I did the annual Irish guide dogs church gate collection last weekend in Buncrana. It was a week later than usual, which meant it took place over St. Patrick’s weekend, which was probably a good thing. Nicky helped with it this year, so it meant that we had another dog for people to see when they passed the gate.
We did the usual two masses on Saturday evening, and three on Sunday. There were four masses on Sunday, so Nicky and I went to two different churches which had masses around the same time. The weather was cold and wet, but I’ve collected in much worse weather.
I know I say this every year, but I honestly can’t get over the generosity of people in our town, whether it’s offering to collect, or donating money. Its a recession, people don’t have much, but we still managed to raise 1,924 euros, our highest amount ever! It means a lot, especially since I am currently the only guide dog owner in the town, so it isn’t exactly a local charity that affects a lot of people here.
Apart from an amazing amount of money, collecting was enjoyable, because it was so entertaining. We had lots of friendly chats with people on their way into mass. Some of the comments and things people said included:
“God, its a terrible day. You must be freezing. You could have picked a better day.
How olds the dog? God, he’s on the go a long time!
How did you teach him to be so good. I wish mine was that good.
I hope you feed that dog well.”
And my favourite:
Woman: “He’s lovely. Is he your best friend?”
Me: “Yeah, one of them.)
Woman: “Oh, so you have two guide dogs?”
People are brilliant! I honestly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.