O.J goes to school

My 9 year old nephew asked his teacher if I could take O.J into visit his class, so we went there last Friday. He’d been in the primary school a few times before, but not in a classroom of about 20 kids, and he loved every minute of it!
The kids asked me some questions they had already prepared. Then they took turns to ask their own, which were much more entertaining. They included:
“is he a boy or a girl?”
“Would you like him to be a girl?”
“What does he eat/drink?”
My personal favourite was from a girl who knew her stuff about dogs:
“You know how dogs are colour blind, well if there was a pink set of stairs and a blue set of stairs, and you asked O.J to find the pink stairs, would he know which was which?”
Each table took it in turns to come and pet him, and tell me about the dogs they own/used to own. One boy used to have a guide dog too apparently…
We took photos of the whole class with O.J for the good news board and the newspaper. Instead of saying cheese, they all shouted O.J! It was very cute! They even said bye to him in Irish when we were leaving. He loved all the attention, and was really well behaved. I’m sure this won’t be his last visit to scoil iosagain.

training review

O.J’s trainer came up last thursday to see how we’re both getting on. The trainer has to visit within the first 6 months of owning a guide dog, and then once a year after that. She basically checks that the dog doesn’t have any bad habits, and teaches new routes if i need to learn any.
She came to our house at 9.30, so i got the day off work (nice!) O.J was very excited to see her, and both dogs made sure that she played with them and their toys before even getting into the kitchen. She was delighted with O.J’s weight and shiney coat, so that was a relief.
We walked to my sisters new house in the country, and there was lots of lovely scenery to look at along the way. The walk is quite easy, and theres not much traffic, but lots of dogs. We went to Derry for some quick retail therapy, and did the walk again. It was much easier the second time.
Thats the pressure over until the summer!

first post of 08

Happy new year! Its hard to believe its 08 already. 2007 was the best year of my life, so hopefully this one will be nearly as good too.
The last few weeks have been mental with work, Christmas shopping, assignments and socialising! O.J had a bit of variety anyway.
I went to Jordanstown school in Belfast to do an interview for my course before Christmas. We drove to Derry, got the bus to Belfast, 2 trains to Jordanstown, and had to do it all again on the way home. It was a bit mad but O.J was great. He made a great impression on the 6 year old girl who sat beside us on the bus. She kept hugging him and said he was her favourite dog. Aw! One of the students in the school is thinking of getting a dog, and was very curious, so i let her take O.J for a walk down the corridor. The younger kids were fascinated with him too, and one even said he would “completely blind himself” so he could get a guide dog when he is old enough. Hillarius!
We did secret Santa on the friday before Christmas in work, and even O.J got a present – a big bone that apparently looks like a sheep’s leg! He also came to our Christmas dinner in a lovely hotel. Thankfully he was well behaved, and hardly moved during the meal. He did explore Sandinos afterwords and got petted by random strangers.
Santa brought O.J and Dougal stockings for Christmas, and my nephews gave them a wooly jumper each. O.J wore his to show it off, and even though everyone found it funny and cute, he wasn’t impressed at all! Dougal sleeps when we put his on, so its great!
I had a busy Christmas, There were lots of nights out, relaxing with friends, and O.J had his brother up to visit too. It snowed 3 days after new years day, and the dogs ran around not knowing what to think of it. I tried to walk him as much as possible so he wouldn’t get lazy when i got back to work. He didn’t want to get off the bus this morning, and had a mind of his own all day. His trainer is coming to visit on Thursday to see how we’re both doing, so hopefully he’s getting rid of all his bad behaviour before then.