News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Phil’s gone

I had a post written last night, but it sounded too whiny, so I’m trying again. Phil left this morning for The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ. He’ll meet his dog sometime Wednesday morning, and I’ll probably learn a little about the dog like name and Phil’s approximation of height and weight. They learn the official stats a little later in class.
If everything is going to schedule, Phil is probably either in the airport or in the car on the way to Seeing Eye. Not sure if they still use Limo service. That may have been eliminated with the cost cuts. Anyway, for those who have never been to a guide dog school, he’ll get there, meet his trainer, go to his room, unpack and likely get something to eat in the dining room. I imagine the first lecture will be tonight with more to follow tomorrow. Most of the first days are spent assessing students to determine which dog is appropriate for them. Phil’s dog has already been chosen, but one never knows if something they see might change the dog. He’s pretty sure he’s getting a German Shepherd. I think there’s a wine and cheese party one of the first evenings. Even though Phil’s dog has been chosen, he wanted to arrive with the rest of his class to make sure he understood the building and any changes which have taken place since he was last there. The school offered to have him come later but Phil said no in order to make sure he knew the building. (He also wanted to do things just like the rest of his classmates and be there for his birthday tomorrow.)
Phil packed as one of his last activities of yesterday. I stayed home from the Malt Shop, because Lancer has had Diarrhea. I didn’t want to take any chances with an accident in the restaurant. I also stayed home just to be with Phil and enjoy his presence for the last time in a while. Perhaps that sounds a little melodramatic, but I really am going to miss him. He left lots of good eats in the freezer and took the time to make his famous spinach lasagna, shredded salsa chicken, and a chicken vegetable stir fry medley thing. That’s how he spent the majority of yesterday.
The days won’t feel so unusual, but the nights will be long. I have a few plans with a reader and friends to break up the alone time. This time will give Lancer and me a time of bonding without Phil the pied Piper of dogs. There’s no way to prepare Lancer for the fact that he won’t be the only dog in the center of our universe.
I have an app on my phone called Next Door, and it’s been highlighting a lot of the crime in our neighborhood. Just two days ago, a man’s dog was stolen right from his house just one block west of us. You can be sure my doors are locked! I feel more vulnerable without my man here and will be extra careful these next two and a half weeks. I’ll stop before I go anymore into whine mode. I’ll probably write again sometime Wednesday or Thursday with the few details of the dog I’ll learn.


Comments on: "Phil’s gone" (2)

  1. Jeanie Vejil said:

    Hi Rebecca!

    I’m happy for Phil that he is able to get a new dog, and I hope he gets a great one who will understand or can be taught about his particular needs. Never having been a single amputee, let alone a double one, I’m very proud of him that he’s worked so hard to get to go back to our Seeing Eye.

    I don’t feel that he will have much trouble learning the dormitory as it’s basically the same except that the stairs across from the front door have been moved, and now there is a wonderful new working elevator if he prefers to use it instead of the stairs up or down, and he can get to park that way too and only use the stairs if he wants to. I was there last in September of 2014 when I got my smallish female black Lab, Garlyn, who is a sweetie and a very good little worker.

    The laundry is now made up of full sized washers and dryers, and has at least one folding table if people want to fold their clothing before carrying it back upstairs to their room. The grooming room is in a different place, but it won’t take Phil and his new pal long to learn where that is.

    There is a small refrigerator in each room now, and one can also control the temperature of one’s room using the thermostat for that room, which is next to the bedroom door.

    There is also a NLS library digital talking book machine on the desk of each room.

    Phil will also be feeding his new dog in his room and will have the viddle vault and the appropriate sizes of cups for his dog’s feeding needs. They have all new shower heads that can be held in one’s hand in the tub, which is very nice. One morning, I washed my hair by taking it off of the wall and using it from outside the bathtub since I’d had a shower the night before but was too tired to wash my hair and fool with it.

    I know how you feel about staying alone at night as Daniel works nights at a hotel five minutes from us, but he’s home by a little after 12:00. I have our kitty and my Garlyn for company, and we are in a relatively safe apartment complex.

    Please write any time privately if you get lonely and I’ll try to help you out since I know how that feels, or you are welcome to call my cell number, 713-865-6979 which is always on.

    Take care, and please give Phil my best when you get to speak with him, and a pat for Lancer.

    Hugs, Jeanie and Garlyn aka little G!

  2. I hope you’re able to enjoy your time with Lancer and some dear friends. It will go quickly I’m sure. I’m very excited for Phil. Is there any technique you used to introduce the two dogs?

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