Thursday, 6 February 2014

City slicker

One of the things about living in the country and training a Guide Dog Puppy is that there are certain things that just can't be done in our village... or even the next village or the one after that. So a trip to the big city offers all kinds of training opportunities for Odi.

Today Odi and I went into Edinburgh to have a coffee with No. 2 Son. As she hasn't been on a train yet I thought it would be a good idea to go to Waverley and take in the sights and sounds and see if we could get on and off a train without actually going anywhere just as an exercise.

We started out by getting a bus to Princes Street and Odi is now a dab hand at buses. No problem there. When we alighted we had to negotiate the steps at Waverley and this was a completely new experience for Odi. She pelted down them at a hell of a rate. I only managed to stay on my feet by holding onto the rail. No amount of shouting 'heel' or 'steady' did anything at all!

When we got to the bottom there were so many people and pigeons and sounds and smells that poor Odi didn't know where to look first. She was relatively well behaved, but had to be told in no uncertain terms that pigeons were only to be looked at.

The train people were lovely and told us a train was due in at Platform 8 and would be staying put for 10 minutes so we could go on and off at will. No. 2 Son and I thought it would be good to give her a go in a lift - her first ever one - down to the platform. That was fun! When we got there, there was another train that was in situ for a few minutes so we decided to start with that one. But Odi didn't like the gap at all, nor the sound of the engine hissing. I had to pick her up and carry her on and off until she relaxed a bit, but then it was time for that train to go, so after spending a moment or two sitting on the train we got off smartish before we headed for Glasgow.

Before long the other train arrived and, although not keen initially, after a few minutes she was hopping on and off like a pro!

Then it was time for a cafe experience, but as we were walking up the street I noticed Odi was avoiding manhole covers, so we did a bit of manhole cover training before heading into a cafe for a much needed cuppa.

I don't know about Odi, but I was exhausted by the whole thing. It was lovely to get home and have our lunch in the peace and quiet of the Scottish Borders. However, it was great for her to get into the city and do something a bit different.

This month there's a few things I have to be in Edinburgh for so I'm pleased we've had a bit of a practice. I'm sure next time will be a whole lot easier for both of us.

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