I have been having problems with Belto’s harness for the past few months and decided that it would be good to have a second harness just in case something happened to the one I usually would use. So, while at the NFB Convention in Orlando I stopped by the On The Go table in the Exhibit Hall. On the Go’s website is http://www.guide-and-service-dogs.com/ This particular harness is made of nylon and metal with a very comfortable handle. The harness handle is detachable by way of two buckles, and it is a martingale style harness which means there is a strap that you have to run the belly strap through before clipping the belly strap to the buckle on the right side of the harness. It is a rigid harness, and because of this, I am able to feel every little thing Belto does. For the short time I have had this harness from On The Go, I have found that it fits well on Belto, and it really does let me feel exactly what he is doing even when his pull becomes very light. The harness from Leader Dogs is nice but is not as nice because when he ceases to pull hard enough, I have to put some back pressure on the harness to keep things working properly and to keep the harness from getting stuck in the pushed in position. Therefore, the harness from On The Go is the harness I now use everyday, and the Leader Dog harness is being saved for special occasions since leather looks nicer and would fit in better at some place fancy. I will be posting an update after a few months of using the Sport Style Harness with my updated thoughts about it.
I went out to Bruisers for lunch and to hopefully train watch although the past three attempts have yielded no trains. We left Bruisers and headed over to Starbucks, and Belto nailed everything perfectly. Today has was quite on top of things because when I arrived at Starbucks, he headed straight for the table I usually sit at instead of heading for the door. After telling him he was a good boy, we turned around and headed to the door. It would appear to me that they have rearranged a little bit because getting the counter was easier than it had been the past few times, and I had to direct Belto around a couple of tables and up to where I picked up my drink.
I had just taken Belto out to relieve him after feeding him dinner, and after he did his business, things became interesting. Belto blew right past the dumpster I was shooting for, and I am pretty sure the dumpster we found was not the one I was wanting to find at this point. When I had turned around to head back to the sidewalk, I realized that we were way off from where I thought we were. So, I turned around again, and Belto and I began heading back the other direction. Of course, I did not have my phone on me, so calling Lacy to come find me was out of the question. So, Belto and I wandered a little bit until we found ourselves by the laundry room. Belto clearly knew where he was at that point ,and so did I. We did a 180 and made tracks back to Lacy’s apartment without a problem from there. Not one of Belto’s best nights focus wise, but he did well once we made it to somewhere where he knew he was.
I had fired up my HP this morning knowing that there are quite a bit of things to get done today including uploading a YouTube video and recording another one. I then went back to bed once Belto finished his breakfast to let the migraine meds finish wearing off, but little did I know that things were not going to go as I had planned.
I hopped out of bed around 1:30 this afternoon, and after taking care of Belto, I went to my computer to get ready to start getting things done. First task was to launch Outlook and read a blog post one of my friends posted, but I discovered that I was getting no speech from my computer. After trying to get System Access to restart and still hearing nothing, I attempted to restart the computer. This led to a discovery that the computer was completely dead. So after I had checked all the connections to make sure that everything was plugged in correctly, I tried to fire up the computer again. No dice. So, I then looked closer at the power adapter and to my dismay, I had to come to the conclusion that it had died because the converter was not even the slightest bit warm, which it would usually be if it is working. Once the replacement arrives, hopefully, I can get back to some of the things that I cannot do otherwise.
September was the only dog I have had who really did well doing routes without much input from me at all. It usually took a couple times doing the routes for her to figure it out the routes and get to that point, but she could do that pretty well. I never thought I would ever see a dog do it as well as September, but oh boy was I given a surprise while in Daytona Beach in September. My girlfriend and I went out to eat and then to Family Dollar. After leaving Family Dollar and getting across the street that confused Belto, what do you think happened? Belto did the entire route back to my girlfriend’s apartment without any input from me. This was the first time doing the route for him, and from everything I know and am told, it usually takes several times doing a route for this to happen. I knew Belto would be able to do this, but that quickly? I did not expect that at all, and it is nice to be quite honest to be able to pretty much start walking and know that the dog is able to get to places with little or no input from me. I certainly did not expect Belto to be able to do this as well so quickly in the eight months I have had him.
Belto is a bit unpredictable at times as demonstrated today. We were heading up Front St. To the Starbucks and along comes a Southbound train. Belto, that silly dog of mine, really did not pay too much attention to it until it was past us. The train blew its horn quite a bit a ways from us, and Belto decided to get completely distracted by it. Fortunately, most of the streets we cross are usually pretty quiet most of the time. I say this is very strange behavior for this dog, but as I am discovering, he does do some strange and unpredictable things.
Belto and I were planning to head into town on Thursday, August 4th, but a severe storm put the brakes on that idea. Today was appearing to be pretty good, but I was debating for awhile what to do since Belto needs to receive a bath. I finally made my mind up and headed into town. After eating at KY’s and waiting for the rain to cease, we took a hike down to Starbucks. There were a few puddles to go through, and there were also some lakes to trek through, but Belto handled everything perfectly. Belto nailed every street crossing, and his paw and pull were good. I think someone should invent a pair of tree trimmers that can be worn on your head because it was quite a bit of fun being smacked in the head with wet tree branches.