A Hodge Podge of Recent Experiences

Makiko is doing great with the adjustment. It’s not PERFECT, but it’s dang near it. Here are a few notes from our past couple of days. I’m pretty exhausted so I’m just going to share things as they come to mind, hence the bullet points and not paragraph format.

  • She knows the route from whomever drops me off up to my apartment. This is a route that is a little bit intimidating for me even though it’s not very long. I had a serious accident on it a month or so ago and went to the hospital with a concussion but she gets us to my door just perfectly.
  • She has now ridden in a wheelchair accessible Honda Element two times. It’s a little different climbing in and out and she wasn’t quite sure what to think about it but she did it just fine, of course.
  • The only “glitch” that we have had really is we practiced this route to one of my classes. She got it down just fine, and she learned the way we leave the building too. Well, tonight I rode with a friend and that route was a little different so she tried to insist that we were supposed to go the other way when alas, we weren’t. However, she eventually figured things out and off we went.
  • Makiko likes to go a little faster than my friends and to be quite honest, I love the new pace. But we have to slow it down every once and awhile to accommodate my friends’ paces.
  • This waiter came up to Makiko tonight and you could tell it shook her up a bit. He just came up and started being really loud and petting her all wildly. I was proud of her, she just sat there, in harness but then afterwards came to me like “what WAS he doing?” She also couldn’t figure out whether she wanted to sit under the table, where it was pretty dark and meh, or to the side of the table where this waiter just went at her. I DID tell the waiter that she is a service dog and you’re technically not supposed to pet her. He didn’t know. He asked why and I explained it. It’s just education but it kind of threw my baby off a little bit.
  • Makiko follows a “left line” and so when I’m walking with friends I have to let Makiko do her left line because I have to follow her, if I’m having her work, and can’t “steer” her like that. I could just heel her but I want to work her so my friends are having to get used to the fact that we WILL get to the same place in ROUGHLY the same amount of time, it just might be a little different way.
  • She made a grunt or two in class tonight and then we were trying to sneak out of class without disrupting those who were still taking a test and she shook her whole body. It was pretty amusing if I do say so myself.
  • She is getting used to the going back and forth from Denton to Dallas thing quite nicely. She is also learning that she can get attention from my Mom every once and awhile but not to anticipate it.
  • Makiko has the CUTEST face so she makes everybody want to pet her and that’s probably my biggest issue right now is figuring this whole other people interaction thing out.
  • The food that she was on at GDB and the food she is on here is the exact same, except kibble size. We took the kibble to the store and said we need the exact same size, etc and I told them Natural Balance Lamb & Rice. They apparently gave us the smaller kibble size so that throws us a bit off because we’re trying to keep her weight roughly the same. What also throws us off is each scale is different. We took her to PetSmart once we realized this and she was 49.2 pounds. At GDB she was 50.2. If anything, I thought she would have gained weight. So in 2 weeks, we’re going to go back to that exact same scale and see how she’s doing and then the Support Center said we could call back and they’d help us adjust accordingly. Thing is this has happened to other students in my class as well. Hmph.
  • We’ll be flying again this weekend. On Friday we’re flying to Colorado to take my great-aunt who lives with my Mom to Denver to stay with her sister for a few weeks. So on the way there I’ll have my great-aunt, with a walker, and then Makiko. THAT should be interesting. And then on the way back it’ll just be Makiko and I.
  • Makiko has this precious face and I can’t ever tell if that’s just her static face or if that is a sad face or what. I’m pretty sure it’s just “her” face but it’s so incredibly precious it makes me want to play with her and I play with her as much as I can when we’re at home but it is also crunch time for school so I have to spend a lot of time on my computer and with textbooks cracked open.
  • One day within the next couple of weeks we’re going to have another day where we just cruise campus with no real goal or time crunch and we just get the opportunity to “work” with each other and further form our guidework and our bond.
  • People say this whole thing takes 6 months to really cement and I can see that. At first, I was like “we’ll have this down in no time,” and we got the bond down pretty well. Her guidework is also amazing but there’s just something that I can’t really describe about getting into each other’s swing. You can have two great dancers but then when you put them together they still have to learn each other’s step. That is kind of happening between Makiko and I. Sometimes she tries to tell me things that I’m not picking up on until later, and then sometimes I forget how we’re supposed to do something and once I do it correctly, it goes so much smoother. We’re forming a great bond but it IS a lot of work.
  • As I become more and more exhausted with school it’s getting harder and harder to get up in the mornings. I’m still sticking to our schedule though and plan to, but with the cold outside, man it really is hard to get out of bed sometimes.
  • Because I am partially sighted a lot of people ask me “Are you training her?” to which I respond, “No, she’s mine.” And these are people that know I’m visually impaired, mind you, so I don’t feel that I need to explain that she’s mine because of my vision loss.
  • My sister will get to meet her at the end of May and I’m really looking forward to it. Makiko and I should be pretty bonded by then that I can allow her to have a little more time with Makiko than I am letting people now.

Sorry for the hodge podge of stuff. As I said, today has just been pretty exhausting and the whole month of April doesn’t appear to be any better.


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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.

2 thoughts on “A Hodge Podge of Recent Experiences”

  1. Its wonderful to be able to follow how your relationship with Makiko and your independence and security are all blossoming together! Thank you for allowing us to share this experience and educating us along the way =)

    1. Mrs. Dragan,

      I’m really glad that you follow us. That is one of the many purposes of keeping up with my blog, so that Jenni and you all can see what’s going on in Makiko’s guiding life. 🙂 Our work together has, as you said, really blossomed, and it continues to everyday as we learn to read each other better and learn something new about each other. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful puppy raiser family to keep in touch with and to have raised my baby.


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