OJ goes to Galway

OJ had his first proper trip to Galway on Thursday. We went with my aunt to stay with a friend of hers, and we couldn’t have been looked after better!

On Friday morning we went into the city. The weather was really hot, unlike the last time I was there, when it rained constantly. We went to some shops and lots of people stopped us to ask about OJ. But that was only the beginning of his celebrity status!
I bought the new David Gray album and we went to the pet shop because Mary wanted to buy OJ a toy. We met a couple of lovely dogs and OJ got his photo taken with them. There were lots of buskers and street entertainers, and after a while OJ thought his job was to bring me up to every one he saw. My aunt embarrassed me by asking one if he could play the frames. He was Australian, but had seen them play in Australia before. He played a bit of ‘falling slowly’, until he got to the high notes and couldn’t do anymore. Fair play though, he was good fun. I gave him money and OJ tried to pick it up again. He was fascinated by the man playing the didgeridoo and had a good sniff at it! A random Chinese woman asked if she could take a picture of me with OJ. Very strange!

When we got to the carpark on the way home I asked OJ to find the car. I didn’t really think he would because we’d only been in it twice. He walked past about 15 cars, sniffing them until he found ours. Then he brought me around to the door we got in. Everybody was very impressed.

After lunch we came home for a while and went to Lady’s Well, which is really nice. My aunt took me up to feel the statue of the soldier and OJ followed me. On the way down she noticed a sign saying that you weren’t allowed to stand on the grass. Oops! Hope nobody saw. If they did, I’m blind so tough!

On Saturday after breakfast we went to the markets. They were very busy but OJ did great work. We met another friend for lunch and went to feed the swans. OJ stared at them but seemed relaxed. I was more frightened than he was. We watched a bit of canoe polo before driving home past the sea.

We went to mass on Sunday morning, which was very interesting. One of the priests took us to the front of the chapel so that OJ had space to lie down and we didn’t have to get up for communion. He was very well behaved and only stood up during the ‘our father’ in Irish. The priest welcomed everybody at the beginning of mass, including people who had travelled from different places, and the “Doherty’s from Donegal.” After communion one of them came down to ask me the dog’s name, and then he said he wanted to especially welcome OJ the guide dog from Donegal. He said he’d never seen a guide dog in the chapel before. Another priest who did the final blessing mentioned OJ too. The chapel was on a monastery and they had a black lab there called Lucy, and he hoped Lucy wouldn’t mind OJ being on her territory.
Lots of children came up to pet OJ afterwards, and a one-year-old girl just didn’t want to leave.

We had a lovely dinner with Mary’s family before we went home. They are all so friendly and I wished we could have stayed longer. Sam the lab/collie cross came for dinner but didn’t like OJ so she had to stay outside.
We were so well looked after in Galway, even though the family had enough to keep them busy without fussing over us. Oj acted as a bit of a therapy dog while we were there. I don’t want to say too much about that here, but it was very interesting.
OJ is very tired today.

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