The big steps of a small dog that needs to be a guide. Meet Głoska!

Alicja Durka

Dear readers, please meet my dog ​​friend named Głoska. We have known each other for a little over three weeks, and next year we will be almost inseparable.

Let’s start from the beginning. Who is Goska and why does he appear in the press? Well, he’s a dog, but he’s different from the many we meet on the street every day. In a few months, he will take on an important role, though it is still hard to believe. He will become a guide dog for people who are blind or visually impaired.

That’s why he will accompany me for only a year. We will have to leave later, because after the first, twelve months of training with me, he will be under the supervision of the coach for a few months, and then he will go to the disabled person. But first he must get to know the world and master dog behavior.

Fortunately, the phone was on

How did Gloska start working for a newspaper? A few weeks ago I wrote about raising funds for treatment
Another candidate for a guide and I mentioned that I would like to work on a similar Labrador in a few months. But happiness came sooner than everyone expected.

On Saturday, April 2, the company’s phone rang, usually off on weekends. This time I forgot and … took it.

– Good morning, you were interested in volunteering with us, right? – I heard at the reception.
– That’s right – I answered thinking that I would be invited to a training or interview.
– We have a very urgent situation. A woman will arrive in Poznań on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the guardian who had to take care of him collapsed. Will you be interested? I need to know the answer today – explained Natalia from the Labrador Blind Foundation in Poznan – Guide Dog.

Well, the decision was not easy. I work hard, I have two rabbits at home, I have never seen such a young dog. There were not many animals in the family house, so this situation is a big unknown. First conversations at home, then a phone call to the editor-in-chief, asking if the dog can come to the editorial office (this can take a minute, at most two minutes). Agreed faster than me. Finally, within two hours, the thread fell into place. I called back. we are moving.

Looking back, I think I decided during the first conversation with Natalya, but I had to
the idea of ​​convincing the rest of the family and making sure I could provide the necessary conditions for sharp development.
Then time slowed down as we had to wait until Tuesday. At that time, there was an accelerated course of care
On the dog, I read hundreds of pages about dogs, their nutrition, education, and, of course, cooperation with blind and visually impaired people.

It’s been a long week since I’ve had the long-awaited Wednesday. Fate has decided that it is my birthday. Usually, I’m not in favor of treating animals as gifts, but I couldn’t imagine anything better in this situation. When it was time for the meeting, I entered the headquarters of the foundation and saw two small black marbles on the floor. One of them resigned immediately
to me. Her sister is a little small and a little closed. Thus, it was clear which women would be more appropriate in the editorial reality.

After a few weeks, I was convinced that this was a good decision. Really nothing
she is not afraid and loud noise is the biggest attraction of garbage trucks. He can sit for a few minutes and watch the garbage being dumped
and listen to the beating of the dishes. It seems …

The worse, the better

Apparently, the perfect place for a dog is a house with a large garden and a forest nearby. But not for a dog preparing for a managerial job. In the center, near a noisy street, a very busy apartment is a great place.
Although I still do not have the conditions to keep a dog, it turned out that I have the best opportunities for a guide dog candidate. Maybe with a small exception. Labradors have to climb stairs for the first few months of their lives because of the risk of joint dysplasia. The third floor of the apartment building is not suitable for this work, especially from week to week Głoska
it just gets worse. Although I don’t think about it, it’s hard to talk and continue.

It may seem that caring for such a baby is a pure pleasure. Not so. Not everyone agrees, and it should be emphasized with all determination when the opportunity arises. Although I often have it in my hands, I have the privilege of taking my voice almost anywhere. Everyone in the editorial office loved him from the first day, so far he has had several press conferences, interviews and materials from the city. It has a very important function – competition instead of focus
at work, taking pictures or entertaining a puppy. But not everyone wants the dog to be there, and sometimes we just have to go out, whether we like it or not.

Not everyone can afford it, and this is just the beginning. It is true that trainings with specialists and specialists are not held every week, but it is necessary to strengthen the acquired skills at all times, practically every day, to go for frequent walks, to make sure that he does not eat anything suspicious and does not hurt himself. .

Difficult beginnings

From today’s perspective, the first days seem to be the most difficult days. The situation is new for both owners and the dog, so in addition to being very happy, there are many difficult emotions and less lasting sleep. Those who like to stay in bed long and late are unlikely to be satisfied.

The first night we spent together was waking up and walking for about two hours. It was even more difficult, because on the second day Gloska felt bad. Of course, I directed my first directions to the vet. We don’t know exactly what happened – most likely stress,
The change of location, perhaps the reaction to the new karma, is hard to say. Fortunately, it ended with syrup and a few dozen hours of fasting. But Ses was not happy. Labrador always wants to eat, anything and everywhere. At the end of the article, he was so hungry that he wanted to lick everything, even the walls.

The start was quite intense, but the dogs learn very quickly. I have the impression that Goska can do it every day
something new now. In the beginning, he was mostly asleep, needed a lot of touching, and was able to walk a maximum of several meters at a time with his feet. Now he can walk a few hundred meters, have fun, and when he reaches the stairs, he sits and looks into his eyes eloquently, which means that he has to be carried upstairs. In the first exercise alone, he learned five commands.

Observing this compensates for these difficulties, although it is not required without surprises and from the dog
a lot of work and attention and people … each, even the shortest departure, at least a few comments and touches, attempts to kiss,
lift and even pinch! No dog is touched without the guardian’s permission, but this is the case
is especially important. Can you imagine a guide dog at work that is beginning to demand attention in front of everyone? It smells like danger.

I really understand, a small, awkward, sweet dog, but where does the belief that people can do?
What does the animal want, just because it is small and harmless? Here is an appeal from me, do not complicate the guardians
Raising dogs is a lot of work, and mistakes made in the beginning will have a big impact on the next
the life of the dog and his guardians.

Gold advice

Another issue is advice. Gold advice. Young parents and guardians of children can only look knowingly. I didn’t think I was surrounded by so many experts, but I’ve heard so many comments over the last few decades that it’s hard to count.
It should also be noted that they often contradict each other.

One day, although this was an extreme situation, when suddenly Gloska, tired of walking, did not want to sit on the sidewalk and take the next step, a gentle middle-aged woman came and said that if the dog did not listen, we pinched her.

At that moment, he began to lean towards the dog. At the last moment, it was time to stop it. But to feed, to raise, to sleep, to carry with a rope, and so on. There are more recommendations. I understand that the intention is good, but as you know, hell is a good intention. Especially when the advice is neither sharp, nor experienced, nor the person who did it
knows our situation. I can assure you that I want the best for Głoska, I consult with experts. These are tips that I will listen to, not to random people on the street or other acquaintances. I will ask when in doubt. Finally, there is the Internet.

Why Głoska?

Finally, two more words about why Gloska is Goska. I don’t know everyone agrees, but for me it was important that the dog’s name was invented by a volunteer who looked after it. So there is Głoska. The name practically came naturally. Contrary to appearances, there is more to these six letters than you might think. First of all, he passes in Głos.
Often, the name comes to mind, but for me – Polish philosophers are very important. Besides, I’m not blind or visually impaired, but I imagine that the world of sounds is more important to me for such people. So, the name of My Voice is a sign for his whole life that he was with me for a while. I hope her new caregiver will like it too. I rely on it a lot. And we still have a whole year ahead of us.

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