I read Ushi’s post that she posted yesterday-how did she get on the computer? Anyway she mentioned that we had to do something today…I think i’d better explain.

On Tuesday evening, I got a call from my rehab worker to ask if I would be available on Thursday. He explained that there was a photographer coming to the local fundraising branch, and he thought it would be a good idea to get a newly qualified guide dog owner, and an experienced one together for a photograph. (any newly qualified guide dog owner must not do any actual fundraising, as it could be very stressful for both owner and dog. We can do it after 6 months to a year, depending on how we feel and how the dog is doing. It is not compulsery that we do fundraise, but we can if we want.). My rehab worker did check with the instructors, and they said that it was up to me to come down for the photo or not. I was not to do any interviews though. So once I knew it was okay, and that I wasn’t going to get into trouble, I agreed to do it. After all, it gets Ushi used to new places, andit was a chance to catch up with my friend who was going to be at it!

So I got up at the usual time for feeding. I gave Ushi a nice groom, as I wanted her to look her very best. I also brushed her teeth. If she was going to misbehave, I still wanted her coat to look nice.

I did a walk with her first, just to calm her down a bit, so we didn’t have any jumps or attempts on people. She was kind of distracted though. Not majorly, but just slightly. I got her back on track though.

My rehab worker came at about half 10. We weren’t sure where to put Ushi in the car, and he asked if she had been in the car before. I said she had, and he asked if I knew how to get in and out of cars with her. We agreed to have her sitting in between my legs in the front seat. She was grand and sat there like a trooper! She put her head on my leg at one point, and just kept it there for a minute. I thought it was cute.

We arrived at a coffee shop just, as that was where the photographers would meet us. She was grand going in, but tried to sniff at a piece of bread when we were going past a person! I corrected her, and we carried on. We decided to use the lift, as I wasn’t that confident taking her up, or down stairs, for that matter. The part where everyone was was upstairs.

When we saw everyone, Ushi noticed my friends guide dog. They said hello, and then Ushi was offered some water by one of the volunteers who was there. She normally doesn’t drink that much, but she did have some which was good. I got sitting down, and she lay down right beside me which was good. In fact, it wasn’t just good, it was fab!

We all got a group photo taken first. Ushi kept trying to lie down in the shot! I got her to sit, and she was grand. Good girl for trying to lie down though!

My rehab worker, me and my friend all scrambled into the lift again, and went out on to the street for our shots. Ushi tried to lie down again, but I got her sitting beside me no problem. She wasn’t bothered by the camera or anything. My rehab worker also took a photo of me and Ushi for the blog/my facebook page, so i’ll have to stick it up here.

We went back to the coffee shop after that. Because Ushi was so well behaved, I decided to stay on and have a coffee with them. My rehab worker said he would take me home if I wanted, but I didn’t want to be a bore, and I was so proud of her that I thought it would do no harm staying on. Again, she lay perfectly, despite the fact that there was a big queue to the left of her. There was even a kid that kept saying about “the doggie”! It was my friends dog this time who was being a pain. He should have been setting Ushi an example! Only kidding, of course.

Ushi only sat up once when we were nearly ready to go!!

It was a fab fab fab morning, and now Ushi is lying zonked on her bed. She is a tired doggie!

All morning I was getting comments like “you are looking after her well”, “She is lovely”, “Her coat is beautiful”, and “You are handling her well”. I felt so happy. My rehab worker even said to me that I looked like a guide dog owner, and that I should be proud of today.

I am very very very proud of Ushi and how well she behaved! Good girl! I bet she wouldn’t have behaved that well out of harness! I think though that if I am in a busy restaurant, that maybe keeping the harness on would be the best thing.

Well done Ushi, and i’m so glad you didn’t jump on anyone, or anything like that. And thankfully you didn’t leave any presents behind!

I seriously wasn’t expecting her to be that well behaved. I am so pleased though!

Well done again Ushi, and I will post the picture when I get it.

Let’s hope we have many more similar experiences!