Police Update

I was beginning to wonder when the police would contact me again regarding the dog attack a couple of weeks ago. I had thought they had forgotten about me!

Well today I got a call from the police. They explained that they went round to the owners house, and apparently he was away somewhere else. The police said he was on drugs because when they were talking to him, his eyes were all over the place. They said that the owner said that he “just took the dog in” or something like that. The dog warden then called round and he said it wasn’t his, so the warden took it as a stray. The police also said that there were two or three other men in the house, which could make it even harder for the police or dog warden to know who owned the house.

A few members of the public who saw the attack said that when they saw the owner with it, it was regularly out of control and that the owner apparently beat it and all. They didn’t want to come forward though because of the type of guy he is apparently, and they didn’t want any repercussions if they did come forward.

The police said that while they can’t actually charge him with anything, he will now be known to them and the dog warden if he does get another dog. I was a bit worried in case he got another dog, but they said that even if the owner said that he owned the dog that he would be prosicuted if it didn’t have a licence. They said they would be keeping an eye on him, and at least the other dog is off the streets.

I was a little disappointed that they didn’t charge him or anything, but at least they are aware of him and will take action if he does anything else. I suppose that’s a good thing.

So the police aren’t taking my statement because there wouldn’t really be a point if he isn’t being charged. I just hope he doesn’t get another dog, and that if he does, that it is caught before it harms another persons dog, or Ushi!

Anyway on to the rest of today.

Yesterday I worked Ushi again after I had worked her in the morning. I thought that because it was such a nice evening, that it would be nice just to do a walk. Ushi didn’t agree with me though. She just dawdled along, and threatened to stop at one point. I just told her to “get on with it”, and then when that didn’t work, I told her to “Hop up”. I wasn’t taught that command, but thought i’d just experiment and see if it worked. She was a star the rest of the way! She did get a bit distracted by kids though, but I just kept telling her to “pay attention” while making sure she walked on at a normal speed.

Today I didn’t work her in the day, but just in the evening again. There were more kids about today, and the first group we passed were like “Keep going, keep going!”. Then another was like “she knows where she is going”. I heard a dog across the road so didn’t hang about to thank them although I know I should have. When I did cross the road, the kids that came over to me after the attack were in front of me. I heard one of them say “can you keep the dog interested so it doesn’t go for that other dog?”. (obviously me and Ushi). I wasn’t taking any chances, so stopped and asked them where the dog was. They were just like “it’s just a tiney wee thing”. I wasn’t satisfied, so asked them again and explained that Ushi was attacked a couple of weeks ago. They were like “Yeah i know, that was our dog.”. What the hell do you say to that? Anyway I asked them again where the dog was. Eventually they said that it was further on up. I said that hopefully it wouldn’t go for Ushi, and they said that it was no where near me, and that it was scared of Ushi. I went on my way hoping that the kids were right, and that they weren’t lying or anything. Thankfully no dog came at us or anything.

We had a couple more “kid distractions” along the way, but nothing major. At one point though these kids started barking at Ushi. Naturally that made her look, so I said to them that she was working. They just giggled, and did it again. I then explained again that she was working and that I didn’t want them doing that. When it happened again, i was getting pritty annoyed. One of them came up to me and asked “why do you were that hat?”. I explained that it was warm, so I was wearing it to protect me from the sun. They then barked again. One of them then said to me “no offence but are you blind?”. I said that I was, and then they whispered something and went away. Crazy kids! The rest of our walk went without a hitch.

I hope the weather continues so I can start working Ushi twice a day again!

We are having a problem with the route into town though as there are road works along it. They have even moved some of my crossing points! It’s gonna be confusing when we work it again! I guess it’s the church route all this week unfortunately as I don’t know when they will be re tarring the road. I’m seriously bored of that route!

Before I go, I must congratulate
Digital Darragh
On being shortlisted for
The Iresh Blog Awards!
Well done!

Working Well

Today a guide dog mobility instructor came to assess how me and Ushi have been getting on since the events of last week. She came at about 11 o’clock.

We were going to go to the shops, but the instructor was a little pushed for time. So we just decided to do the route past the church. I was a little nervous when she said that she would be following in the car (all of the instructors do this so the dog doesn’t see them), but since the attack, I wanted someone behind me to make sure everything went okay. She assured me that she would be right behind me in the car, and if i needed her I could drop the handle. I just had to get on with it really.

I’m pleased to say that it all went grand. She had even got her cheekiness back, which was good to see. More because that’s the Ushi i know rather than it actually being a good thing. At one point she wanted to go down another path. I thought there was an obsticle, so did an off kerb. I knew as soon as we were down off the kerb that we were back up really quickly. I then thought “there’s nothing there” but continued on. She was just being a madam! I was expecting a dog to be behind a gate near the end of our route, but thankfully it wasn’t. It was behind a gate, but it was quite a yappy wee thing.

When we were coming back on our street, there was a car parked. I tried to get her up to the kerb, but there wasn’t room. The owner of the car then came and grabbed me and kind of pushed me lol past it. As long as he got me past it I suppose.

The instructor says that Ushi had a “High tail carriage” which means that her tail was up and she looked happy. She says that at the start of the walk I looked nervous and that I seemed to slow down a little. But after the first five minutes we both looked confident and happy which is good. She says it’s just a matter of getting our confidence back up again.

We then got chatting about toys, and just how Ushi is so hard to please with her toys in that she gets rather bored rather quickly lol. She warned me though not to leave squeaky toys about, as if the dog swallows them she would be seriously ill as the squeak wouldn’t pass and she would need surgery and that sort of thing. I deffinetly wouldn’t want that to happen. Not that i have ever left squeaky toys down for her, I would always throw it and then pick it up again. I would only leave her with a kong or a nylabone or something like that.

I also asked about meeting up with my friend. The last time we met, the two dogs got rather excited. Especially Ushi. I think because my friends dog is around the same age as Ushi, they both wanted a play. She says that she will meet us one day to see how the two of them get on. She also says that when I go inside the door of the shopping centre to put the halty on if I know my friend will be there. I explained that she hates the halty and barely moves when in harness, but she says that if it takes a bit longer to get into the shopping centre, then so be it. As long as i was in complete control.

So now the work begins again. I hope we can get our confidence back up again in no time at all really. I have my quilting to go to tomorrow, so here’s hoping that nothing bad happens again.

My instructor asked me on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, how likely did I think the attack was. I said it was about a 6 or a 6 and a half. She asked if that would decrease over time, but I said not for a while anyway lol.

I’m pleased to say that it went well today. Let’s hope it continues! I can’t wait to start doing more walks when the weather gets nicer and when the evenings get lighter too. The light doesn’t really bother me, but my dad would rather I worked during the day when it was light.

I’m Pleased To say

That the first walk after the attack went surprisingly well! I had my sister go with me for moral support and company. She did alert me to a couple of dogs, but they were both on leads and away from us. There was also a little dog behind a gate but the gate wasn’t open. I was expecting alot of issues, but we had none at all. I think though that i’ll have someone with me up until Monday at least.

A GDMI is coming out on Tuesday just to make sure we’re all cool and to get the incident number they will need when the police take the statement. This is because they keep a record of dog attacks.

I was very pleased with today.

The latest on the investigation is that apparently a local woman who works in our spar, well her son said that he witnessed the attack. He said that it was deffinetly a staffy, and that the owner did not pull it off or come over to me. He is not willing to come forward though which is a bit of a shame. The police are also wanting to issue a statement to the local papers, just to raise awareness of the issue I think, and so that it doesn’t happen again.

My friend says they are being a bit overkill, but I would rather have that so that it didn’t happen again, and that it didn’t happen to anyone else!

I hope to god that when I go solo again that nothing horrible will happen.

Also-I think this is the best news of all-when I was coming home from having been out with my dad, a woman stopped us and said that the dog warden had taken the dog! So happy happy days! It’ll probably not be so good for the dog, but the owner shouldn’t have the dog acting like that! I thought at first that when the woman was talking she was referring to
That stray dog
that was bothering us roughly a month ago on our walk, but my dad said that that didn’t attack us. She then said that it was a staffy so then I knew that it was the dog on Monday.

That at least makes me a bit more happier. I hope that nothing like that ever happens again!

Tomorrow though should be a happier entry, before I tell you any more information about the attack. It’ll be something where I don’t have to think about horrible dogs for a while at least. I’ll give you a clew though-it involves clowns! That’s all you’re getting for now lol. Check tomorrow to see what i’m on about! I just think we need a bit of a break from dogs for a day anyway.

Police And The Vet

I would first of all like to say thanks to everyone who has sent me twitter messages, blog comments, and facebook messages. Not forgetting just people talking to me face to face. It was much appreciated. Last night I even got a call from my main guide dog mobility instructor! She was horrified as was everyone else. She said to me that the fact that the guy didn’t come over and that he phoned and said that Ushi had attacked his dog spelt guilt. She said though that I should get out as soon as possible. She said that if i need, someone can come up and assess Ushi. She wants someone to go with me for the first couple of days just to build up my confidence again. If Ushi has any problems at all i’m to contact them and they will come out. She also recommended that i get the dog wardens number in my phone should I ever need it again. Most importantly, she said she was there to support me which was great.

I must thank all the guide dogs staff so far that have spoken to me. They have been amazing.

Anyway on to today.

The police came at about 10 o’clock this morning. They had a good look at Ushi and they said that she seemed fine. They said that they know who it might be, but that it would be very hard to prosicute since it might not have been deliberate and the dog could have just got off it’s lead. They said though that the fact that there was no real attempt to get the dog was bad. They are going to speak to our estate association to see if they heard anything and since they reported it they want to know what the craic is with that. They are also speaking to the dog warden. If Ushi has no injuries, they are going with attempted criminal dammage. They said though that they will deffinetly speak to him, and give him a caution if there is evidence against him. They say that the dog warden might even be able to go further with it if they have found something else. I was a bit worried about it happening again if nothing could be done, but they said that he probably wouldn’t want it to happen again since it would cause another investigation. They will come back after I take Ushi to the vets to take an official statement. Fingers crossed though that they do get something else to go on. I don’t want to be worrying all the time if it will be about!

I’ll write more when I’m back from the vets.

We went to the vets at about half 2. While we were waiting to be seen, a dog came towards Ushi, and she backed away a little. I think she is still a bit shaken about the whole thing.

When we went in, the vet gave her a thorough check. He said that everything sounded fine which was good. Dad thought that she would be lifted onto the table, but the vet said that the floor would be better so that it wouldn’t cause her too much stress. The poor girl started trembling though when the vet started to look at her! Some reassuring helped her out there though. I don’t think she likes vets too much.

I’m so glad that she hasn’t any injuries. Thank god!

When we came back to the house, we were waiting for the police to come out again. They later phoned me to say that they got another witness to the attack, but he didn’t know if they would be so keen once a statement was taken. He says that apparently it was a colly that attacked Ushi, and not a staffy. Why would those kids have said it was a staffy then? And get this-the owner apparently pulled the dog off Ushi. If he did, why the hell did he not have the balls to help me! The police will ring me later in the week. They don’t want to get a statement from me if the witness doesn’t come forward. I mean if the witness doesn’t give a statement. I think they really want to catch the guy!

Let’s hope these next few days go alright. I’m getting my sister to come with me tomorrow just to make sure that nothing bad happens, and so I can build my confidence up again. I am really nervous about it. Especially since the guy hasn’t been caught yet!

Hopefully it all goes alright though and we can get back into the swing of things.

Dog Attack

I was going to blog today about
Being Nominated
For the Iresh blog awards 2011, but I guess that will have to wait….

Today was just an ordinary day, so I thought. I headed out as usual for my quilting course at about 10 o’clock this morning. It was a nice day. Thankfully it wasn’t raining!

At the top of our street there is a dog that usually barks as we go by. I don’t mind it as the owner of that dog has it well secured and it’s nowhere near me. I had just past that dog as usual, when I felt Ushi getting distracted. I corrected her, and she wasn’t paying attention, so I stopped to give a firmer correction. I heard a man say “come here” to his dog, and the next thing I knew, the dog was growling and trying to get at Ushi. I just dropped the harness, and screamed. There was alot of growling from the other dog, and then I heard a couple of yelps from Ushi. The fight only lasted about 30 seconds thankfully, and then it must have walked away. I was crapping myself at this point. (Not litterally though lol). I got up to our second down kerb and started patting her to make sure she wasn’t hurt or anything. These kids came over and this is how the conversation went:
kids:”Are you okay?”. Me:yeah is Ushi alright? She was attacked by that dog. Kids: “That’s our dog. are you not used to seeing dogs fighting?”. Me:no. (what?). Kids:”do you know where you’re going?”. Me:yeah. Me:yeah. Another kid comes over: “what happened?”. Other kids:”Our staffy attacked that dog.”. Me:I thought it was on a lead? Other kids:”yeah but he let it go when he saw you.”. Me:Oh right! (In shock!). Kids:”Where did you get that dog?”. Me:she’s a guide dog. I then went on my way.

I spent the whole way to our destination reassuring her and just telling her what a girl she was. I think it was more for my benifit than hers though.

The owner of the dog didn’t even bother his arse to come over. It was his kids that made sure I was alright. What kind of a dog is that to have around kids? I’m so glad that Ushi didn’t submit herself to the dog though. She tried to get away naturally, but she didn’t submit. She would have been alot worse off if she had done!

After the quilting, I got my dad to walk home with me just in case. He recommended we phone the police so that was what we did when we got home.

The police said first of all that it was the dog warden who needed to be called as I wasn’t attacked. So we called them and they said that while it wasn’t an offence, the fact that he clearly let the dog off the lead was. Back to the police again. (the dog warden had said that there was a report of Ushi (a labrador) attacking this mans dog. What? I explained that Ushi deffinetly wouldn’t do that since she is so submissive and that. I was a bit worried at this point, so while dad was waiting for the police to take him off hold, I rang guide dogs for a quick chat. They said that they didn’t get any complaints from the dog warden, and that the chances of Ushi actually attacking another dog were extremely slim. They said that they would record it and that if it started to affect Ushi’s work they would come out and see what the craic was. They said that it could take a few days before I start to notice any changes. They said that the most important thing to do was to get her to the vets just to make sure there were no hidden injuries. (I couldn’t get an appointment today, so we’ve made it for half 2 tomorrow). We both agree though that it was probably the owner covering his arse.

The police are coming out tomorrow morning.

The dog warden said that if the staffy was his, or he knew of it, he would have it put down tonight. (They can’t arrest anyone yet). They are going to visit the two houses they thinnk have the dog. They say if it starts to affect us, he can take the owner to court. Both the police and the dog warden are paying a visit to the owners home. They said that if the guy tries to say that Ushi attacked his dog, that the dog warden would “laugh in his face”. They deffinetly aren’t taking it too lightly.

The dog warden says that I am to monitor her for signs of shock (apparently she will have pale gums). But going by the way she ate her food and munched on her nylabone, she seems alright. Touch wood anyway!

I am to ring guide dogs back tomorrow after she has been seen by the vet and all.

I will let you know how it goes with the police and all. Thank you so far though for all the kind mentions and well wishes. My confidence has deffinetly taken a beating today. I don’t think i’ll work her tomorrow. I think we both need a day of “confidence boosting”. As if i wasn’t scared of dogs barking enough already! Now I have even more reason to be!

I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes.