[nagdu] snow was update on my questions
tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Mon Dec 14 16:54:56 UTC 2009
Good for Monty! And, yeah, it's easy to second guess your dog when you know
a route well enough to think you know what's what in front of you. /smile/
I'm finally to the point where it's more natural to just go with Mitzi than
not, but I still screw things up if I start thinking too much about what's
in front of my feet. /smile/
Excellent description of your travels. I did have some cane training in
snow many years ago in La Grande. Didn't like it! /smile/ And I got some
practice in Bend, too. I was better with the cane by then, but still!
In Portland, where it doesn't snow, except for when it does, folks don't
know how to drive on the stuff. Or how to shovel it or ... Well, they just
can't cope. And the city isn't set up for snow, so only the major roads get
plowed, intermittently, so if there's more snow. We had 18 inches last
year, and it pretty well shut things down. Some people couldn't get out of
their homes for weeks. And when they did, they caused accidents like mad.
So I was pretty leery about going out for snow practice here where there are
no sidewalks -- and their curbs to stop skidders before they got to me or my
dog. /smile/ If we get the snow they keep threatening us with, I'll go out
enough for practice with Mitzi where there's not much traffic, and maybe do
some work around the shopping centers where there are sidewalks. But that
main road with only a white line between us and them is off limits!
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Julie J
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:19 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] snow was update on my questions
We have had snow a few times already this year, but those were only 1 to 3
inches and the sidewalks were pretty clear. And I'm sure we worked some in
snow last winter, but that would have been at the very beginning of his
training. I honestly cannot remember much of how he did.
The most recent snow ended up being probably 15 inches or so. This means
that there are little hills at the end of every block at the entrance to the
street where the snowplow pushed snow up against the curb. Also on some of
our streets snow is piled up in the middle, between the lanes of traffic,
similar to where a median would be. So far all the places I've walked
people have shoveled their sidewalks. However apparently it is acceptable
to only scoop one shovel width, which makes it a very narrow path for Monty
He is doing very well. He's stopping or going around the large piles of
snow. He is picking the best path of travel which is sometimes over the
little hills and sometimes there is a way around.
It's impossible for me to feel with my foot when we are at a curb. I
learned very quickly to pay more attention to the traffic from further away
so I'd know the difference between a curb pile of snow and a regular drift.
Monty scared the crap out of me when we were crossing one of the streets
with the pile of snow in the middle. I didn't realize it was there and he
pulled to the left, out toward the parallel traffic. I panicked and side
stepped to the right. Yes, stupid, I know. When my foot went knee deep
into snow the light bulb went on. I trusted his judgment and followed his
lead. He didn't veer far enough to the left to be in that traffic, just far
enough to go around the very large pile of snow.
He's never done anything like that before. He wasn't acting distracted. He
has very good judgment and has never once made some horrible guiding
mistake. I should have known better and trusted him. We are a very new
teamand I guess all I can say is that I am still learning. *smile*
Maybe it's just my perspective, but a little snow, like less than three
inches, doesn't make any difference in how Monty and I work. Perhaps if you
rarely see even that amount of snow it would make a bigger difference. My
best advice is to wear shoes or boots with good rubber soles, plan some
extra time to get there, pay more attention to auditory information and
trust your dog.
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