Jared Wright is a college student who is blind. He seeks greater independence through the use of a dog guide, and is currently attending The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey, to accomplish that. This feature details his experiences and reflections throughout his training, which concludes on August 17. His dog is a male cross between a yellow Labrador and a golden retriever named Kerry.
Firstly, my most sincere apologies for the lack of any report from The Seeing Eye in over a week. You'll just have to trust me when I say that the second half of training results in the most interesting subject matter as well as more time to write about it. As the training progresses, schedules become less rigid even if just as demanding, and thus I should have a better time putting down thoughts and beaming them out to you all. To be honest, downtime has been scarce and Internet access scarcer this past week. But here are the highlights of the week, along with the promise that entries should again pick up over the latter half of the training.
The heat. Oh, the heat. It was positively suffocating. In the interest of keeping training as complete as possible, instructors were hesitant to modify classes in any way. But Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons reached triple digits here in Morristown, so there was no choice but to start what is generally more complex work inside buildings a bit early. Kerry and I had been doing quite well with the outside routes, and while we still need practice, I don't think missing the two sessions of intersection analysis and route planning will kill us.
Certainly the most sobering experience of training came Tuesday afternoon. Kerry and I were working in the Headquarters Plaza, an office park that tries to pass itself off as a mall. We were navigating quite adequately when Kerry decided that one of the tile floors was as good a place as any to take care of personal business. Once I'd figured out what he was doing, I gave him a stern correction. He was not fazed, so I had to resort to the high collar correction, the most extreme form of correction that The Seeing Eye recognizes as acceptable and in rare circumstances necessary.