Day 13 at GDB

Good Morning! I’m terribly sorry I didn’t post last night — I was EXHAUSTED. A good friend/classmate wanted help packing and for us to hang out with her while she packed. We then got some of her gifts together for various people. It was very late by the time we finished and I came back and literally CRASHED and I’m not so sure I set my alarm clock… oops! 🙂 While I was “hanging out” and not physically helping her pack, Makiko laid in my lap (not uncommon), fell asleep, and then started snoring. I didn’t want to wake her up so I avoided getting up for quite some time. When I did, my leg was totally asleep! 🙂

I have no idea what we ate yesterday.. will have to figure that out later. I am exhausted, nervous, and excited and so I’m a little scatterbrained at the moment. I am almost positive I had eggs because I don’t really care for the other breakfast options.

Yesterday morning was quite fun! We went to the park and practiced working around distractions (people and dogs) while just taking a nice stroll through the park. After that we went to the mall and that was a blast. (Wait, is this Jessica really saying a MALL was a blast?!) Yes, that’s right, I said it! My good friend (whom I met and became close to here) and I decided to tackle the mall together. We were thinking about dressing our dogs up for graduation a little bit so we went into the Icing, but we couldn’t find anything we wanted. We then went to “Made In Oregon” which is where I got a lot of cute gifts. After that it was time to go. We spent a long time in these two stores. The good thing is this mall is really experienced with guide dog users so they really work with us and know how to not pet working dogs, etc. so it made it nice. One thing my classmate and I heard a lot though was “They are training the dogs to help people who can’t see.” And well, that’s not quite the case. They are already trained.. we are the ones that need to be trained.. AND we are the ones that cannot see. Haha.

After the mall was lunch. Then we had somebody from Graduate Services come deliver us a binder with all of our puppy’s information and general stuff about guide dogs, veterinary care, Animal Poison Control, laws, etc. It was GREAT! We also got our ID’s and a class picture. My ID picture is adorable. Also with the ID picture is a card with Texas’ laws on guide dog users as well as the ADA as it pertains to guide dogs so that if we get denied access somewhere we can show that. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will let us in, but we at least have more backup.

After Graduate Services spoke with us, our class supervisor spoke with us about Graduation Day and traveling home with our dog. We then had a bit of free time and another classmate joined Makiko and I in the free run with her dog. That was fun. Then we had dinner. After that I returned my rain gear, got a new tie-down to go home, and the packaging for my dog’s blanket. We CAN wash it before we go home but often times it’s comforting for them to have something that has their scent and they’ve slept on for the past two weeks. I’ll probably wash it once she gets adjusted to my Dallas home and Denton home. After that I went back and talked to family and friends for a bit, went to my classmate’s room to help her for several hours, and then passed out! Forgot to set the alarms so this morning was a bit rushed but luckily I could just throw on slippers, brush my hair, and walk 200 feet to the dining hall. Unfortunately, this meant Makiko didn’t get to use the restroom or eat before I did, but I ate really fast and then we headed back to relieve her and let her eat/drink. She held it in so I was really proud of her.

So remember I said I was “exhausted, nervous, and excited”? Today is graduation day! I am exhausted after these two weeks of rigorous exercise (both physically and mentally), I’m nervous because I have to speak when I am introduced on stage today, and I am excited because this means that Makiko and I are an OFFICIAL guide dog team and tomorrow we will be flying home together. I just CANNOT WAIT to introduce her to Mommy, my great-aunt, and my boyfriend and then in a few months my sister. They will all just love her, I mean, who couldn’t just love her? This upcoming week is quite hectic with school so Makiko will just jump right in to guiding me around school and town.. that’ll be great. It will take some getting used to because I’ll be away from my apartment when she needs to eat but I’ll have a portable bowl and food with me so it’ll be fine.

I think that’s it for now. I need to go get ready for graduation. My puppy raiser unfortunately wasn’t able to make it and another classmate’s puppy raiser wasn’t able to make it either. We originally thought we were going to be able to go out tonight but now we’re not so sure. We’re just going to wing it though and we’ll plan something fun if we don’t end up going out. I will get to see my puppy raiser though in a few weeks so that’s pretty exciting. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know her better through Facebook, email, and a phone call and I can totally see why Makiko is the way she is, she had such a sweet puppy raiser.

We get professional photos done today at Graduation and my instructor is giving me a hard time because I requested a black dog, yet I brought black slacks. Most would think that’s great because we won’t have visible guide dog hair. Well, yes.. but since Makiko is black and she’ll be standing next to black pants, she might not be that visible. I was thinking about wearing nice jeans but I don’t think I’d feel dressed up enough. We’ll see how this goes!

One random note: I’ve noticed I’m possessive about Makiko’s toys. When another dog comes over to our room and they start playing with her toys, I get a little antsy. I try to share but I just think that she deserves her own toys and other dogs, especially dogs that are a little more wild, don’t have the right to damage her toys. When the other dogs start “playing” a little more rough with Makiko, she is too sweet and doesn’t get rough back but I also get very protective of her too and break it off. Just noticing these things.

As always, I’ll leave you with a few pictures and then hope to blog to you tonight about graduation!

Makiko's puppy raiser graduated with her Bachelor's and put her cap on Makiko and posted saying that she hopes Makiko gets to have her own graduation one day. Her mom then responded when they found out that Makiko WILL have a graduation and it was all super sweet. I only felt it was appropriate to share this picture with you! Makiko won't have a graduation cap today but at MY graduation in a year or so, she most definitely will!
Makiko’s puppy raiser graduated with her Bachelor’s and put her cap on Makiko and posted saying that she hopes Makiko gets to have her own graduation one day. Her mom then responded when they found out that Makiko WILL have a graduation and it was all super sweet. I only felt it was appropriate to share this picture with you! Makiko won’t have a graduation cap today but at MY graduation in a year or so, she most definitely will!
This is Makiko’s version of “Let’s help a classmate pack!” It was so adorable though because she was SOUND asleep!
Makiko says, “I want to cuddle with Mommy, while chewing on my bone, WHILE looking around the room!” I, of course, welcome the cuddles! 🙂
Classmates playing! Makiko is on the right, another precious small black labrador on the left.
Makiko is on the left, the other dog is on the right. They were having fun! 🙂


Published by

Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

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