Jollyes Collection

Today was the collection for Jollyes all across Northern Ireland.

At about 10 o’clock I was picked up. The person who picked me up even disabled the airbag for Ushi! I thought that was really thoughtful.

We first let Ushi see if she needed a busy, but she was more interested in sniffing the air and doing anything but busy lol. So we took her on in. Of course she wanted to rush a bit. (She seems to do this if she’s been in a car for some reason). I discovered that there was a table sitting full of stuff we were selling, as well as seats for us. I thought we’d be standing for the two hours that I was collecting. Thank god we weren’t!

I kept Ushi’s harness on for about 10 minutes just until she settled down and that. There was me, the branch organiser, the lady who drove me up, her daughter, the treasurer, and another volunteer. (Those three didn’t arrive until about 11ish). Here a guide dog owner should never be unaccompanied. This is so that the bucket doesn’t get stolen or anything horrible like that.

On the table we had little note books, rulers, pens, cuddley guide dogs, keyrings, a writing set I think with a pen, ruler, note book and rubber all in one, and a tombola. Oh and the collection bucket itself lol.

I was panicking in case they thought that I had stole a nylabone as I had braught Ushi hers in case she got bored, but no one even noticed I don’t think.

Lots and lots of people started coming up at different points to talk to Ushi, and just to come over really.

There was one point where there was someone outside with an Airdale? I think that’s what they are called. It had a really nasty bark. I thought it was going to come in, so I promptly got up and walked back a bit. Luckily the dog didn’t come in, so I could sit down again which was good. I didn’t know dogs could come into Jollyes, but that must be the case. (Our jollyes doesn’t have any animals apart from fish).

The Royal Cannin dog food company were there too, as well as someone from the training dog club or something.

The woman from the Royal Cannin braught her dog in who was a border colly. He was called “Blue”. Ushi and him had a little roll around the floor lol. (It wasn’t for long, and i still had her lead. I had taken her harness off at this point). She also had a little play with a little 12 week old puppy called “Alphy”. (I didn’t let her play that long with both dogs).

Apart from the dogs, she lay down like a good girl and chilled. I needn’t have worried about her getting bored as there were that many people coming up and telling her what a good girl she was lol.

It was 10 % off everything in the store for today too. We didn’t sell much of our stock, but we did get quite a few donations. (All the money was going through Jollyes anyway to us, but it just meant that our actual branch didn’t get as much as if the whole store donated directly to us).

The collection ran until 5 I think. Maybe later on that day more people came round.

It was easier than I thought. We basically had to sit and look pritty really. (Ushi did a fab job of doing that lol).

I would like to thank the staff at Jollyes for all their help today. Especially for providing the comfy cat beds for us to cushion our bums! (We were sitting on really hard chairs lol. We happened to mention amongst ourselves how uncomfortable they were. One of the staff then came and gave us each a nice little cat bed to sit on!).

I hope all collections are this easy! I’ll let you know how much we raised later, or whenever I find out lol. Thanks again Jollyes!

Trip To Portrush

Yesterday I decided to take Ushi up to Portrush for the day.

Over the week I wasn’t sure whether I would take her or not as I didn’t know what the heat would be like. I think I mentioned in my last post about how I was allowed to take the train if I had someone with me. It was a good job I asked, as there were no busses running because of the wedding. My sisster and dad said it might be too warm for Ushi, but I didn’t want her just sitting being bored at home. So I did decide to take her.

I walked down to the train station just holding on to dad, as I don’t know the route down there yet. I explained what I would do on the way down, so we both knew what the craic was.

While we were waiting, there was a guy there supervising the work that’s currently going on at our station. He chatted away and was like “what do you call your dog?” and all that jazz. I chatted away and thought he knew what Ushi was for, then he said “what’s that yello thing?”. (I think it was the reflective slieve on her lead maybe). Dad was like oh she’s a guide dog, then the guy was like “Oh she helps someone who is blind?”. Dad was like yeah she’s blind! There was a massive awkward silence after that, then the guy walked away! I don’t think it had even dawned on him that I couldn’t see and that Ushi was a guide dog!

Getting on the train was really straight forward. I kept Ushi’s harness on, and just told Ushi to “find the step”. She did and before I knew it we were on! It seemed just like getting on a bus!

Ushi was a wee star! She just lay happily until we got to Colleraine. (We had to change to get to Portrush).

We walked around Colleraine for a while before heading off to Portrush.

I had to make a trip to the ladies before we got on our next train at Colleraine, so handed Ushi over to dad to hold. (I didn’t know how much room we would have in there). I was a bit nervous leaving her, but she didn’t care at all!

I thought that the train to Portrush would be an older train, as sometimes these trains are still used on this line, but thankfully it was another new one. Again Ushi was grand.

We took Ushi up round the cliffs there, and she started to pull quite alot. I thought this was just because it was a new place, and maybe she wanted to get in the water or something. We then took her round the harbour and just chilled and that.

Around 2 o’clock, we decided to go down onto the beach. We had walked around for quite a while, and just were going to go for a walk around the beach before our train home. I had braught my free running stuff with me, but dad said it probably wouldn’t be a good idea if we still had walking to do, and it might tire her out more. (I didn’t think this would be a bad thing, but anyway).

We first of all got on to quite soft sand. Ushi couldn’t really walk on this as her poor feet kept sinking into it lol. When we got on to the harder sand, I wanted to see what she’d be like on it, and what her reaction would be like to the water. Well she walked on some wet sand, and sort of did a wee bounce over it. (She hates getting her paws wet).

I put Ushi on the long lead to let her see what the water was like and that. Well she zoomed right away from it! I then decided to work her up the beach as it was straight, and my dad was right behind me. (I just kept her harness on throughout, as the beach was quite packed, and there were lots and lots of dogs. I figured it might calm her down a bit if she still had it on. She kept guiding me further and further up the beach away from the water. When I tried to get her over to the sea again, she just would refuse. I then tried to see on dads arm if she would go down, but even as soon as we turned towards the sea (we were quite far from it) her tail went down and she just wasn’t happy.

So we cut the walk short, and just headed home after that. She was much happier when we got off the beach.

So I don’t know what the craic was. Was it a bad idea to keep her in harness? Would she have gone in if we free ran? When we were on the beach she did play with another dog, and pulled that hard that i think she pulled a muscle in my arm lol.

Also unfortunately on the beach she decided to do a busy. I had given her an opportunity just before we got on the beach and she didn’t need to go. I was just walking along when she decided to go. I suppose it was outside so i suppose it could have been worse. She also peed shortly after the beach too on grass with me giving her the busy command. I hope she doesn’t get into the habbit of doing that in harness! Do you think she would after doing it twice? I really hope not!

She was pritty nakard when we headed back to the train. Luckily for her, we didn’t have to change at Colleraine. She slept from we got on til our stop!

She was pritty zonked all night apart from to eat and busy. I’m a little worried about the busy on the beach, but not too worried since it was outside, and we did pick it up after she had done it. It was maybe all the excitement, or else I didn’t let her go long enough earlier.

It was a good day, but i’m a little disappointed she didn’t like the water. I know she doesn’t like rain, but I thought she would have so much fun swimming! I dread to think what she’d be like if we had free ran her.

I’m off to write the post about the collection today. I’m sorry for two posts in one day, but we had no internet yesterday, so that’s why i’m posting now.

Collections And Stuff

As I may have mentioned, I’m doing my first collection this Saturday. If I haven’t mentioned it, (Which I can’t remember if I have or not), I’m doing a collection at
This Saturday (30th April). This is their “National collection day”, as Guide Dogs are their charity of the year.

I asked a couple of weeks ago if it would be okay for me to fundraise yet. I wanted to make sure it was okay with guide dogs before I started to as we can’t fundraise for 6 months when we are newly qualified. My instructor said it was okay but to only take it one step at a time. I wasn’t too keen on doing this collection, but figured I may as well start somewhere.

I was looking for some tips to make the experience as stress free as possible for both me and her, and was going to write a post about it, but figured that my instructor might know as well as anyone else. So I sent her an email the other day just to ask what the craic is for collections as well as some other things. She says that I should probably keep the harness on for the first 20 minutes or so, just until she has calmed down. (she’s usually quite good, but this is to make sure she is well settled). I should bring her nylabone or another toy with me as well as water, and something for her to lie on. This is because she won’t actually be doing anything while we’re collecting, so she may get a little bored. The collection is inside too, so I don’t have to worry about her bone or that getting stolen.

Over the summer me, dad, sis and possibly my 8 year old brother are planning to go over to Scotland for the day on the Ferry. Dad found out about what the deals were and that last week. Apparently, it would cost us £15 each to travel both ways from Belfast to Stranrare and back for each person. It would be £10 if my little brother was going. I think this is brilliant.

Of course I want to take Ushi if we can. The plan would be that we would get a taxi from the house up to belfast at 6 in the morning. We would then be at the ferry port for about 7 ish, get checked in, before leaving at half 7 approximately. This would get us into Scotland at about half 10 ish. We would then spend the day in Stranrare, before leaving at about half 5 again, getting to Belfast at about half 8, then back to Ballymena at 9.30.

So quite a long day, but probably a good one.

I asked my instructor if I could take her, and what way we would work her feeds and that. She said that sometimes it would be more practical to leave the dog at home, for example if we were going all over Scotland. I said that we were just going around Stranrare, and she said that it was totally up to me if I took her, but if I did, to give her plenty of opportunity to spend both before and after we got on the boat. I am also to split her feed in the morning, as the less she has in her stomach, the better. Even if I feed her early, she could still have stuff in her stomach, so I will give her half of her food before we go, and the other half when we arrive. I am then to wait half an hour before we start walking or that. That will then be her until we head back. I am to feed her evening feed again splitting it in half again, and giving her half before the ferry, and half when we get home.

It’s a bit complicated, but i’m sure we can manage it. It’ll just take some juggling. I’m sure Ushi will think all her christmasses will have come early, as technically she’ll get four meals that day!

I shouldn’t need any ID with me for her, just my guide dog owner ID card I got when I qualified.

I’m quite excited about going now with her.

On Friday i’m hoping to take her to Portrush with us too. We were going to get the bus down, since i haven’t learned trains yet, but I asked my instructor if we could use the train with my dad being there, and she said that it was my choice, and that yes with him there I could. I suggested thathe could possibly teach me, but she said that she would rather I waited to be taught that part. But at least I can go on the train with someone sighted there at least which is good. I really hope it’s not too long before my instructor can teach me the trains propperly. The only reason i asked about Friday is that the times for the busses are quite weird, and my dad and sister get quite travel sick on busses. Plus the trains tell you the stops.

So here’s hoping that it all goes well both on Saturday and for Portrush if we take her. It all depends on the heat and that.

I’ll let you know how I get on! Oh and with regards to
Last weeks post
About Ushi being a little arse, she has slowly improved. I have deliberately waited at each kerb a little longer, just so she won’t anticipate where we’re going. Plus I’ve got my sister to teach me the reverse of the church route, so that’s another route we’ve got. For the kerb that she missed all the time, i’ve started carrying a treat with me and give it to her if she stops at it. I’m still doing two walks a day too. We had a little incident on Saturday night though. We were just doing a walk as usual. She seemed particularly sluggish, but I put that down to her being bored. About 10 minutes after we got home, she threw up. I started to go through why she could have. It was a good two hours after her food, so it wasn’t that. She didn’t have the runs or anything so it wasn’t that. I think it was because I had given her a very old baby toy from my little brothers. It had nothing that I thought could come off so thought it was grand. It turned out that she pulled off one of its antennai (It was a caterpillar). She had then went out and eaten lots of grass to make herself sick. She was really lethargic afterwards and just slept. I didn’t work her the next day though as I wanted to make sure whatever it was was out of her system. Thankfully she’s grand now.

Thanks for all the comments though on my last post!

Ushi The Madam…..Again

I just want some oppinions on a little something.

Since around Wednesday or Thursday I started doing two walks twice a day again, which I mentioned in yesterdays
I am doing the two walks again a day because frankly there is no excuse now, and I don’t really want her weight to keep going up.

Well she has started to dig again in the garden. I thought that it was maybe because mum had filled in the wholes where she had dug a few months ago (she had stopped for about 5 months) with soil, but i’ve noticed little changes with her working too. They’re not really massive changes, just her being sluggish (not her fault though), sniffing more, and just missing some of her kerbs. They aren’t massive kerbs, and I always re work a kerb that she has missed, but she never used to do it. She is also wanting to play a bit more, which I have been doing just to see if that helps. Most of the time she is grand on our walks, but now she’s just being a bit more of a minx. It’s only ocasionally too that she is acting up.

I’m kicking around a few ideas of what could be causing this.

1. She is bored of our routes and wants to spice things up a bit? (we haven’t really learnt anything knew in a while).
2. The heat is just getting to her and making her feel slightly irritated and not wanting to work? (She seems fine and her tail wags when she is working so not sure if it is that, and I don’t know how you would tell if a dog was irritated).
3. She needs a good free run? (I haven’t given her one in about 2 weeks as I feel it is just too hot. We are going to take her for a good one tomorrow early in the morning to see if that helps).
4. Could the two walks be giving her more energy? (I doubt it as she usually sleeps after each long walk).
5. Would the
Dog Attack
From a couple months ago finally be starting to affect her? (I hope not, and don’t think it would cause her to be a madam).
6. Could the change in weather from slightly mild to really warm be just affecting her? (I was thinking maybe she senses the air pressure changing or something).

The instructor said yesterday that we seem to be working well, so I don’t know. After me saying to myself that i’d noticed that I didn’t need to correct her much since she is now qualified 6 months!

Thanks for all your help, and I hope that you guys can help. It’s maybe just a bad week. I’ve done an obedience session to to see if that helps. I really don’t think it’s worth ringing the team about, since it’s so very minor and I can get her to stop after a correction.

I’m not too worried, I just want to know what the problem is!

Regular Aftercare

Today I had an aftercare visit. It was the first aftercare visit since January. I had saw the instructor back in February, but that wasn’t a sheduled aftercare.

I emailed my main instructor last week because I was rather confused about
Ushi’s Last vet visit
I explained that i was really unsure about what to believe about her Front line treatment and her worming tablets. They said that the worming tablet should be twice a year, and the Front line should be every month in the summer and ever 2 in the Winter. (The Dog Care And Welfare Advisor confirmed this). My instructor said that I needed to follow guide dogs advice on the issue, and that if the vets followed a different Front line and worming routine, then the dog care and welfare advisor must know.

I also asked about fundraising, and I’ve got the official go ahead. My instructor just said that it would be best to not rush into things. (I’ve got another post on that).

I also said that Ushi was now 33 kilos (i admit i haven’t been doing as many walks a day as I should). My instructor said that it was really important that I did work her twice a day now since the weather is getting better. She said to weigh her in a couple of weeks just to see if that was making a difference. So since about Thursday of last week i’ve been working a nice long walk twice a day. It’s hard when you’re bored though!

So on Friday afternoon, I got an email asking if I was free today for an aftercare visit. This was with the instructor for my area, not my main instructor. (Now that i’m qualified the instructor for each area usually does aftercare unless they are unavailable for some reason). I said that I was free and she asked me what route I was going to do. I said I wanted to just do our church walk, since I would be in town in the morning anyway.

This morning however, I had a little time to kill before I needed to be at the quilting, so i thought i’d take her up to see if she could find Subway in the food courte. Well she found subway, but we had major difficulties knowing where the stairs up were. She first of all just ignored me and went straight on as if to o’bryans where I quilt, but i got her to go back, and we eventually found the steps. On the way down she nearly walked me onto the escalator too, which would have been a bad bad idea. (Escalators =cut paws).

When we got down the stairs again I couldn’t find the way to O’bryans, so I just found the door and acted as if I had just come in. I think I might have confused the girl lol.

I finished my quilting at about 12 o’clock, so that she could have a rest and that before our next adventure.

Well Ushi didn’t really want to rest lol. I went down to get an ice cube for her, and she found Ashes squeaky ring. Ash doesn’t play with it so I think Ushi is like “Well I may as well!” lol. She tore up and down the stairs with it, and then I took her outside and threw it for her loads. She then lay down in the grass lol. (She also found the ring this morning after her busy, and I wondered why she was so hyper! The wee minx had braught it upstairs!).

After that long play, it was after 1 o’clock. So a quick check of the old emails, then it was time to spend her before our walk.

Since we had so much trouble with the stairs this morning, I decided to do the subway route instead of the church one. (I figured having some eyes look at it would help).

Of course Ushi was a wee brat! First of all she didn’t come in from her spend making us a tiny bit late, then she decided to nose up someone’s driveway with it’s front door open, and on the way back she decided to stop a bit, and stopped just short of her kerbs too. Maybe she knew she had aftercare!

We had a bit of trouble knowing when to tell her to “find the steps” but she was grand after a couple of times. Me however found it hard coming out again as from the counter you have to go forward then go right immediatly. I didn’t really understand what the instructor meant though so got it wrong quite a bit lol. (Think she was beginning to lose patience). I got it eventually, but was still a little hesitant at the stairs since there is no tactile markers at the top, so I have to go on pure trust and getting the timing right to tell her when to find them. By the fourth time of trying to do the short journey from the food courte, Ushi got a bit bored and started to switch off, and some really giggly girls started petting her so she was all over the place.

We headed home after that for a short time.

The instructor says that I am handling her great, although she says that I need to get a touch bit more firmer with her when she really is being a minx. (She doesn’t understand how patient I am with Ushi lol).

I went and collected my health book because the instructor needed it for her aftercare report that she has to fill in, gave Ushi some water, and we were off in the car to learn how to get on and off busses. I had mentioned trains, but she said that she would rather I got used to busses first of all. (I asked again later and she says she will call me at some point when she’s able to teach me them). I hope it is soon as trains are much better than busses!

Anyway we went to the bus station to find a bus we could practice on. We got on one of the big busses (the Gold Liners I think they are called). First of all, I learnt that the harness comes off before you even get on the bus. This is because there isn’t much room on the bus to take it off. I didn’t know this at all. I would get her to “find the steps” then get her to wait while I went up them. (Deffinetly a slow steady pace for this as the steps to a bus are quite deep!). I then would get my ticket, turn right, and say “over” or “In” once there was an empty seat available. I would site down first, with my feet in the isle. I then would tell her to “come” and then get her to sit (or lie down if she wanted), and make sure her tail was nice and snug between my legs. That was basically it. The further back I would go, the harder it would be for the dog, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be done. The only other seat you would need to worry about would be a single seat, though you would just sort of shift her round so her bum was under the seat. Of course missy decided it would be better to lie down in the isle rather than in at my feet!

I asked the instructor if I could at some point visit my friend, and she says that as long as I was in control of my dog it should be grand. She says to practice a bit getting on and off busses first though. (Maybe when me, dad and sis go to Portrush we can all go on the bus with Ushi? I figure she might as well enjoy the sea too!).

The instructor won’t be seeing me for another 6 months unless I have a problem, and she will let me know about the trains.

So it was a good day apart form Ushi being a wee minx! It must have worn her out though lol as she was quite tired afterwards. She did manage another walk though at about 8 o’clock which was good.

I suppose the busses are a good starting point, but a little disappointed about the trains! I hope I do actually use the bus though. I would need to make sure that the bus driver was going to tell me my stops though.

I’m off to bed now-it’s been a long day!

A Guide Dogs Daily Routine

I thought this would be a fun and interesting post for people, even if you are a guide dog owner. You’ll all probably know this, but even if you don’t own a guide dog I hope you’ll enjoy!

From my first day of class, i’ve always got up at about 7 o’clock to feed Ushi. We were told to feed the dogs before 8 o’clock, especially as they need an hour before they can do any work. I have always stuck to this routine, as it means it’s done and dusted then.

At about 7 o’clock, I pluck myself out of bed to go get things ready for Ushi. She is usually fed between 7 and 8 although I remember one day I didn’t feed her until 20 past 9 I think it was. I felt terrible, but she didn’t care and was still asleep! Anyway I first of all put Ushi’s collar on, as I take it off before I go to bed because I know where she is, and know she’s not going to move! I then go over and get her waterbowl to fill up. I bring that in, get my whistle out of my bag where most of Ushi’s things are, pick up her food bowl from my table with a baked bean tin in it to measure out her food. This usually gets Ushi up off her bed lol. I then go out of my room to the “spare room” where her food is stored. Ushi is usually stretching along the hall, leaning against the wall, snorting scratching and shaking, usually in that order. I then emerge with her food, and she’ll follow me into my room again. I usually stand beside her with my hand on her back, and she will sit down. She’s so good now that I don’t even have to tell her to sit! I then place her food down and give three short toots on the whistle to signify that it’s time to eat. (The dogs are taught that they can’t eat until the whistle is blown). I then sit down and get my trousers and shoes on while she eats.
After I hear those long slurps of the bowl which mean that she is finished, I wait a minute before washing the bowl. I then place it down on my table and head down stairs. Ushi tends to suddenly need a scratch along the carpet just at the top of the stairs lol. I let her and Ash (pet dog) outside together, telling Ushi to “busy busy” which is the command to get her to go do her business. After a few seconds I tell her “good girl to busy” and wait a bit longer. By this point mum comes down to get my brother ready for school.

After a short chat, Ushi comes sauntering in. We head upstairs, where Ushi promptly takes a drink of her water, before returning to her bed. If I have nothing on, I will join her for a couple of hours.

Whenever I decided to drag myself out of bed (which i do find hard sometimes), I will properly get ready for the day. I usually bring Ushi down to busy while i’m eating my breakfast so i’m not standing around waiting for her to come in. (she likes to take her time sometimes). If i manage to get up early enough, I will do two walks a day, but if not, I will do only one. (I need to get up more lol.)

In the middle of the afternoon I usually head out to get my brother from school with my dad and sis, and head into town. I don’t take Ushi since she is very excited around children, and I would feel terrible if she bounced a little and ended up jumping on one of them lol. So Ushi usually goes to bed. (as soon as I turn the radio on for her she goes onto her bed).

I come back from town and that at about half 5 or earlier. It’s then a walk with the girl and my sister sometimes walks Ash. The two of them don’t care about each other although sometimes Ushi will rush a little to get in front of Ash.

After our walk, I wait about 10 minutes before feeding her. (I was told to do this as otherwise she will rush home expecting food). The evening routine for food is much more lively. If we haven’t been for a walk in the evening but have had one during the day, she will sit beside me from about 5 o’clock onwards (I feed about half five unless we’re not back from a walk, then it’s usually 6). As soon as I move, she is up and heading to the wall outside my room to roll around a bit and wait for her food. I prepare the food again from the spare room, and when I emerge, Ushi does a little shuffle backwards after bounding about a little. She then comes in like a lamb, and will usually sit although sometimes she’ll bounce up just as i’m setting the food down, in which case I have to get her to sit again and tell her to “wait”. I then do three toots again, before sitting down to check emails etc. I’ll then wash her bowl again, then take her out to busy, then it’s back upstairs where she’ll chew on a nylabone or look for her stuffed elephant. (I don’t give this to her until at least half an hour after food as I don’t want to risk twisty stomachs!). She is deffinetly much more lively in the evenings.

After about an hour she’ll get up and come over for some loving. We don’t do much apart from maybe playing, grooming every two or three days (or sometimes four, but never more), and just being around each other. It’s then last busy at about 9.30, then she’ll usually potter around downstairs until we decide to go up again.

She’ll usually take herself off to bed at about 10 o’clock. I’ve never told her to go to bed at that time, she just chooses to. (I sometimes tell her to go to bed when i’m eating my dinner upstairs. Sometimes I even have to say to my sister “will I put the missus onto her bed?” and she’s there before I can finish the sentence lol.).

I empty her water at about 12 o’clock, take her collar off, and give her a nice stroke (which gets a little sigh) before heading to bed myself. (her water used to be emptied after her last toilet break but sometimes she wants it just before bed).

The routine will change ever so slightly depending on the day, but that’s a basic summary of what a guide dogs routine will be like. It’s alot when you think about it, and when I was on class it sure felt like quite alot to remember as well as “working” commands, but once you get into the swing of it, it’s grand!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading this, and it might help people who are considering a guide dog! (I don’t want to put anyone off by the way). I’m off to bed!

Results Of The Pub Quizz

Well Thursday night was the
Pub Quizz
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately me and Ushi weren’t able to go.

Shortly after we decided to go, I heard from my rehab worker that he was unable to go to the pub quizz as his grand mother was very ill. I completely understood this, but then thought that there was no reason why I couldn’t still go. So I sent a private message on facebook just to try and see who was interested. I sent this on Friday of last week. On Sunday I heard from two people saying that they couldn’t go, but hadn’t heard from the other two yet (my friend said he would come from belfast). I had mentioned that I would need collected as my rehab worker was providing the transport and since he couldn’t do it, i had none. Obviously I hadn’t told them that, I just said that either we could share a taxi or I could be collected. I still hadn’t heard any word. I even put up on my status for a while on facebook about it, but still no reply.

By Wednesday night, I was getting pritty impatient. So I emailed and texted the other two people who had to get back to me, and eventually they got back to me saying that they couldn’t go. I was a bit disappointed to be honest. I mean would it have been so hard for them to let me know what was happening? I thought that the longer you gave someone for notice, the more likelyhood of them getting the message and the more likely they would be able to make a decision. They claimed that they “didn’t get the facebook message”. This might have been the case, but I had posted it on my status too!

So I had to let my friend in Belfast know.

I needn’t have felt bad for not going for long though, and I wasn’t disappointed when I learned that the quizz had raised £868! Apparently 130 people had turned up, creating over 15 teams. I thought this was marvellous. There was a raffle on the night too. This means that
The Guide Dogs Gals
Are well within their target for the marathon! Well done everyone!

I hope that the next quizz I want to go to that I can actually get a team! Well done again everyone!

"She’ll Take Them Straight Out Of Your Hands…"

No she won’t.

Today was Ushi’s 6 monthly visit to the vets. Guide dogs recommends that guide dogs are seen every 6 months for a checkup unless they are sick, in which case they would come in earlier if needed. I was also getting her her anual vaxinations.

So yesterday I booked the appointment. I wasn’t sure what the vaxination was that she had to get, so I just said that it was her yearly booster. I booked it for half two today.

I was also going to get her Front line flea treatment and her worming tablet.

So off we went today. I was kind of excited and a bit nervous, as I didn’t know how she would react to the injection or anything.

It was really really warm when we got there. Ushi just was panting away. She sounded like a train! I didn’t think we would need water, though next time I might have to bring some! She got a little bored waiting, so she just lay down.

When the vet called us in, I decided to take her Halty off, so that the vet could look at her nose and eyes and that and in case he wanted her on the examening table. (I mustn’t have actually taken it off, cause when I took her out to spend afterwards it was on but unbuckled!). The vet said that she would be okay on the floor. He listened to her heart, and just had a general look. Everything was grand. He then went off to get the injection. While we were waiting, I heard another dog coming towards us, and started to panick. (I think there was a corridor at the back, and our surgery was kind of open). When the vet was getting her injection ready, Ushi just kind of looked at us. I was expecting a big yelp, but she never made a sound! She just panted lol. Good girl! I am so relieved that she didn’t mind the injection. Thank god! We asked if there would be any affects from it, but the nurse just said that it might make her a bit drouzy. (We pointed out that we wouldn’t really notice the difference with her)! We then took her out to reception and popped her on the scales. She is 33 Kilograms. (Her working weight is 27 Kilos, her optimum weight is 29, but the instructors haven’t minded that she is going up. Back in November she was something like 31.5, and within two weeks had gone up to 32.1 or something, so we cut her food from 200 grams in the morning, to 150 in the morning and evening. From then on she has only gone up gradually. I think the extra will come off once I start working her more than once a day now that it is nicer weather.).

I was then given her worming tablets and her flea treatment. The vet said that I need to worm Ushi every 2 months, and have her front line every 3 months. (I was told by my GDMI and the Dog Care And Welfare Advisor that she needed the worming every 6 months, and the flea treatment once a month from April until about October.). I explained this, but they said it wasn’t right. So I’m a bit confused about that one lol. The vet said that Ushi would take the worming tablet “Just like a treat” and not to feed her them on an empty stomach. They came in individual packets, one in each, and were called something like “Millimax” or something like that.

We left after that.

Well when I fed Ushi I thought that i’d give her her tablets. Well she didn’t “just take them like treats”. I gave her one, and she took it, so I thought she was going to eat it somewhere else (she does this lol with treats and stuff), but no, my girl had to be awkward! Out it came! So dad came over and started to give her it and hold her mouth closed and rub her throat to make it go down. Out it came again. We tried about three or four times, and each time Ushi would manage to spit it out or pretend to swallo. So after about the fifth time of trying, dad practically just chucked them down there. They finally went down! She kept making horrible noises like she was going to be sick. I was expecting her to go down and instead of doing her busy in the garden, I was expecting her to make herself sick! But thankfully the wee minx didn’t which was good. So I think soft cheese or bread and butter with the tablet will have to do next time! I hope they work! Knowing me, Ushi will know what it is though.

I haven’t done the front line yet as I want to wait until the last spend of the night. I really hope I put it on right. I find her skin really hard to feel, so am going to get my sister to make sure it’s on her skin, then fire away!

I’m glad it was a successful visit, and she has no problems! (I knew that anyway but it’s still nice to hear).

Guide Dogs Fundraising Workshop

Last week I got an email from my rehab worker asking me if I wanted to head to a fundraising workshop for Guide Dogs on the 5th April (today). I said that it would probably be alot of sitting around, but decided to go anyway just for the craic. Plus we were meeting up with two other fundraising branches as well as our own.

So at about 20 past 8 this morning, my rehab worker came to collect me. There were two other members who came too. I was the only guide dog owner going though.

We were off to the lovely
Tower Hotel
In Derry.

When we first arrived, I wanted to spend Ushi since it was such a long journey. Unfortunately, the area we found to spend her was up a rather grassy slope. I didn’t wonder too far with her, and she just didn’t seem interested, so we headed into the hotel. When I was taking her to spend, I didn’t have her harness on, so she was kind of rushing quite a bit.

When we arrived in the hotel, there was a guide dog owner from the “Maidin City” branch waiting at reception. (I don’t know why it was called that). Anyway he had a big german sheperd dog called Innis. (I thought when he said what it was called that it was “Alice” lol). He did a big big massive Woof! to say hi. Ushi then saw another two guide dog owners, and got a wee bit excited. We sat down shortly after that.

We were in a big massive room, which was good. I think it was a conference room or something. The dogs had loads and loads of room which was good.

At about half 10, the workshop started. First of all, we did introductions, and then the fundraising manager for Northern Ireland who was running the workshop started to talk.

First of all, we were asked to produce a “CV” of all our skills as a branch. This sounded quite hard, but once we got into it, it was grand. We then gave feedback and each ggroup read out what skills they had.

Next, we were given a sinarrio to work with. We were branch organisers, and we were organising a collection in “Anytown”. We first had to decide what risks there could be with a collection, then how to prevent the risks from happening.

It all seemed like common sense things, like making sure that if there was a guide dog owner collecting, that they were always with someone else, that people collected in a busy place to avoid anything bad happening, that every hour or two the dog and owner were given a break (Our table were the only ones who came up with this one), that the money was collected each hour, that there were at least two people in a designated place such as a church hall counting money at one time, where to store the money after collection etc. It was quite interesting. We learned that dogs need at least a half an hour break as collecting is quite hard on the dog, and can be quite stressful for them.

We then had feedback on that, then we had to fill in a pretend form for planning an event and budgeting it. Our table chose to do a coffee morning. (these weren’t real events). We were joined by another person from the Derry branch as well as us three from our branch. Apparently when we are planning an event, we can only use a hundred £ from our branch, and if it is over that, we can ask our fundraising coordinator for £500, and if it is something really big like a Ball or something, then the fundraising coordinator and manager have to apply to head office over in England or something.

We then learned about targets for different events. This was something called a “business forecast” or something. This was to plan out a budget for the year or something. We only did a bit of that, then it was lunch.

Lunch was a buffet. I had cocktail sausages and chicken thingies. I later found out that they were wings, which would explain the big bones in them! During lunch, my rehab worker took Ushi out for a pee break, which thankfully she did go which was good. During lunch also, we played “Card Bingo”. This is where you get a pack of cards, and whoever has one card left wins. You can use any cards, and you charge for each packet of cards. Obviously we didn’t charge. Apparently it can make a good 4 or 500£ extra!

After lunch, it was back to the “business forecast” thing again.

Afterwards, it was just answering questions, and then what we do with the money when we get it which was what we covered before in the risk assessment thing.

We headed home after that.

Ushi was far more behaved than I expected her to be. She spent most of it sleeping! When she did get up, she just sat around and looked all over the place. She did try to say hi to some other guide dogs, but she wasn’t that excited since we were away from the nearest one. At one point she was lying under the table, but kept trying to slide further and further in, so I had to get someone sitting opposite me to take her lead and bring her round to be again lol.

When we were heading to the car, Ushi really rushed, so we had to keep slowing down. I think she was dying to go to the loo though, so I suppose it can be forgiven. For some reason she did a big busy even though she had done one this morning! Maybe all that sitting around got her going lol. At least she didn’t do it inside which is good.

She has been konked out ever since. She got up for her food, but headed back to bed shortly afterwards. I didn’t work her today though cause I had a feeling she just wouldn’t work lol.

It deffinetly wasn’t as boring as I expected!

Oh by the way, i’m still looking for a team for
The Pub Quizz
On Thursday. If I can’t get a team, then I don’t think i’ll be going :(. Will let you know though!