Saying The Right Things

Yesterday i met with the minister for regional development to discuss talking busses.

In 2011, there was a pilot of audio visual information on one of the metro busses. It seemed to be very successful. However the minister never made contact himself and didn’t want a meeting until yesterday. We were very skepticle and hoped the minister wouldn’t just say what we wanted to hear so we’d leave.

Well it went so so. He was saying about how it is a priority but that there is a new systim coming in next year. It’s called “bus track” and it’s about reviewing how the information about busses is displayed. They were talking about this app for an iphone that would let you know when a bus was there. I pointed out that’s fab but what about people who don’t have iphones? Or what if you lost reception or you forgot your phone?

Apparently it would cost 1 million pounds to put the audio visual equipment on busses, and it would be harder to put it on the ulster busses. I said that could they not put a microphone on the dashboard of the bus and have the driver announce each stop? But the minister said that that had been tried but it would put too much pressure on the drivers. Our campaignes manager suggested that they could apply to a fund called the Better bus area fund which was alocated to bus companies to help get the equipment installed.

The minister has arranged a meeting again in three months, so i’m not too sure what that means. If wifi is available on busses, why not audio visual information? Apparently it’s the law for it to be on trains, but not busses. I said it had to be a priority and the minister was like “oh you aren’t going to let it slip ar eyou?”.

It would be a real shame if we didn’t get it. Whilst i’ve had good experiences, i know others haven’t. We’re a bit behind the times since a lot of england has it! Also in 3 months a new minister might be elected so it might not be considdered.

Anyway we’ll see what the next while brings.

Going Back To Basics

I had to go right back to basics with Ushi earlier this week.

Ushi had taken to rushing after her meals. She wouldn’t come down stairs with the pups around, so i kind of had to nearly drag her down. She’d then spend and then rush back upstairs resulting in her being sick. I asked twitter on Sunday night what i could do to stop it. I figured it was because of the pups she was rushing as she wasn’t sick at my uncles when we were up seeing the Script.

Someone suggested i take Ushi down on the lead after meals and bring her back up again. So i thought it would be worth a try.

Well this morning Ushi was sick but apart from that we’ve managed 4 days without her being sick. When we’re going downstairs after food, i’ll put her on the lead, and when she goes to rush to get away from the pups, I stop and give her a correction on her collar. This seems to be working, and she’s even walked downstairs when we’re going for a walk without rushing which is brilliant. I’ve also been getting her to sit when we get upstairs to chill for a minute. The only thing she isn’t doing is sitting at the back door, but that’s because the floor is wet or there is a pup behind her. I’ve just been saying sit though to get her to.

Ushi has even started playing with some of the pups since Monday. This was after 5 weeks of her being terrified of them! We’re keeping one called Angel and Ushi will play with her and has put her in her place a couple of times. I’m so glad she has accepted them now! It just took time. 2 of them have homes this weekend, and the rest are going next including 4 to Scotland!

I’m going to keep Ushi on her lead after meals until the rest of the pups go just to make sure she won’t rush. That was what most worried me. I’m so glad though that within such a short space of time she’s being so good. That seemed to be all i needed was just to go back a few steps with her. Hopefully she’s got the message!

The Script Number Three Arreena Tour

On Tuesday I went to the script at the oddisy. I saw the tickets when i was looking for something else, so dragged my sister along too lol.


I left Ushi with my uncles while we boogied away. We were sitting about a hundred yards or so from the stage. I braught the cane as i thought even though i was being guided, it might part the sea a bit. The security guards saw it and ushered us to the front of the queue. I normally don’t like using my blindness, but i thought it was nice of them to do that. The concert started at about half 6 but that was when the doors opened. The actual support act didn’t come on til about half 7. They were a dublin based band called Hudson taylor. They were good. They sung about 5 or 6 songs.


The script came on about 8 or that. Or maybe it was longer. They were absolutely amazing. I thought at the start that we wouldn’t hear them over the screaming fans, but we did. I couldn’t find a setlist but i think they sang:

The good old days

We cry

If you could see me now

Science and faith

I’m yours

Talk you down

The man who can’t be moved

Break even

If you ever come back

6 degrees of separation


Before the worst

For the first time

And You won’t feel a thing for the onkore.


They really love their drink! They said before one song “If we remember tonight we haven’t had a good time” or words to that effect. Before they played “Nothing” which is about being drunk, they asked someone to call their x. They then sang the song down the phone to them. I bet the woman who got called was really thrilled and probably went mad telling her friends that the script sang to her. That’s what i would do anyway lol. I didn’t think they were serious, but they were perfectly serious!


We got home at around 20 to 11. I got greated with a massive waggy tail and i was so glad she was so happy with my uncle. He was very nervous but i knew he’d be grand. He said she lay at the door but i said she does that sometimes at home so not to worry. He hasn’t been so good in the mood department lately, so i think having her on his own was just what he needed. He adores Ushi and it’s so nice to see her bringing him out of himself. There was one day when we were last up though when even Ushi couldn’t help him when he was very very bad. I hope he gets better soon.


I’m so glad we went to the concert. It was a brilliant night!

Rip Marlie Girlie

In my last post i wrote about how we thought Marlie was improving, or so we thought.

Mum went up on Tuesday to collect the tablets Marlie was being put on to help get rid of the infection. She was getting slightly stronger day by day and even barked when people came to the door which she hadn’t been doing. She was eating slightly more too, but was sick yesterday. Mum said it was just the tablets. She seemed grand until i was heading home from belfast on the bus and i got a text saying she’d died. I don’t know what happened other than she went down hill. I’ve tried to ask but can’t get much out of mum at the moment.

I guess her little body couldn’t cope any more. The antibiotics must have just staved off the infection to give her a few days with us. She was just so weak though. Her teat had even started to kind of come away to reveal new flesh. It could have even been hiding in her and the antibiotics weakened the infection just a little.

So run free little Marlie. You’ll never have to be pregnant again, or bred to have god knows how many litters before those two by your previous owners. I dread to think how many litters you could have had. I’m just so glad it happened now that your pups don’t need you. They’ll be well looked after and are thriving. You did so well with them. I just hope your other owners can sleep easy in their beds. After all, “it was a shame marlie had two litters in the last year” they said. And “you can sell them for £50”. So sorry you were such a young dog too. Rip little one. You were such a wee fighter.

Marlie Update

I wrote earlier about
Marlie and her pups
And how poor Marlie was not a well girl.

Well when i did write last Marlie was doing well. Unfortunately on Friday she was going down hill fast. She hadn’t moved all day and her liver was beginning to fail. So the vets said that mum was to send her over the bridge if she was no better by Saturday.

When mum went up on Saturday however, Marlie got up and walked over to her. The vet said that was the first time she had got up since Friday. So mum couldn’t put her down. So the vet gave her an injection of antibiotics and said that if she didn’t eat and hadn’t improved by monday she should be braught back in.

To be honest i wasn’t sure bringing her home was a good idea. I thought it would be easier for everyone if she was put down then and there as she just lay around. I went into see her on Saturday night in mums room and she was roasting. She just lay there. I suggested to mum trying to get some puppy milk into her. Mum got 8 suringes into her! I really thought she’d go on her own on Saturday night. She did get up to pee though so that was good.

Yesterday she was still here but not as warm. Mum was feeding her little pieces of cooked ham, which she ate and they stayed down. Mum did tell me something very very worrying though last night when she said she hadn’t peed all day. I said she’d deffinetly need to take her to the vet tomorrow because it didn’t sound good. My sister braught up her lead and she wouldn’t move at first, but then something clicked and she sprang into action and rushed down stairs. Mum also made up something with egg yolk, puppy milk and water and suringed it to her. Again it stayed down.

Today however it’s a totally different picture. She has eaten yet more ham, and mum has baught chicken too. She’s went out to pee 5 or 6 times, and when she’s standing she’s not immediately needing to lie down again. And she is really wagging hard! Mum phoned the vet today and they were amazzed she’s survived. Mum is picking up antibiotics tomorrow to give her.

Unfortunately her teat has kind of split a little, but mums been cleaning around the area with salt water. Even that had died down though today and it’s nowhere near as big as it was. She’s only warm around the teat now rather than her whole body. She has a very long road ahead of her, but we’re hoping it’s a positive sign.

She has lost so so much weight though. I could put two hands through her collar if i really wanted to. Her ribs and spine are clearly visible.

Thanks everyone for the prayers and well wishes for her. It must have worked! Well hopefully anyway. It’s hard to believe something as simple as a scratch or a scrape from a pup could be so devistating in such a short space of time.

Fingers crossed she’s on the up!

Lessons from the dog: How to live

I found this on twitter. Seems so fitting now when Marlie is so ill. I liked reading so thought you might too.

Lessons from the dog: How to live.