The RSPBNI Championships

At our branch meeting on Wednesday the community fundraiser pointed out to us that there was a
Pipe band compitition
That we could collect for. Dungannon didn’t have a branch, so the money would be split between branches who attended. So me and the branch organiser decided to go.

So at 10 o’clock me and Ushi hit the road. I was worried about how Ushi would react to the bands, but she was grand.

The woman who organised the event said we could walk around and ask for support. We asked once but then decided that we wouldn’t. When we first started fundraising, we were told not to shake our tins, not to ask for money, and not to shove our buckets into peoples faces. All it would have taken would have been us doing it to the wrong person, and the whole organisation could get into alot of trouble. We did walk around though and met the derry branch organiser and his dog Inis, and another guide dog owner who’s dog was called Katy.

Ushi wasn’t bothered by the bands at all and wanted to move closer to them. One passed in front of us but she didn’t move at all. She did want to play with the tassles on the pipes though. She was fascinated by the green on the Saint Johns ambulance uniform though.

We collected until three o’clock but the contest went on til 5.

It was a good day but i don’t think we made that much. Better than nothing i suppose. And at least we can go to future events like that and i won’t have to worry about ushi and the pipes.

A Busy Couple Of Days

Me and Ushi have had a couple of busy days. All good fun though.

On Wednesday it was our branch meeting, which thankfully didn’t kick off between certain people but we thought it would at one point.

Yesterday we were invited to a talk held by the
Dogs trust
It was a summer scheme held by the
Hope centre
Which is an organisation that help kids who’s parents are drug and alcohol users. Or rather it helps kids who’s parents are abusing drugs.

So at about half 1, the branch organiser collected me and Ushi to head out to the dogs trust. We weren’t sure what the kids would be like given their background, but they were grand!

When we arrived, we went into the reception building first as we didn’t know where to go. Some volunteers had come in to walk some of the dogs, and there was a greyhound who happened to be in front of us. So Ushi got quite excited about that.

We had to go past the kennels to get to the barn which is used for training the dogs. So there was a major sniff fest by Ushi. The people from the dogs trust said i could let Ushi off her lead which was a good idea since she was very unsettled and i had her at the end of her lead. I got to hold a little puppy called Lotty who was a shitzu before we started our talk. It just lay in my lap. Ushi started making little weird sounds at the pup. Sort of like a whine but not a whine.

Our talk was only meant to last half an hour but we ran on for another half an hour lol. We got presented with a dogs trust mug and bag. And a rubber bracelet.

After that, the kids were taken out to do agility with some dogs from the dogs trust. I thought this was a great thing for the kids to do, and thankfully the weather was nice for them.

Today me and my rehab worker went down to a place called Lusty beg in Fermanagh. The family have two twins, with one being sighted and one being blind. They wanted to meet someone who was a twin with the same situation as theirs. My rehab worker suggested i would go and i said yes. If i could help in some way, then i would go. The little girls family were interested in applying for a
Buddy dog
But it was felt that the dog wouldn’t be much benifit since the family have two cocker spaniels of their own.

So at about 8 o’clock me and ushi were picked up. We had to stop off at another guide dog owners house first, in a place called Lack.

The lady had a black lab called Hester. Ushi and her had a great time running around, chasing each other and just being silly dogs. Ushi was exhausted afterwards!

We then headed down to Lusty beg to meet the family of the little girl. There was also a social worker from the local trust there too.

The little girl doesn’t like furry things, and doesn’t like walking on grass. I apparently didn’t like that either. She will touch their cocker spaniels, but it is on her own terms. She is very into music so she has lots of musicle toys.

The parents are very keen for her to learn braille, and have got her a perkins which i am so jealous of! It is much smaller than mine and is lighter.

We stayed talking for ages and i hope it helped a little. I have given my contact number in case she needs to contact me. I’m so glad the little girl is so independent.

Before we left Lusty Beg, we stopped to get a photo of me and Ushi with the ferry that takes you around the island behind us.
Me and Ushi with the ferry that goes across Lusty Beg Island in the background

Finally we headed off to Omagh. There is a 17 year old who is on the waiting list for a guide dog. She had some vision. We chatted for a while before she went out with her cane for a mobility lesson. Me and Ushi stayed and talked to her mum for a while. By this time Ushi was more than ready to go home.

It was a busy couple of days, and we were off on our travels again on Saturday, but i’ll write about that in a separate post. I hope i helped a little with the little girl.