Another day of training has come and gone. Today, we went downtown to work on an actual route.
Simba did very well today; two of our biggest problems are him anticipating my next command, and me second-guessing his lead. The first problem is due to the fact that Simba is very sensitive to my body language. Since I know I want to make a right turn, my right foot is ever so slightly turned to the right when I stop, which he notices and then starts to move right. Overall, that’s fine in the future, but we’re working on control right now, so it isn’t desirable. The second problem is because I have trusted my own skills with my cane for so long, it is really difficult to completely ignore the obstacles whizzing past four inches to my right. Also considering the fact that Simba and I walk at a pace that even I consider fast (sorry in advanced anyone that tries to walk with us), I think it’s understandable that it will take me some time to completely put all responsibility for my my well-being in another’s care.
On an abstract level, you can say you understand how you would have to really trust a dog to lead you around, because I said the same thing before coming to training. I have found that saying it, and actually racing past people and obstacles in an environment that you’ve never seen before are two completely different things. The complete trust you have to have, and the amount of control you have to relinquish is honestly staggering. I now start to see why and how these deep bonds start to form between handlers and their dogs. Getting to know Simba a little bit more, I think that our temperaments are similar enough where it won’t be long until we start really trusting each other.