Positive Feedback Pays Off

For some reason i couldn’t post using the wordpress app. I disabled two step authentication and i think that was the reason. I’ve pasted the post i had written though. I’ll try posting with the app later.
I couldn’t think of what else to call this post but i wanted to write about something.

Back around the start of July, i had talked about doing a possible food switch. At my last after care visit last year guide dogs had said that they would possibly need to switch Ushi on to a lighter food because her weight kept going up and down. It has been like this since i got her which i have talked about before. Anyway i started to research foods. I did not want her on multiple foods until the right one could be found as Ushi can be very funny about her food. She can either be sick on it, or else she will eat it for a whilee. This was only me going on when she was on the Royal Cannin Maxisensible food. So i wanted to make sure it was the right food for her.

Another guide dog owner recommended we try
Burns
As she was thinking of putting her dog on it too. I was staying up there at the time, so we baught a small bag of burns chicken and brown rice and started to switch slowly from the royal cannin to the burns. I noticed immediatly the difference even in handling the food. Burns comes in little balls, whereas the royal cannin came in big round what looked like flat golden nuggets if anyone has seen the serial. It was so so so greasy too. And smelly. Very smelly. The burns actually felt nice to reach your hand in to. There was no grease at all and barely a smell unless you got right up close to it.

It took about 10 days in total before Ushi was on the Burns completely but i noticed a change even as i was switching. Gone was the dog who would sit for a few minutes after i blew the whistle for her to eat. Instead she was straight in there after i blew it, but she still chewed each piece of food like she has always done. Even in the mornings she is no longer wanting her food and lying in front of it. She has only done that once since she has been on it. The main difference is that she used to be sick randomly every few weeks on the royal cannin, now she is barely sick at all. The only time she is sick now is when Angel sometimes plays with her jouls in the mornings lol. The most important difference is that her weight has gone down and stayed down. She went from 35.5 down to a brilliant 30.6 kilos and that was back in October. So that was brilliant. I am no longer nervous about going and getting her weighed. A lot of people have noticed too which is class.

The trouble is though that guide dogs have contracts with Eucanuba and royal cannin. Because Burns is such a small company it means that they will not have that as an option for guide dog owners. I think this is such a shame as i think it would stop a lot of the spending issues and that kind of thing. Plus there are a lot of dogs now that seem to have alergies never mind the weight issue. It’s a shame but i don’t mind paying for Ushi to be on the food if it is making such a difference to her. If i hadn’t noticed any differences i’d have put her back on the royal cannin straight away.

Anyway the point of this post is that i emailed the Burns company and explained the difference it had made to Ushi. They replied and hey said that they do offer a small discount for guide dog owners but that it wasn’t available in Northern Ireland. They then said they’d send Ushi a “small something for christmas”. I thought this would be something like a measuring cup or something as they do measuring cups. I was not expecting a big 15 kilo bag of food that landed up at my door last week. Wow. Ushi of course has plenty in but that means this bag will see her through until at least late february hopefully. It is still sitting here unopened.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Burns so much for first of all developing a more natural food, and secondly for sending me such a huge bag. Thank you Burns for your generosity. I was not expecting that at all.

Sorry for the length of this post but i wanted to get it out there. Thank you again.


Guide Dogs Anual Awards

I’m still quite tired so i’m not going to link too much.

Remember a few months ago i posted about getting nominated to go to the guide dogs anual awards in London? Well it finally happened.

About a month ago, people from guide dogs came over to do some filming. This was to be shown at the guide dogs cerimoney itself. They filmed me at a bus stop, looking as if i was campaigning and at the train station. We nearly got in to bother though as they hadn’t thought to get permission from translink first. By that stage Ushi was starting to get bored as we had been filming for over three hours already so i just said that it might be better to stop since it was evident in her work that she just wasn’t paying attention. Thankfully they had got all they needed. They were nice but the people who had sent them over hadn’t gotten permission.

Unfortunately the lack of organisation continued throughout the preparation and even on the trip. I had to chase up the details of my flights which i only got a couple of weeks ago. We then had to ask for a taxi to be provided as there was no way we could manage around London ourselves. Guide dogs even wanted us to pay for our flights and claim it back. I told them that if i was being taken over there as a finalist i wasn’t going to pay so they eventually agreed to pay for them. Even the hotels were badly organised since the people who were sharing rooms were booked in to the wrong hotel.

Anyway we arrived in Belfast city nice and early. It was a good job we did because our flight we were orriginally meant to get was delayed then cancelled due to really bad fog in heathrow airport. I was quite surprised that it was foggy considdering that it was quite a warm day.

We were all checked in on an earlier flight which was good. After i got checked in, i had to check Ushi in ttoo. I had to show my guide dog ID card plus i had got a letter from guide dogs in case she was refused. After that it was through to security which ushi loved since she got a good pat down. The security staff wanted to take her home lol.

Next it was time to put all our stuff in the trays for it all to be xrayed. I always get a bit nervous because i always worry in case they don’t give you it back or someone takes it. My friend Paul got taken aside because he had a spray bottle in his bag but i thought he was going without me lol.

We got taken on to the flight after that. The dogs had a seat to themselves which was good. Eir lingus even had a braille safety card which i was really impressed with. It was a very noisy aircraft and unfortunately when we took off Ushi had a horrible time. She started panting really hard and would not lie down. The air hostesses were lovely and got her some water but unfortunately when we landed she ended up being sick which wasn’t good. The staff were grand about it though which was good. We were met at the other end with the assistance again which was good.

Unfortunately because the flight was cancelled the taxi company that had been booked for us sent me a text saying that we needed to rebook it. I knew that the taxi was booked under my name but i was a bit annoyed that my number was given without my permission. I wouldn’t have minded but i would have preferred to be asked. When i phoned the taxi company they had no record of it being booked and were asking for a refference number and all. I said i only had the flight refference. So on to guide dogs again who didn’t know that we had to rebook. They then said that the taxi driver would call us and say where he was but that we’d probably have to get a member of staff to take us out to him. Thankfully the taxi driver came in to get us which was good.

By the time we got to the hotel we had just enough time to get changed in to our fancy stuff and go again. I’d have liked to chill for a bit but there wasn’t much we could do about that. When we went up to the reception we met some more of the finalists. We were all introducing ourselves as “That person on facebook” lol.

When we arrived at the hilton, we had a shampaigne reception. This was basically a lot of standing around and “mingling” which we were told to do. The shampaigne was nice but it was a lot of standing around.

The main evening started with Andrea Begley singing Angel before it was explained about the silent auction that was taking place throughout the night as well as the raffle and a live auction. Mike Ozmend was the mc for the night.

When the starter was braught out it was some sort of tereen thing. It was a huge plate with the food in the middle. I wasn’t too keen on that at all. I would have thought we would have had soup or something but i suppose it was a posh do. The main was much better. It was chicken in some kind of sauce with some sort of mash potato with it. The desert was a very rich fondant and ice cream.

After this it was the actual awards themselves. Adrian Chilis and the chief executive of guide dogs were presenting them. I’m pleased to say that i won my award. Andrea Begley presented it to me. While i went up to collect it, or get photos rather, the filming was shown from the guys who came over to film. If anyone wants to see it,
Here it is
I thought i would get the award then but i just got photos taken of me pretending to have something. I asked if i was getting anything and i was panicking in case the audience heard it but thankfully music was on while i got it. I was so pleased to have won it. I was happy enough to be nominated but when i won it was the icing on the cake. I later got a lovely plaque which is made of glass. I would like to congratulate all dogs and humans who won in their catigries. Even though Ushi wasn’t nominated for anything, i wouldn’t have been able to do what i do without Ushi. I know this sounds soppy but the way i see it is every guide dog is guide dog of the year in their owners eyes.

I got my photo taken with Martin cloons so i’ll have to post it when i get it sent to me. I was also in Tuesday and Fridays belfast telegraph but to be honest i’m in and out of the paper for so much that it would be hard to find all the articles. That sounds cocky but i have been in for collecting cheques etc.

After the awards it was dancing until one o’clock. The coach was meant to collect us at 11 and 1 but it didn’t turn up at one so we had to get a taxi which i will be claiming back. It was after all £18 which is money i cannot afford to lose.

On Thursday morning i discovered that we had to pay for our breakfast too which i thought was encluded. I am not claiming that back though as i just thought that i would just leave it and the hotel probably couldn’t have printed out a receipt.

You could tell the awards was more for the big coughers of caompanies who had baught tables. Yes we were recognised for our mirrets but some of the things in the auctions went for big money indeed. Some of the things were well over the £3000 mark.

Thankfully our taxi turned up on Thursday. When we got left at the entrance to terminal one one of the guests couldn’t walk too far so needed a wheelchair. There was a phone so we phoned through and they were asking us lots of things like our flight number and stuff. They didn’t know why i had said that there were two guide dog owners and didn’t know what to do. They said it would take them 20 minutes to get to us so we decided to just walk in. It wasn’t that far but it was far enough and we weren’t going to stand on a london street waiting.

Heathrow is such a stressful environment. They are much more thorough and they take much longer to do things. I get that it’s a bigger airport but we practically had to go from one end to the other to get to our gate. Again we had assistance both on and off the aircraft. Unfortunately Ushi had a hard time again. When we took off she was panting and trembling. I didn’t give her any water as i didn’t want her being sick again. I must say i can’t really blame her for not liking as it deffinetly is an odd sensation taking off and certainly landing.

I would like to thank guide dogs for nominating me and also for enviting me over, but i do think next time the guide dog owners need to be thought of more rather than the big money spinners. I realise this does sound like a moaner of a post but i didn’t want it to be. I just wanted to post what really happened. I would also like to thank everyone who has congratulated me and ushi so far. Thank you also to all you who have read this monster and stuck with me to the end. If anyone is still around, here are a couple of pictures that i want to share with you.