Media Coverage For Talking Busses

At the end of March, I met with the
Minister for regional development
But i didn’t think much of it and thought he was just saying the right things. I thought that was the end of it, however guide dogs had launched their report on bus travel for the visually impaired called “the road to nowhere”. I can’t be bothered looking up the link for that.

I was out on Monday when i got a call from the media guy at guide dogs. Apparently
BBC newsline
Wanted to pick up the story and wanted to know if someone would be available to do a short interview the next day. guide dogs had decided that i would be a good candidate as i was only recently taking busses on my own. So me and Ushi headed up to belfast.

It was orriginally going to be that i would be filmed getting off the bus, but the bbc people were late. When they got there we took a few pictures of me on the bus then getting off, then walking into the station. We then sat down in one of the many caffes to do the interview. I was amazed at the amount of kit they had with them! Ushi just lay down the whole time looking bored apparently. After the interview was over though she wanted to sit up when they wanted another shot of her lying down!

They were lovely people and couldn’t have been any nicer. I was shown on Wednesday nights program. They also interviewed another guide dog owner. The amount of people who’ve stopped me in the street to say they watched it is mad!

My uncle wanted a copy of the clip to keep. So the searching began for the video. I had to email the bbc and they posted it again, but i couldn’t find out how to download it! I now know it goes into your actual downloads folder. I don’t know why i didn’t think of that. We also found this
BBC version
*I had posted a youtube link, but was alerted today that that had been taken down because the account was terminated. Rather strange. I’m not sure how long the bbc version will still be around for*.
Which was much better. So my uncle now has a copy he can watch until his hearts content. What a palarva it was to find it though! I was so worried he wouldn’t get to see it.

I’d just like to thank the bbc for wanting to cover it. Let’s hope the minister sees it!

Research On Taxi Experiences:Northern Ireland

I got this in an email and thought people might be interested in this if you live in Northern Ireland.

Research on taxi experiences: Northern Ireland

The Department of the Environment (DOE) has appointed Integrated
Transport Planning Ltd (ITP) to undertake a review of accessible taxi
services in Northern Ireland and to work with the taxi industry to
explore options for improving the accessibility of their services.

To inform this work the ITP research team wants to understand the
experiences and views of people who are disabled or who experience
mobility difficulties. ITP has therefore designed a survey to
• How and when people use taxis
• Any difficulties experienced when using taxis
• People’s views on how barriers to using taxis could be overcome
The survey is relevant to current taxis users; as well as people who
experience difficulties when trying to use taxis, and people who
choose not to use taxis because of this. As part of the research ITP
would welcome views from you. To have your say, go to
to complete the survey online. If you
would prefer to complete the survey over the telephone then call ITP
0115 988 6905. A research team member will then call you back to ask
you the questions at a convenient time for you.
As a thank you for taking part, ITP is offering respondents the
opportunity to enter a prize draw for £150 of high street shopping

What A 9 Weeks

It’s been a hell of a roller coaster of a 9 weeks.


The 2nd February was

When the pups were born

What an experience that was.  All 10 little pups all in mums bedroom.  They were so so tiney too.


Everything was going well until

Marlie Took Mastitis
Which we never imagined.  We thought that something would happen during the birth, but didn’t think something as simple as a scratch or bite from one of the pups could be so dangerous.


We did think she was going to have to cross the bridge, but when mum went to the vets she got up and walked over to her.  I think this was because she saw someone she knew.  We

Thought there was some improvement
Though but unfortunately that was short lived as three days later, she

Unfortunately died
Even the vets were surprised when they heard.  We all thought she was doing so well, but I guess the infection just was too big for her little body to fight.  I’m just so glad she was with us and not with her previous owners.  They never even sent condolences or anything when they were informed.  They just said “isn’t it a shame Marlie had two litters in the last year”.  And even worse “You could sell the pups for £50”.  I dread to think what condition she’d have been in if she wasn’t given away or if she was just dumped with those pups :(.  God knows how many litters they got out of her.  Only the two that we know about but it’s not fair on such a young dog.


So that left us with 10 little bundles.  They were fast learning how to move around, and they had opened their eyes and were able to hear by this stage too.  Thankfully they were ready to start being weaned when Marlie took ill, so they got one very mushy meal followed by three feeds of puppy milk.  We used baking trays for them to eat out of which they loved because they could wade in litterally.  I was dreading the poos when they went on solid food, but it basically involved me standing in one place very very still until it was cleaned up.  For the first while you could unfortunately hear when they went which wasn’t pleasant at all.  Each time you went downstairs, you got mobbed and had to wear trousers and shoes to stop your feet being scratched off you!  Opening the door was a nightmare too as there would just be this sworm of pups, and i was scared they’d get away if i was coming back from a walk.


As for Ushi, i never imagined how 10 pups could possibly be so scarey.  She was absolutely petrified.  It actually got to the point where it was making her physically sick after her food after she’d go to the toilet.  So i had to

Go right back to basics
With her and litterally put her on the lead and stop whenever she went to rush away from them.  I wanted her to know that she needed to learn that rushing was not a thing i was going to tollerate.  It would work sometimes, and others it wouldn’t.  I even had to keep it up once all the pups had left and we had the pup we’re keeping which i’ll get to in a minute.  I managed to get her down to only being sick in the mornings, but i still didn’t want it to be happening at all.  So i’ve had to litterally give Ushi one half, take her to the loo, bring her back up and give her the other.  But since we’ve only one now, i’m going to try feeding her normally again in a few days.


Anyway i’m getting side tracked.


The pups all got given names, and gradually each one was ready to go to its new home.  First, it was Flash who went.  His owner was very keen to take him, and then decided that she didn’t like cleaning up after him, and that she didn’t know how much work it would be with a toddler too.  This was a week after her getting him.  Mum managed to get her to keep him but has said that she has to decide soon if she’s keeping him, and if she’s not, he’s to come straight back here.  She was also worried about her kid picking up something from the pup.  She obviously didn’t do her research propperly.


Next to go was Yuky, followed by Lucy.  Next was Archy, followed by Luna, Nipper, and two others which i can’t remember.  Anyway that group went to Scotland, and the last one, Juno left yesterday.


That left us with a little gold girl who we’ve called Angel.  We gradually braught her up to Ushi ofver thecourse of the weeks as she was the one we were keeping.  It took her until they were 6 weeks before she’d start to accept them!  But when they all crowded around them it still panicked her.  Now though she’ll regularly get Angel to submit to her, and will put her in her place, without hurting her or anything.  I’ve been told just to let her get on with it baasically.  She’s also playing more with her now and her tail will wag when she sees her.


Angel has already been and got microchipped and vaxcinated.  She’s also had two doses of wormer.  She is starting to whine now to be let out, and is eating and drinking out of bowls now and only gets water on top of her meals now rather than her food being really mushy.


I can’t believe how far they’ve all come over the past 9 weeks, and how big they’ve all got.  It’s just a shame poor Marlie didn’t make it, but she did a fabulous job with them.  I hope they make their owners very happy.


Finally here is a picture of little Angel. Sorry it is such a long link filled post. But i hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

This is a recent picture of Angel the pup we're keeping