Thane has been quite a trooper the last couple weeks. My limitations from skin issues and subsequent MCS exposure and crash have meant that walks and work are the furthest thing from my mind.
Today began like another slowing into living type of day. I could see that the lack of work was beginning to drag on Thane though so rather than settling down to watch some shows on RTV, I harnessed Thane up for a walk and Bi-mart.
In the past, any length of being home for more than three or four days brought with it sound reactivity, a harder pull in harness, poor focus at best, and an overall feeling from me of working with a trainee rather than the skilled guide dog Thane has become.
After some soul searching and trial and error with various dietary and supplemental changes, keeping in mind the possibility of finding a supplement that would not heighten release of histamine in its retinal support, I put Thane on Taurine. Its a supplement that I have lots of experience with from Met. I credit this supplement for making it possible for Thane to be as relaxed and *go with the flow* as he has been the last couple weeks.
When we head out the door now, his pace and pull in harness is awesome. I no longer wonder so much about having a long partnership with Thane. See before with his hard pull, I felt that I would come to a time when for my own structural health, I would have to end this partnership. Things are so different now though. We have not been out since our trip to New Seasons on Sunday. There was no sign of energy bursting to be released like might have occurred in the past. All I received from Thane was a good even pace that pretty much matched my own needs for the day.
It was later than we usually head out which could have been problematic at the store. Instead there really was not a lot of shoppers to negotiate. Thane often has trouble with the polished floors keeping his footing. Though slowing down my speed and reminding him to stay on his feet (as opposed to claw walking) helps a lot, it never completely eliminated the problem. I've also noticed marked improvement in this area as we navigate some *slip and slide* floors.
Though we found nothing of interest at the store today, we apparently spent a short enough time in the store that exposure did not turn into much of a reaction today. That is a really good thing in my book because BI-mart tends to be one of the smelliest stores I need to access.
After leaving the store, I forgot to increase my speed again. Thane stuck to the speed I was moving at despite giving me a bit of an alert that *this slow* wasn't normal in the middle of a parking lot. We took the long walk home to be sure to detox ourselves as much as possible as well as grabbing a bit more exercise to sustain Thane until our next errand run.
Though it might not sound like a lot to others, this change in Thane's work and ability to accept the speed I am moving at are all huge blessings for me in dealing with the issues associated with my disabilities as I work a high energy guide dog.