Jollyes Collection

Today was the collection for Jollyes all across Northern Ireland.

At about 10 o’clock I was picked up. The person who picked me up even disabled the airbag for Ushi! I thought that was really thoughtful.

We first let Ushi see if she needed a busy, but she was more interested in sniffing the air and doing anything but busy lol. So we took her on in. Of course she wanted to rush a bit. (She seems to do this if she’s been in a car for some reason). I discovered that there was a table sitting full of stuff we were selling, as well as seats for us. I thought we’d be standing for the two hours that I was collecting. Thank god we weren’t!

I kept Ushi’s harness on for about 10 minutes just until she settled down and that. There was me, the branch organiser, the lady who drove me up, her daughter, the treasurer, and another volunteer. (Those three didn’t arrive until about 11ish). Here a guide dog owner should never be unaccompanied. This is so that the bucket doesn’t get stolen or anything horrible like that.

On the table we had little note books, rulers, pens, cuddley guide dogs, keyrings, a writing set I think with a pen, ruler, note book and rubber all in one, and a tombola. Oh and the collection bucket itself lol.

I was panicking in case they thought that I had stole a nylabone as I had braught Ushi hers in case she got bored, but no one even noticed I don’t think.

Lots and lots of people started coming up at different points to talk to Ushi, and just to come over really.

There was one point where there was someone outside with an Airdale? I think that’s what they are called. It had a really nasty bark. I thought it was going to come in, so I promptly got up and walked back a bit. Luckily the dog didn’t come in, so I could sit down again which was good. I didn’t know dogs could come into Jollyes, but that must be the case. (Our jollyes doesn’t have any animals apart from fish).

The Royal Cannin dog food company were there too, as well as someone from the training dog club or something.

The woman from the Royal Cannin braught her dog in who was a border colly. He was called “Blue”. Ushi and him had a little roll around the floor lol. (It wasn’t for long, and i still had her lead. I had taken her harness off at this point). She also had a little play with a little 12 week old puppy called “Alphy”. (I didn’t let her play that long with both dogs).

Apart from the dogs, she lay down like a good girl and chilled. I needn’t have worried about her getting bored as there were that many people coming up and telling her what a good girl she was lol.

It was 10 % off everything in the store for today too. We didn’t sell much of our stock, but we did get quite a few donations. (All the money was going through Jollyes anyway to us, but it just meant that our actual branch didn’t get as much as if the whole store donated directly to us).

The collection ran until 5 I think. Maybe later on that day more people came round.

It was easier than I thought. We basically had to sit and look pritty really. (Ushi did a fab job of doing that lol).

I would like to thank the staff at Jollyes for all their help today. Especially for providing the comfy cat beds for us to cushion our bums! (We were sitting on really hard chairs lol. We happened to mention amongst ourselves how uncomfortable they were. One of the staff then came and gave us each a nice little cat bed to sit on!).

I hope all collections are this easy! I’ll let you know how much we raised later, or whenever I find out lol. Thanks again Jollyes!

Collections And Stuff

As I may have mentioned, I’m doing my first collection this Saturday. If I haven’t mentioned it, (Which I can’t remember if I have or not), I’m doing a collection at
This Saturday (30th April). This is their “National collection day”, as Guide Dogs are their charity of the year.

I asked a couple of weeks ago if it would be okay for me to fundraise yet. I wanted to make sure it was okay with guide dogs before I started to as we can’t fundraise for 6 months when we are newly qualified. My instructor said it was okay but to only take it one step at a time. I wasn’t too keen on doing this collection, but figured I may as well start somewhere.

I was looking for some tips to make the experience as stress free as possible for both me and her, and was going to write a post about it, but figured that my instructor might know as well as anyone else. So I sent her an email the other day just to ask what the craic is for collections as well as some other things. She says that I should probably keep the harness on for the first 20 minutes or so, just until she has calmed down. (she’s usually quite good, but this is to make sure she is well settled). I should bring her nylabone or another toy with me as well as water, and something for her to lie on. This is because she won’t actually be doing anything while we’re collecting, so she may get a little bored. The collection is inside too, so I don’t have to worry about her bone or that getting stolen.

Over the summer me, dad, sis and possibly my 8 year old brother are planning to go over to Scotland for the day on the Ferry. Dad found out about what the deals were and that last week. Apparently, it would cost us £15 each to travel both ways from Belfast to Stranrare and back for each person. It would be £10 if my little brother was going. I think this is brilliant.

Of course I want to take Ushi if we can. The plan would be that we would get a taxi from the house up to belfast at 6 in the morning. We would then be at the ferry port for about 7 ish, get checked in, before leaving at half 7 approximately. This would get us into Scotland at about half 10 ish. We would then spend the day in Stranrare, before leaving at about half 5 again, getting to Belfast at about half 8, then back to Ballymena at 9.30.

So quite a long day, but probably a good one.

I asked my instructor if I could take her, and what way we would work her feeds and that. She said that sometimes it would be more practical to leave the dog at home, for example if we were going all over Scotland. I said that we were just going around Stranrare, and she said that it was totally up to me if I took her, but if I did, to give her plenty of opportunity to spend both before and after we got on the boat. I am also to split her feed in the morning, as the less she has in her stomach, the better. Even if I feed her early, she could still have stuff in her stomach, so I will give her half of her food before we go, and the other half when we arrive. I am then to wait half an hour before we start walking or that. That will then be her until we head back. I am to feed her evening feed again splitting it in half again, and giving her half before the ferry, and half when we get home.

It’s a bit complicated, but i’m sure we can manage it. It’ll just take some juggling. I’m sure Ushi will think all her christmasses will have come early, as technically she’ll get four meals that day!

I shouldn’t need any ID with me for her, just my guide dog owner ID card I got when I qualified.

I’m quite excited about going now with her.

On Friday i’m hoping to take her to Portrush with us too. We were going to get the bus down, since i haven’t learned trains yet, but I asked my instructor if we could use the train with my dad being there, and she said that it was my choice, and that yes with him there I could. I suggested thathe could possibly teach me, but she said that she would rather I waited to be taught that part. But at least I can go on the train with someone sighted there at least which is good. I really hope it’s not too long before my instructor can teach me the trains propperly. The only reason i asked about Friday is that the times for the busses are quite weird, and my dad and sister get quite travel sick on busses. Plus the trains tell you the stops.

So here’s hoping that it all goes well both on Saturday and for Portrush if we take her. It all depends on the heat and that.

I’ll let you know how I get on! Oh and with regards to
Last weeks post
About Ushi being a little arse, she has slowly improved. I have deliberately waited at each kerb a little longer, just so she won’t anticipate where we’re going. Plus I’ve got my sister to teach me the reverse of the church route, so that’s another route we’ve got. For the kerb that she missed all the time, i’ve started carrying a treat with me and give it to her if she stops at it. I’m still doing two walks a day too. We had a little incident on Saturday night though. We were just doing a walk as usual. She seemed particularly sluggish, but I put that down to her being bored. About 10 minutes after we got home, she threw up. I started to go through why she could have. It was a good two hours after her food, so it wasn’t that. She didn’t have the runs or anything so it wasn’t that. I think it was because I had given her a very old baby toy from my little brothers. It had nothing that I thought could come off so thought it was grand. It turned out that she pulled off one of its antennai (It was a caterpillar). She had then went out and eaten lots of grass to make herself sick. She was really lethargic afterwards and just slept. I didn’t work her the next day though as I wanted to make sure whatever it was was out of her system. Thankfully she’s grand now.

Thanks for all the comments though on my last post!