30 Challenges!

I will be 30 on 18th February. That’s in twenty days time. I’m planning a fundraiser for guide dogs on the day, (I don’t want presents), but I want to do something fun this year. So I need your suggestions!
I want to challenge myself to do 30 new things this year. I’m making a list that I’ll post just before my birthday, but I need ideas.

So where did this crazy idea come from? This morning I went to the Foyle Arena in Derry, where I climbed a climbing wall for the first time. I’m not an adventurous person at all, but I was glad I did it. Doing something challenging can make you nervous and uncomfortable, but when you do it, there’s no better feeling.
Challenges are different for everyone. Going somewhere knew, learning a new route with a cane or guide dog, cooking new food, meeting new people, starting a new hobbie… All these can be challenging. I’m not looking for major fitness challenges, or I don’t want to climb Mount Everest or anything. I just want simple ideas that challenge me and encourage me to try new things. Challenges involving helping other people would also be nice.

Finding a job that I like is not included in these 30 challenges, though I’m trying to do that as well. When I am looking for work and don’t know what I want, it sometimes feels like that’s all I ever think or worry about, and that can get a bit boring and depressing! If I haven’t totally sortted a job or career path by the end of the year, I don’t want to sit back and wonder what I spent the year doing. I want to do new things and have fun. I could talk about doing this forever, but now that I’ve written it, I have to do it!

So come on, give me some ideas of new ways I can challenge myself and do something fun during the first year of my 30’s!

Audio Transcription

You can probably guess that this is non dog related from the title. I hate cross-poasting things, so appologies to the friends on facebook who have kindly liked this page already.

I’ve recently made a facebook page to help promote the audio transcription work that I ocasionally do. I enjoy the variety of work, and it would be nice to get a bit more if possible.
I can transcribe interviews, research projects, focus groups, assignments, lectures, memoirs, personal stories, material for websites, and lots more. I’m not qualified in legal or medical transcription. It’s not my full-time job, so I don’t intend gaining either of these qualifications. Also, I prefer the more human storytelling or research aspect to the material I transcribe.

Audio transcription isn’t exactly a service that everybody would require, but maybe sometime, you, or someone you know might need it. If you could like or share my page,
JDAudioTranscription
I’d really appreciate it. Maybe somebody will find it useful. Word of mouth can often be a great help!

Thanks!

Puppywalkers, You Do Amazing Jobs!

I went to Dublin on Saturday, where I met Nicky as we were invited to a 30th birthday party in the city. I was in Dublin for exactly 24 hours. It’s amazing what you can get done in that time!
We had lunch in a hotel that the bus stops outside. The staff are always friendly, so it’s a good place to eat. Then we took a taxi to our own hotel, the
Grand Canal Hotel
which isn’t too far from the city. It’s often difficult to get a hotel in or near Dublin city with grass nearby, and they can be so expensive, especially on a weekend. This one was in a great location, with grass and a bin just a minute’s walk away. The things us guide dog owners have to worry about!
The hotel staff were very helpful without being intrusive, and one in particular adored Sibyl! The breakfast wasn’t anything special and not worth the extra money, but apart from that it was perfect, and I’ll definitely be back.
The party was fun, and Sibyl did great. We met up with some friends and met some new people, which is always nice.

In between lunch and dinner before the party, Sibyl’s puppywalkers came to the hotel to see her. She went back to Cork for training in October 2013, they hadn’t seen her since and possibly didn’t think they ever would. I don’t think she particularly recognised them, but I know she’d remember their house if she saw it again. Two of their children couldn’t come but really wanted to see her, so we’ve promised to go and visit them soon. We talked for more than two hours, and it was lovely for me to hear about the places they brought her and how much they enjoyed having her. She was their first dog, but hopefully they will puppywalk another, because they were obviously very good at it.

I’m very lucky to have met both of my dog’s puppywalkers, and that they have taken such interest in their dogs and my life with them. These are the people who do all the hard work before the dog reaches training. These people are the heros of the guide dog world! I think Irish guide dogs could do more to connect puppywalkers and guide dog owners, both during training and when dogs qualify. I sent an email to their CEO this morning to suggest this, as well as an email to the manager of the Grand Canal hotel to tell him or her how helpful their staff are.

These are a few of my favourite things…

Happy new year! Let’s hope 2016 is a healthy and happy one for everybody.

Thankfully I had another lovely Christmas, spent with family, friends and dogs. I celebrated a friend’s birthday, went to an engagement party, had a couple of nice meals out with Nicky, cooked very little (which is always a bonus!) and enjoyed some lovely dinners with my family. I think Sibyl enjoyed her first Donegal Christmas. We stayed in my sister’s house on Christmas eve, and my parent’s house on Christmas night, and she loved the change of scenery. The three dogs spent lots of time together, and we all had a couple of nice walks together in between the showers of rain.

As usual, I got lovely presents for Christmas, far too much to be honest. There was no need for half of it, but people were so generous and thoughtful with the useful things they chose for me. Sometimes you get one or two presents that you really won’t use, but I rarely do. New clothes, a clock for my kitchen (I have no clocks in my house), vouchers for cool discs, heating oil and River Island (talk about a random collection!) and money were all brilliant presents. I did get three others that I was really excited about:

Nicky gave me a digital radio for my room. I have very bad reception upstairs, so tend to listen to a lot of radio on my phone. I don’t like doing this because I’m constantly charging it, and I hate using mobiles any more than I have to.

I got an early 30th birthday present of Hunter wellies from my parents. My birthday isn’t until February, but they thought I might as well use them now during the wet weather. I can walk the dog around the muddy park and still look cool! I’ve also discovered that I can get the overpriced socks much cheaper in the children’s section of shops. Having small feet is great!

My new favourite toy at the minute is something I got for Christmas that I’ve wanted for the last year. I got the
NutriNinja
which is the coolest juicer/smoothy maker ever! I like eating well, especially fruit and veg, but sometimes find it hard to eat enough fruit, and use it up when i buy it since I live on my own. The idea of a big bulky kitchen appliance that’s difficult to clean put me off getting one, until I saw my brother in law’s Nutribullet. The ninja is the same thing. It’s small, and everything is blended into one cup that you can actually drink out of if you want, so there’s not much to clean at all. It’s safe and easy to use, and from a blind person’s perspective, this is great. They are expensive, but definitely worth the extra money for this reason. I’ve only made two smoothies for breakfast yesterday and today, but already I absolutely love this thing! It’s going to get lots of use in my house.

Happy Christmas Eve

I know things feel less Christmasy as people get older, but this has to be the quietest Christmas ever for me. I think the main reason for that is that I’m not working, didn’t have a staff night out, and haven’t been out much at all recently. I’m not complaining, it’s just strange. My brother is home, and there’s lots going on round here to distract me.

Nicky won’t be up for Christmas this year, and I wouldn’t miss Christmas at home with my nephews, so I suppose we celebrated it together last week. On Thursday I met him in Dublin, because I had won tickets for Colm MacConIomaire’s gig in Vicar Street. We stayed in Jurey’s in Christchurch, which was a nice hotel. Breakfast was nothing special, but the staff were lovely and friendly, and it was a good location for walking around Dublin city. Except neither of us had a dog so we didn’t walk far. I had to leave Sibyl with my sister, much to my nephews delight, and I really missed her for getting around. We don’t know our way around Dublin, but she really makes it much easier. It’s the first time I’ve really missed not having her with me, and was a nice reminder of how well we are bonding.

The gig itself was beautiful, as you would expect from Colm. He can do magic things with a violin, so adding an eleven piece band with that really was special. I can’t recommend his album ‘and now the weather’ enough if you just like lovely instrumental music, and if you buy a copy on CD, the cover, designed by his wife Sheila is lovely! As usual the Vicar Street staff were brilliant, and a little disappointed that we had no dogs.
While we were in Dublin, we had a chance to meet up with some friends for dinner, and more the next morning. It was great to finally meet Darragh and Emma’s new baby Rian, and see Meabh again. Then we went back to Carlow to relax for the weekend, and listened to lots of Christmas music.

I still wasn’t feeling completely Christmasy by Monday. I think spending time around children really helps, so was delighted when my mum asked me to come in to her class to see the students and accompany them to a carroll service in the church beside the school. It was my first time taking Sibyl to a chapel. Children were shocked to see a dog there as we came in. She didn’t really know where to lie at first, but when she settled down she was great. She lay still and looked around her, not moving until the child narrating asked everybody to stand for the final prayer. You’d swear she could understand! She got lots of attention from the students when we returned to their class. She really is very calm and gentle around children, and would have made a great assistant dog for a child with autism I think. I’m glad she became a guide dog though!

I’m sitting here at the computer on Christmas eve morning, in a quiet house, before all the madness begins. This year will be more quiet than usual I think, but we’ll have three dogs to entertain on Christmas
day which will be fun. Hopefully the weather will be dry and I can escape with someone before dinner and take them for a walk. I try and stay away from the Christmas dinner cooking as much as possible! The dogs got a present of doggy biscuits in the post yesterday. I haven’t got any presents in the post in my life I don’t think.

Anyway, the blogs been quiet this month, but I just want to wish everybody who still reads it a very happy Christmas, and a healthy and peaceful 2016.

The Simple Things

Having a guide dog makes the simplist things even easier.

 

This afternoon I offered to watch my two nephews, who are eight and five years old, because their school had to finish early for staff meetings. When they came I knew they’d be hungry, but instead of making the lunch I had planned, I asked them if they wanted to go to a nearby café for sandwiches and hot chocolate. Of course they were delighted! We walked to town and had a nice lunch. They talked the whole time, making sure Sibyl was doing a good job, while also keeping back and letting her lead the way. We walked to my friend’s sweet shop, and did a couple of things in town before going home to play with lego.

 

It was a short walk, with two great boys who are always willing to help with anything.  They forget that I’m blind, but are also very aware of it when they need to be. Having a guide dog makes simple things like this, that most people probably take for granted much easier. If I didn’t have a dog, I wouldn’t cross the very busy road that I live beside using a cane. I definitely wouldn’t bring two children with me. I wouldn’t feel safe, and other family members would be reluctant to let me bring them. But a guide dog makes this possible. It enables me to be an aunt who enjoys spending time with my nephews, taking them places, just like everyone else in our family.

Six Months With Sibyl

It’s been six months since Sibyl came home from Cork with me after training.
I’m not going to write about her progress since I’ve done that already. Just to say, I’m really happy with this dog, and I know she has lots of potential that I haven’t seen yet. I spoke to a large group of children in our local primary school almost a month ago now, and one of them asked a question which was very observant, and which I’m going to answer here. Answering it is a good way for me to reflect on six months with a second guide dog, while still having my retired one living close by. This post might also be useful for anybody transitioning or waiting for a new dog.

One student in the group last month wanted to know why certain dogs were given to certain owners, so I explained the matching process to them. I told them that there were characteristics that O.J had, which my next dog needed to have in order for us to work well together. Another child asked me if both dogs had very different personalities. I explained how they are both very different and react differently to different things, just like humans do. About ten minutes later, just as I was about to finish up, a very observant child who was paying lots of attention said,
“So you said that dogs have to have similar characteristics for you to be matched with them because you need a certain type of dog. You said that Sibyl is very different from O.J. So why did they match you with her if she is different from him? Do they not have to be the same?”

I forgot how exact you have to be with children sometimes, and how they pick up on absolutely everything. It’s a fair question though. Guide dog owners don’t like comparing dogs, and we’re not advised to. You can’t help it though, and I find myself still sometimes doing it now. Sibyl is still very young and obviously has a lot to learn, but she has the potential to be an excellent working dog. She may end up being a better worker than O.J in some ways because she isn’t sensitive and nothing phases her. She doesn’t stop to sniff while walking, and although she’s extremely nosey, she can keep moving at the same time. Of course the seven years and eight months experience I had with O.J will benefit our working partnership.

Sibyl and O.J are both Labrador/retrievers, and gorgeous looking dogs! Everyone says that, not just me! O.J’s retriever instinct was very useful for picking up things, and responding quickly to the find command when asked. He was particularly good at finding the button on the lights to cross the road. He’d enthusiastically point his nose towards it, as close as he could get, often embarrassingly pushing people out of his way in the process. Sibyl is mostly Labrador, and her finding and retrieving instinct isn’t as strong. I’m working on teaching her this, and although she’s improving, she’ll never be as obsessed with the word “find” as O.J was.

Both dogs have similar walking speeds and chilled out personalities when working. You could bring them anywhere with lots of people and they’d be great. They love attention, but are completely happy to be left alone. I couldn’t cope with a dog that follows me everywhere! They love the combination of town and country walks that we do, they love children, and they absolutely love the beach! Unfortunately they even seem to have similar health problems. I don’t know what that’s about.

I feel really lucky to have worked so well with O.J, and had a smooth transition to a new dog while he is still healthy and happy. I know of a few people currently waiting on dogs, and they’ve been without one for a long time. I’m also lucky that my parents kept O.J, and I can see him when I want. He just lives in a different house, but I keep reminding them that I still pay his insurance so he’s still my dog! He is always happy to see me and follows me around when I come to visit. He stays in my house sometimes, and there’s days when I leave Sibyl at home, just so that I can take someone’s arm and take O.J for a walk on his lead. Keeping a retired dog is definitely not the best option for everybody, but it worked for me. Knowing that I didn’t have to miss O.J helped me form a bond with Sibyl more easily.

If I had any advice for somebody who is retiring a dog and going for a successor dog, it would be this. Don’t feel guilty for comparing dogs. It’s normal to prefer certain characteristics in a particular dog. It’s important to recognise that each dog is different. To be fair to the new dog, it needs time to settle in and mature, just like the older one did when it began it’s working life. No two dogs are ever going to be the same, no matter how similar their working styles are. If you are lucky though, like me, you might have two dogs who are very similar, very different, but equally funny, and equally good at their job.

Sometimes I forget I have a blog!

Well I don’t really, but you might think that if you follow this one, because of the lack of posts recently. As usual, lots of things to write about came into my head at different times and I wrote about none of them, so here’s a post with no theme, no structure, but a few of the things I’ve been up to during the last five weeks.

I haven’t managed to find a job, and could look harder to try and find one, but I’ve done a few things that might help. My aunt took me to a careers fair in Derry in September. I knew there wouldn’t be suitable jobs for me to apply for there, but I did meet some very helpful people who gave me things to think about. I also met the head of the career service I wrote about in my last post. Unlike her colleague, she was really helpful. She took time to talk, really listened to what I had to say, and gave me lots of good advice. She followed up by sending me useful contacts, and helping me to fix my CV.

I spent the next two days after the jobs fair in Derry again. This time I was doing a befriending and mentoring course. I’m going to give it a post of it’s own soon, even though I intended writing about it a month ago.

I attended two really interesting events this month. The first was a public discussion about the new human rights bill, which was organised by the Irish human rights equality commission in Letterkenny. It was the last of eight public meetings, and Donegal had a good turnout, with a nice variety of people from all walks of life. I’d read that it was happening and not given it much thought until a friend and former work colleague asked if I was going. I decided to go because I knew she wanted to, and having lunch with her after gave us a chance to catch up. It was more interesting than I thought, and I’m glad I went.
I also attended the launch of the
preferential parking space
in a local secondary school. I delivered a disability awareness workshop to the students involved last October, but this was only a small part of the work they did on the subject during the year. Their final project was to create a preferential parking space outside their school, as well as in four other locations in the town. These spaces allow people with non-physical disabilities, or parents of children with non-physical disabilities, who would otherwise not avail of accessible parking to park in an area which might make access much easier for them. After a few speeches, presentations and photographs, the parking space was launched, and we had tea and cake in the school. I was given a lovely bunch of flowers in appreciation for my help, which was unexpected, but really nice.

On Monday the primary school had a thank you coffee morning for all the people from the community who have helped there during the year. I spent a couple of hours in the PE hall, and it was lovely. I was asked to talk to fifth class pupils as part of a program called ‘friends for life’ which they do in school. I thought it was a small group, but when I came into the library, there were almost ninety students there! Some adults also sneaked in too, but luckily it started before I had time to be nervous. The students listened carefully and asked fantastic questions. I was really impressed by them all. Sibyl behaved really well, apart from steeling my mum’s sandwich when we returned to her class after the talk. The children loved her, and it was nice to see her reaction in such a busy school. Even one child who is very afraid of dogs fell in love with her, and even took her for a walk at the end of the day. I wasn’t surprised at all when Sibyl found the school quickly on our way to a restaurant in the town earlier today. It’s her new favourite place!

We had rain yesterday for the first time in weeks, and the dry weather gave Sibyl a chance to do lots of work. Her work is improving every week, and even though she’s still easily distracted, it’s becoming easier to focus her attention back on her work again. Good weather means more free runs, and it’s important that she has a good balance of both. Sometimes I forget how much exercise a young dog needs, and if she doesn’t get enough, she soon lets me know that she’s bored!
Unfortunately we’ve had a few trips to the vet to have glands emptied, so I’m keeping a close eye on that. Otherwise she’s great, and turning out to be a smart little guide dog!

Career Change

Don’t worry, Sibyl hasn’t had to give up her job as a guide dog yet!
Though her crazy lively behaviour recently, (which included running into a swamp of horrible dirty water and nearly not being able to get herself back out), makes me wonder how this dog can be so trustworthy sometimes.
Anyway, I’m the one having the career change, not her. I suppose I can’t call it a career change just yet, because I haven’t actually moved to a new job.

A few weeks ago I left my job in the Donegal Centre for Independent Living, where I worked for the last five and a half years. I needed a change, and I want to try and find out what my long-term career plan is. Since I left, I’ve been researching courses and things to study, doing career interest tests, looking for volunteering opportunities and jobs. I have lots of ideas but no clear idea of where I’m going or what I’m doing, but I’m excited about what will happen in the future.

I loved the majority of the work I did in DCIL, especially delivering disability awareness training in schools. There’s a huge need for that type of work, and it has so much potential. I loved seeing the attitudes of students and teachers change as the workshops progressed. I loved the honesty of the students and the questions they asked. Just like the students, I enjoyed having the opportunity to learn new things. I was fortunate to be able to avail of two training courses in particular which were a great addition to my CV. I enjoyed working in the disability sector, which was something I previously would have ran a mile from if I’m honest. I learned a lot from my work colleagues and the people who use the personal assistant service. Many of them inspired me, and some became good friends, who I’ll hopefully always stay in contact with.

My colleagues were lovely to work with, and always more than welcoming to O.J and Sibyl. Being blind was never an issue. I mean it should never be anyway, but working as part of an organisation which provides services to people with disabilities made blindness non-existent in our office. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to make an effort to blog more about my search for employment and a career direction. I’ve moved from a situation where being blind was mostly forgotten by my colleagues, to it being one of the first things people notice. This became obvious twice during the last few weeks, when I met with two people working in the area of careers advice. One was talking me through study options in her college, while the other was supposed to help me focus my interests in particular areas. They both didn’t know where to begin, and one in particular spent more time admiring the dog. When we talked about education and I mentioned that I finished my degree from Queens University in 2006, their attitude completely changed. They were surprised that I could achieve such a thing, being blind and all, and suddenly they became more serious about wanting to help. As it turns out, neither of them have been any major help, but it was worth a try. Maybe they learned more from meeting me than I did from meeting them. They were nice girls and they didn’t annoy me, but they just got me thinking of some of the attitudinal obstacles I might face while looking for a job. This doesn’t bother me, but I think it’s just an interesting observation.

So now I’m on the hunt for a job. I need a challenge. I need something new. I have no idea what that will be yet, but hopefully the search won’t be too frustrating, and I’ll eventually find something that’s right.

Service Dogs Europe

Every day last week, Joe Duffy spoke on
Liveline
about an organisation based in co. Louth called
Service Dogs Europe.
I’d heard about it before, but not in any major detail. I listened to the show last week, to all the people who called in with their experiences of this organisation , and I can’t stop thinking about it since.

Service Dogs Europe claims to train assistance dogs for people with autism, hearing difficulties and a variety of physical disabilities and medical conditions. They train dogs to alert people to seizures and for people who are diabetic. They seem to train dogs for everything except guide dogs! Unlike Irish Guide Dogs, Assistance Dogs Ireland and My Canine Companion who all train dogs for children with autism, and Dogs for the Disabled who provide dogs for people with physical disabilities in Ireland, Service Dogs Europe do not have a waiting list, so dogs are available to families much quicker. But unlike the other organisations, SDE is not a charity, so people pay up to 7000 euros for one of these dogs. People can choose a puppy from the puppy program, which lives with the family until a certain age when it is taken to SDE to be trained for a few months. Families can also choose an adult dog provided by the organisation, or give their own dog there to be trained.

Henry Fitzsimons is the CEO, head trainer, and only board member of Service Dogs Europe. He has two sons on the autistic spectrum, and wanted to train dogs to help people like them. He has 25 years experience training dogs, but I can’t seem to find a list of his exact qualifications online. As far as I can tell, his trainers come from all over the world, so I don’t know their qualifications either.
Henry Fitzsimons states that their dogs are trained to the same standards as Assistance Dog International (ADI), but they clearly aren’t. They aren’t even registered with the ADI, who inspect all service dog training organisations thoroughly. So that’s the problem. This organisation is a scam!

When parents contact Service Dogs Europe, they are promised a well-trained dog that will help change their child’s life. If they can raise the money, they won’t have to go on a waiting list of up to five years, so of course this sounds perfect. But it is far from that, according to the majority of callers to the Joe Duffy show. These dogs turn out to be no more than very expensive pets, who in many cases aren’t even housetrained. People have reported their dogs coming back from training in worse condition than they were sent, fearful, underweight, badly behaved, aggressive, and in one case actually biting the child it was apparently trained to assist. I only heard two callers who had positive experiences, but they had only owned their dogs for a number of weeks, and the dog hadn’t been sent back for it’s formal training yet. Many people who avail of these dogs come from the UK, and there were questions about whether these dogs were even brought from Ireland legally.

Parents of children with special needs will do absolutely anything to help their child. They are some of the bravest, most determined people I’ve ever met. Sometimes these parents are vulnerable, and can be easily led by promises of something that could change their family’s life, which is what Henry Fitzsimons promised them. These parents are under stress, desperate to find anything that will help, so maybe they didn’t do enough research. Henry can probably talk the talk, although funny enough he was unable to talk to Joe Duffy last week and had a colleague to do his dirtywork. His website may look professional, though I don’t think it reads professionally at all in places. When you visit his training place, you have to arrive at a specific time, and are frowned upon if you come unexpectedly or early. People talk about always only seeing the first two kennels closest to the main entrance. When you leave with your dog, you may be forced to write a testimonial about the benefits of the organisation, even though you have hardly had your dog home, and haven’t seen anything that it was trained to do yet. When you have problems with your dog after training, Henry will offer more training. When that doesn’t work or if you don’t want it, you’ll be told that the dog just wasn’t right, or that it was your fault and he’ll offer you another dog. If you ask for your money back you’ll basically be laughed at.
What these parents are unaware of is that it is impossible to train a dog so young to assist somebody in the way that Service Dogs Europe say they can. Assistance dogs are always at least 18 months before they qualify, and undergo intensive training. It is impossible to train a service dog within a couple of months. They aren’t mature enough yet.
SDE use dogs from breeders, but I bet they don’t pay much for them. They also use dogs which are donated or come from rescues, where they have no idea of their history. SDE are expecting to put these dogs, after little or no training into families with young children, to keep them safe. This is devistation waiting to happen!
Henry Fitzsimons also runs a website called
Let’s Go Fundraise
where you can set up a page for people to raise money for your service dog. But of course when it doesn’t work out, they don’t get their money back.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, Henry Fitzsimons also runs a dog training facility called
Top Dog Training
where owners leave their dogs for two weeks to be trained. People spoke of how they left their dogs their at a cost of hundreds, had no updates in between, and returned to find no improvements in the dog’s behaviour. Again dogs were in poor condition, fearful and aggressive, with one client having to subsequently have her dog put to sleep. Any worthwhile dog trainer will tell you that it’s impossible to successfully train a dog without teaching the owner how best to interact with the dog too, so leaving a dog with someone for two weeks will not work at all. This is another scam!

As a guide dog owner, and someone who benefits from an assistance dog on a daily basis, I’m outraged that an organisation like Service Dogs Europe exists in Ireland, and that people have been too afraid to speak up and do nothing about it. This affects all assistance dog owners, regardless of where we were trained. It is easy to print up a certificate that looks professional, and if people don’t know any better, they think it’s real. Assistance dogs have access to all public places. If a badly trained dog from SDE comes into a restaurant and misbehaves, the owner has every right to refuse the next person who comes in with a dog. That could be me, or somebody else with a perfectly trained, well behaved dog from a reputable organisation. People often tar everybody with the same brush, so if they see a poorly behaved dog, they think they are all the same.

Henry Fitzsimons needs to be reported and stopped. His businesses need to be closed down, and he should be banned from working with animals. What he is doing is not only cruel to animals, but to parents, families, children with disabilities, and anybody who uses an assistance dog.
People need to ask questions.
People need to stop bringing their dogs to his training facility. Don’t be fooled by the lies on his website.
Make sure that breeders do not donate or sell dogs to him.
If you hear anybody mentioning this organisation, make sure they know the truth before making life even more difficult for their families.
Share this post, and please do anything you can to help spread the word about the corruption that is Service Dogs Europe in Ireland.

Thanks!