I recently discovered it is hard to pack lightly if you are traveling with a Guide Dog. Wiley and I only went away for one night. If I was on my own I’d have taken a tote bag but as I was also packing for Wiley I ended up taking a large overnight bag.
Items for Wiley included mat, bowl, food, treats, chews, soft toy, kong, nylabone, comb, brush, lint roller, recreational collar and lead, working collar and lead, harness, wipes and poo bags. As we were going to the beach I should have also included a doggy towel. 3/4 of the bag had Wiley’s stuff – my gear took up the rest.
In preparation for our trip I needed to do some research. I looked into potential health risks such as ticks and what I should do to help protect Wiley. I also checked out local vets in case Wiley became sick or injured. Turned out due to Wiley’s sore toe I unfortunately needed to use this information.
It was also important to find a motel that had green space close by suitable for toileting. At least I didn’t need to worry about finding pet friendly accommodation as Guide and Service dogs are allowed in all motel rooms.
The up side of being accompanied by a Guide Dog is getting out and about somewhere completely unfamiliar becomes so much easier.
For example once we were given the keys to our motel room Wiley followed the instructor to my door. I praised him and gave him a treat. We then went off to explore the area. When we got back to the motel complex I asked Wiley to ‘find our room’ and he took me straight to my door.
Another time Wiley and I navigated our way from the motel into the town centre using my Mobile GEO device. After Wiley found me a cafe and we had a little break I asked him to ‘go back’. He took me back along the exact route we had walked and again stopped right outside my motel door. I was always aware of where we were and when I should expect to turn. cross a road etc but Wiley didn’t need to be prompted. I was just so proud of my clever boy.
Throughout the two days we were away Wiley’s work was flawless, I felt safe and confident no matter where I was. I couldn’t and wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same level of independence without him.