Yesterday Wiley and I headed off nice and early to the Farmer’s Markets. It was the first time I took him inside the markets and asked him to guide me through the very busy crowds.
On the walk down he worked well, kept a nice steady pace and wasn’t too distracted by any smells. He did miss one up curb, which means he missed the ramp part and stepped up onto the curb instead. There was no obstacles or reason for him to miss the up ramp so we reworked it and he was perfect. Lots of praise for that 🙂
His work through the crowds was well above my expectations, I didn’t bump into a single person, that never happens if I am being guided by a sighted person. His obstacle work is one of his strengths, it helps me feel very safe when he is with me.
Unfortunately the trip home wasn’t quite so good. He was distracted by some barking dogs as we left the market. In fact his focus was so off it took a couple of verbal corrections to get it back. As we did with the up curb we re-worked it and this time his focus was much better.
Then for some reason once we left the market he went through one of his lets go really slow periods. He does this occasionally and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. After a little encouragement and use of the ‘hup hup’ command he went back to a much faster pace. I was really happy we finished the walk with some good work.
When I got home I adjusted his harness as it had got a little loose, I also fixed up where the handle attaches to the harness as the plastic cover that helps to stop it slipping had moved to far forward. It will be interesting to see if these adjustment make any difference to the feel of the harness next time Wiley and I work together.
The trip to the markets is almost a 5km round trip and I know it wears Wiley out as he crashed out for several hours when we get home.