Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Got a Bug Up my Buum

All right, so maybe not literally. And aren't you lucky? You get to listen to me ramble on about my crazy ideas twice today. So, earlier's post was about my triathlon stuff; crazy idea number one. Well, it's not my first crazy idea, but it's one of the most recent. Actually, the most recent one is this:
I want to be a dog trainer.
Normally this would not be a crazy idea, but who in their right mind will hire a blind dog trainer? I can't even get programs to let me enroll because they are worried about liability. And yet, I can't get the notion out of my head. Now wait a minute, what about physiotherapy and Scotland?
Well, Scotland is still a go, but I'm having problems with the Physiotherapy thing. Remember how I told you that Queen Margaret University lost my supporting documents and I was waiting to hear if they  found them. The documents were rediscovered , but they informed me   that because they had lost my stuff, all of the vacancies for this September are full and that I will be notified if anyone drops out. Gee thanks. There are a lot of problems with this, one of which is  getting student loans  that close to a start date and also getting my hands on textbooks in an accessible format, but I won't go all into that because this post isn't about how I'm raging mad and really annoyed. Nope. This post is about my latest crazy idea.
The plan is that once in Scotland I'll get a job as a massage therapist. What a novel idea since I did go to school for 2200 hours to become a stinking massage therapist. I also have a BA in Sociology, so I definitely will have options when it comes to getting a job, but this idea of going back to school had me all excited and now I can't go; at least not until September of 2012. So, why not become a dog trainer?
Well, there are a few logistical problems I am running into.
1. There aren't many accredited   dog training schools and they aren't very excited about a blind dog trainer. Could I get around this? Sure. Don't tell them I'm blind, but then what? I get to school and they sh** because here's this girl with her gigantic guide dog standing in front of them. I have found a few courses online, one of which does have a practical part, but the people who run the course said they would be happy to have me. And, they are located in Scotland.
2. It's expensive. That seems to be the theme of today's posts. The courses aren't exactly cheap and I'm not sure  student loans cover "dog training" courses. I suppose I could check that out.
and 3. So I go and get qualified and graduate, but then what? How many people with "problem" dogs would actually hire me? I think I could probably start out running Puppy Obedience classes and I'd probably get some clients that way. I could then move into training shelter dogs who have found new homes or working with Problem dogs. But will this endeavor put Mr. K and I into financial woe?
Mr. K is in school for his under graduate degree and I need to make money, especially if we want to live in Scotland. Massage therapy would get us that income as long as I could find a job. Could I work as a massage therapist and do an online course for dog training and see where it goes? That brings me back to how would I pay for the initial cost of the course? So many questions and I am afraid to research them because then I might get all excited and want to do it, but it won't be feasible. Mr. K might think I've lost my mind too. We've talked about it just joking around, but the other night when we had a campfire in my parents' backyard and I told my Aunt and Uncle of my Queen Margaret University issues, my Aunt told me to train dogs. I laughed, but ever since then I can't stop thinking about it. It's something that has always been at the back of my mind, but never thought it was realistic.
A friend of mine who I went to university with sent me a message on Facebook saying that she knew someone who would probably train me. The woman used to train police dogs. Would she be able to teach me over video conferencing and chat? We'll be a fair distance apart, with her in Ontario and me in Edinburgh Scotland.
With all of that in mind, I know this is something I could do. I would love it and I would excel at it, but would the general public give me a chance? I can't train dogs if no one will bring their dogs to me or if companies won't hire me. I even thought of a name for my company:
A Blind Eye, A Seeing Heart: Innovative Dog Training Centre
Oh, I crack myself up. At least people would be forewarned. LOL
It's something Mr. K and I will have to discuss and see if it is  something realistic for me to do right now. If it weren't for the money factor, I'd do it; just to say I could, but that is not very financially responsible. Oh why does real life have to get in the way of my crazy ideas? :)


browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Something is playing in the back of my mind and I can't quite put my finger on where I read it. I don't think it was one of your posts...maybe a puppy raiser? Don't know.

Point is, it was about a trainer at one of the guide dog facilities who was perhaps not totally blind, but had limited sight at best. You may have seen the post.

One thing you need to avoid is to practice any of the training methods used to train police or normal dogs on Mr. G. now that he is working so well with you.

Knowing as much as you do about working with a guide dog, you might want to investigate that avenue.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll be great!

BrownDog's Momma

L^2 said...

LOL I think everyone has that pesky problem of real life responsibilities getting in the way of fun, crazy ideas at some point. But if anyone can make this one work, I know you can.
As for "hiring a blind dog trainer", I think it's just like any other job a blind person wants to do - you'll have to prove to the world that you really can do it. Would John Q. Public hire a blind Lawyer? No, some people wouldn't, but I know several very successful lawyers who happen to be totally blind. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, because speaking from my own experience, it can be very difficult for a blind person to get hired by anyone for any kind of job. But I don't think it's impossible.
As BrownDog's Momma mentioned, several guide dog schools have blind trainers working for them. There's a totally blind woman (who I've known online for many years) that has been a trainer with Guide Dogs for the Blind in California for quite a while now. Also, I'm not sure if he still works there, but there was a partially blind guy finishing up his apprenticeship with Leader Dogs when I was there in March of 2010 for my O & M class. So if dog training for the general public doesn't work out, maybe you could work with the Guide Dog program in Scotland. :)

Jess and Glacier said...

Brown Dog's Mama: I think you're right. And there definitely won't be any experimenting with Glacier. LOL We're finally getting along properly. :)
L: Oh you are so wise. :) I think you're right about the Guide Dog thing as well. I have the phone number of that woman who used to train police dogs now and will be phoning her. I guess we'll see what happens. :)

Jen said...

Jes, I could have written this post!
I know you saw my post about this last year. I'm in a similar situation but don't have as much experience as you with dogs, so not completely sure I'd be great at it, therefore affecting my confidence to go forward with it.
I'm looking at a course that would be very useful for the work I'm doing at the minute, but not sure I would enjoy it half as much as dog training.
The financial side is a huge problem. All the courses are so expensive, and I can't study one full time without earning an income at the same time.
What is the online course you found that sounded good?

Andalusians of Grandeur said...

Seriously go for the dog training if your heart is there! Also, shorten the name to "Seeing Heart training services". As someone whose been blind since birth and always wanted to train animals, I can relate to your frustrations. My biggest problem was no one would teach me, so I made a ton of terribl mistakes when I was younger and had no access to good training books. Now, there's bookshare.org, and I have people I can consult if I need to. Don't limit yourself to guide dog training if you really want to help problem pets!

Andalusians of Grandeur said...

Go for the dog training if your heart's there! Also, name your business "seeing heart training services". I always wanted to train critters when I was little, but no one would take me on as a student. Back then, there was no access to good training literature in braille or audio. Thank goodness for bookshare.org! I have downloaded all of their horse and dog training books, and I am trying to gain more practical experience. If you want to train problem pets, do it, and don't limit yourself to guide dog training if you want to do something else.
PS I'm in massage school, but I would also like a second job working with problem creatures!