There was a documentary on
On Monday night about a journalist who’s guide dog had to retire, so he was waiting for a new one. He visited the Forfar training centre in Scotland, to show how some of the training was done and all. It only lasted half an hour.
I was hoping that it would be put up on
The BBC I player
But nobody knew if it would be. Today I found the link to it! It’ll probably only be up for another week at max, so here it is….
Born To Lead
I’m so glad it was put up on the I player! Enjoy!
Is training with her first guide dog I think. She is called “flow”. I think she is training in america somewhere.
The other blog is by a girl called Vicky who is starting training with her first guide dog Ivy tomorrow. She is training with our team. She is writing a blog like I did on class.
So if any of you have facebook, pay a visit to our facebook page and wish Vicky luck.
I hope training goes well for both Debra and Flow, and Vicky and Ivy!
I’m just writing a quick update. I couldn’t resist getting mum to take this picture! The poor girl didn’t even attempt to get it off!
I wasn’t going to participate in this carnival this month, but then I thought of a good post. This time, the carnival is being hosted by
The Trouble Is
I’ve never read her blog, but thought i’d contribute anyway. The topic for this month is “reactions”. This is quite a hard topic, and I thought about putting up the reaction to
Ushi being attacked,
But then thought that I would write about something else. So here goes.
Oh, by the way,
Here is the link
For the post about the carnival.
I use a
Sometimes with Ushi. This sort of looks like the head part of a horses bridle. It has a clip that you clip onto the collar, and the lead can clip on to it. It also straps around the back of her head. She hates having it on, but I use it for taking her to the vets as she would pull you along to get out of there, when i’m meeting other guide dogs as she wants to play and becomes very hard to handle, or when doing a free run. This is basically where the dog gets to be a dog for an hour or two, and she can run around and sniff until her little heart is content. If she knows that she is near a park or field where she knows that she can run around, she would pull uncontrolably. The Halty calms her down and she walks just calmly whilst i am being guided. (She hardly moves when working with it on).
The halty doesn’t hurt Ushi at all, and it is not a muzzle. She can still open her mouth and that.
The first time I had any bother with the halty was at one of the fundraising meetings I would attend. One of the people there were like “what is that thing around her nose?”. (I had it on because there were other guide dogs, but i take it off as soon as she gets into a “down”.). I explained that it was a Halty, and stops her pulling. That seemed to satisfy the person. At the last meeting I went to, alot of the other volunteers commented. “do you not like having your muzzle thing on?” was one comment. This really annoyed me. The Halty is not a muzzle and will never be. Plus why the hell would I need to muzzle my guide dog? I felt as if I was being cruel to Ushi then. The other comments I got were along the lines of “do you not like getting your “head harness thing” on?”. Those comments didn’t annoy me too much, but the “muzzle” one really irked me!
Maybe I was over reacting, but I just felt terrible after that. I have now got to the point where I even explain to the receptionists at the vets what the Halty is and that it is to stop her pulling!
Have any of you other Halty users ever had these problems?
This has been my submission for the third assistance dog blog carnival. I hope you have enjoyed it. I think the deadline for posts is the 25th April? But i’m not too sure. Hopefully someone can correct me on when it is.
Just before our last fund raising meeting, my rehab worker forwarded all te branch members an email from one of our admin team who is running the
Belfast City Marathon
At the start of May. To help them raise the money needed, our team are holding a pub quizz up in Belfast. My rehab worker says that I could probably go, as it would be just sitting around really. Here is the info from our teams
Time: 07 April from 19:30 to 22:30
Location: Kings Head, Belfast
We are holding a pub quiz at the Kings Head (opposite Kings Hall in Belfast) on 7th April 2011 to raise money for the Guide Dogs Gals marathon team effort in May. Entry will be £20 per team and teams can have up to a max of 6 people each. To enter a team please contact me (Ally) at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and the total people in your team so we have an idea of numbers! Or phone the office on 0845 3727 402 for more information. Thanks :0)
I am still deciding whether to take Ushi or not. I’m thinking I might though as it will get her used to new experiences and that. Plus that would be leaving her for like 5 hours if i didn’t take her! I think she would enjoy going, and it means then that she will be used to that kind of environment. We will be in a room of our own, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m just a little worried about her spending. I mean usually she is spent at about 9:30, but if she isn’t spent for an hour later will she be alright? Obviously I will give her an opportunity before I go, when we get there, probably during it if we have a break, before we go home, and once again when we get home. Should I give her more opportunities to go? Should I even take her at all? Decisions decisions. I was even thinking I could even get her to lie down in the car?
Is there anything I should bring with me? I’m bringing her water bowl but should I bring anything else?
Normally she is alright when she has to lie down somewhere, although after about an hour she will get bored and stand up a bit, but I can usually get her back into a down again.
So any thoughts? Thanks! I’m sure it will go alright though!
I was asked on Wednesday at our local fundraising meeting if I would come along on Friday morning to help my mobility worker assess two volunteers for the “Sighted Guiding Mobility Service” which is being piloted I think in Northern Ireland. This is basically a service offered by Guide Dogs to help people regain their confidence and get out and about before they progress with long cane training or become guide dog applicants. A volunteer would take a client out as much as they needed, and it would last for about 3 months. This could be taking them to the cinema or shopping. They work one to one with the person. This
Probably explains it better.
So this morning I got picked up at about 9 o’clock to head into town where we would meet two volunteers who were being assessed by my mobility worker. They were from the local fundraising branch, so we kind of knew each other beforehand.
Before we got started, we waited for the first volunteer to come. While we were waiting, my mobility worker explained a little more about what the service was. He said that everyone who was on the fundraising branch knew basic sighted guiding techniques, but that this was basically going into more detail, like how to go through doors and such with a blind or partially sighted person.
Shortly after, the first volunteer came up and introduced herself to me like she would a client. We walked out of the shop we met at, and just walked around one of our shopping centres, then back again. The woman was a bit nervous at the start, but once we got going, she was grand!
When we got back to where we’d started, we headed up to the restaurant part and had a coffee while we waited for the other lady to arrive. My mobility worker then filled in some paperwork once the second woman had arrived.
After about half an hour, I did a route to the second shopping centre that we have with the second woman. She seemed really confident from the start. The only problem that they both had was with going through doors. The correct way to do this is to always have the visually impaired person on the hinge side of the door, so that they could control it. (That used to drive me mad in school). But they both got this after they were refreshed on how to do it.
I thought it was really good for both the volunteers. They were both confident, but the second woman seemed not to be as nervous. They will hopefully be matched some time in the future with a blind or partially sighted person.
All the guiding techniques can be adapted to suit each person, which is good. I thought it was a very informative morning.
When I came home I was expecting Ushi to be all hyper since I hadn’t taken her with me, but she didn’t even notice me! She went straight to sleep, and was asleep when I got home! It’s a good thing that she isn’t bothered by not going with me, but it makes you feel unloved! She did come over for a few scratches, but she is back in bed now.
I suppose I’d better go get motivated to take her out for our walk. It’s meant to snow later, so want to do it now if I can. It’s just hard to find the motivation!
Today I was at my local fundraising meeting for guide dogs, and we got on to talking about our teams
And how good it was to find out information about local events and stuff. Well we now have 970 fans, and we were ranked 6th in
The top forty Charities Who have facebook pages
In Northern Ireland. The listings were compiled by
I Love Mondays
Which is a page which helps promote charities and businesses I think. So happy days!
Our facebook page really does spread the word about local events. Plus there are loads of cute photos of cute doggies on there too. So if you’re in Northern Ireland, or just want to join a guide dogs facebook page, check our page out. Maybe we can reach the 1000 mark with the fans!
Also before I go, 5 of the girls in the team including my main GDMI are running in the
For guide dogs. They have set up a Just giving page to help them raise some of the money. So go support
The Guide Dogs Gals!
I just thought i’d let you know of what a great cause this is! Go girls! You’d never know I was biost about this team would you?
I was beginning to wonder when the police would contact me again regarding the dog attack a couple of weeks ago. I had thought they had forgotten about me!
Well today I got a call from the police. They explained that they went round to the owners house, and apparently he was away somewhere else. The police said he was on drugs because when they were talking to him, his eyes were all over the place. They said that the owner said that he “just took the dog in” or something like that. The dog warden then called round and he said it wasn’t his, so the warden took it as a stray. The police also said that there were two or three other men in the house, which could make it even harder for the police or dog warden to know who owned the house.
A few members of the public who saw the attack said that when they saw the owner with it, it was regularly out of control and that the owner apparently beat it and all. They didn’t want to come forward though because of the type of guy he is apparently, and they didn’t want any repercussions if they did come forward.
The police said that while they can’t actually charge him with anything, he will now be known to them and the dog warden if he does get another dog. I was a bit worried in case he got another dog, but they said that even if the owner said that he owned the dog that he would be prosicuted if it didn’t have a licence. They said they would be keeping an eye on him, and at least the other dog is off the streets.
I was a little disappointed that they didn’t charge him or anything, but at least they are aware of him and will take action if he does anything else. I suppose that’s a good thing.
So the police aren’t taking my statement because there wouldn’t really be a point if he isn’t being charged. I just hope he doesn’t get another dog, and that if he does, that it is caught before it harms another persons dog, or Ushi!
Anyway on to the rest of today.
Yesterday I worked Ushi again after I had worked her in the morning. I thought that because it was such a nice evening, that it would be nice just to do a walk. Ushi didn’t agree with me though. She just dawdled along, and threatened to stop at one point. I just told her to “get on with it”, and then when that didn’t work, I told her to “Hop up”. I wasn’t taught that command, but thought i’d just experiment and see if it worked. She was a star the rest of the way! She did get a bit distracted by kids though, but I just kept telling her to “pay attention” while making sure she walked on at a normal speed.
Today I didn’t work her in the day, but just in the evening again. There were more kids about today, and the first group we passed were like “Keep going, keep going!”. Then another was like “she knows where she is going”. I heard a dog across the road so didn’t hang about to thank them although I know I should have. When I did cross the road, the kids that came over to me after the attack were in front of me. I heard one of them say “can you keep the dog interested so it doesn’t go for that other dog?”. (obviously me and Ushi). I wasn’t taking any chances, so stopped and asked them where the dog was. They were just like “it’s just a tiney wee thing”. I wasn’t satisfied, so asked them again and explained that Ushi was attacked a couple of weeks ago. They were like “Yeah i know, that was our dog.”. What the hell do you say to that? Anyway I asked them again where the dog was. Eventually they said that it was further on up. I said that hopefully it wouldn’t go for Ushi, and they said that it was no where near me, and that it was scared of Ushi. I went on my way hoping that the kids were right, and that they weren’t lying or anything. Thankfully no dog came at us or anything.
We had a couple more “kid distractions” along the way, but nothing major. At one point though these kids started barking at Ushi. Naturally that made her look, so I said to them that she was working. They just giggled, and did it again. I then explained again that she was working and that I didn’t want them doing that. When it happened again, i was getting pritty annoyed. One of them came up to me and asked “why do you were that hat?”. I explained that it was warm, so I was wearing it to protect me from the sun. They then barked again. One of them then said to me “no offence but are you blind?”. I said that I was, and then they whispered something and went away. Crazy kids! The rest of our walk went without a hitch.
I hope the weather continues so I can start working Ushi twice a day again!
We are having a problem with the route into town though as there are road works along it. They have even moved some of my crossing points! It’s gonna be confusing when we work it again! I guess it’s the church route all this week unfortunately as I don’t know when they will be re tarring the road. I’m seriously bored of that route!