Free Running Like A Mad Thing

Today I met up with
Jeniffer,
Her guide dog O J, and Jeniffer’s PA. We had been planning to meet up for months and months, and finally we arranged for today. (Jeniffer was going to a dog training thing tomorrow, so was able to meet me today as she had to go up for something anyway).

So me, dad, my sister and Ushi all headed off to get the 10 o’clock train up to Belfast.

We were going to head round town first, then meet Jeniffer at around 1 o’clock. The first place was to get Ushi spent when we got into Belfast though. She did a Pee, but we were walking along by the river when she needed to do a solid spend. (I don’t know what it is about water, but any time we’re near it, she needs to spend! A bit strange). Anyway once all that was taken care of, we headed on into town.

We were going to head into
Saint Georgees Market
But figured we wouldn’t have time and that it might be too tempting for Ushi lol.

After we were finished around town, we headed down to a restaurant called
Rubies Dinor
Which is just outside the RNIB where Jeniffer was buying some things beforehand. We decided to have lunch first, before heading off for a free run for the dogs.

We agreed to meet outside, as I thought that Ushi might be hyper meeting O J, as she kind of does like to greet new dogs that she is allowed to greet intheuziastically. Plus there are tables outside, so we decided to eat in the sun since it was a nice day.

Well the dogs did bound about a bit, but after 5 minutes, they just lay down and completely ignored each other. Good dogs!

I had a chicken fillit burger with chips and an orange juice. (I nearly spilt it though as it was a shiney table, and I had just poured it but was holding the glass as well. Luckily a napkin got most of it.

Jeniffer and her PA had a burger called “Boss hob” or something like that, and we both thought it sounded rather sexy lol.

I love Jeniffer’s harness! It is like our
A Type harness
I mentioned in my last post, only the actual harness is waaaay smaller than Ushi’s, doesn’t have to be built up, and is made of a really really light fabric. The harness handle is a bit fat, but it looked awesome! Compared to my big massive one. Jeniffer couldn’t believe how wide mine was either!

After lunch, we were off to Botannic gardens to free run the dogs. Jeniffer had mentioned about us working the dogs, and the two of them following each other. I decided to try it to see what would happen, and apart from Ushi rushing a bit like she does when she is working somewhere new, she was fab! Jeniffer’s PA stayed in front, and directed us. Ushi still worked well, and at a couple of points we managed to be leading.

I wouldn’t use this all the time, but it’s useful for having no sighted guide, for example, or if you were in a croud and just wanted to work your dog. You can’t really direct the dog as such as you don’t know where you’re going, but if the dog is following a person and they stay close behind, then you can use it. I told Ushi to go up to her kerbs though just so that she was working a bit. I thought it was fab though as even though I didn’t know where I was going, I could walk like I did, and could really put my trust in the dog. I do think though that you do need to make sure the dog and the person who the dog is following, do stop at kerbs, as the dogs would probably just walk on if they were following someone else.

We spent the two dogs during our walk, and O J decided that sniffing Ushi was more exciting than spending!

Botannic gardens is only about 15 minutes walk away from the RNIB which is good. We were going to get the train if it was going to be complicated, but decided not to as it was only a short distance away.

When we got in, we kept walking until we found a big patch of grass where there were no people, and they could have a good bomb about.

I first of all did my obedience, and then let Ushi off, and O J was let off too. They both went straight to a tree and had a huge sniff, before racing around after each other and having a ball.

At one point they were playing with each other and making little playful growly noises. We got Jeniffer’s PA to take some pictures on my phone, but I need my sister to describe them for me before I put them up here. I’m not sure if i’ll post the pictures separately or just add them to this post. I think i’ll do them in a separate post.

Every time I called for Ushi, O J was right at my side bouncing about like a loon. I nearly gave him a bit of Ushi’s food as that’s what I sometimes use for treats to keep some of her weight off, but then I realised it wasn’t Ushi.

They had great fun, and I sometimes called Ushi back just for her to chill. She and O J just walked about after they were tired, and Ushi lay down at one point. So I think we really tired them out.

We met my dad then and we walked down a bit to get the dogs some water. We sat and chatted for ages and then we worked them back to where Jeniffer and O J were staying for the night. Again Ushi was following O J.

It was a great day and so awesome that the two dogs got on so well. It’s so good running with another guide dog owner knowing that their dog won’t attack your dog or be agressive. Mind you, they wouldn’t be a very good guide dog if that was the case.

Thanks again Jeniffer, and hopefully we can do it a a lot more often! Who knows, we might get Ushi swimming at some point!

We headed off to the train station after that. Unfortunately the day didn’t really end that well. It could have been worse.

We were getting on at Great Victoria Street station. Unfortunately it was a very old train that was being used, as one of the new trains that usually serves that route had broken down or something and would be starting from Central station instead. So to get from Great Victoria street to Central we had to use the older train. The really old trains have quite a big gap. I went to get Ushi on first, but unfortunately she slipped off. I just felt her coming off. She hit the platform pritty hard but seemed okay, but she was a little panicked. My sister told me later on that the gap was so wide that my little girl nearly went under. God knows what state she would have been confidence wise if that had happened. The poor wee girl. I dread to think what might have happened. The train wouldn’t have been able to move of course. Thankfully she didn’t go under. I would have totally panicked if that was the case!

My dad then went on first and got Ushi on. Unfortunately I went to step, but didn’t quite make the step, and my right leg went in between the gap. I was about to put my other foot up too, but when my right foot went down, I must have stepped forward and the other went too. Luckily it was getting on the train, as there was a platform to support me behind me. It would have been much worse getting off.

I now have a pritty swollen lump on my leg as well as a bruise. Luckily dad took hold of the lead when I fell, and that made poor Ushi panick a bit more when she saw me fall. The conductor came running and got me on safely. It was deffinetly scarey! When getting off to change at Central, i got my sister to take Ushi, while I got off first with dad.

Thankfully Ushi wasn’t hurt, and I think i’ll live. The conductor on the train said that they were discontinuing the older trains so that was some good news. He said it would be a few months though.

I am just so so so so so so so thankful that Ushi and I will live, and that Ushi wasn’t hurt. The new trains are much better as it’s just like stepping on and off a bus as the gap isn’t that big, and no dog or human could fit between the train and platform. God knows what would have happened if I went on the train on my own. Doesn’t bare thinking about. Maybe using the trains independently will have to wait a while.

Ushi is lying sleeping now, so I don’t think it was too traumatic for her. She was able to get on the train we had to change at so that was good. She might be a little more reluctant if we get another old train though.

Apart from that incident though, it was a fabulous day! I’m so glad we finally got to meet, and I hope that we meet much more often! I was surprised at how wirey his coat is to Ushi’s and surprised at how much you can feel his muscles! He’s not skinny, but that’s just how he is built. My sister says that his head looks to big for his body lol.

I can’t wait to read Jeniffers post!

Advertisements

This Time Last Year….Meeting "Ushi"

On this day exactly, I met Ushi for the first time. I can remember what happened exactly.

I was heading for an eye matter meeting. My rehab worker would have taken me up to it, and that was what he did, but he had emailed me a couple of days ago saying that if I wanted I could have a walk with a dog as a guide dog mobility instructor was in the area. I had debated about putting the email up here, but i’ve decided that that was personal. I just thought that it was going to be another walk, but little did I know I would
Meet such an awesome dog

On that walk, I was using a “A type” or “Top fitting” harness. I found that harness hard to feel the tention with, and today I am using a “B type” or “Side fitting” harness. (I was trying to find a link on google to describe what each one was, but couldn’t). Basically the “Top fitting/A type” harness has the “D” rings on the top of the harness, and the handle is much straighter and narrower. It sits on the top of the harness I think. The “B type/side fitting” harness is much wider with its “D” rings on the side, and the handle has a bend and is much wider. It is much more comfortable!

Today was spent just doing the usual. I’m just back from a walk with my sister to one of our local chip shops, and the girls in there were amazed about how wonderful this dog was!

That first day I met Ushi, I didn’t really get excited at all. Sure I enjoyed the walk, but thought that it was “Just a walk” and that i’d be waiting for at least a few more months.

On Tuesday i’ll recap about how two instructors came out, and we did a walk around our local area to see how I found the “B type” harness. (Two days later it’s the matching visit!).

I hope you all don’t find my recaps boring, and there’ll be plenty more to come during class and training. I hope you enjoy!

To read all of these posts, click on the “Last year” label, where you’ll find two posts already.

I’m off now to get ready to meet
Jeniffer
And her dog in belfast. It should be a good day! I’ll let you know how I get on.


The Antrim Agricultural Show

I was off to another fundraising adventure today.

I was off to the Antrim Agricultural show. I was going to go off to another show in Antrim at the end of June, but we had a national collection on the 24th, (I didn’t take part in that), and the show would have been on the 25th and the 26th. The branch organiser had decided that it would have been too much for us all to do so much.

I wasn’t leaving until 20 past 1, so I had a very lazy morning. I did one walk before we left, as I’ve learnt that Ushi won’t really work after a tiring day, such as fundraising.

So when the treasurer of the branch collected me, we put Ushi in the boot of her car. (Don’t worry-it’s one of those estate cars with loads and loads of room for a dog). I’ve noticed that getting into this car Ushi is quite reluctant to get into this car. She gets into the guide dogs cars, but not this one. So I kind of have to put my knee up on the boot, and say “Big jump”. She does eventually get up in though, but it does take a bit of persuasion.

When we arrived, we were straight on grass. So I took the opportunity to let Ushi spend, but no luck. So I just walked in. (We were parked quite a way away from the main gate).

There was lots and lots going on. There were little Beegle pups all in a pen, horses, Ice cream vans, burger vans, tractors, ponie rides, and all the usual other things you’d find at an agrecultural show. There were also lots of other dogs (on leads thankfully), which my friend had sent me a text about giving me the heads up since she was there earlier than me.

So anyway we were just walking along the grass, and then I think the excitement might have overtook Ushi a little, because she spent. In a way i’m not surprised, because there were so many other things going on, not to mention it was all on grass, and I think some other dogs had gone before too. I always hate when she does that in harness (it’s thankfully rare, and is only in situations like this that she would go), but I still don’t like it. At least it was outside which was good. So after we dealt with that, we wondered on over to where the Guide dogs Exhibition vehicle was. (Remember that was the vehicle that we have been given by England to see if we will actually use it?).

Let me describe this vehicle. I didn’t look inside it until later, but i’ll do the describing now. This is basically a 30 foot long bus. The whole side of the bus opens out to reveal a set of four steps that go up into it. Inside there is a TV which shows informational DVDS about guide dogs, posters all around the wall, a “Leaflet” wall which has different leaflet information, a bench which could probably seat at least 10 people, and I think there is one on either side. On the roof there is a big “Guide dogs” flag. The back also comes out about 8 feet, and I think this is like a Markee type thing.

The whole vehicle costs basically the cost of a guide dog (£50,000 to support it throughout its working life). So a pritty expensive piece of kit! We didn’t know if we would get it as someone from Guide dogs had to learn how to drive it.

Anyway back to the main event.

We were sitting with the vehicle just behind us. Ushi was finding it really hard to settle. She kept sniffing the grass, then decided at one point to have a little roll around at my feet before finally settling down for a bit. I don’t know what was up. Most of the time she was good, but something happened at one point which really irked me. I’m probably making a big deal out of nothing, but i’ll explain.

Ushi at one point decided to walk behind my chair. The treasurer took her lead and I thought she would give me it back. But instead she gave her to another volunteer (I know this volunteer), but that’s not the point. The treasurer then said to me “X is taking Ushi for a walk just to calm her down a bit”. Number 1, Ushi is my dog, and number 2, yes while she was finding it hard to settle I was able to manage her. I explained that I didn’t want that, but the woman was like “she’s fine she’s not taking her very far”. I still said that I wanted Ushi here, but decided to go off and get a burger since my attempts to get the volunteer to come back weren’t really working. When I came back the woman was like “I can’t see X anywhere”. This was really really bad. Luckily she did come back, and it turned out they only went on a 5 minute walk, but that really isn’t the point! When I was about to eat my burger the volunteer was like “I’ll hold her while you eat your burger”. No you bloody well won’t! I just explained politely that I would tie Ushi to my chair leg and that was what I did. Ushi then lay under a table where she could get some shade.

I wouldn’t have minded at all if the volunteer had said to me if I wanted her to take Ushi for a walk, but she didn’t. (I probably would have gone with her anyway). I would have had control of Ushi. In the environment we were in, it was very risky in my oppinion to take her. This volunteer didn’t know how to control Ushi at all, she probably wouldn’t have known how the half check collar works, what to do if Ushi made a mad rush for something, while the other animals were in pens Ushi was very very pully both going in and out of the show, there were kids running round with ice cream, lots of noises, other dogs, and just general mayhem. Plus the fact that I didn’t know where she was being taken too!

It turned out it wasn’t even 5 minutes, but it just really got to me. I think it was the fact that she did it without asking my permission which was a huge no no.

Okay it might have looked like she was really unsettled and that I couldn’t control her, but I knew what to do with her.

I didn’t say anything of course, but it was just the thoughtlessness. I’ve probably made it sound really horrible, but I thought it was polite to ask in the first place. Grrrrrar’r’r’r’r’r!

Anyway…..

We had loads of little kids coming up to us to try and win a dog from the Tumbola, and of course to say Hi to Ushi! Normally with the Tumbola there are a few people interested, but I felt this was the main part of our table as there seemed to be a constant stream coming up. Maybe that was because I was positioned at the Tumbola side. Loads of people won cuddly guide dogs too.

For the last half an hour or so, me and a couple of others just sat in the exhibition vehicle. I thought this was a really useful place for dog and owner to chill, as there wasn’t anyone bothering Ushi for a start, and it was cooler too. She just lay down right at the top of the steps lol. While a few people did come up to see us, it wasn’t as busy as the outside.

The only thing about the vehicle is that if it rained you would have no shelter, as it only is covered when everything is put away.

It was a beautiful day, and compared to the
The Ballymena Show
It was a hell of alot busier and the weather was nicer.

I only wish I had put Ushi’s halty on, but was assured by the treasurer that “you’ll not need it since it’s not that far from the car”. It might not have been that far, but there was so so so much going on. So it wasn’t really one of Ushi’s better days, and for our next fundraising activity (a “Bark In The Park” which is on the 6th of August)or something, i am not going to listen to what the treasurer has to say. At the end of the day it is me on the other side of the lead, so I need to do what is comfortable for me. If that means putting on the Halty, then so be it. (I usually take Ushi’s harness off when we’re settled a bit and don’t usually put it back on).

So apart form my little incident earlier, it was a good day, topped off by the cracking weather!

Ushi can you please try to be a bit more settled next time, please?

I’ll let you know how the next fundraising thing goes (If you are all still interested!).


Dear Ushi

I wrote this on Facebook the other day and thought i’d share it. I know i’ll be recapping my experiences from meeting Ushi right up to qualification and beyond, but I thought i’d write this little tribute to Ushi. I hope you won’t find my recaps boring, but I aim to post once a day during the time I was on class. Next week i’ll write about meeting Ushi, but for today here is my tribute to my girl. Enjoy!

I know this is probably soppy, but I don’t really care.

Dear Ushi

Where do I start? As it is nearly a year since I first met you (28 July) although I didn’t officially start training until the 30th August (I was matched on the 4th August), and didn’t qualify until the 29th September, I thought i’d write about how much the last year has been worth having you in it. Now is as good a time as any to celibrate this.

When I first met you on the 28 July, I thought it would be quite a while until I got the word that I would be matched. So I didn’t get too excited as I was told that it was “Just a walk”. Little did I know that a week later I would be told that I was matched to you after a matching visit, and that we would start class on my birthday (30 August).

Those first couple of walks were a little bit quick, but that was because you didn’t know the area, and I was a totally new person for you. I am pleased to say that on our matching visit you walked at your normal speed, and I wasn’t so nervous either.

I still wasn’t sure whether to get excited or not in case it didn’t really work or whatever.

On the 30th August, I was very nervous. I was still worrying about me doing the right thing, and hoped I would remember everything I was going to be taught. I was a little excited too.

When you were braught into my room that first night (just for half an hour), you stood in the middle of the floor and whined because your instructor had left you with this crazy new owner. You then hid under the table until she came back. I didn’t want to step on you so I crawled around the floor until I found you!

The next day was when the real work began. We spent the morning building our harnesses and finding out what each bit of equipment we got was and what it was for. That afternoon, you were braught into me. You didn’t whine this time, but stood in front of me for a while while your bed and things were braught in.

That first night I remember measuring out your food a few times until I got it right. I couldn’t believe how quickly the food was gone once I gave it to you.

You were a stubborn little madam that first night, and it took me and your instructor at least 20 minutes before you would spend. You just stood in that run looking at us.

I panicked the next morning when I didn’t put water in your food, but you don’t even need water in it now.

When we did our first harness walk the next day, I hung way back and you ended up walking me into a bin! I thought that we would fall off the kerb if I was up beside you lol.

When you let out a low growl when spending one night, I worried that it was a really bad thing, and thought that something really bad had happened, I was reassured that you just saw a car in the dark and didn’t know quite what it was. You didn’t do it again and you only do it when you’re asleep.

When you pulled me off my feet nearly on our first free run, I wondered if we would get along, and would every free run be as bad. (You were just excited about going for a run, and thankfully i now have a Halty which stops you pulling so I have more control of you for such times).

When you did your first spend for me after three days on class I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I didn’t care what else that day had in store, but the fact that you had spent without your instructor was awesome!

When we got home from class, I barely moved from my computer chair for the first day and the night before just in case you needed anything or got stressed. When I went out to town on that Sunday and came back to find that you were in one piece and nothing had been chewed up, I knew you’d be grand being left alone.

If you went out of my room I wanted you to have your bells on, and thought you might escape if I didn’t take you down to the garden on a lead. Now I just let you wear your normal collar, and wonder around most of the time. I also let you spend by yourself, as it stops me standing in something unpleasant!

After we qualified, the problems really started.

When you started stopping and would barely move from my front door, I was really worried in case I had done something terrible. I now know that you were just bored, and still will stop today, but I just tell you to get on with it, and most of the time you will after a bit of protesting. But when you started to stop, I wanted to give you back at one point because we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

When you decided to spend in a shopping centre shortly after I got you, there really wasn’t a whole big enough for me to crawl into. Thankfully that was the only time you did it, and that was because you held it in. Now I make sure you spend before we go anywhere, and you don’t just lie in the sun! That experience also taught me that I must always give you as many opportunities to go as possible, to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

When we took you to Portrush, we discovered how much you don’t like water. I used to dread taking you out in the rain, as it was a huge battle to get you going, but dare I say it, you have got slightly better now in the rain. You will still dawdle, but at least we can move and you don’t put your head down and look really depressed.

When you saw a blue bottle, you got your self into such a mess that I thought I was gonna have to call the vet. Now you still pant now, but I don’t pay you attention, and you soon learn that it’s not gonna eat you.

When you experienced snow for the first time, you wanted to rush through it. When I nearly slid on the ice, you stopped and looked at me as if you were asking if I was alright.

When I had to correct you for the first time, I felt like a witch. Thankfully I don’t have to correct you as much, and you soon get the message if you’re doing something I don’t like.

I remember the first time my sister hoovered up your hair, and you thought it was gonna get you. You came right up to me and glued yourself to me. You still do that now, but I don’t pay attention to you, so you go and sulk somewhere.

Sometimes I wonder if you are bonded to me, but the way you follow me about tells me that you are.

I love the way you whine whenever you get something like a dental stick or a carrot. You used to do it even with ice cubes! You used to do it when we first worked together (I called it a moan), but thankfully you don’t do that, but still do it with carrots and dental sticks.

Even though you are a stubborn little girl, I hope for many more years with you. I hope you don’t get bored and that I find loads of new routes for you. I have no idea what the future holds for us, to be honest. I hope we are well on the way to having a great bond together.

On class I was so afraid in case I broke you lol.

I remember one day I didn’t feed you until 20 past nine, when I normally feed you between 7 or 8. Of course you just lay on your bed and couldn’t care less! I felt so guilty! I have never let that happen and the latest I feed you in the mornings is around half 8 but mostly it’s between 7 and 8.

I can’t think of what else to write, but I will finish by saying that all these experiences weren’t exactly in the right order. I would just like to say thank you my stubborn little girl. We have been on quite a journey over the past year, and I hope that we are together for at least another 8 or 9 years. You are always wagging your tail, and have plenty of ways of showing your affection. You just love working, and even though I sometimes have to get quite firm with you, we are still learning every day. I hope we will have many more experiences, and that your “Testing” stage is over. I am always having to teach you new routes, and addapt what I am doing to keep you happy.

I love you little Ushers. I must take you out for a walk, but here’s to many more experiences!

I’ve probably missed something, but I think this is long enough already.

It deffinetly was tough for us to get used to each other, but I think we both know how each other works now.

You probably think i’m a mad wee thing when I talk to you about our day, but I don’t care.

May your tail continue wagging, and I hope you will let me know if I am doing something wrong. I sometimes correct you to discover that you are actually working me around something on the ground that I haven’t noticed.

I love how forgiving you are. If I step on your paw, for instance, you don’t mind, and just continue to walk along.

Thank you again for being such a wonderful guide, and In some ways, I think we are a perfect match, both in speed of our walks and our personalities! You are a wee star.

Keep wagging!


Good Enough For A Meal?

About a week ago, I ordered Ushi a
Kong Wobbler
From Amazon. A Kong Wobbler is a plastic kong, but has sand or something in the bottom to stop it falling over. It’s sort of like a
Weeble
If you remember them. (They were cool though). The dog has to wobble it about so that the food comes out a little whole in the side of it. It keeps their mind active whilst being fun.

I ordered a large Wobbler thinking it wouldn’t be that big. It was massive! The first time I put a little bit of her food in it, she whined at it and would only play with it when I sat on the floor with it. Now though she will carry it around and will play with it a little more, but she will still whine! (This doesn’t surprise me since she’ll do it at carrots, dental sticks, and sometimes ice cubes). I have know idea why she does it but i think it’s just part of her wee personality. When she does play with it though it takes her quite a while to get the food out, and it sounds like she’s going mad with it.

I have heard though that you can put a dogs meal into it. I would rather do this, since i am still wanting to get Ushi’s
Extra Weight off
her. (That’s under the heading “Side note” in that post).

I would be interested in a few things:

• Would the Kong Wobbler make Ushi develop a twisted stomach? (I would never forgive myself). She’s not a gulper, but whilst she doesn’t run around with the wobbler, she’ll wibble it and attack it.
• Since it takes her quite a while to get the little out of the wobbler that I put in would it be worth her having a full meal in it and could it cause some problems if she was wobbling it? (If i was going to give her a meal, I would probably give her dinner since at breakfast time I practically have to drag her off her bed).
• Would she get frustrated and just not eat?
• Would she spend afterwards?
• Should I just use it ocasionally since she is grand eating out of her bowl?

Thanks for any feedback. I’m just looking for some feedback from people who might know about a Wobbler or who have used one.

Thanks alot!

I managed to screw up this post lol and remove all my links, but lets hope they’re still there when I post! I think I fixed it anyway.


Awesome Service

I have been rather bored at night lately, and decided to ask some of my friends if they wanted to come out for a meal tonight. So I sent out a few texts on Monday or Tuesday, but was disappointed by the amount of people who “had other things on” or who “had no money”. I know that this does happen, but it seemed to be every time I asked that this was happening. To be honest, I was feeling rather down about it. All I wanted was a night out! I was thinking that maybe a meal out all the time was boring, but luckily two of my friends did decide to go, so I was a bit happier.

I was expecting them to not go at the last minute, but they were awesome and did come.

So I booked the table today. I wasn’t sure whether to take Ushi, but decided whilst booking the table that I would. When I mentioned the guide dog, the woman who I booked it with sounded a bit off. So I was kind of expecting trouble.

I booked the taxi for about 7 o’clock.

I was ready in good time as always. I braught along my Guide Dog owner identity card that we were given on class, just in case we were refused or anything. (I always bring it with me if it’s somewhere new we are going).

We were off to
The Countryman Inn

First of all the taxi driver was totally awesome and parked right in front of the door to the place. He even said to me that the bar part was to the left as I went through the door and the restaurant was to the right. So once I stepped out of the car, All I had to do was to take Ushi’s harness, tell her to “Find the door” and we were in. In the doorway she sort of paused, but I just told her straight on, and was imediatly met by a lovely waitress who took me straight to a table. I got Ushi settled, and my friend arrived. The other friend arrived shortly after that.

The waitress then came back and asked if I was okay with the menu, or would I like it read. I asked her if she would mind reading it and she didn’t mind at all. She even went as far as to tell me what came with what dish and what each dish had in it. I thought this was a lovely jesture.

After she had taken our order, she came back and even asked if I would like to have my meal cut up. (I ordered Chicken Googions and chips). I politely declined, but again, a nice jesture.

When our food arrived, my glass and plate was pointed out to me, and the woman put my chips on to my plate so I could find them easier (It was one of those little bowl things that chips often come in). She then asked if Ushi would like some water. I hadn’t braught some with me as I didn’t think she’d need it.

Me and my friends had a good long chat and catch up during our meals.

Ushi got up a few times, but she wasn’t disruptive which was good. She was just looking for a better place to lie down. I had to keep moving her though as she decided to sprawl out and there was like a bar thing which held the table up. Her lead kept getting caught around it. She eventually settled under my seat though was good.

The woman kept coming over to offer Ushi water and make sure we were okay.

The best thing happened though once I had phoned for my taxi. I thanked the woman for her wonderful service, and said that I was a little nervous of bringing Ushi. The woman said that we were welcome any time and that it was her pleasure to help us.

My friends were leaving, so we all went outside to wait for my taxi (Including the waitress)! She even made sure I was in safely and all.

It was a great night, and makes me want to bring Ushi again. I know it was only small things, but I thought that she was so nice, and she didn’t have to do the things that she did at all. I thought it was extremely kind of her. She wasn’t patronising or anything, just acted natural. I even heard someone saying “It’s nice to have a dog in here for once!”.

I love when you get service like that! Thanks once again to my friends, and the staff at the Countryman Inn, and Arrow Taxis who provided the transport. It was much appreciated!

I now have a happy sleeping doggy now :).


Destination, Furmination!

I couldn’t think of a better title lol.

About a month ago, my friend was telling me about a tool called a Furminator for helping to groom a dog. It sounded interesting, but was rather expensive.

I bit the bullet and decided to buy one. (They are from £11 I think on
Amazon,
But something like £50 if I baught it directly from the Furminator company, whic is a bit expensive
!).

I heard from some guide dog owners that some dogs didn’t like the Furminator, but thought i’d try it out anyway. I wasn’t sure whether to get the medium or large, but went for the
Furminator Dog De Shedding Tool Medium

When it came, i wasn’t sure what to think. It basically is a bit bigger and wider than a razor you would use for shaving. It has a rubber handle, and a guard on the comb part. The comb part is basically like a blade. I don’t think it is though, as it feels like a comb with the teeth really really small and close together. It also comes with instructions.

Before using it, I let Ushi sniff it with the guard on. This was because i wanted to make it as positive as possible for her, and since it was a new tool I wanted her to know what it was before using it. I then practiced how to hold it and used it on her back still with the guard on. The last thing I wanted to do was to hurt her.

I went through our normal grooming routine at first, which is to check her over physically to make sure there are no abnormal smells or anything. I then used the
Zoom Groom
Which is shaped kind of like a fish and has little rubber spikes (they don’t hurt the dog as they are rubber). This gives the dog kind of like a massage while removing the dead hair.

I then used the Furminator. I started at Ushi’s head, and did a long gentle stroke down her back a couple of times. I did her sides too but didn’t spend as much time on them. (She saw a fly unfortunately when I was using it, so got a wee bit panty but let me use it on her. I tried it again on Saturday night, and she didn’t mind it at all.).

After using the Furminator, I used a comb, a dandy brush, and finally polished her coat off with a wet Shammy.

I didn’t think much came off the Furminator at first, but then again, I thought about my comb too. I think there is quite alot that does come off though as when I wasn’t using it there were big clumps coming out. (Ushi is a short haired dog anyway).

I wouldn’t use the Furminator more than once or twice a month I’d say using it more than that could probably not be good for the coat. At the start, I was very hesitant to use it, but now I just use it like i’d use my comb. You use it like you would use a safety razor for shaving, only in long strokes down the body going the way the hair grows. I wouldn’t use it on the tale area though or the legs.

The Furminator is very easy to clean-just run it under the tap when washing your other grooming tools. (I use a bowl of water with baby shampoo in it to wash my brushes).

I am so glad I decided to get one. They seem so useful, and seem to make the coat more softer than usual! I continue to groom throughout the month with my regular tools though.

I didn’t mean for this to sound like a review lol, but i suppose that’s what it is.

I hope you have enjoyed it!