Two Great TalksPosted: February 9, 2012
Today I took part in two talks for guide dogs. The first was at the Ballymena Baptist Church and the other was in Colleraine.
The Ballymena Baptist Church
I knew about this talk for quite a while but to be honest i was quite nervous about it. It was for the over 50s and i was expecting lots of
But thankfully all the comments were nice. I was so relieved.
So the branch organiser picked me up at about half 10. I let Ushi walk out to the car without her lead because the car was parked on my driveway.
We arrived at the church shortly after and were met by a lovely woman who showed us where the main meeting room was. From what i could gather it seemed like a big church. The woman explained that the club didn’t know what would happen each week so that they couldn’t pick and choose what they went to. They didn’t even know what hymn they would sing until the words came up on a projector. I think they wanted us to stand when we talked but the branch organiser said that we would prefer to sit as it would be easier than trying to find my way over leads and stuff.
The members started to arrive soon after we got settled. There sounded to be quite alot of people coming in so i was feeling a little nervous. There was nothing we could do about it though.
We were first introduced once everyone had arrived, then they all sang a him. The pastor then came and said a few words before the branch organiser talked.
She talked about all the facts and figures then handed it over to me.
I started to talk but alot of them couldn’t hear me so they said i would have to use the Microphone. I wasn’t too keen on that but just talked anyway. I just talked about my experiences of being a guide dog owner. I talked abou the training and how it is me that tells the dog when to cross the road etc.
The branch organiser talked for another little bit then we answered some questions.
The pastor then got up to read a few passages from the bible and then explained the meaning of it. He then said that Ushi kept looking at him and it panicked him a bit lol. I said that the most he would get would be a lick but he said he didn’t believe me. He appologised but i told him it was grand. He then sang another hymn before finishing with a prayer.
The lady who had invited us then handed me and the branch organiser a little gift bag each as well as a cheque for £35 for guide dogs. I thought it was a lovely gesture. (Any talks we do are just talks and we don’t expect any donations or gifts).
Ushi got really excited as there was a bone in the gift bag for her. I got chocolates and a card.
As soon as we got home and i opened the plastic she ran around before collapsing with it and whining. She wouldn’t come down when my rehab worker showed up lol because she wanted her bone. She treats it like a bone i think because it is shaped like a bone so isn’t so strange to her.
It was a great morning! I’m glad i had no bad comments!
The Macular Disease Society
My rehab worker phoned me yesterday afternoon to ask if i would like to come to the Macular disease society in Colleraine for a talk. He wanted to get an older person but there weren’t any guide dog owners available. So he asked if i wanted to do it so i said yes.
He picked me up at about half 12. Ushi didn’t want to come down because she wanted to play with her bone she got from the earlier talk.
There was a woman in the car who is the “community engagement officer” for guide dogs in Northern Ireland. She will be taking over the talks to potential applicants and will be involved more in the community. She wanted to observe how a talk would be done.
When we got to Colleraine we got some lunch first before heading into the RNIB building where the talk was being held. Unfortunately when we got out of the car i hadn’t got her harness on as we were in the middle of the road just by the way the car was parked. Ushi pulled a little but whatever way she pulled she must have pulled a muscle in my arm. So i put her harness on as soon as we were off the road and she was okay then. I used to put her halty on getting out of the car but i just carry it now as i don’t think i need it.
There were about 10 people we were talking too altogether. We talked about
The myths of guide dog ownership
Which is usually the way these talks go with my rehab worker to potential applicants for guide dogs.
We were presented with a box of chocolates each and Ushi got a packet of what seems like dried chicken. I think this should be okay as she won’t get it too often and it doesn’t have any bones since it is dried. I think because it is for dogs she shouldn’t think it is human food. I hope anyway! I also heard that they were going to make a donation to us!
I would like to thank both groups for their kindness and i hope they found it useful having us there.
Our last stop of the day was for the engagement officer to visit one of the social care trusts to mee the rehab workers there and just to say hello since some of the referrals come from social services to guide dogs.
So it was a busy but enjoyable day. Than you again to the two groups.