easily. Ms. Pup has distraction issues with other dogs (and animals in general, but we’re most likely to encounter dogs). We’ve been setting up “ambushes” for Ms. Pup with other dogs, doing obedience drills near the dog park, walking through the Commons where other dogs are likely to be, etc. She’s getting better, but I need to know that a) she will not react to other dogs in public places, b) she will not attempt to distract other working dogs, c) she will not be aggressive with other dogs, and d) she will not endanger me because she is distracted by another dog. She can notice them – that’s natural – but that’s about it. We’re getting there, in large part due to hard work by Doug the trainer. I will post more about him soon.
I hope that answered the questions somewhat. Keep ’em coming!