This Time Last Year…Photo

This time last year,
Was mine and Ushi’s
First photo opportunity. It was with our local papers. My rehab worker wanted to show a newly qualified team with a more experienced team (and there is only one other guide dog owner in Ballymena since my friend hadn’t been matched yet).

I was a bit nervous about having Ushi’s photo taken since we can’t officially fundraise until we are at least 6 months qualified. This is so that you can get used to each other as a team. I got so many compliments that day though about her coat and such. I always just smile and say thanks.

I never actually got the photo as it was a scanned picture.

I also spent my first time in a coffee shop with ushi and she was grand.

I had came to the fundraising meetings after that but my first fundraising event wasn’t until March I think. I can’t remember what it was though. I’ve just had a quick look, and my first fundraiser was in April, and it was a
Jollyes Collection
I was a bit nervous then, but now i’ve done plenty of events. The only event i won’t do is street collections as i feel that they can be a bit too much, and i would rather be sitting rather than standing. Plus i feel that if you are doing a street collection, people don’t get the same opportunity to ask you questions i feel and it is constantly busy. Maybe someday i will collect though.

Today was a great working day. We had a little spring in our steps!

I’ve got aftercare on Monday so i’ll let you know how that goes. I’m not having any issues so i’m just going to do a regular route. (I’m not going to learn any new routes though because i don’t think there would be much point to start a new route for us not to be able to do it because of the weather. So i’m just going to leave it until the spring and just stick to our regular boring routes. I’ll let you know how Monday goes.

This Time Last Year…A Solution!

I’m finally catching up on all those blog posts i was writing over the past couple of days.

We had a visit from the
District team manager
Last year. I was so nervous since he was the manager and thought i had done someting to make her stop.

Ushi jumped up on the manager when he came to the house which i was mortified about! Thankfully he was okay with it and she hasn’t really done it since.

He discovered her little whines she used to do but doesn’t do any more while working.

We didn’t go straight up to the kerb outside our house and sometimes we don’t do that since she will stop if we do go up to the kerb and turn right sometimes.

Thankfully the stopping did stop and when she does it now i know how to deal with it and just tell her to get on with it. I sometimes sound like i want to kill her!

In the next post in this series, Ushi decides to leave a little something behind when we go shopping. I was mortified that day!

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!

The "Guide Dogs Gals" Pub Quizz

Just before our last fund raising meeting, my rehab worker forwarded all te branch members an email from one of our admin team who is running the
Belfast City Marathon
At the start of May. To help them raise the money needed, our team are holding a pub quizz up in Belfast. My rehab worker says that I could probably go, as it would be just sitting around really. Here is the info from our teams
Facebook Page

Time: 07 April from 19:30 to 22:30
Location: Kings Head, Belfast

We are holding a pub quiz at the Kings Head (opposite Kings Hall in Belfast) on 7th April 2011 to raise money for the Guide Dogs Gals marathon team effort in May. Entry will be £20 per team and teams can have up to a max of 6 people each. To enter a team please contact me (Ally) at with your details and the total people in your team so we have an idea of numbers! Or phone the office on 0845 3727 402 for more information. Thanks :0)

I am still deciding whether to take Ushi or not. I’m thinking I might though as it will get her used to new experiences and that. Plus that would be leaving her for like 5 hours if i didn’t take her! I think she would enjoy going, and it means then that she will be used to that kind of environment. We will be in a room of our own, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m just a little worried about her spending. I mean usually she is spent at about 9:30, but if she isn’t spent for an hour later will she be alright? Obviously I will give her an opportunity before I go, when we get there, probably during it if we have a break, before we go home, and once again when we get home. Should I give her more opportunities to go? Should I even take her at all? Decisions decisions. I was even thinking I could even get her to lie down in the car?

Is there anything I should bring with me? I’m bringing her water bowl but should I bring anything else?

Normally she is alright when she has to lie down somewhere, although after about an hour she will get bored and stand up a bit, but I can usually get her back into a down again.

So any thoughts? Thanks! I’m sure it will go alright though!