Thursday, March 21, 2013

Disneyland !!!

Dodger and I made another trip to Disneyland. I have an annual pass so this will be a frequent spot for us. The day went really great ! My mom and I decided to go for a few hours since dodger will have to build up to an entire day. Theme parks can be a lot for Guide dogs because there are so many people and they are constantly looking for a way around them and how to guide you through situations . Lots of breaks are Suggested if you have a dog that is not spent a ton of time at an amusement park. , But as the dog gets more adapted to these situations the less you need to Give the dog frequent breaks and you can go a lot further. Dodger and I stopped and rested about every Hour. I know I could probably take him and work him through it and he would do just fine, but I want to set my dog up for success. This is also the case when you have a new puppy in training that you would take to an amusement park.. Speaking of puppies in training, we met our friend Denise Brown Who also raises puppies for guide dogs of America. She has a new puppy in training named Pismo, but Pismo is not old enough for the parks yet. When Pismo is ready though, I'm sure dodger will show her the way. Denise also has an annual pass so she frequents Disney often with her puppies. I would think if you got a puppy from Denise that it may not require as much resting and breaks at Disneyland in the beginning as a dog like dodger. This is because Disney is something Pismo will be doing on an almost weekly basis. Dodger did not get exposure weekly to an amusement park like Disneyland So this is why he requires more frequent breaks in the beginning. Dodger however, did get raised on a horse ranch so there was no adjusting or acclimating when he got home. He fell right into the routine as if he had been here his whole entire life. This is something I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. Finding people who actually live on ranches these days is hard to do. I was delighted to hear I would not have to break dodger in to the ranch lifestyle. Dodger was raised out-of-state in Colorado, so he has lots of experience With land , Where a dog like Pismo lives on a small amount of acreage but has more experience with Disneyland. I am trying to make the point that just because a dog is not raised in a certain situation does not mean that they cannot adapt to it, it just means it may take them a little getting used to. This is the case with Dodger and Disneyland. It has nothing to do with him not being trained or not being a good guide at all. I hope all of that makes sense LOL.
Back to Disneyland!!! We started our day by making our way down busy main street. There were lots of strollers and kids and balloons the dodger was never once distracted he led me down the sidewalk and took me around people when they Were in the way. We would walk up to a group of people standing in the middle of the sidewalk he would take me off to the left stop at the down curb I would tell him forward then he would go forward take me around the crowd of people back to the right to the up curb, and back up on the sidewalk. He is a very very smart boy. We went on a few rides that day also. We did Mr. toads wild ride, and dodger lay at my feet while the car Swung left and right through the crazy maze. After Mr. toad we walked through Tom Sawyer's Island and went through a few shops that my mom wanted to look in I love the fact that dodger can go go go When we are outside, but he can adjust his Speed right when we get inside a building to shop. We wove through aisles and around people and strollers again. Having the freedom to move around in a store and not bump into things is so nice. When you have a cane it shows you were obstacles are, when you have a dog they take you around those obstacles and you never know that they are there. This is especially nice if you are shopping and there is things in the isle . After we were done shopping, we walked over to meet Denise's family in front of autotopia. This is a ride where you can drive cars on a track. Denise and I often joke because last time we were there, Disney let me drive my own car by myself. We laughed when they said it was okay that I could drive even if I was blind. This time she asked me if I wanted to drive with dodger in the car. I thought about it for a few seconds and then told her no LOL. This is something we will conquer later when Dodger is more comfortable with Disneyland and me bumping into the car in front of us LOL After we met up with her family we walked over to small world. Dodger absolutely loved this ride. I could not believe it. He watched all of the moving dolls and singing toys inside as we snaked our way slowly through the water in our boat. He was absolutely thrilled !!! What were these things that were making noise and moving inside of this building, what were we doing in this boat, who decided to put a boat in a building with water? I'm sure all of this was going through his head. The ride was nice though, and a great starter for dogs who have not been to Disney a lot. After we got off of the ride we took dodger over to get him a drink. I took his harness off and he drank a whole bowl of water LOL this dog loves his water. Lots of people commented on him as they walked by,(wow what a beautiful dog) , (Look a doggy) . We get these Comments a lot when we go to Disneyland. After dodger was all tanked up on his water, we walked over towards New Orleans Square . We met up with the rest of Denise's family , Talked for a little bit, and then it was time to go home. We had to come home early because we had horses we needed to put in and feed . My mom and I stopped for a drink and then Made our way back down main street and out to the shuttles. We took the shuttle back to the parking lot and when we got out I decided to play a little game with dodger that Denver and I used to play. It's called find the truck . Denver used to have an amazing skill of being able to find the truck or car that we came in no matter where it was parked in the parking lot. He could've written in the car only one time in his life and if you parked it went into Disneyland and came back out he would know where that car was. The same thing went for the mall , The grocery store, the baseball stadium, anywhere we went really. So as dodger and I crossed the Tactile strip into the parking lot I asked my mom to tell me when we got close. It went something like this. Dodger find the truck, we walked a few feet walk a few more and then he started to pull even harder
Me : good boy dodger find the truck . ... Dodger walked. About another 3 feet and turn right. I thought he was headed for our truck when my mom said, you passed it. Okay I said, I'm going to let him work this one out. He took me about another 20 feet turned left and lo and behold plopped me right in front of the Passenger door of a humongous semitruck. To most of you this means nothing, but to his puppy raiser this means everything. Dodgers puppy raisers used to drive a big Rig . He would spend six hours traveling across the state of Colorado to deliver goods. He even knew how to climb in and out of the truck. Well I guess I got what I asked for. Lol !!! He was so proud of himself when he stopped me at the door of that big rig. He wagged his tail as hard as he could , I praised him and pet him , Good boy dodger good find the truck! After that I decided to give him the command find the car. I told him back because I knew the "car "was behind me, and sure Enough he took me right back to our truck. This dog totally cracks me up !!! I am Including a picture of dodger placed on the floor of the tram on the ride back to the truck. He has a tired look on his face, and his head Is resting on the bench of the tram. Have a great day Everyone , And thanks for reading.
I am also going to post a video on dodgers page since i cant post here
Facebook - dodger guide dog


  1. Well not quiet weekly to Disneyland with puppy but I think I go about every two or three weeks both with and without pup I don't want to stress out a young dog.

  2. Your good about not stressing your dogs out or over working them ... Weekly was just my best educated guess LOL Also to correct my post Dodgers puppy raisers still drive a big rig

  3. Cari, I am just amazed with your wonderful guide dog Dodger! I can't wait to meet him on our upcoming Disney cruise this October. He is quite the celebrity at our house and I'm sure my hubby wants to meet you 2 as well. Labs are wonderful dogs and so trainable. Thank goodness there are kind and talented people that train these amazing service dogs, that are also family members. Kudos to everyone who made Dodger the dog he is today!