Waverly & Clarice
Jingle, jingle! We hear the tags on Clarice's collar as she comes down the hall towards our classroom. Sitting on the edges of our seats, we are always excited to see her! She's happy to see us, too and wags her long, bushy tail the moment she enters. Sometimes, Mrs. Gleeson lets her walk around and greet us. We reach out and touch her very soft fur and stroke her velvety black muzzle. Her large ears are now standing up and she is already seven months old.
During the three months we have been working with Clarice, we have learned a lot about this program. We understand that Clarice has a work time and a playtime. When she is wearing her jacket, she is working and people should not pet her. One class period, we even dressed her in a tee shirt and socks so she could get used to being handled. This will make it easier when her blind owner has to put a harness and vest on Clarice. She was outstandingly cooperative and made the job easier! Another time, we played the "Name Game," where three of us took turns calling her and rewarding her with a treat if she came.
One beautiful spring day, Mrs. Gleeson suggested we go outside for a training session. We took turns walking Clarice on her leash, making sure we kept her on our left sides. Only the person holding the leash was allowed to give the commands.
Clarice is helping us learn to exercise self control and take turns. We are helping her to become a Guiding Eyes dog by teaching her to listen to different people and to be relaxed in all social settings. We are all hoping that one day she will make the perfect guide dog and give new confidence and independence to a handicapped person.
Clarice gets her T-shirt