Happy Christmas All

As i sit here letting my dinner digest, i just thought i’d pop in and wish you all a happy Christmas. I hope you all have enjoyed your day.

I have done nothing, absolutely nothing all day. I am spending Christmas this year down at my dads with my sister. I didn’t have a clue what i wanted, so we’re just getting money this year. I do find it strange not having anything to open, but when you don’t know what you want, it’s hard to have something. We did of course have christmas dinner but other than that, we’ve just treated it as another day. Just another day.

I’ve been thinking about my uncle a lot though. He really loved when we were at his the christmas before last. He loved it every christmas come to think of it. It deffinetly is quite strange knowing that we won’t see him agin. Everything is getting squared away on that front, and the relivant documents are with the relivant people.

So i would like to thank everyone who wished me a happy christmas, and thanks to the friends who got me presents. I am desperate though and can’t wait to open my presents so i have to open them as soon as i get them :).

So i hope everyone enjoys the rest of their christmas day. I am off to catch up on The archers for this week as i’ve missed them this week. I hope people who are finding it hard can get through today. I think the older you get, the less christmas means, or maybe that’s just me. I think i shall wrapp up now. Take care all :).


Squaring Things Away

So my uncle has been dead now for about 2 months now. It’s hard to believe. When i want to tell him things, i know i can’t now. Thankfully though, it wasn’t due to his bipollar or anything at all. He had had a massive heart attack which couldn’t have been prevented. It was a genettic condition he had. My granda died the very same way too, and it can be traced right back in mums side of the family. It only affected males though.

Unfortunately he had lay in the house for a few weeks, so the house needed to be fumigated by a specialist team. I am so thankful that we didn’t find him though. Or that we weren’t up at the house when it happened. It sends shivers up my spine to think what would have happened if i had been alone with him when it happened, for example.

Tomorrow my sister, dad and i are going up to the house to take some of our stuff we had left at his over the months. We may take some more things, depending what is in good condition to keep. Me and my sister have been generously left the house by my uncle which was such a nice thought. We haven’t decided what we’ll do with it yet though.

I’m kind of dreading going up to be honest. I know it is ours now, but it seems weird rummaging round his house. It kind of brings it home too. I wasn’t really affected by his death, but i did think of him a lot. But going up to what was his house will deffinetly bring it home alright. We don’t even know what state the house will be in. It’ll probably be freezing.

I hope we don’t spend too long there to be honest as i only have a couple things to grab and i don’t know, but i’m kind of weirded out about the whole thing.

I’m just going to treat the house as if it’s just an empty house, otherwise we won’t want to go in to it at all. I just felt a need to get my feelings out on to paper as it were.

So once again, rip Uncle Stephen, and thank you for all you did for us. You were totally great. I do miss texting you. I often think about when you phoned me to explain why you couldn’t text and that you had a weird illness. I think of the last texts i sent you when i said about you going to stay with Granny. Sorry i doubted in my head that you couldn’t because you couldn’t travel. I hope you’re happy where ever you are..


RIP Uncle Stephen

Tonight i got the sad news that my uncle has died. I am not sure what happened, but my aunt found him and said he seemed to have been dead a while.

I haven’t been up at my uncles as much as i have been this year because he hasn’t been well at all with his depression. Usually i know when to go up and when not. When he doesn’t respond to my texts, i know he’s not well and that he will contact me in his own time.

To add to this though, lately he has started taking spells where he will fall when he is standing up. I don’t know if he actually faints as it hasn’t happened thankfully when we’ve been around but he does fall. We called them his wibble wobbles. The doctors thought it was his blood pressure was going too low but it wasn’t that as he told us the tablets weren’t working and the falls were happening more regularly.

A few weeks ago he called me. This is rare as he never calls-we text each other instead. He said he couldn’t physically text as he was very shaky. He was shaking so badly that he couldn’t even pour himself a drink or get up to go to the toilet. I told him that he needed to get it checked out as soon as possible.

A few weeks later, he was able to text again but was very tired and unsteady on his feet since the shaking thing happened. He wasn’t too worried as he thought that it was a weird flu as he had the same thing a couple years ago. He had said that it probably wasn’t that serious and that he was going to see our granny who has recently moved over here from Scotland. My aunt would have picked him up as he can’t travel. I thought this was a great thing since he doesn’t like travelling at all, but the fact that he had said that he would go down to see granny was brilliant. That was the last text he sent me.

I presumed he was just down again and that he would text me when he was ready. I was not expecting the news that he was dead tonight at all. I was just talking about him today to my friend Paul.

To be honest, yes it’s sad, but i’m not too upset yet. I know that probably sounds heartless and the fact i’m even writing this blog tonight is probably heartless, but i am not one of these people who gets upset because that’s what people do. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but obviously if i do get upset, i’ll deal with it, but i would be quite private about my grief. It doesn’t mean i don’t care or anything.

Unfortunately, my uncle struggled a lot with his weight. He also is a heavy smoker along with his mental illness. I just hope that in a way it was something medical and not him taking his own life as that would just be awful if he felt he had to do that.

I’ll probably go up and collect some wee things i still have left up there, but there is no rush. I’d say a post mortum will probably be carried out to investigate the cause of his death.

So uncle Stephen, thank you for being such a great uncle. Thank you for being you. Thank you for everything you did for us, now and in the past like taking me to see Sara brightman in concert when i was about 9. Thank you for the wee texts, and for just being you. Thank you for the key to your home when we met face to face again a few years ago. Thank you for accepting me for me. Thank you for accepting Ushi even though you weren’t a dog person at all. Thank you for letting her lick you and look after you. Thank you for being you. Rest in piece. Sorry we couldn’t see you as often as we’d have liked, but we wouldn’t have intruded if you needed time alone. Sorry for nagging you about your falls. I just hope you didn’t suffer. Rip xxxx.


Oh That’s Such A Shame

I was up visiting my uncle again. We went up on Wednesday and came home today. I’ll get to the title of this post in a minute.

I decided to work Ushi to the train station on Wednesday. She worked really well and was good at getting on and off the train. I still have to tell myself not to be nervous getting on and off as that could rub off on Ushi, but i do still feel a bit anxious. Once i am on then i’m grand. It’s just the getting on.

Ushi worked very well until we were getting the bus from the city centre of Belfast up to my uncles. She just started going to the kerb all the time and not following my directions. My sister then guided me and Ushi kept going in front of her. She even said that she wouldn’t want me bringing her next time if she continued. I was pretty annoyed about that. My sister usually is great with Ushi but i guess she was just annoyed. Maybe i shouldn’t work her if i don’t know the route and am getting directions, but Ushi has coped well in the past when i have done that.

When we got to my uncles, Ushi went to spend straight away. So i think that could have been what she needed. She doesn’t normally indicate the gutter as she is reluctant to go on concrete. Unfortunately it was the middle of the city centre so i’m not sure i’d want her going there anyway. I did some obedience with her as i admit i do become a bit slack with it. I think i’m going to have to do it every couple of days now rather than waiting until her work becomes a bit scratchy. Not majorly, but i do notice it.

The last time my uncle had baught Ushi a food bowl but it was too shallow and small for princess Ushi. So this time i thought i’d bring her own just in case. My uncle had kindly baught her a bigger deeper one, and it seemed to do the trick as she ate all her meals in it. So at least i’ll not have to bring her own bowl in future. I never thought a bowl would make such a difference to whether she eats or not. She took herself off to bed at about 20 to 9 that night lol.

I’m pleased to say yesterday was a much better working day. She listened much better to me and wasn’t wanting to go the kerb all the time. She did insist on walking at an angle when she was working, wanting to walk along the right side of the street. Normally she likes the left, but for some reason she wanted to walk along the right.

Unfortunately we got stopped by a woman as we were coming out of Tescos. She told us all about how she loved dogs even though she got bitten as a child. She then went into every detail about how her lip swoll up and how the doctors gave her a Tetinus injection. Then her mum apparently took her to a private doctor and the doctor said that the poison from the dog bite was going up to her left eye. (Can you tell i was deeply interested? Not). I then got told that she had a dog but before it died a cat came to her house and she adopted it. And then all about how she is bothered by her neighbors cats and they sit there until she gives them food.

Next came the worst bit of all though. She said to Ushi “What are you having for your dinner tonight?”. I said she was just having dog food. There was a silence then “Are you only having dog food? Maybe at the weekend you’ll get some chicken.”. (Can you guess where this is going yet?). I explained that ushi could only have her food and the reasons why. (I had to do this at least 3 or 4 times until she got the message). You’d have thought that i had done something cruel to Ushi (which i never would), but she said “Oh. That’s such a shame. Can she not even have a bite?”. (Again the explanation as to why not). It ended up we had to say we had a bus to catch. Technically we did but we could have got it at any time. That was the only way we could get rid of the woman. It also took her ages to grasp that Ushi was a girl. I felt like telling her to look for herself but decided that might have been a little rude.

Nothing more eventful happened. Ushi again ate all her food and went to bed quite early.

I was woken by a little whine this morning at about half 5. She has started looking for her food in the mornings. I used to feed her at half 5 in the evenings, but i was woken far too early so now feed her about 7 o’clock. I managed to get her to go back to bed until half 6, then 7. She must have been hungry lol.

Unfortunately on the way back home our train was delayed for half an hour because of flooding. It ended up that we had to change trains. The conductors kept appologising for the delay.

So Ushi is now asleep. I’m away doing an information tables at Waterstones so that should be good.

So apart from the wierdo at Tescos, it was a good time as always. I love the way ushi is so relaxed at my uncles house. He loves having her too which is fabulous!


Visiting

I decided to go on Thursday up to my Uncles house with Ushi and my sister.

Ever since my uncle read the article that was in the paper a couple of weeks ago, he has wanted to meet Ushi. I wasn’t sure about it though since he isn’t really a dog person, but we met up just for the day. He said he loved her and thought she was great. I then got a text that night saying about how he loved seeing ushi and he said he had baught me a bowl for her so i didn’t have to carry it if i ever went to stay with him.

My sister is doing a course up in Belfast every week so she suggested i come up the next time she was going up. So on Thursday I decided that we would come up.

I thought that we would use the ramp onboard the trains to get on them to make it easier for us. I wasn’t sure though if a guide dog owner could use them but decided to ask anyway. It was no problem and the conductor got it out for us. Of course Ushi decided she didn’t like it and would not go near it at all. I think because it was metal but she kept going towards the steps of the train. I don’t know if this means she is getting more confident or what, but i thought she would use it no problem. I kind of felt like i was wasting the conductors time though.

Normally i don’t work Ushi when we are in Belfast because i don’t know where i am going and because it is so busy, but i asked my sister and she directed me. It was great seeing how Ushi worked in such a busy environment. She was brillian and not a paw wrong!

We got the bus up to my uncles first because we didn’t need to be in town until after 1 o’clock.

As soon as we got to the house, Ushi started bouncing around. My uncle had put his bins at one side of his garden for Ushi so she could spend without me having to put her on the lead. I thought this was very nice. I was a little worried about her going since there is no grass but there were weeds so Ushi had no problem going.

When we went into town I worked Ushi again. I thought it might be ignorant, and maybe i was showing off, but i thought it would be good to work her. My uncle understood and didn’t mind at all. I decided to meet my friend, then i met my uncle again afterwards.

While i was waiting for my uncle there was this woman who was talking to me about Ushi. She then said “I see alot of blind people with sticks but i think they should have dogs.” I said that sometimes people don’t want a dog but she seemed determined that she knew best and nobody who was blind shouldn’t have a dog. She was about to say something to me with the word “see” in it and she nearly walked away when she said it! I said it was okay and i managed to get her to finish the conversation. I promise i won’t explode if you say any sighted words. Nor will i explode if you say the dreaded b word.

When my uncle arrived we went to Argus because he was getting me an air bed to sleep on. As i was walking, a man asked me if he could pet my dog. I clearly had the harness up and was walking along. I just said that she was working. When i said that, I got a “is she?” No she isn’t, i’m just walking for the fun of it! I suppose it was good he asked though.

We headed back to my uncles house after that.

Unfortunately when i went to feed Ushi later on, she only ate a little of her food because the bowl my uncle got wasn’t as big as her own so she couldn’t move the food around in it. I was a little disappointed and didn’t think that a bowl could be so important! So i had to put the food on the floor for her to eat, and at one point had to practically hand feed her!

My uncle has kindly offered to buy her another one though since she didn’t like that one.

Ushi spent alot of her time following my uncle, and licking his hands when he sat down. My uncle has psoriasis so his skin would be pretty bad.

On Friday we just went to the co opp but not into town so it was a chilled day.

I was going to go home on Friday but decided to go home yesterday. It was a good job I braught extra food as i hadn’t decided that i would stay until the last minute.

Me and Ushi will deffinetly be going up again. I’m so glad that my uncle and Ushi had such a good time. I think my uncle enjoyed it more than Ushi. I hope the next time she won’t decide not to eat!