First Puppy Pushups

On a training route in San Rafael, CA, Eve was guiding me 'lickity split' down the sidewalk.  She began slowing about eight paces from the intersection, cautiously taking me to the down curb.  The ball was in my court for 'Position, Probe and Praise'.  I stepped up into position at her shoulders and probed the curb with my left foot while praising her.  'Goood Girrrl, Eve'.  'She knows where the curb is'.  'She's a Goood Girrrl'.

Listening to insure that traffic conditions were safe as far as I could determine - traffic has to stop going across our intended path and start moving along our intended path - I said, 'Eve, Forward'.  The ball was now in Eve's court to cross without getting us run over.  Eve reluctantly stepped out over the down curb with me in tow.  Then she crossed the street as slowly as a turtle.  Finally she showed me the up curb, we stepped up and over.  After two paces, I said, 'Eve, halt'.  Eve stopped but then turned 180 degrees, looking back across the intersection and panting rather anxiously.

Beth, GDB instructor, said, 'Robert, I am sorry; we brought Eve's sister, Elsa, up to you at that corner; Eve loves Elsa; she was majorily distracted by her sister so you have to make Eve do her puppy pushups.'

'Eve, Sittt.'  'Eve, Downnn.'  'Eve, Sittt'.  'Eve, Downnn'.  'Eve, Sittt'.  'Eve, Downnn.'  'Eve, Sittt.'  'Good, Robert'.  'Somewhere along your route we will bring Elsa up to Eve and try that again'.

I think I know when the instructors did that because Eve did a slight little anxiety dance at a down curb but she crossed that intersection without glancing back at Elsa and finished her route in textbook fashion.



Robert M. Thomas
Academic Professional Faculty Emeritus
Arizona State University
Emeritus College
Tempe, Arizona

Improving the lives of people with little or no sight!