A quiet February

My definition of a quiet February probably isn’t the same as most people’s. By quiet, I mean that I haven’t gone out anywhere at weekends and haven’t spent much money. It’s exactly how I hoped January and February would be this year. Last year was so busy, and although it was brilliant, I definitely want a less busy year.

During the last couple of weeks, I’ve got some things done that kept being put off, which is always good. The CD holders that I got in Ikea were finally put up, and all the CDs are almost labeled and sorted. They are much neater now, and I have a lot more space in my office. Getting a shelf up in the kitchen has also been a great help. But in a way, the most useful thing my brother in law put up was a hook to hang the dogs leads and O J’s harness. Sounds simple, but it makes life much easier!

I had a lovely few days before and during my birthday last week. Got some lovely presents as usual, lots of cake and lovely food in my sister’s house. Apart from making soup twice in the last week, I haven’t cooked dinner in my own house which is rediculous!

O J has been doing some great work recently. The weather is improving so we’ve been getting out for lots of walks. Even with Dougal trailing behind us, he’s been so enthusiastic to work which is brilliant. In the last few days he’s been randomly getting up from his sleep and coming over to be cuddled for a few minutes, then happily going back to bed. It’s actually very funny. Sometimes I wonder if he’s having a mid-life crisis or something these days, because he has these bursts of energy that are just hollarius. He has such a funny personality and makes me laugh every day. Nicky and I went to Kilkenny at the beginning of the month, and it was O J’s first time there. Not that he cares where he is, but I’m hoping to take him to a few new places this year. I’ve been thinking a lot about the great job puppywalkers do recently for some reason, and if O J’s were interested, I’d love to take him to see them again this year. See if I write that down, then I’m more likely to do something about it! Any excuse to travel 🙂

Another new place O J and I went recently was to Dublin for a training day for work. We stayed in the accomodation in
which reminded me of my student days in Belfast. When my colleague booked our rooms and told them that I had a guide dog, they asked if there was anything they needed to do for us. There was lots of grass outside, and O J got a bit of a run around in the morning before we left for training. The staff asked how our stay was when we were checking out, and told us that O J was the first guide dog they’d ever had staying there. My colleague found it interesting to watch O J properly at work, since he’s usually relaxing beside my desk most of the time when we’re in the office. He was fascinated at how I know when there’s a step ahead. O J will put his two front paws on the step going up, and pause slightly before walking on, and of course I can feel this through the harness. I sometimes forget that people don’t really understand how a guide dog works until they see them in action.

I got much more from the training day than I had expected. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, and I think that deciding to link up with this particular organisation for funding for the schools project was a very good idea. If we decide to apply for funding for next year and are lucky enough to get it, I have a lot to think about in the meantime. Working only two days isn’t easy since I always like to be busy, so I’m doing a lot of thinking and googling these days. Two part-time jobs might be easier to find than one full-time one.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. Not sure who cares really, but I like writing haha.


9 thoughts on “A quiet February

  1. Good to hear that OJ is still working well – I was very impressed when he and Ralph were working in Derry (except that an old fat guy like me was struggling to stick the pace lol). Sounds like the people at All Hallows were really good – great to see people take the time to make sure all is good. Tidying CDs sounds good too – mine are scattered on floors in different rooms yet I’ve an idea where anyone is. Bet if i tidy them i’ll never find them. Hope you had a good birthday. Keep well. John xx

  2. Glad you are writing and enjoy your posts, especially the music you have seen and the places in Ireland. I am a big fan of Ireland and like to hear about your travels with OJ! I’m sitting here with my retired Seeing Eye dog who just turned 14. She has some spring fever, as do I, since it has been snowy and icy here for weeks. We may take off on a walk today somewhere in the woods anyway. Take care!

  3. Hi Jennifer

    Re your comment re visiting puppy walkers, Joe and myself would love it if you brought Oj to Tralee sometime. It was lovely the last time you came with your parents. Just give us a bit of warning.

    Wishing you a belated birthday.

    Regards. Doreen

  4. Sometimes we forget what a wonderful job our dogs have. It’s all common sense to us but when you break it down it really must be fascinating to watch.

    I would deffinetly say go visit ojs puppywalkers. It’s so fun finding out what they got up to when they were younger. When i went to see ushi’s, she started to look to them when i work her lol. The travelling is great craic too.

    I hope you find a job soon.



  5. Nancy, glad you like the posts. I don’t know what to write about sometimes. I hope O.J lives to be fourteen, at least. Enjoy your walk in the woods.

    Doreen, I’ll give you plenty of notice. I’m thinking we would come during the summer, and also visit a friend of Nicky’s in Kerry. She is a teacher so she would be on holidays then. I’ll never forget OJ’s reaction when he went into your house that day. He whined like crazy, and he hasn’t reacted to anything in that way since.

    Torie your right. Their work just becomes so normal to us.

  6. I care!!!! Thanks for the update. And I have a question: when you go with OJ to a new place, does he walk faster? All of my Seeing Eye dogs have done this, I would have thought that a new place might make them timid or cautious, but all four of them always seemed to find a new place invigorating and stimulating. Just wondering.


    • Yeah Beth, O.J is the exact same. He speeds up when we go somewhere knew, and his whole body language changes. For the first year or more after I got him, he always insisted on trying to lead the way if we were following someone, but thankfully now he’s much more relaxed, and my left arm muscles are still in one piece!

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