adventures in Glasgo

I took OJ on his first ever flight last tuesday to Glasgo. I went mainly to visit Insight Radio (the radio station for blind and VI people) and it was worth the trip, which turned out not to be as straightforward as I had hoped.
On monday afternoon I noticed OJ licking his paw in work, but thought he was just being annoying. He wasn’t himself when i got home, and wasn’t any better on tuesday. I had to ring the vet and take him there before we went to Derry airport to get our flight. The vet thought he had probably been stung, as he was hurt underneath his chin. She gave him tablets and an injection, and had no concerns about him flying to Scotland. He was a lot quieter than usual and wasn’t very interested in what was going on around him. The plane journey went fine which was a relief. OJ walked up the steps excitedly and didn’t take much notice of the strange feeling during takeoff and landing. The plane almost landed in Glasgo, then circled for about 15 minutes before landing properly. The passengers were more nervous than OJ was.
Michael who was meeting us thought we were flying into Glasgo international airport, and we didn’t even know there were two airports, so we had to wait there for three hours before he finally contacted us and we got the train to Central Station. Our flat was usually used for student accomedation and it was fine. We had a big room with lots of space, but OJ wasn’t in the mood to go exploring when we got there. We went for dinner in the Oran Mor and to two pubs, where OJ slept on the floor in each one.
I went to the radio station the next morning. It was very wet so we drove there. There were two guide dogs there, black labs Lisa and Troy, and they were lovely. OJ slept in Troy’s bed all day while i got a tour of the building and facilities and saw the shows being planned and broadcast. The staff were so friendly and helpful, and i felt relaxed and very welcome there.
We had dinner in the flat and left OJ there when we went out for drinks. He was still miserable and a bloody watery stinking pus was coming from his wound.
I went to Insight radio without OJ the next day. Everyone was asking about him, and Troy who seemed to sense that i was missing my dog followed me around a lot. I did an interview about being in Thailand when the Tsunami happened, and this will be broadcast on the station on the next anniversary of the tragedy. I was also interviewed for ‘web wise guy’ and the review section of a program called the buzz, which is aimed at younger VI people. The work that the station does is unique, and it was nice for me to hear how radio is done through a blind person’s perspective. The presenters were happy to answer all my questions and encouraged me to get involved with the station whenever i want. I promised i would come back to visit them, and definitely if Mikey returns there after Big Brother, as he’s apparently quite a character even at work.
I went shopping for a couple of hours with mammy, and on our way to the Oran Mor to meet the boys for dinner we saw Sandy Tom (i wish i was a punkrocker…) singing in an Apple store. There was lots of people watching her, so we stayed for a while to listen. She was very good and it was a strange surprise to see her randomly.
The journey home the next morning went well. OJ still wasn’t any better, but he was so good, even though he was in no mood to be travelling in a taxi, a train, a plane, and the Jeep home, with another stop at the vets on the way. The male vet said he had a bad infection, and gave him another injection and stronger antibiotics to take for two weeks. He said the injection would reduce the itch allowing the infection to clear up because he will stop trying to scratch it on every surface he can find. We took him for a swim in the sea to cheer him up yesterday. Hopefully he’ll be ok to bring me to work on tuesday.
Insight radio was definitely worth visiting, and hopefully I have made some useful contacts and will stay in touch with them. Having an unwell guide dog did spoil things a bit, but hopefully he’ll be in a better mood next time we fly somewhere.
Current music: Joy Devision – love will tare us apart (the Last Splash on today FM)
Currently reading: In the Key of Genius; the extraordinary life of Derek Paravicini
by Adam Ockelford


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