The 17th Round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival

I’m cheating a little and just reblogging this, but here are the submissions for the 17th assistance dog blog carnival. It was a very hard topic to write about, and nobody wants to face up to those regrets. If you have any, you push them to the back of your mind and tell yourself not to be silly. The posts are very interesting so far.

I must thank Brook, for putting them up so quickly-the deadline was only yesterday. Well done to all who took part. Deffinetly some food for thought :).

so here they are, the submissions for the 17th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. First, let’s go visit Briony and Rigby over at Briony Waffling and take a look at their post titled There’s No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk. In her post, Briony reflects upon her relationship with her former guide Lilo,…

The 17th round of the assistance dog blog carnival


I was thinking the other day that i hadn’t yet posted the results of the
Fifth assistance dog blog carnival
I haven’t even read them yet as i never seem to have the time/life has got in the way/me slacking. Anyway this carnival was hosted by
Over at
Gentle wit
This is a great blog and i’m making my way through it. As you know if i am interested in a blog i like to read the whole thing through. The theme was “achievements”.

You can read my submission and the rest of them
Over here
Sorry for the lateness and i’ll eventually get around to reading the other posts. Enjoy!

This Time Last Year…No Mistakes

Last year we were able to
Iron out the mistakes
I had made the previous day. We just concintrated on the new route as well as the “Church route”.

All those mistakes i made in the early days now seem so simple but at the time i thought they were really horrible.

There won’t be much to write about during the next couple of days as we just kept working out the kinks. I’ll keep writing each day though just to finish it.

Unfortunately last night I was looking for something on Youtube, and came across part of a documentary that the
Did on dog fighting. I only watched one part of it and it hadn’t actually shown much, but i found it really disturbing. Mainly because it was all about kids being attacked as well as other dogs. I’m glad i didn’t watch any more as it wasn’t pleasant at all. I think the documentary was in 2009 or something. It still had me thinking about it today.

I’ll write tomorrows entry tomorrow. I need to think about what i’m writing for this Assistance carnival, but don’t have a clue yet. I might do something similar to my qualification entry i’ll be writing but I haven’t decided yet. You can find out more about the carnival
And the deadline is the 23rd October.

Another Carnival

Third Assistance Dog Blog Carnival
Has been posted. That link will hopefully take you to the post I wrote for this edition.

This months host was
The Trouble is….
You can
Check out the other submissions
Here. I hope you enjoy! I’m surprised we haven’t ran out of topics yet!

The 3rd Assistance Dog Blog Carnival:Reactions To The Halty

I wasn’t going to participate in this carnival this month, but then I thought of a good post. This time, the carnival is being hosted by
The Trouble Is
I’ve never read her blog, but thought i’d contribute anyway. The topic for this month is “reactions”. This is quite a hard topic, and I thought about putting up the reaction to
Ushi being attacked,
But then thought that I would write about something else. So here goes.

Oh, by the way,
Here is the link
For the post about the carnival.

I use a
Sometimes with Ushi. This sort of looks like the head part of a horses bridle. It has a clip that you clip onto the collar, and the lead can clip on to it. It also straps around the back of her head. She hates having it on, but I use it for taking her to the vets as she would pull you along to get out of there, when i’m meeting other guide dogs as she wants to play and becomes very hard to handle, or when doing a free run. This is basically where the dog gets to be a dog for an hour or two, and she can run around and sniff until her little heart is content. If she knows that she is near a park or field where she knows that she can run around, she would pull uncontrolably. The Halty calms her down and she walks just calmly whilst i am being guided. (She hardly moves when working with it on).

The halty doesn’t hurt Ushi at all, and it is not a muzzle. She can still open her mouth and that.

The first time I had any bother with the halty was at one of the fundraising meetings I would attend. One of the people there were like “what is that thing around her nose?”. (I had it on because there were other guide dogs, but i take it off as soon as she gets into a “down”.). I explained that it was a Halty, and stops her pulling. That seemed to satisfy the person. At the last meeting I went to, alot of the other volunteers commented. “do you not like having your muzzle thing on?” was one comment. This really annoyed me. The Halty is not a muzzle and will never be. Plus why the hell would I need to muzzle my guide dog? I felt as if I was being cruel to Ushi then. The other comments I got were along the lines of “do you not like getting your “head harness thing” on?”. Those comments didn’t annoy me too much, but the “muzzle” one really irked me!

Maybe I was over reacting, but I just felt terrible after that. I have now got to the point where I even explain to the receptionists at the vets what the Halty is and that it is to stop her pulling!

Have any of you other Halty users ever had these problems?

This has been my submission for the third assistance dog blog carnival. I hope you have enjoyed it. I think the deadline for posts is the 25th April? But i’m not too sure. Hopefully someone can correct me on when it is.

Happy writing!

Carnival’s Up!

Second Assistance dog blog carnival
(In which I contrebuted a post about all the decisions that go into applying for a guide dog), is now up over at
Blog. (I’m currently deciding if I shall read through the archives still, or just read more recent entries). The carnival was posted yesterday.

There are over 27 posts I think contrebuting!
Here’s the link
For you to check out! Enjoy!

I look forward to reading all the posts, and guys, remember to pay me a visit!

I can’t wait for the next one!

2nd Assistance Dog Blog Carnival:The Decision

Back in October, we had the
First Assistance dog blog carnival
Which seemed to be a great success. It’s time once again for the next carnival.
Is hosting this carnival. The theme for this post is “decision”. I thought i’d write the post in this post too, as by now you all should know what a carnival is. If you don’t, it’s basically a magazine about assistance dogs, and it’s done every couple of months. It has a theme, and posters have to stick to this theme. A blogger hosts it every month.
Here’s The post
Explaining more details about what is involved.

Now for the actual post….

I’m not sure where to go for this post. I’ll write something, and hopefully it will fit the theme. It is such a hard theme to write about.

The decision to apply for my first guide dog Ushi was quite a hard one. I knew I wanted a guide dog, but when the idea was put to me nearly three years ago now, it was a very scarey thought. I didn’t know how I would benifit from a guide dog, how to put the harness on, how I would know when the dog went to the toilet etc. I had so many questions for my rehabilitation worker. I’m sure I had him pestered!

I decided a few days later to actually officially apply, as when my rehab worker came out that night, it was just a suggestion, but I still had to officially apply. That was easy enough as I just had to phone my district team of my organisation. (Unlike America, we don’t have different guide dog schools, rather we have “The guide dogs for the blind association”. Each country has what are known as “district teams”, which basically are the team of people who will be responsible for training you with the likes of a long cane, before progressing to a guide dog and afterwards. We only have one team here in Northern Ireland, but in England, Scotland and Wales, there could be more than one.).

There are a number of stages that you have to go through before you find out if you will be put on a waiting list or not.

After I officially applied, my rehab worker came out about a week later, and did what is known as the “enquiry visit”. This is basically where you ask alot of questions, and find out more about what owning a guide dog could be like. I asked loads more questions lol.

After this, you have to undertake a “Mobility assessment” which is where my rehab worker assessed me with the cane and that, to see how good my mobility was. Some paper work has to be filled in such as a report from my rehab worker, and someone else who taught me mobility at one point, such as my social worker, and a form has to be filled in saying what landmarks I use and that sort of thing. That went grand too, which was good.

A few months later, a “guide dog mobility instructor” or GDMI came out to do what is called a “guide dog assessment”. This is where you are assessed to see how good your voice is, what your speed is like, and how good you would be at following the dog and such. You use what is known as a “short handle” for this part. This is basically where the instructor holds one end of a guide dog harness, and you hold the other. The assessment is a chance for you to see if you want to continue with the guide dog application, and some facts are filled in such as your height etc. They also ask about what kind of lifestyle you will be leading. With us we can withdraw our application at any time, no questions asked.

Sometimes the guide dog mobility instructor will want to do a “guide dog further assessment”, which you will have to do if the instructor wants to see how you will be with an actual dog. I wasn’t that strong with my voice, so the instructor wanted to see if being with an actual dog would be better. This only happens ocasionally. The dog was in training.

I was put on the waiting list after this point. I was then “suspended” for three months, since I was in the middle of my GCSE exams, so couldn’t miss them.

My decision to stay on the waiting list was a very hesitant one. Many a time I would sit and worry about
Something I was told by the instructor
Which was totally inocent, but I took it the wrong way, and turned it into a whole big thing in my mind. In case you haven’t gathered, i’m a bit of a worrier lol. I spent a year roughly worrying about what I had been told lol.

After 15 months later, my rehab worker told me that there was a guide dog mobility instructor in the area, and would I fancy a dog walk. I jumped at the chance. Within a week of that first introduction to Ushi, I was matched with her. The decision to stay on that waiting list was a worthwhile one! (By this point I wasn’t as worried).

During class, I was always wanting to know what we were doing next. I liked to be prepared and plan ahead. My instructor always said to me “just focus on what we are doing now”. The decision not to ask questions was a hard one!

Now 4 months later from when I was on class, (3 months after qualification), I don’t ask that many questions. I have more confidence in myself, and don’t lean on the instructors as much now. They are always there though if I need them which is good.

There are quite alot of decisions that you have to make on this journey to getting a guide dog. It can’t just be one decision.

I hope this post meets the theme for the carnival. The deadline for submissions is the 17th January. That is 8 days from now.

I will post nearer the time to remind you to get your posts in. Enjoy!