The Limavady Volunteering Event

Today was the volunteering event I told you I might be going to in
My Last Entry
My rehab worker picked me up at about 11 o’clock. We arrived at a place called Crumpets restaurant in Limavady where the volunteering event would be held, and had a quick lunch. I had scrambled eggs and toast. We then met the organiser of the Limavady branch. Lunch was nice, but i felt that there wasn’t that much room for Ushi under the table. It was like a bench thing. She just about had room. Oh well. We weren’t staying in the main restaurant for long though.

At about 1 o’clock, we went up stairs to what seemed like a big conference room thingie. We got set up, and were waiting for the volunteer coordinator to come down from Belfast.

While we were waiting, one of the guide dog owners I met at
The fundraising workshop
Down in Derry arrived with his guide dog Inis. (There was a street collection happening all day as well as the volunteer event which lasted from one til 5. I felt it was still too early in our partnership to do the street collection). Anyway this guide dog owner had done his two hours collecting, and had come up to where we were for his break. (We aren’t allowed to collect for more than two hours at a time as it’s not really fair on the dog, and the dogs need at least a 30 minute break to just chill). As soon as they had entered the room, Inis made a dive for Ushi. He then barked and growled a bit. Of course this made me really panick. His growl sounded really scarey. The owner then put a halty type thingie on his dog to calm him down a bit. I was really shaking. I felt like crying too. I know nothing probably would have happened, but it just sounded awful.

I don’t blame the guide dog owner at all. When we were chatting later on, he explained that Inis had never done that before, and that he didn’t like the growl at all either. He said the dog had done that to another dog too whilst collecting. He said he would ask the team. I explained that I knew it wasn’t his fault.

Unfortunately just as Inis had barked at Ushi, we were asked for a picture to promote the event. We were all going to take a picture outside. A volunteer had just come in too at this time, so she was bribed into getting her photo taken too.

So we all headed downstairs. Inis and his owner went down first, while I waited with my rehab worker and Ushi. He kept asking me if i was alright. I explained that I am still rather nervous about dogs when they bark and that, and just explained that because of the dog attack i still didn’t like hearing other dogs barking like that. I put Ushi’s halty on as well as her harness, just to make sure she didn’t pull or anything.

Once we went outside, there was a random woman who started saying “are you going to give me your paw?”. We were trying to walk at the time! I kept Ushi as far back from Inis as possible. The photo probably looked horrible since I looked pritty shakey still.

Me and Ushi went back in first. When Inis came in again, I stood up, and positioned her at the side of my chair. (It was an armchair type thingie). Inis and his owner sat about a chair away, and the volunteer coordinator sat between us. Ushi first of all seemed to shake a bit, but after she realised that Inis was away from her, just lay down and made herself comfortable.

My rehab worker took Ushi shortly after that to get her to busy as she hadn’t been all day. (she decided to hold in from about 11 til about three o’clock). He explained to me that she kept trying to get to his other side passing Inis, but afterwards was grand. It did start raining though, and Ushi just wanted to come back inside, apparently. The only reason I got my rehab worker to take Ushi out was that it was just outside the restaurant, and there were people out collecting in the street and that. He asked me first, and asked if i wanted to go or not.

By the time they came back up, the sun was shining. Ushi took a drink of her water, and just lay down where the sun was lol.

Shortly after that, it was time for my rehab worker, Inis and his owner to make their way down stairs again to do some more collecting. I was left with the volunteer coordinator and a few volunteers.

After a while, my rehab worker came back up again from collecting. This was followed by another guide dog owner and her guide dog Jumble. Ushi and Jumble decided to have a bit of a play. I had to get quite firm with Ushi, and I think one of the volunteers didn’t like it. I heard my rehab worker saying that we didn’t use physical corrections, but that I needed to be quite firm because of the type of personality Ushi has. I asked him later, and apparently she must have thought I was being violent towards Ushi which I would never do.

The other guide dog owner then went to do some collecting. That was basically the whole day.

On our way home, we stopped off at the organiser of the Limavady branches house to pick up a Gizeebo which we need for the Ballymena show next week which i’m going to. We let Ushi run around her back yard as it was enclosed. She even braught out a toy for her to play with, which we all played with for a while. She was going to throw a rugby ball which she has, but I said that I didn’t want Ushi having balls as guide dogs aren’t allowed them. She boards guide dogs you see, and explained that some of the guide dogs she boards are allowed balls.

That was basically it for the day. We headed home after that.

Oh I found out that the collectors raised £429 and we got 7 new volunteers! Well done all!