This Time Last Year…Has The Stopping Stopped?

I thought that this time last year
The problems i was experiencing
Were sorted since i had aftercare. It did sort it out for a while.

The instructor who came to see me said i just needed to be really positive, and that should hopefully stop the stopping. She said that i would be firm if i needed to be, but to try and be a bit more positive. (When she had stopped i had just corrected her).

Unfortunately the stops continued for a while after. I think my next entry is when the district team manager had to come out and see why Ushi was stopping.

Today we had two very good walks. We only had one sniff and she indicated that there was an obsticle at one point (it was a stick), but i thought that Ushi was just being Ushi. I don’t think she liked the wind though as she kept slowing way down. We mostly had normal speeds though which was good. Sometimes she’ll slow way down and kind of crawl along.

In other news my wee brother got his cast off today. He was orriginally meant to stay in for two or three days but the physio theropist says that because he has been so active they are letting him out tonight. He will have to basically learn to walk again propperly though. He is still very nervous to stand but they said that will just take time for him to get his confidence back.

I’m writing this in a notepad document since we don’t have internet. I’ll probably post this tomorrow.

I’m gonna go now and find something else to do.

Oh by the way this is my 400th post!


This Time Last Year…The Stops

I am glad to say that Ushi is totally back to her old self and wasn’t sick since Wednesday morning. So god knows what she got into!

This time last year,
The stops
Started. Again i thought i had done something terribly wrong.

Thankfully back then the stopping wasn’t as major as it did get. It was still really strange though. I actually thought the reason she stopped the first time was that she couldn’t see in the dark!

I also had a couple of annoying kids. They are still annoying today but thankfully i manage to do my walks when they are not around. They don’t try to feed her now but are still very ignorant and if i do come across them they continue to walk in front of Ushi. They are the type that will never learn.

I can’t remember when the next post will be, but October last year was quite a bad month. Thankfully now i’ve sorted out those kinks.

Oh and when i’m away
Next weekend
I might use
Audio Boo
To record what i’m doing each day. I haven’t decided yet.


This Time Last Year…The Problems Start

I must start by saying that i had a sick girl last night. She had just come in from her last spend of the night when about 10 minutes later she was sick. This is the second time since i’ve had her that she has been sick. I thought she was grand after that but this morning she was sick again. I didn’t think breakfast would be a good idea though so didn’t feed her. I know that was probably bad of me but i thought it might help her stomach if she had nothing in it.

Thankfully she hasn’t been sick the rest of the day, and I fed her her dinner and it has so far stayed down. She’s not quite her self, but she did want to play earlier so that’s a good sign.

I think she might have eaten something when she was outside last night. (Mum thinks it was a slug). There wasn’t any grass in it at all so god knows what it was.

Anyway onto the main post. They say that it can take a good 6 months to a year for a new guide dog owner to work out all the “Kinks” in their relationship. Unfortunately the instructors can’t warn you about the
Problems
That might occur or when they will happen. (If they did tell you everything I think some guide dog owners might decide there and then to throw in the towel!). I’m guessing that the instructors don’t know because they only work with the dog for a short time.

I thought i had done something terrible. Over here guide dogs are taught to sit at down kerbs and steps. I’m not really sure why this is. Ushi just would not sit at all. I figured that because i had been the only one working her that i had done something to make her not sit at them.

Thankfully my instructor reassured me and said that we could let ushi stand at her kerbs as long as she waited. So Now I get her to stand at her kerbs but do have to tell her to “wait” sometimes because she anticipates what direction we are going.

I also had a complete weirdo who claimed that i was hurting ushi when i was correcting her. (Over here we use a “half check” collar which when you correct you basically chuck back on the lead and release it immediately. This is sort of like a little squeeze around her neck to let her know that what she is doing isn’t right. It never hurts the dog. It would only hurt the dog if you kept it pulled back). Anyway this dude thought I was hurting Ushi which i would never do. Of course that got me panicking in case he called Guide dogs. He never did though.

Little did i know that not sitting at her kerbs would only be the start of her little problems. In a couple of days i’ll talk about a problem that i thought was much worse.

In other news…

On Monday Ushi just didn’t seem to be on the ball. We were coming back from my quilting course and she walked all over the shopping centre where we do it and walked me into a couple of things. We always go out a certain way so don’t know what was up with her. Yesterday she was much better but I didn’t work her today.

If she is well tomorrow i’ll take her with me to sell christmas cards at a fold for elderly people. I’ll probably not work her but just take her along. Normally i will work her beforehand but think we’ll just chill. If she is sick again i won’t take her.

I don’t think it was anything serious since she was only sick those two times. Let’s hope for a better night! She is much more lively so think whatever it was is out of her system. Thank god!


This Time Last Year…The Big Update

Here we are again with another recap. Last years post was
Quite an update
Which started with a visit from my instructors as i still wasn’t all that confident using zebra crossings. Now i use that route quite alot as it takes me into town!

I found it so hard in those early days to actually go out on my own with Ushi, and used to imagine that my instructors were still there in their cars behind me. It seemed to work though as now i can go out without a care in the world!

I also had someone try to direct Ushi that week. I was walking around his car and he decided to tell Ushi where to go. I think he huffed with me though once i told him that i could work out the way round the obsticle! Thankfully i have only had that one experience and people don’t try to do it as much now.

I was spending ushi on the lead at the time last year, but thankfully she will come in now after she has gone and she doesn’t dig as much now.

The problems were pritty minor compared to the problems i will describe in the next couple of posts. I really wasn’t prepared!

I was reflecting the other day about Ushi on one of my days out this week with my rehab worker. She can be quite a hard dog to handle, and if the instructors had known what a handful she could have been i don’t think they would have given me her as a first dog. I think i am well able to handle her now though and we have come along way in just a year.

When we were out on our walk today, we heard a firework and poor Ushi jumped a bit. Last year she was grand though with them so i’m not too worried.

In other news, I ordered a wax for Ushi’s paws called “Mushers secret”. It is meant to protect the dogs paws from the salt and all during Winter. I can’t wait to try it out!

Remember to check out that exhibition i mentioned in my last entry if you’re in that area! If you’re not, you can still listen to the audio.

I’ll write more soon about me and Ushi.


This Time Last Year…Qualification!

I’ve been qualified
For Exactly one year!
I can’t really believe it to be honest.

I remember being asked if i had “somewhere to hang my harness” when i went to give it back to the instructors as we aren’t allowed to keep our harnesses until we qualify. I didn’t know what they were talking about though until they told me that i had qualified. I didn’t believe it all and panicked later that day because i put my harness on Ushi as I wanted to show my little brother what the harness did. I thought it would cause lots of problems because i didn’t work her but when i texted my instructor she just said that the only difference was that i had a “harness in my house” and that nothing was different than before.

I also remember how scared i was doing my little block route as there were these little yappy dogs and i thought they were coming towards me. I wouldn’t do that walk for ages because i was so worried, but my instructor always told me that “confidence breathed confidence” in that if you were confident the dog would be too.

I don’t mind those dogs now but the dog in the next house really gets ushi’s interest so i have to really shout at her to get her going.

Today consisted with a walk first, then I gave her her kong which she had a good wine at, but did eventually get the bits of food out. We then went with my rehab worker for a talk about guide dogs. It was another talk to a group of elderly people who had recently lost their sight. Ushi got a little winey but i’m guessing it was because there were people in a small room and she wanted attention. At the end of the talk, I asked if anyone wanted to pet Ushi and that was when she got all her attention. I ended up tying her lead to my chair throughout so that she could stretch out.

We then went off to a little coffee shop and Ushi went to grab something off the floor and i corrected her. One of the staff was like “oh…can she not have anything? I was going to make her a sausage!”. I just said that that would encourage her to look on the streets for food.

We went home shortly after that.

I’ve got a busy day tomorrow and saturday too. I promise that Saturday should be the last of the recaps for a while. I’ll probably do the Derry post separately from the recap for tomorrow. But i think Ushi enjoyed her day!


This Time Last Year…Throwing Grass

It was another lovely day today! A bit too warm though.

Last year, I was beginning to wonder
If I would ever qualify
On our first walk, I had an idiot who didn’t understand that Ushi was meant to stop at her kerbs, and that I would tell her to cross the road. I still get people who do this, or ones who try and direct the dog, or people who think the dog is like a robot and won’t play with any dogs, won’t get distracted, and who knows the way to anywhere. This is not the case!

In the afternoon, I went into the “guiding road” yet again, and my rehab worker had been watching me too! I really did wonder if i would ever qualify because of this. Little did i know I would qualify the next day!

Also in the afternoon Ushi decided to go mad with the grass in our garden and started to throw it around and stuff. She seems to start digging again when mum puts fresh soil down, but we managed to get her to stop by putting a plank of wood over the whole where she had dug. She hasn’t done it now for a couple of months. Thankfully she digs down rather than out.

Today i was a bit of a bad handler though. I thought at one point on our walk that she was just sniffing, but she was guiding me around an obsticle. Oops.

I have a bit planned for her qualification. I bought her a
Max goughnut
Which i think was a big too big for her, but she still has a ball with it. (I confess to giving her it a bit early). For anyone who doesn’t know, a Goughnut is a big ring which you can throw and stuff. I’ll walk her in the morning, followed by going with my rehab worker to a talk for guide dogs, then a frozen kong in the afternoon followed by lots of praise and just awesomeness.

I’ll let you know what we do tomorrow!


This Time Last Year…The Mysterious Kerb

This time last year, I discovered
A misterious kerb
On one of our routes. One of our routes has a bit that sort of curves round like a C shape. There is another kerb though there but we never go up onto it apart from that one day!

I also went across the guiding road again which wasn’t good. I’m so glad that i rarely do that now.

Last year we also went through what is called the “guide dog owner report” which is basically something that you have to fill in every month for your first 6 months after qualification. It is basically to keep track of the dog and make sure that you have no problems.

Today it was really nice weather when i was out. I thought I could ask Ushi to find “Diamonds” (our corner shop) just to see what would happen, but she just walked on. When i told her to find the shop though she got it grand.

I also worked out a way of getting out of our local co opp! When you come out of the co opp, you go down some steps but then it’s kind of hard to find your kerb going out as it is layed out like a car park. My dad suggested going right as soon as i came down the steps instead of doing a forward. That was much easier and i found my kerb, then went left until i found the zebra crossing to take me back home! So that was good.

I hope tomorrow will be a nice day. Much better than the snow we’re supposed to get later this month. Can we say noooo?