My third Seeing Eye canine might be the neatest one I’ve ever labored with. Harper realized early on that drivers aren’t searching for us. He is aware of we may get damage on the market. So he refuses to guide me removed from residence.
Harper wasn’t all the time this manner. After we went out with our teacher throughout coaching final December, Seeing Eye employees have been out and about in automobiles, deliberately reducing in entrance of us to simulate the habits of drivers. Harper was glorious at these “site visitors checks,” pulling me away from hurt’s manner, refusing to step into the road if he noticed a car coming in direction of us.
Again residence final spring, considered one of Harper’s heroic site visitors checks saved each our lives. He stopped at a busy intersection, I listened, heard the site visitors going straight at our parallel, and commanded “ahead!”
Harper was watching, although. He pulled us away from a turning car with such power that I fell backward, cracking the again of my head on the concrete. The lady driving the car informed me later that she hadn’t seen us.
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After that, Harper began displaying worry round site visitors. A Seeing Eye teacher got here out to present me recommendations on clicker coaching. Harper began to enhance.
After which I broke my foot.
We held onto the hope that point off work would possibly assist Harper get his mojo again. That hope was misplaced after my foot healed. Earlier than, a clicker and a deal with would get him going, now Harper—a Labrador Retriever, thoughts you—is now not motivated by treats.
The Seeing Eye despatched a second teacher, after which a 3rd. Collectively we decided metropolis life has turn out to be an excessive amount of for Harper. He’ll be shifting in with buddies in a leafy suburb of Chicago later this month, after which I’ll return to the Seeing Eye after Thanksgiving to be matched with a brand new associate.
I don’t consider my light, candy two-year-old yellow Lab as a failure. John Keane, supervisor of Instruction and Coaching on the Seeing Eye, agrees. “Take a look at it this manner,” he informed me. “Harper took a bullet for you, and for that, he will get an early retirement.”
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