10 January 2012

The Backseat Driver

As we made our way back from chronic Lyme, I had been seeing things in Thane's work in areas we navigate regularly that I did not like. It was like we had to go back to the beginnings of training on some of the very basics of guide work. It was frustrating at best and could be dangerous at worst if I did not get it nipped in the bud.

Working with Thane through Lyme treatment was not like working with Thane beforehand. For lack of a better way to describe it, it was like working with a green dog who did not learn from the experiences you encountered together. It was a lot of work, but working without him was even more work, so I stuck it out once he was an able and a willing participant. Many days I was wanting to pull my hair out from the frustrations. It was hard not to grieve for what we once had and to wonder if it would ever be had again.

With most of that behind us now and his renewed energy to contend with, Thane and I are trying to get out more frequently. I continued lately to struggle with the change in his guide work that resembled a beginner, but I kept with it believing that this too would resolve itself just as so many symptoms of the disease had.

Today when we headed out, we were right behind the garbage truck. I really did not feel like dealing with his exhaust, frequent stops and starts, and careless approach to handling of the empty garbage cans so I decided to do something different for our pre-bus trip walk.

We headed the opposite direction we normally do to connect with the bus. We got to the main street the bus runs on for heading out of town and I just decided to take it towards down town. We've actually never gone that direction on that street before so this was a brand new experience for both of us. I laid my head back on the headrest and relaxed for the first time since all this began; just letting Thane do the job he was trained to do and you know what, we survived! LOL No, seriously, we got on the sidewalk from hell. You know the kind- those where in many places the sidewalk was completely gone from disrepair so that we had to navigate carefully through or around the areas. We did so without a hair on our heads out of place (so to speak)

Thane's work was relaxed, with a much easier pull than I had experienced from him in a while. I was letting him do his job instead of issuing the frequent commands of *easy*, *slow down*, *surface* or the like. I took myself out of the backseat driver mode and let him do what I had trained him to do. He excelled and we had an awesome day together.

It's funny how when I looked at what was wrong in his work, I always looked for problems with him when at this point (at least lately) I was the obstacle standing in our way.

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