Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Guide Dog Matching Visit

I should be bouncing off the walls in sheer excitement, but the day I've been waiting for for 18 and a half months has ended up being an anti climax. Guide Dogs called with what they call good news. It was good news to me too until they started describing the dog. We've all seen on here how I was hoping for a cute little yellow bitch, but instead I get Calvin, boo hoo a boy, 36kg, boo hoo a giant, lab cross retriever, which I don't even know what colour he is. Probs black knowing my luck. Calvin! OMG! What a stupid name for a dog! Selina and Calvin…it just doesn't sound right. 36kg! I only weigh 43kg! There's the end of carrying him up and down escalators, we'll just have to be stranded.

According to the instructor it looks like a perfect match on paper. I have no idea what bit of paper she has, but my version is completely different. I was too upset to ask any questions other than the weight, so I'll find out more disappointing news no doubt on Thursday when I have my matching visit. I wonder what medical and spending issues he has. He best not be a slow coach and I won't be best pleased if they say he can't work in London.

All in all I'm an ungrateful cow and feel like Guide Dogs have it in for me! Roll on Thursday!


Alena said...

I had an idea in my head the first time I got a guide too and my match was not what I pictured at all. My first guide was an 85 pound male black lab. He turned out to be a great dog, and I hope and believe Calvin will be too.

Jennifer said...

Thats an interesting reaction Selina!

I imagined I'd get a dog a bit smaller than OJ, who is 32 kg. He's a gentle giant, and as soon as I walked with him I knew the size wasn't going to be an issue.
guide dogs wouldn't match you with him if he wasn't fast or wasn't suitable, but you'll know as soon as you walk with him if he's right. If he feels right, don't rule him out, cos you'll probably be waiting ages for your ideal dog.

Does it really matter if its
a girl or boy? or what colour it is? It will still do its job well. The name will grow on you. If he has a healthy coat you'll probably constantly get compliments about how black and shiny he is.
Hope things go ok tomorrow.

Selina Litt said...

Reading it back today I do sound a bit loop the loop! The name and colour aren't a big deal i'm just shocked about the size! I'm so little and I don't know anyone with a dog as big as that! I'm worried about how he'll fit inbetween the seats on trains and buses.

I'm trying to go in with an open mind and of course if he can do the job i'll accept him. I'm not that shallow thankfully! Though i'm concerned that I will say yes too even if he's not exactly perfect cos i'm not sure I can wait much longer without going clinically insane.

Mixed views indeed! maybe I am loop the loop!

Jennifer said...

You'll be surprised how they can fit themselves into such small places, but yeah sometimes that's the only reason I wish OJ was a bit smaller.
There's something protective about having a big one walking with you though.

I'm probably a similar weight to you, and am only 5ft 1. My trainer told me that OJ could potentially become too strong for me to handle if I didn't be strict and take control from the beginning. When he realised he wasn't going to get away with pulling me he soon stopped and he's great now. Other people find him strong though when he's not on harness.

Ask as many questions as you can think of, and ask them about any problems you think you might have. Don't let them think you'll just take any dog either, but I'm sure they don't think like that when they match you.
Not sure about the escalator thing. I wouldn't fancy carrying a dog that heavy either! I just avoid them.
Ok I'll shut up now! good luck!

Terri said...

My first match Curtis was not a good match for me, didnt walk my speed and he was extremely nervous and very very stubborn. He was worn out after a short walk and didnt want to do anymore and needed loads of encouragement, yet guide dogs decided to try and match him up with me! He was a gorgous black lab and had a nice calm personality and was simular size to what Calvin is. They dont always get it right.

Ask loads of questions and your know when you meet him if he's right or not. I knew instantly i wanted Uma and when walking with her i knew she was right for me. She isnt perfect but no dog is.

Anonymous said...

If you think a 35kg dog is challenging to fit on a train you should try commuting with my 48kg German Shepherd, Vance. Busy seats are definitely out, but he can just about be squeezed in on some trains!

Robert (http://www.rjnet.co.uk/journal/guidedog.php)