"Click on This!"
by Sheila Styron and Donna Permar

You are walking home from a relaxing outing shopping when suddenly you hear the sound of another dog approaching, and your guide dog is attacked by a loose, uncontrolled pet dog. What would you do? Would you be prepared to handle such a situation if you and your guide are the unfortunate victims of a dog attack? Join Guide Dog Users, Inc. for this and other informative workshops that will provide you with valuable information on a variety of topics of interest to guide dog teams. In addition to Emily Simone's presentation on what to do if your guide dog is attacked, convention attendees can look forward to the following presentations and activities.

On Sunday afternoon, July 1, guide dog instructors will orient convention attendees to the Hyatt and Millennium and surrounding areas at noon and 5 p.m. You'll learn how to teach your dogs the best convention routes guaranteed to get you where you need to be on time and in one piece. GDUI's affiliate roundup meeting is scheduled from 2:15 to 3:30, where GDUI affiliate representatives must be present for credentialing in order to vote at Tuesday's business meeting. GDUI's board meeting follows from 4 to 6 p.m., and there will be some space available for observers.

Monday, July 2 will get under way with Breakfast Club. Walk to nearby Hell's Kitchen at 7 a.m. for a delicious fast break from the hotel, and be back just in time for general session. Breakfast Club will be an official GDUI option Monday through Thursday, for canine teams and cane travelers alike.

After general announcements at 1:30, GDUI's Monday afternoon program activities get clicking at 2 with Guiding Eyes for the Blind's presentation, "Guide Dog Ethics and Responsible Dog Handling," by Becky Barnes and Shannon Walsh, followed by the ever-popular guide dog school updates at 3:15.

On Monday evening, you are welcome to stroll along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis where the air is fresh and the shopping is decidedly above average. If this sounds enjoyable, meet us at 8 p.m. in front of the Hyatt.

On Tuesday afternoon at 12:30, Jay Stiteley, The Seeing Eye, will discuss independent airport travel with a guide dog, which only Jay can make sound easy and fun. This empowering presentation precedes GDUI's business meeting at 1:30, where elections will be held, followed by GDUI's caucus at 3.

On Tuesday evening, from 8 to 10, get ready to raise your paws high in the air for a great cause where your bite, I mean bid, will really make a difference! GDUI is holding its second auction, and hopefully, this one will be even more successful than last year's event and provide a second opportunity for you to walk away guided by your very own Trekker, thanks to another generous donation from HumanWare Canada!

Make your reservations early for GDUI's Wednesday, July 4 luncheon where keynote presenter Patricia McConnell, renowned author and professional dog trainer, will explain what we all do "For the Love of a Dog: The Biology of Emotions in People and Dogs." Most of you reading this article have heard the buzz about clicker training, so at 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon, GDUI will host "Click On This!: How Clicker Training Can Make Learning More Effective and Fun for You and Your Guide," with Michele Pouliot, Director of Research and Development, Guide Dogs for the Blind. Later that afternoon, GDUI will sponsor a focus group on clicker training from 5:30 to 7:30, where handlers can get hands-on practice with clicker techniques and be guided through this process by some of your favorite instructors. Interested participants are strongly encouraged to attend "Click On This!," especially handlers with no experience. And at 8 p.m., the category is Guide Dog, and the question is: why not come out and play JeoparDog with Maia Scott and Lisa Salinger.

On Thursday afternoon at 2, you can't afford to miss "What Steps to Take in the Event of an Attack on Your Guide Dog," by Emily Simone, Senior Field Representative, Guide Dogs for the Blind. And finally, on Thursday evening from 7 to 9, your guide will have the opportunity to show just what a good citizen he/she really is by taking the Canine Good Citizen Test courtesy of the Twin City Obedience Training Club, with Jan Heck, Director of Training. Space is limited to 25 teams, so please pre-register early to reserve your spot at this fund-raising event. Half the proceeds will be donated to the Twin City Obedience Training Club, home of the gentle leader, invented by Dr. R. K. Anderson and Ruth Foster.

Other Information

Veterinary Contact Information

For care during the day: Lyndale Animal Hospital Telephone: (612) 872-4674

For emergency care: Golden Valley Emergency Veterinary Service Phone (763) 529-6560

For convention attendees who wish to order dog food for their stay in Minneapolis, we have two suppliers. They are: Fido Delivers, phone (763) 493-2275; e-mail [email protected]; web site, The deadline for orders is June 27 before 3 p.m. Central time. People must indicate that they are with the Guide Dog Users group that needs the food delivered to the Hyatt on Sunday, July 1.

Our second dog food delivery source is Christopher Diorio with Doodle Scoopers, 1- 888-780-2095. The deadline for dog food orders is Friday, June 15.

All dog food orders should be made using a credit card, and you must identify your order as being a part of the Guide Dog Users group order. Dog food can be picked up in the GDUI suite between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 1.

Do It for the Dogs

On another note, I want to address the subject of relieving guide dogs at the convention. It was noted last year that most of the relieving accidents take place late at night and first thing in the morning. Just imagine how you would feel if you were in a strange place and really needed to go! Please, please, please make a serious effort to consider your dog's relieving needs. Bring along a set of clothes that is easy to slip into first thing in the morning, so you can get your dog outside sooner rather than later, and schedule break times during your busy days so your dog will be less likely to have an accident. At night before you turn in, please remember to take your dog out one more time so you'll both be able to sleep better. Accidents can and do happen, and some dogs may even become ill at convention, which simply can't be predicted or avoided. However, if your dog does have an accident, please stay with it and notify the front desk of the hotel where the accident takes place. You may not be able to prevent an accident, but if your dog does have one at convention, GDUI strongly encourages you to step up to the plate and handle the situation responsibly.

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