This morning Wiley and I went to the inaugural Canberra Achilles walking/running group training session. My friend Jean came along with me as she wants to learn to be a Guide runner. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to run but thought a walk might be nice.
There wasn’t a big group but there were equal numbers of sighted and vision impaired people, which worked well.
I decided to try jogging with my friend and the other sighted guides. It was fun but I didn’t like leaving Wiley with the people who were walking. He was absolutely fine – in fact he probably enjoyed walking with another guide dog. Both were out of harness so they could happily interact. I think they also walked at a slower pace than we normally go so there was plenty of opportunity for him to have a sniff.
Even though Wiley was fine I had some separation anxiety. I really don’t like not having my boy right by my side, if just feels odd. The sensation of running without holding onto a harness or long cane was weird and a little disconcerting at first but once I got used to it it was kind of nice.
At one point I tried running with a guide plus Wiley (on his recreational collar and lead). Wiley was great and kept up with us, in fact he could have happily gone a lot quicker. We didn’t run for too long as it isn’t something Wiley is used to and I didn’t want him to get sore muscles. If I am going to run I’d much prefer to do it with a guide and an off duty Wiley but that won’t always be practical so I will have to get used to occasionally leaving him at home.
At the end of the training session Jean and I both decided to join the group and are now proud owners of some lovely Achilles singlets. Our next training session will be in three weeks but we might get some extra runs in between now and then. Wiley has slept very soundly since we have been home, I guess a little run and new experiences are tiring.