A Busy Couple Of Days

Me and Ushi have had a couple of busy days. All good fun though.

On Wednesday it was our branch meeting, which thankfully didn’t kick off between certain people but we thought it would at one point.

Yesterday we were invited to a talk held by the
Dogs trust
It was a summer scheme held by the
Hope centre
Which is an organisation that help kids who’s parents are drug and alcohol users. Or rather it helps kids who’s parents are abusing drugs.

So at about half 1, the branch organiser collected me and Ushi to head out to the dogs trust. We weren’t sure what the kids would be like given their background, but they were grand!

When we arrived, we went into the reception building first as we didn’t know where to go. Some volunteers had come in to walk some of the dogs, and there was a greyhound who happened to be in front of us. So Ushi got quite excited about that.

We had to go past the kennels to get to the barn which is used for training the dogs. So there was a major sniff fest by Ushi. The people from the dogs trust said i could let Ushi off her lead which was a good idea since she was very unsettled and i had her at the end of her lead. I got to hold a little puppy called Lotty who was a shitzu before we started our talk. It just lay in my lap. Ushi started making little weird sounds at the pup. Sort of like a whine but not a whine.

Our talk was only meant to last half an hour but we ran on for another half an hour lol. We got presented with a dogs trust mug and bag. And a rubber bracelet.

After that, the kids were taken out to do agility with some dogs from the dogs trust. I thought this was a great thing for the kids to do, and thankfully the weather was nice for them.

Today me and my rehab worker went down to a place called Lusty beg in Fermanagh. The family have two twins, with one being sighted and one being blind. They wanted to meet someone who was a twin with the same situation as theirs. My rehab worker suggested i would go and i said yes. If i could help in some way, then i would go. The little girls family were interested in applying for a
Buddy dog
But it was felt that the dog wouldn’t be much benifit since the family have two cocker spaniels of their own.

So at about 8 o’clock me and ushi were picked up. We had to stop off at another guide dog owners house first, in a place called Lack.

The lady had a black lab called Hester. Ushi and her had a great time running around, chasing each other and just being silly dogs. Ushi was exhausted afterwards!

We then headed down to Lusty beg to meet the family of the little girl. There was also a social worker from the local trust there too.

The little girl doesn’t like furry things, and doesn’t like walking on grass. I apparently didn’t like that either. She will touch their cocker spaniels, but it is on her own terms. She is very into music so she has lots of musicle toys.

The parents are very keen for her to learn braille, and have got her a perkins which i am so jealous of! It is much smaller than mine and is lighter.

We stayed talking for ages and i hope it helped a little. I have given my contact number in case she needs to contact me. I’m so glad the little girl is so independent.

Before we left Lusty Beg, we stopped to get a photo of me and Ushi with the ferry that takes you around the island behind us.
Me and Ushi with the ferry that goes across Lusty Beg Island in the background

Finally we headed off to Omagh. There is a 17 year old who is on the waiting list for a guide dog. She had some vision. We chatted for a while before she went out with her cane for a mobility lesson. Me and Ushi stayed and talked to her mum for a while. By this time Ushi was more than ready to go home.

It was a busy couple of days, and we were off on our travels again on Saturday, but i’ll write about that in a separate post. I hope i helped a little with the little girl.


Another Guide Dog Talk

On Monday, my rehab worker asked me if I would like to attend
Another Talk About Guide dogs
Of course I said yes since I wasn’t doing anything anyway. So today we went off to visit one of the local folds.

We were talking to another group run by the RNIB. From what i’ve seen of these last two groups, They seem like a great idea, as they get people who are newly diagnosed as blind or partially sighted out and about, and they also seem quite relaxed and informal. This talk was no different. I debated if I should have something prepared, but thought i’d just go with the flow.

My rehab worker again started about the myths of owning a guide dog. I then told a bit about myself, then my rehab worker talked about more of the myths, and then the other services that guide dogs offer such as the
Sighted guiding service
I mentioned in a previous post. (This service isn’t yet fully operational yet).

My rehab worker also mentioned the
Buddy dogs
Service which places a dog with maybe a family of a child thinking of applying for a dog in the future. These dogs don’t guide, but have been rejected as guide dogs. They are mainly companion dogs, and teach children how to care for a dog, for example.

About an hour into the talk, Ushi started to whine a bit. This is not like her at all, so I don’t know what was up with her. She did settle in again, and after we had done our bit, questions were asked, and then my rehab worker asked me if i allowed people to pet Ushi, and if he wanted me to take her round everyone. It was like a big living room we were in so I said it was okay. She loved that part lol. We had no more whines after that so that was good.

I enjoyed this talk better than the last one as I felt I could just chat away where as the last one felt more awkward for some reason.

On Saturday i am attending one of the
Guide dogs fun days
Which are being held across the country. I am mainly going because there is a breefing about the changes to the organisation and think as a guide dog owner they might affect us. There will be a Go Walkies sponsored walk too as well as lots of other fun stuff.

I’m kind of dreading it as it’s gonna be distractions galore! Ushi won’t be working as I don’t know where to go though. She’ll still have her harness on though. I’ll keep you up to date on how it all goes.

Out of interest, i’m wondering do you find all this guide dog stuff boring? It’s just i’ve got very little comments recently :(. Maybe it’s a blogger issue though.

I’ll let you know how Saturday goes!