My frightened young Diva and I had many adventures ahead of us. Parking would be one of the first. When I think of parking, cars come to mind. Now, parking would take on an unexpected new meaning.
Since I got Diva so late in the afternoon, I hardly had any alone time with her before the almighty schedule dictated our first activity. Climbing to my feet and grabbing her leash, I said, “Diva, let’s go on our first adventure.” I flipped my key card over my head and took her through the door to the outside, where large rectangles of pea gravel and little trash cans awaited the first deposits from our dogs.
“When you are relieving your dog,” one of the trainers explained, “you will say, ‘Juno, park.’”
Park? I’ve heard of parking a car, but never a dog.
’I did as directed while considering what my real relief word would be at home. I decided on git ‘er done. But when in Rome, as the saying goes, do as the Romans. Add that to the list of things that change as soon as we leave here. I am NOT telling my dog to park.
With trainers hovering over us like mother hens, sixteen of us relieved our dogs. Ann, my next-door neighbor, asked, “How will I find it when my dog goes?”
Follow the leash. It’s not that hard. I couldn’t believe this question. One. Follow the leash to your dog. Two, follow your dog to its tail. Three, put your bagged hand under said tail until you find the pile. Four scoop pile into a hand, and five, tie the bag and deposit the mess into the trash can. No eyesight required. Blind people have been picking up after their guide dogs for nearly a century.
Dive started walking in circles. I mean, a lot of them. Amber came up and told me, “Diva always has to make Epic Circles before she can relieve. Nobody knows why.”
I laughed. She moved on to help someone.
“How do I know if it’s going to be number one or number two?” Ann asked.
She actually said number one and number two.
Hearing no trainer around to help her, I decided to be helpful. “Once you’ve followed the leash to your dog, notice whether his back is flat or arched. Flat is for liquid and rounded is for solid.”
“Okay. But I’m still not sure how to find it.”
I think my mom down in Missouri could have felt my eyes roll. “You’ll figure it out. The hole is just below the base of the tail, so start there.” I tried reminding myself that she had never been out of her hometown, EVER, before coming to Leader Dogs, but that only led me on a mental tirade of why they gave me hassles about living where there are no traffic lights and let her breeze right in with zero travel experience outside her little town where she taught at the same blind school she had attended.
After about nine circles, I started singing a chant I had learned, “We are a circle within a circle, with no beginning, and everlasting.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish