Today was the start of Guide dog week, and it was the
80th birthday party
In Belfast. I was going up with my rehab worker. My friend asked if she could be picked up from my house since we were both going together. That was fine.
My friend came to the house at about 8.30 as we weren’t leaving til 9 o’clock. We thought we would let the dogs have a bit of a play before we would go.
I had told my two year old brother that he would see another doggy soon. I said that she was a guide dog and that it was called Della. My two year old brother was like “I want to see Della” and “Will Della be there in a second?” and “I want to see the black doggy”. I said Della was a guide dog and he was like “Della is a guide dog but she isn’t Wushi (Ushi)”.
When my friend came, I left Ushi in the hall and went out to meet her. My little brother was then behind the front door so we waited until he had moved. Ushi was off her lead and they could see each other through the door and were having a good whine at each other. When we did let them see each other, I grabbed onto Ushi’s collar to let my friend in, and now have a huge cramp in my arm. She can be quite strong when she wants to be. My friend was a bit nervous about letting Della off her lead in case she bumped into my two year old brothers cast. I said it would be fine and asked mum and she was okay with them being let off too.
Well they had a ball. I was expecting them to run all through the house, but they just rolled around the floor and chewed on each others ears, pawed each other, snorted and generally had a great time. At one point Ushi went off to lie in the kitchen. I went to see where she was and she then got up and went to play with Della again. It was great to let them do this as it was a dog I knew, and it was nice to see her having so much fun.
When my rehab worker came he watched them play together for a bit before we put them in the car. The car was just outside so we didn’t put them on leads, but instead just opened the boot. Ushi just would not get in the boot because she associates going in his car with sitting in the front at my feet. We bribed her up though with a dog treat and she was soon up. We figured that we would put them both in the boot as they were getting on so well and one of them would be going in the back anyway.
We got to the City Hall at about half 9. We chatted to some of the staff for a while, before sitting down for a while as the actual event didn’t start until 11 o’clock.
More guide dog owners started to arrive so of course that meant that the dogs would get rather excited. Every time a new dog came along, the dogs wanted to say hello. I heard someone complaining about the dogs getting excited. I don’t think she was a guide dog owner but she was within earshot. I just said something like “They aren’t robots so it’s only natural that they would get excited” or something to that affect.
One of the puppywalkers then came up to us with her pup Troy. Another puppywalkerwas going to bring up her pup Trixy but i think she was being rather naughty.
At about half 10, we got some photograps taken, before going into a markee as this was where all the other guide dog owners were. At this point it started to bucket down so it was a good job that we were all in the markee.
Lots of people started to turn up for the blind folded obsticle course. It was made up of cars, chairs, lamp posts and just the general street furniture that would be found on a street. It was 80 feet long and people were given a long cane and accompanied up the course. The lord mayor for Belfast then came so we had to get photographs taken with him. Here is a
Vidio of him
Doing the course. I think there were some people walking with some guide dogs blind folded too so you might see that.
I think alot of the guide dog owners left shortly after that, but not before the birthday cake was cut. We got all the dogs sitting up while the cake was braught in. Apparently it was a two teer cake with little iced guide dogs with their harnesses on and baloons on the second layer. It sounded great.
There were still people doing the obsticle course, but we just chatted to the public and met more doggies.
I baught the Northern Ireland guide dogs calendar for 2012, and baught a book for my two year old brother called
Pheenix Finds Treasure
Which is about a dog who finds a ladys purse or something on a beach. It’s not guide dogs related but i think the author is donating the proceeds to guide dogs.
It was an alright day but I think more would have happened if it hadn’t been so wet and miserable. I just think there could have been a little more happening, but we couldn’t really control the weather.
What mattered was that there were hopefully a few people made more aware of how cluttered the streets can be for blind and partially sighted people.
I even saw one of my old primary school teachers too.
There are lots of other events happening across the UK all across this coming week. I hope everyone has a good time and that all doggies have fun!