[nagdu] pilot dogs traffic checks was Update: Training Programsat NAGDU Meeting

Criminal Justice Major Extraordinaire orleans24 at comcast.net
Mon Jul 15 02:28:44 UTC 2013

Dear Harold,
Thank you for sharing your experience as a Pilot Dog handler.
Although I didn't have unexpected trafic checks during training with Freedom or Odie, I definitely experienced a serious one which was done by no other than Odie himself.
There have been plenty of times when he's had to push me away from on-coming emergency vehicles when they would suddenly come out of nowhere at the last minute.
Four years ago, the two of us were almost hit by a police car where the officer decided he was going to run a red light when Odie and I were right on time with the trafic signal.
Although he is now a medical alert service dog, Odie still does some amazing modernized version of guiding.
As far as Odie's trafic checks work, he'd either back up, stop right on a dime, quick body blocking or side stepping while gently pushing me back from vehicles as a whole.
Yes, I do agree that a working dog will make a mistake and it is up to the dog's handler to have the dog rework the error as four-legged furry partner learns from the mistake he/she made.
Although Mike Tessmer and I did have some disagreements during training, he along with Jay Gray were going to make sure that Odie and I were going to work out as a team.
Eight years later, we're still together and despite that he's almost ten years old and with the help of a mobility plus chewable tablet, his degenerative disc disease isn't bothering him as bad like before.
I do plan on getting another guide dog, but for a wheelchair trained guide, it will be a two or three year waiting.
Bibi and son Odie

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