Testing Wiley’s new camera harness and our day at an Expo

It has been a busy couple of days for Wiley and I.

On Wednesday we made the trek into town as we needed to go into the Guide Dog  office at Deakin. While I was there the lovely CLO helped me fit the new camera harness I purchased for Wiley. The idea is to shoot some footage with a Go Pro camera so viewers can get a dogs perspective of guiding.

I am not really sure how it turned out, I have included a short video to this post. The clip is of myself and Wiley walking back into the office.

I spent Thursday night with my parents as I was booked to help staff the Guide Dog NSW/ACT at a Seniors expo at Throughgood Park the next day. When I have subsequent days of work in Canberra it is easier to stay with mum and dad. It saves a couple of long bus trips. It is also lovely spending time with them and I can give dad a morning off from walking their wee dog.

Thursday morning after a few navigational mishaps (i.e. getting lost) Wiley and I finally found the Guide Dog stall at the Seniors Expo, where we were scheduled to spend most of the day. As I usually do when I know I am lost I sought assistance from a passerby.

It was a wonderful day, I spoke to lots of great people, did a little bit of networking promoted the Guide Dog speaker program and generally had fun. We were near the stage so I had a little dance with Wiley when the live musician was performing.

I think Wiley enjoyed himself, especially as Alfie,  the ACT’s latest recruit – a Guide Dog Ambassador dog was there to share the patting duties. Wiley and Alfie get on very well, Alfie is still a young dog so he puts a bit of pep into the usually very sedate Wiley.

We finished up at the expo around 2:30 and headed into the city to meet up with a friend before getting the bus back home to Yass. It was a long but very enjoyable day.

Yesterday I had quite a bit of work to catch up on so Wiley had the day off, sleeping in his bed in the study. We had a couple of lovely walks as the weather has finally cooled down making exercise a lot more pleasant.

Below is a short clip of our camera harness trial walk, If it works I hope there will be more to post in the future.

My still neglected blog and our first open house

I can’t believe another couple of weeks have passed since I updated the blog. Time is flying by – the big news since the last entry is my place is finally on the market!

Talks

I had a lovely talk at an after school care program on Monday. They were very well behaved and attentive, especially considering they had been at school all day. There were lots of great questions including one that I hadn’t been asked before – How would I feel if I got my eyesight back? I really wasn’t sure how to answer.

CLO work

Last week was a huge work week, it included – some filming for a Guide Dog project, a trip to Gundaghai, two pre-school talks, two days in the office, an interagency meeting and staff meeting. No wonder this poor blog isn’t being updated, Wiley and I were exhausted by the end of the week.

My CLO role is probably going to be winding up soon. The position needs to be full-time which I can’t do as I have my speaking role to consider. I am hoping another part time opportunity will open up for me but at the moment I am just taking things day by day.

House sale

Saturday after a long walk with Wiley I spent a couple of hours cleaning my little home from top to bottom in preparation for the first open house. Wiley and I needed to vacate while people were walking through. To fill in the time we took a slow stroll – Wiley loved it as he stopped and sniffed every bush and tree. It was a nice way to fill the hour or so. I hope whoever lives here after me appreciates the beautiful mountain as much as I do. I am really going to miss walking there when we move

On the whole it was a successful start to the marketing with five people coming through. Unfortunately no offers have been forthcoming but it was nice to know people were interested enough to come and have a look. There is another open house scheduled over the Easter long weekend. Fingers crossed more people are interested enough to have a look through.

Weekend happenings

It’s Easter – a great time to catch up with my gorgeous family, not to mention the perfect excuse to eat some chocolate. Wiley has a bag of roo tendons and a new toy as his Easter treats.

Walking catch ups. We have not one but two walking dates lined up with friends and their dogs. Wiley will love having doggy companions to walk with. The exercise will also be good to help offset any chocolate consumption!

Playing with my GoPro camera. I am going to dedicate some of the weekend to play with my GoPro camera. I want to work out the best way to capture Wiley at work.

Massage for Wiley. Hopefully Wiley will enjoy a massage sometime over the weekend.

Open House. More cleaning – fingers crossed there will be an update with a I’ve sold my house’’ post very soon J

Just because he is adorable – here is a photo of my boy taken on one of our car trips last week.

Wiley in the car

Wiley in the car

Harness Cam debut

Finally I have some footage of Wiley working. A friend has watched it and assured me he is in the shot. Technically it isn’t a harness cam as I am wearing the camera. It is angled to provide video of Wiley working which was ultimately what I wanted to achieve with a harness camera.

Here is a description of the video for my vision impaired friends. I have asked Wiley to find the bus stop. He walks forward along the path then finds a right turn, stopping at the kerb. He crosses the road on my command, stopping again at the medium strip. When we get to the other side of the road he follows the path, sticking to the left hand side so I avoid any vegetation growing on the right hand side.

we continue along the path until he takes a left hand turn down towards the bus stop, once again stopping at the kerb. After being given the forward command he takes me across the road, does a sharp turn to the right, walks into the bus shelter and rests his head on a empty part of the seat. Job done and lots of praise from me.

This is an easy and routine walk for us so I don’t talk to Wiley too much, just let him get on with his job. I am not sure if you can see or hear on the video but I am giving him various hand signals and verbal commands as well as altering my body position depending if I anticipate him turning right or left.