Sorry for these being late, but I am still getting used to typing on this laptop which seems to make JAWS very sluggish. Anyway here are the posts from
Last weeks Free running Adventure
I could only use three of the pictures since a couple were just of dogs tails. Thanks sis for describing them!
Today I met up with
Her guide dog O J, and Jeniffer’s PA. We had been planning to meet up for months and months, and finally we arranged for today. (Jeniffer was going to a dog training thing tomorrow, so was able to meet me today as she had to go up for something anyway).
So me, dad, my sister and Ushi all headed off to get the 10 o’clock train up to Belfast.
We were going to head round town first, then meet Jeniffer at around 1 o’clock. The first place was to get Ushi spent when we got into Belfast though. She did a Pee, but we were walking along by the river when she needed to do a solid spend. (I don’t know what it is about water, but any time we’re near it, she needs to spend! A bit strange). Anyway once all that was taken care of, we headed on into town.
We were going to head into
Saint Georgees Market
But figured we wouldn’t have time and that it might be too tempting for Ushi lol.
After we were finished around town, we headed down to a restaurant called
Which is just outside the RNIB where Jeniffer was buying some things beforehand. We decided to have lunch first, before heading off for a free run for the dogs.
We agreed to meet outside, as I thought that Ushi might be hyper meeting O J, as she kind of does like to greet new dogs that she is allowed to greet intheuziastically. Plus there are tables outside, so we decided to eat in the sun since it was a nice day.
Well the dogs did bound about a bit, but after 5 minutes, they just lay down and completely ignored each other. Good dogs!
I had a chicken fillit burger with chips and an orange juice. (I nearly spilt it though as it was a shiney table, and I had just poured it but was holding the glass as well. Luckily a napkin got most of it.
Jeniffer and her PA had a burger called “Boss hob” or something like that, and we both thought it sounded rather sexy lol.
I love Jeniffer’s harness! It is like our
A Type harness
I mentioned in my last post, only the actual harness is waaaay smaller than Ushi’s, doesn’t have to be built up, and is made of a really really light fabric. The harness handle is a bit fat, but it looked awesome! Compared to my big massive one. Jeniffer couldn’t believe how wide mine was either!
After lunch, we were off to Botannic gardens to free run the dogs. Jeniffer had mentioned about us working the dogs, and the two of them following each other. I decided to try it to see what would happen, and apart from Ushi rushing a bit like she does when she is working somewhere new, she was fab! Jeniffer’s PA stayed in front, and directed us. Ushi still worked well, and at a couple of points we managed to be leading.
I wouldn’t use this all the time, but it’s useful for having no sighted guide, for example, or if you were in a croud and just wanted to work your dog. You can’t really direct the dog as such as you don’t know where you’re going, but if the dog is following a person and they stay close behind, then you can use it. I told Ushi to go up to her kerbs though just so that she was working a bit. I thought it was fab though as even though I didn’t know where I was going, I could walk like I did, and could really put my trust in the dog. I do think though that you do need to make sure the dog and the person who the dog is following, do stop at kerbs, as the dogs would probably just walk on if they were following someone else.
We spent the two dogs during our walk, and O J decided that sniffing Ushi was more exciting than spending!
Botannic gardens is only about 15 minutes walk away from the RNIB which is good. We were going to get the train if it was going to be complicated, but decided not to as it was only a short distance away.
When we got in, we kept walking until we found a big patch of grass where there were no people, and they could have a good bomb about.
I first of all did my obedience, and then let Ushi off, and O J was let off too. They both went straight to a tree and had a huge sniff, before racing around after each other and having a ball.
At one point they were playing with each other and making little playful growly noises. We got Jeniffer’s PA to take some pictures on my phone, but I need my sister to describe them for me before I put them up here. I’m not sure if i’ll post the pictures separately or just add them to this post. I think i’ll do them in a separate post.
Every time I called for Ushi, O J was right at my side bouncing about like a loon. I nearly gave him a bit of Ushi’s food as that’s what I sometimes use for treats to keep some of her weight off, but then I realised it wasn’t Ushi.
They had great fun, and I sometimes called Ushi back just for her to chill. She and O J just walked about after they were tired, and Ushi lay down at one point. So I think we really tired them out.
We met my dad then and we walked down a bit to get the dogs some water. We sat and chatted for ages and then we worked them back to where Jeniffer and O J were staying for the night. Again Ushi was following O J.
It was a great day and so awesome that the two dogs got on so well. It’s so good running with another guide dog owner knowing that their dog won’t attack your dog or be agressive. Mind you, they wouldn’t be a very good guide dog if that was the case.
Thanks again Jeniffer, and hopefully we can do it a a lot more often! Who knows, we might get Ushi swimming at some point!
We headed off to the train station after that. Unfortunately the day didn’t really end that well. It could have been worse.
We were getting on at Great Victoria Street station. Unfortunately it was a very old train that was being used, as one of the new trains that usually serves that route had broken down or something and would be starting from Central station instead. So to get from Great Victoria street to Central we had to use the older train. The really old trains have quite a big gap. I went to get Ushi on first, but unfortunately she slipped off. I just felt her coming off. She hit the platform pritty hard but seemed okay, but she was a little panicked. My sister told me later on that the gap was so wide that my little girl nearly went under. God knows what state she would have been confidence wise if that had happened. The poor wee girl. I dread to think what might have happened. The train wouldn’t have been able to move of course. Thankfully she didn’t go under. I would have totally panicked if that was the case!
My dad then went on first and got Ushi on. Unfortunately I went to step, but didn’t quite make the step, and my right leg went in between the gap. I was about to put my other foot up too, but when my right foot went down, I must have stepped forward and the other went too. Luckily it was getting on the train, as there was a platform to support me behind me. It would have been much worse getting off.
I now have a pritty swollen lump on my leg as well as a bruise. Luckily dad took hold of the lead when I fell, and that made poor Ushi panick a bit more when she saw me fall. The conductor came running and got me on safely. It was deffinetly scarey! When getting off to change at Central, i got my sister to take Ushi, while I got off first with dad.
Thankfully Ushi wasn’t hurt, and I think i’ll live. The conductor on the train said that they were discontinuing the older trains so that was some good news. He said it would be a few months though.
I am just so so so so so so so thankful that Ushi and I will live, and that Ushi wasn’t hurt. The new trains are much better as it’s just like stepping on and off a bus as the gap isn’t that big, and no dog or human could fit between the train and platform. God knows what would have happened if I went on the train on my own. Doesn’t bare thinking about. Maybe using the trains independently will have to wait a while.
Ushi is lying sleeping now, so I don’t think it was too traumatic for her. She was able to get on the train we had to change at so that was good. She might be a little more reluctant if we get another old train though.
Apart from that incident though, it was a fabulous day! I’m so glad we finally got to meet, and I hope that we meet much more often! I was surprised at how wirey his coat is to Ushi’s and surprised at how much you can feel his muscles! He’s not skinny, but that’s just how he is built. My sister says that his head looks to big for his body lol.
I can’t wait to read Jeniffers post!