Bonus Material for Episode 65: Meet Ann Edie: Panda's Owner

This is one of my favorite photos of Ann and Panda. I love how relaxed both of them look.  Panda is actively guiding, but she's not pulling.  That means both of them can be in good balance as they walk together.  What you don't see is that they have just left a construction zone where the side walks were completely torn up.  We'll be talking about Panda's ability to work in complex environments in Part Three of our conversation with Ann.

You will need a password to watch the video: PandaAnnEdie

Clockwise from the top left:

1.) Panda learning to get in my car (9 months old) 

2.) Panda and Ann early walk together (2 years)

3.) Panda and Ann learning to go down stairs together. Learning to go up and down stairs was a multiple step training process.  First, Panda had to learn learn how to go up and down stairs on her own.  She needed to be comfortable with different kinds of stairs.  Then she had to learn to walk up and down stairs with control.  On her own she would have gone up and down stairs at speed. Next she learned the guide protocols - stopping at the start of the stairs, indicating to the handler that there was a stair in front of them, waiting for the cue to go forward, and then guiding the handler at a safe walking pace. (2 years)

 

4.) Panda in training - downtown Boston.  She is learning to take me around the traffic barrel. She has been with me for just three weeks at this point. (10 months old)