A Successful Mix

Well today I took Ushi down to meet my grannys dog.

I decided to work Ushi before taking her down to meet Ash. I thought it would tire her out. She hadn’t spent in the morning, so I let her go again before our walk. Yet again no spending, (I did it off lead this time). I thought i’d be there all day so decided to try and do the walk.

We just did the church route. I was thinking that it was a fabulous route, when we came across a dog across the road, so I stopped Ushi before she got distracted and waited until they were further on. There is this part near the church where you sort of drift round to the right, before picking up the straight line again. Of course Ushi decided to take me up near the estate again that she took me to in the snow. She has been doing that for the past couple of days. While trying to get her back on track, she does a big massive jump! I really corrected her for that. I then had to check to make sure it wasn’t a person, which thankfully it wasn’t. There must have been a bird she was after. The rest of the way home was uneventful.

We had a little rest for a bit until dad came up. Ushi still hadn’t spent, but I was going to give her an opportunity to do it on the journey as it’s quite a long walk down. So near to grannys I let her go, and she just peed.

When we got to grannys house, I didn’t mix the dogs like i’d planned. Ash was wondering round anyway, so I thought i’d see how they got on. I took off the halty and decided to take off the lead too. They had their introductory sniffs, before Ushi ran out to near where the kitchen was, and decided to drop her load. I was a bit annoyed as she had plenty of time to go, she was just holding on. I was really sorry and kept apologising. I sounded a bit angry towards Ushi, and granny was like “it’s alright, if the dog has to go, it has to go”. I explained that I didn’t like her doing it though. We let her outside to see if she needed to go again, but she just came wondering back in again.

Ash came over to us, wagging her tail madly. They then had a bound, and Ushi started chasing Ash. Ash wanted to go to bed, but she came out again shortly afterwards. Tails were still wagging, and there was no growling or anything from either dog. They did seem slightly nervous of each other, but they still came close, and sniffed each other. I think Ash was more nervous cause of the size of Ushi compared to Ash. Ash is a springer, so quite small compared to Ushi.

Whenever Ash went over to the other side of the room, ushi turned her head and was like “where has she gone?”.

So I think it was a successful mix. There was no growling, and Ushi wasn’t submitting herself to Ash or anything. So a much better result than when we introduced Ushi and Sally! So Ash is coming home tomorrow. I’m thinking of letting them have a wonder/play again tomorrow, and I might even have Ushi out the back just so there won’t be any accidents. I thinnk she spent cause it was all the excitement and that. It was solid though compared to when she did it in the shopping centre.

I may be doing all this wrong, but I think they will get on. Maybe i’m doing the introducing thing wrong, but they seem pritty comfy with each other. I’d say if something was going to happen, it would have happened within the first couple of minutes.

So my little brother will be happy!

In other news, my phone is being rather weird. It keeps saying “no mail box defined. Define now?” when I haven’t pressed anything. Plus when I go to text, it only says a letter, then it’s like it doesn’t register me pressing the keys. I’ve turned it off, taken the battery out, left it, but it’s still being weird. My menus work though lol. I might take it into vodafone if it continues.
All in all it was a good day!

2010-A Year In Review

Well it’s that time again, where I write a review of the year. Where has the time gone? I’m feeling a little….empty kind of, and am not really interested in making resolutions or anything. I’m not sure why really. It just doesn’t feel like the end of the year already. Anyway, on to the review. Hmmmmm where to start?

January was pritty quiet really. I was just at
The Cedar Foundation
As usual volunteering to teach people how to use JAWS and the computer.

February had me going off to
The Eye Matter Conference
With the eye matter group. That day took loads of preparation, but it was a good day.

March was pritty boring. My phone had to get repaired, as the power button was inside the phone, which made it turn on and off loads without me being able to do anything. I started my Essential skills assignment, where I had to design a brochure for a holiday. I chose the French Alps. Also at the end of march it decided to snow!

April was pritty much the same, Although it was warmer thankfully. I did discover
Some new blogs
Which I still read. I was far too hard on myself over
Giving the wrong direction to my rehab worker
Which got me quite upset. (Maybe that’s one to try and aim for this year? Not to get so upset about mobility matters).

May was where I and some other people
Wrote a guest post
Those posts were quite a good read, so take a look at her blog to read them. I also made the transition from
Live Journal
over to here. (
). I know more people on here so thought I’d move over.

In June, I Considered the idea of
Blind quilting
(Which is on hiatus at the minute what with getting the guide dog, to just never being able to find a suitable time to meet). I went to see
Pink yet again
Which was awesome. I had some
Burning Guide dog worries
(It’s amazing how wild the mind goes when you’re on the waiting list for a guide dog). That was really all apart from me transfering my old entries to my new blog.

In July I was considering
What Course to do
In September, later got
About the courses on offer. I

Guest posted
About my journey of resiliency, and finally,
Met my new guide dog!
Although it was “just a walk” at this point.

August was quite a busy month. It started with
Another walk With Ushi
Only this time using a wider harness. This was because the first harness (A type/top fitting) was a bit weird to me and I couldn’t get the “guiding tention”. The next day, I got a call saying that Ushi was a “potential” match. All sorts of feelings ran through me that day. I was almost scared to get excited! The next day was the
Matching Visit
And it was a success! I can still hear the instructor saying “Torie, would you like to come on class on the 30th August?”. I will never forget those words! A few days later, I was saying how the guide dog hadn’t sunk in yet, and reflected on
My guidedog journey
I also went on a
With the eye matter group. That was great craic. I got orientated around
The hotel
For class shortly after coming back from the holiday. It was then some
Last minute thoughts
Before beginning class on
My birthday!
What an awesome birthday present! I can still remember how excited I was that day. The last day of August was when I really started work with
And started learning the responsibility of how to look after her. (has it been four months already? Wow).

September was the rest of class (9 days of it were anyway), in which I learnt how to follow Ushi, do obedience, spend her (she took ages to go for me), how to go round obsticles, how to step up beside her, “Off kerb” obsticles, Traffic training, turns, foot positions, how to free run the dog, (that was a bit scarey the first time), how to groom, do the physical check on her, and that was all I think. There was alot to learn anyway. Hard to believe we learnt all that! We also unfortunately had to get rid of our pet dog Sally when Ushi came home, as she was too boysterous for Ushi. (Ushi is quite a submissive dog). September was also the month where
I qualified With Ushi
Which I never thought would come. I wasn’t expecting it, and thought it would take ages for me to qualify. That was scarey taking those first steps. September was also a sad month in a way, as my aunt died of cancer. Rest in peace, Auntie Roberta.

October was just getting to grips with my new partnership with Ushi. Boy was it a bit of a rollercoaster. From her not sitting at her down kerbs (we have since decided that she can stand at them and that is going far better), to her hardly moving from leaving the house, to the district team manager having to come out, to her not noticing the fireworks at all, and just sleeping through them, to finally her dropping her load in a shopping centre. There were times during that month that I really wanted to give her back. I was just so annoyed with her.

November was a much quieter month. from learning a new route, getting lost, her photo opp in the paper, and the stopping stopping, it was a much better month! The snow was a bit of a bummer at the end though.

Now here we are at December. Not being able to work the dog was a pisser again, but everything else has been grand! We have just had some minor trouble with Ushi being an arse with her food and hesitating to eat, but now she is grand. I’m so glad I can work her again!

So it has mostly been a good year. The only bad part was really my aunts death. But i’m so glad that I now have a furry friend to share my life with!

Tomorrow we are taking Ushi down to meet
Which I mentioned a few weeks ago. I’m hoping they get on. If they do, dad was thinking of bringing her up on Saturday. Is this a good idea? (Gran wants rid of her as soon as possible). Also should I let the team know?

All that is left to say now is have a wonderful, happy, healthy, safe 2011. I hope it’s a good one!

Santa Came Early!

At about 10 o’clock, Santa decided to make a flying visit. You see, he was so busy, you know. Of course I didn’t complain about this!

Well I first of all got a new computer chair (was given that a couple weeks ago from dad). The one I got
Last Year
Wasn’t the best, as the back fell off it less than 6 months later! This new chair is an executive one, with loads of space between the arms. I was scared to get a chair with the arms as I thought that there wouldn’t be much room. But this one is grand! Plus the back is a hell of alot sterdier too as it’s attached to the arms and the seat.

Tonight though I got a hand made necklace, “Moon lavender” I think it’s called shower jell and body lotion (which smell gorgious!). I also got two more bottles of oil for my
Reed Defuser
I got last year.

Oh and I got chocolates! A box of Erro bubbles, and some chocolate coins. (After I went and baught chocs today too! Well it’s christmas, after all.).

I was going to get some trousers with zippy pockets (so I don’t lose anything like my phone), but there was none, so I just got the money instead.

Oh and I also got a little something……naughty! Lol i’ll tell ya in the comments if you’re curious lol :).

I didn’t get Ushi anything this year as her birthday is coming up in February, and to be honest, I didn’t really know what to get her! I just played for about an hour before her last trip to spend with her, followed up by just some quality bonding, a teeth brushing, and then a nice relaxing groom to finish. I would normally groom and all, but I just thought I’d spend a little extra time spoiling her. I think she was a bit annoyed that I didn’t give her anything off my presents though, as she came over, then after a minute just went and lay on her bed. I felt a bit guilty, so went over after opening all the presents, and gave her a good rub.

Weather permitting, a free run should hopefully be on the cards tomorrow for her. Nowhere will be open, so hopefully we can let her have a good bound. I think she would enjoy it.

My friend is going to give me her presents after the new year. We were going to give each other before christmas, but with the kitchen being done, we just couldn’t do it, plus the bad weather. Speaking of kitchens, it’s all done now. The tiles were done on Wednesday, and all the electrics are in too. We had a little problem though. A new pipe was put in for the sink, but it froze solid, so they had to physically cut it away. The only thing they have to do is dig a new drain for the new outlet pipe. They are probably doing this in the new year, as the weather has been so bad. I hear a thaw is happening in the next couple days though! Fingers crossed anyway.

I hope you all have a fabulous christmas, and hope you get everything you want! I certainly did! I’m a little giddy now lol. Take care of yourselves! I hope you all enjoy yourselves!

Food Troubles And Frustrations

Remember in a previous post, I wrote about how hesitant Ushi was to eat her food a couple of weeks ago? Well it’s only now getting better.

I asked on Twitter what to do after a week of frustrations. I was told to take it away after a few minutes, and leaving it til her next meal. I wanted to try for a bit longer though, and started taking the bowl away, then setting it down again. Still nothing. I even tried giving it to her dry, but again nothing. I knew something had to change though when on Sunday she took 20 minutes to eat. This just wasn’t acceptable. I had a little chat to her explaining that I didn’t like this. I didn’t correct her, just sort of explained that it had to stop.

Monday was more hesitating, then on Tuesday I set the food down, went out of the room for a second, then went back in, and she was eating! Wahoo!

Since Tuesday she has eaten straight away which is fabulous. I have just kept it dry with water beside her. I’m not too sure if I should add the water again since she can have it wet or dry. What do you reckon? Will I just keep it the same so as not to ruin a good thing?

I was so frustrated when she wasn’t eating. She was her usual self, just rather hesitant to eat.

Touch wood she keeps eating within normal time.

Oh and Solona Rave? It wasn’t that good. I sent three photos of Ushi from her puppywalker, and all I got for all three was “A dog”. Well I know it’s a dog! What is happening in them? Grrrrr.

Oh and if i’m not on here tomorrow, have a wonderful happy christmas. I’ll probably post what I got on Saturday. I hope you all get lots of nice things!

A Nice Little Parcil

Today in the post, I got a nice little parcil….

My friend said to me ages ago that she had sent me something in the post. I wasn’t sure what it was, and she said it was a little message on a CD.

So today it came.
Do a service where you can get a personalised letter from Santa in your prefered format. Obviously this isn’t meant to be aimed at adults, but me and my friend like to have a laugh every now and again.

The message on the CD is so funny. It goes on about how “santa hears that I have been a good girl eating my vegetables and helping mummy with the washing up.”. I thought I’d put it up here, just because it’s really funny. So here is
My personalised Letter From Santa

Also in the package I got a lollypop that whistles when you pull the bottom, and a DVD of “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”. I texted my friend saying that I got them, but she didn’t know they were gonna send the DVD and all.

If I don’t like it, I can always give someone the DVD as a christmas present lol.

It was a nice thought, and the message from Santa made me smile.

Solona Rave

In a previous entry, I mentioned
New service called “Rave”.

Well I sent them off an email shortly after writing that entry, and had no response. I sent them off a polite email asking what the craic was. I then just on the off chance, decided to look in my “Junk” folder, and guess what was there! Oops. So another email later explaining that I had, in fact got my question answered. Oops. I was all ready to get all bitchy here too lol.

So what do I think of Solona Rave? It’s quite a good service, the only drawback being that you can only submit an image at a time. It can take from a few minutes to a couple of days before you get your question answered, but always check the junk folder first before anything if you haven’t received the answer to your first question.

So let’s hope it continues to be a good service! At least you don’t need to get someone to ask what the image is any more! Although sometimes sighted people can describe things better lol.

I just thought you all might like to learn about this service!

A Puppy Compromise

Remember back when Ushi first came home? Well if you don’t, let me refresh your memories…

We had a pet dog called Sally fo a couple of years. She was a boxer/staffordshire cross. This meant that she was very very boysterous to ahndle, and generally not too good to take for walks etc. When Ushi first came home we hoped we could mix them okay.

We tried introducing them on lead in the garden, then off lead. That didn’t work at all, and Ushi just wanted to hide. We even tried taking them to a park, but that wasn’t successful either. The decider was the next day, when Ushi
Got a puncture wound for her trouble
From Sally. I wasn’t comfy with having Sally around, and mum agreed that that wasn’t practical. So Sally found a new home.

Mum had said to my little brother that once Ushi was settled that she would get a puppy for him. He was thrilled about that. However he soon got bored of doing things like grooming Ushi, and never mentioned the pup again. That was until last week.

We had a major discussion about why it wasn’t a good idea to get the pup now, and that when Ushi was an adult dog, we could consider it.

Mum then started saying about how much she would love a pup. I tried to explain to her that it would probably be good to wait at least a year to give Ushi time to really settle in, and just to make sure things were right. Also I was told by the instructors that if I got the pup too soon, it could mess up Ushi’s spending routine, in that if, say, she smelt pee on the carpet, that she could be likely to do it. My arguments seemed to fall on deaf ears though.

My aunt who died of cancer a couple of months ago had a little dog. She lived with my granny, but now that my aunt had passed, granny felt she couldn’t cope with the dog any more. She tried looking for a home, but because she is an older dog nobody would take her. My dad asked if we would like to take her. I said I didn’t mind, as long as we could introduce the pair of them (Ushi and the dog) to make sure they were okay. We talked it over with mum, and she says that she will take her. This means that puppy gets put off for a while, at least which gives Ushi the most opportunity to get settled, and there is probably less likelyhood of her spending being messed up.

So someday this week, I will take Ushi down to grannies and introduce the two dogs. From what I remember this dog isn’t too boysterous which is good. The dog is called “Ash”, as she is black. She is a black springer type. She is 12 years old, but is in pritty good health. She does get the odd ear infection, but apart from that, she is grand.

I’m hoping that the two of them will get along. I wouldn’t want my brother getting his hopes up for it not to work. As the dog is quite old it shouldn’t really bother with Ushi, and shouldn’t be much of a distraction.

I’ll let you know how it goes, and let’s pray that the mix is successful! I want it to be as much of a stress free experience as possible. Anything I should do apart from introducing them first? Was planning to walk Ushi down with the halty on, then take that off in the house, introduce on lead, and then if that is successful, maybe let her off? If that is successful, and she isn’t too boysterous for Ushi, then she comes home.

Thanks for any suggestions, and i’ll keep you posted!

Oh and almost forgot…. On a side note:
My friend
Got Tia the cat back home the other day. They still aren’t any closer to finding out what the bug is, but I want to let you know of a compitition they have been doing. They got a supply of
Soft claws,
Which are little plastic things that slip over a cats claws, to stop them scratching you/ the furniture/other people/themselves. They don’t hurt a cat as they just slip over the claws. I think there are “Soft paws” for dogs too.

On the blog, Tia the cat sets different chalenges every week for you to win a packet. All you have to do is visit the website they put up for that particular compitition, describe something you have done, for instance, pick your size of claws or paws, and head back to
Her blog
And leave a comment with the answer to whatever chalenge it is plus your size and colour. It couldn’t be simpler!

They are taking a break from the compitition for a couple of weeks as they weren’t having much interest. So please use this time to spread the word, and do come back to
Carlies blog
After christmas to enter the compitition. You’ll get more visitors, plus a packet of soft claws if you win!

Thanks, and I know she would appreciate this!

Yaktrax, Rave, And A Bit Of An Update

My post about how good yaktrax
Were? Well I went ahead and
Ordered them
From the UK site. They came last week, which was just in time as it was pritty icey. It has thawed a little now, but I still wear them, as there are tiney bits of ice still.

Well they make me feel a hell of alot more confident. I mean really. They are incredibly useful. I don’t have to worry as much now if my next step will make me land on my arse. I forgot to take them off inside though today, and I kept hearing this weird sound each time i walked. One of my springs got caught in the carpet and was sticking to it!

But apart from that, they are wonderful. I’m so glad i got them!

Another bonus is that they are good for walking with a doggy!

Yesterday was the first day in like 10 days since i could get out there and work Ushi. She did better than I thought, and didn’t rush at all! She just likes to do that on the snow! She didn’t really care that she couldn’t work, but me on the other hand was rather bored! We are apparently meant to get more snow this week, so let’s hope I can at least work her a bit before it snows again.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that we were getting our kitchen done? Well it was meant to be happening in January, but it was moved forward.

So last week they came to do it. So far I am really impressed with the amount of work that has been done. They knocked down a wall, put in a new window, wired up stuff, and on Friday the plasterers were there. This is all within the fifth day! So all that is basically left to do now is to move the new worktops and stuff in, retile the floor, put in new plug sockets, a tiney bit more plastering, put in a new sink, and an extractor fan above the cooker. I’m thinking they’ll probably be done by the middle of the week hopefully.

Oh and Ushi? She’s been fine with all the work. She hasn’t noticed, I don’t think. The only thing she has started doing is being very hesitant to actually eat. She seems fine in herself, and eats a treat or two if she gets the chance. So I’m not really sure why she is doing this. I hope it doesn’t last long though!

In other news, my friend
Still isn’t having a good time. I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that she was having a bit of trouble with a bug that her guide dog, cat and her have been fighting. It seemed to go away but now it is back again. Her cat is back in the vets. She had to go in over this weekend. So if you could, please head over and support her. She is going through a hell of a time at the minute with it. I hope that things get better for her soon.

Carrin over at
Vomet Comet
Left me a comment on my post where I asked about
Online describing tools
She mentioned a product by a company called Solona. This company is run by human volunteers who help you solve word verification immages, or Capchas. They have introduced a new tool called
This apparently is a tool for describing images.

So out of curiosity, I created an account. This account works with capchas too.

Rave seems very simple to use. I just selected it from a drop down box after I logged in, uploaded an image, and then asked for it to be described. Simple as that. I’m just waiting on an email telling me the answer to my question about what the image is. This will be incredibly useful if it can help to do this.

I will post the results as soon as I get them.

Thanks Carrin!

Anyway that’s my slice of life for the moment. I will keep you posted on Solonas results.

I hope everyone is doing well!

The "Fix The Web" Initiative

Sorry if you have seen this before, but it sounds really cool!

I was listening to
Last Weeks’ In touch
On radio 4, and heard the item about the “fix the web” initiative which has been launched. I read about it on a blog somewhere, (Was it maybe you Ro?). Can’t remember.

I didn’t really understand how it worked, but thought i’d give it a go, as I’d really like to play the
Application on
Which has alot of flash content.

To report an inaccessible site, you can either
Report it using the simple form,
Send an email to
Or use the hashtags #fixtheweb and #fail
on Twitter.

When you report a website, there is a team of volunteers who contact the owners of that website and give them hints and such on how to make their websites accessible to people with a disability.

I thought this was pritty cool! You can report as many websites as you want, and no personal information is taken from you.

I thought this might be useful for alot of people. Let’s hope it has some affect.

I particularly thought of you Ro as I know you are quite interested in this kind of stuff.

Who knows what could happen with this!

Online Describing Tools?

Is there any tools online somewhere that can describe pictures?

Ushi’s puppywalker emailed me loads of pictures of Ushi as a pup. My mum has described a bit of the pictures, but I just wish I could see them. They sound so cute!

There are about 17 photos, so think it would be too much for me to expect a human to describe them.

So any good things online that describe pictures?

Or failing that, would any kind soul be up to the chalenge?

I just think it would be nice to have the pics up here.