Sunday, 16 March 2014

I can't DO it, but WATCHING was fun ...

I'll get to the "it" of my post title anon. But first a few random shots from our latest training walks ...

King of the Castle

Dig it.

Public Works

Bagels and Mittens by the Dashboard Light*

*If you know which song I'm alluding to — without Googling it — and if you've ever listened to that song on a) a turntable b) an 8-track cassette player, or c) a car radio with a cigarette lighter next to it, congratulations! You are probably old enough to remember a time before Google ... before blogs and vlogs ... before biodegradable poop bags and phones that could play music and take photos and track your heart rate over a 10K run. The song in question was not the best of 1977. '77 was also, after all, a big year for Fleetwood Mac, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, The Clash ... and THE BEE GEES. 'Nuff said. But if you're up for it ... here: listen to Meat Loaf!

Eyes Ahead 1

Confab With Crow

 Eyes Ahead 2

Another service dog in training!

This was a notable walk-by. The other dog was interested in Freddie; the handler said, "Leave it." Freddie was interested in the other dog; I said, "Leave it." I don't know what the dogs said to each other, but they were both very calm and quiet throughout.

Later on, both dogs encountered challenges that sent them "over-threshold," as the trainers say. But they were cool puppies with each other.

In the blink of an eye, this kid will be mountain biking.

Ah, soccer. Paul's all-time favourite sport (which he'd still be playing, if his hamstring hadn't crapped out on him). The first team sport I ever played as a kid (if daydreaming cluelessly in the defensive zone counts as "playing"). A few years ago, I tried it again, when my cousin Alan (himself a greatest hit of 1977) was coaching Street Soccer, and I wanted to help out in a hands/feet-on kind of way.

I managed not to daydream. But I remained as clueless as ever about where I should be and what I should be doing ... only this time around, the cluelessness stressed me out!

The players and other volunteers were great — very patient with me. And my enthusiasm for the program was such that I was able to recruit women and girls from a few support centres in the Downtown Eastside. All that felt good.

But the soccer itself? Too confusing, too unpredictable, too much like chess on amphetamines. So I gave up ... retreated into my rowing shell: catch, drive, recovery; catch, drive, recovery; catch, drive, recovery; etc. Big chicken.

Must get back to volunteering, though. Soon as Freddie's ready ...

Anyway, these young women impressed the heck outta me with their skills, and I was very happy to watch on the sidelines. They also impressed Freddie, who, after one lunge at an out-of-bounds ball, managed to watch politely.

Even while his partner in service dogging was having a spot of trouble a few meters down the field.

Yeah, she's calm (if a little distracted) here. But right before this shot, Miss Future Guide Dog was lunging and hollering at another big dog.

I think the other one started it. Whatever the circumstances, though, it was something of a relief to see another SD in training struggling with some of the stuff Freddie struggles with.
Green and Irish-looking for St. Paddy's Day

I'm hardly a reliable judge of such things, but I think she was one of the star players.


 Muddy Truck, Pink Ribbon

Pretty Kitty (aka Temptation on the Sidelines)

Thanks a heap for your visit! Y'all come back now, y'hear?

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