My room had two doors. One led into the hallway, the other to the parking area. Not for cars but for dogs. Strange euphemism for what I called going “side.” I never used “out” or “potty” as that’s what everyone else says. I later learned that if you spell park with a c at the end and flip it, you get a crass name for the deed in question. This dog relief area had a long strip of pea gravel and a five-foot wall beyond. I explored with my white cane and longed for my Juno. How good it will feel to have that leash in my left hand with my Juno at the other end.
Explorations complete for now, I went into the break room to get a latte. I knew from the materials Leader Dogs sent that they had a lovely machine that dispensed hot beverages, and after over half a day of travel with short sleep, a latte was definitely in order.
“May I help you with anything?” The Residence Assistant asked.
“Yes. Do you have a pole vault pole?”
I gave her a big smile. “I’m too short for my bed. If I can’t vault into it, I’ll have to throw one leg up onto it and roll in every night.”
We both laughed and she helped me get the elixir of life. Now that I knew where to find cups and lids, I was set. Each button had Braille markings. I don’t use those little raised dots much, but I can read signs.
The dining room held special excitement that evening: a harness. Hand-made locally, it would empower my Juno to guide me safely through all life’s adventures. I studied every inch of it. Jessica, our lead trainer introduced herself to me.
She noticed me fingering the digits etched into the hard leather. “That’s your Juno’s ID number.”
“I want my Juno now,” I told her. “Tuesday is a long way off.”
She smiled. “I know you do. It will be here faster than you think.”
No, it won’t. This was day one of my three-day eternity after months of longing for my new guide dog. That soft fur under my hand couldn’t come soon
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