My trip to Dublin

Its been a while, but I’m finally back on the computer to post about my weekend in Dublin, which was great fun!

We went down on Thursday to stay with Jen’s friends. They are really cool, and one of them owns a dog. What’s even cooler is he is a guide dog like me and we get on really well.

The humans went for dinner in a lovely place called
Mona Lisa
We had to get the bus to town first and I didn’t know where I was going, but I followed like a good dog and did what I was told. After dinner we went to the Olympia to see the Divine Comedy. I went to see them with Jen
in July
and the crazy man on stage, (I think he’s called Neil Hannon) was just as funny as before. There were more people watching and they made more noise, and people kept walking past and I had to keep getting up. Sooo annoying!! Tracy who worked in the theatre was very helpful and couldn’t have been nicer. The manager wasn’t happy that us dogs were lying at the fire exit, but there was nowhere else for us to go, and we stayed quietly of course.

On friday Jen and her friend (who uses that white stick thing) went for a walk and had lunch. I ran in front of him on the way home and found the right house, which made Jen very happy. I slept for most of the afternoon because Jen was helping to make a documentary. She was on the computer editing for like 4 hours! I have no idea what that is, but I think she likes doing it.

Saturday was very relaxing and we didn’t go out because the humans were doing a radio show. It sounded like fun and they were talking to lots of people, even though I only saw one new person come into the studio. They played their
documentary
about the divine comedy on the show, and people connected to the band were very impressed. Jen edited the
podcast
of the show afterwards. Its all a bit mad. You should listen!

I loved playing with my guide dog friend, running around and pretending to fight over toys. We ran up and down the stairs, and sometimes Jen put my lead on to stop me being hiper. He always ran in front of me and barked at me to tease me. He barks a lot! I kept sniffing the bin in the kitchen because its one of those ones without a lid, and of course its very tempting for a lab type dog like me. I got told off each time I did it but I kept forgetting and still went back. The food bowl was kept right beside the bin, so sometimes i’d try to pretend I was getting a drink of water when they caught me.

I didn’t want to leave Dublin but I am very excited about some things I will be doing with Jen. She says we will be going to the theatre, visiting schools and going on a plane, all before Christmas. Then after that people will start building our new house. I love the house I live in now because its nice and warm with lots of space and Dougal to play with. I saw the house we will be living in and it doesn’t look too appealing at the minute. Just walls and bricks and rough ground everywhere. There’s no bed or food bowl or anything. Will it be a lot nicer when we move there? I hope so, or I’m not moving!

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Lawler Live

I’m going to Dublin tomorrow for the weekend. I’m meeting
Stuart Lawler
And I’m going to be in the studio when he presents his show ‘Lawler live’ on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM. Have a look at his website:
http://www.stuartlawler.ie
for more details about the show. You can also find out how to contact the show when its live, through twitter, MSN or by email. I’m sure Stuart wouldn’t mind some new listeners saying hello, and the show is good fun.

Don’t forget my own radio show (which still doesn’t have a name) is on Sunday night at 8 pm, and its a valentines special!

Second trip to Dublin

As I already mentioned, I came home from Dublin on Sunday, exhausted after the Bruce gig, and went back down on the bus on Monday morning. My mum and OJ came this time. He had been to Dublin before, but never to the city centre, so I was interested to see how he would cope working somewhere that busy.

It was lashing rain when we got off the bus. We went to meet the lovely
Kerrie and Zonta
for the first time. The dogs were very excited at first. We had a nice chat and I would have liked to have stayed longer, but we had to meet my mum’s friends. After lunch with them I did an interview for the
stuartlawler.ie podcast
It was great to see Stuart again, but I’m not looking forward to hearing myself on the next podcast!

We stayed in Clontarf and had a lovely relaxing evening. OJ really didn’t like my mum’s friend’s cats and kept barking at them, making them run and hide. He slept in the same room as me, which he doesn’t get to do too often. Because of this he woke me up so many times. It was like having a small child in the room!

I was very impressed by how well OJ behaved in Dublin, and how relaxed he was on both four hour bus journeys. I specifically wanted a dog that would work in a busy city environment and on quiet country roads, as when I applied I didn’t know where I would be living when I got my dog. OJ doesn’t like very loud noises, but I could see from how he worked in Dublin, (even though he was mostly just following people) that he can adapt well to different situations. I probably mentioned before that he has very high body sensitivity, so therefore doesn’t like his harness on him when it isn’t needed. I always have to take it off when he needs to lie down, but he lay on the Dublin bus with the body piece and handle on, no problem. It’s only taken him two years to do it! Well done OJ!

Currently listening to: Rick O Shea on 2fm

podcasts and nice weather! (updated)

I’ll give the guide dog stuff a mention first, since that’s what this blog is supposed to be about.

Kerie Doyle from Dublin recently trained with her first guide dog called Zonta. Before she went to Cork, she was featured on the
stuartlawler.ie podcast
And also on Audioview, a program about sight loss, presented by Joe Bollard on Dublin city fm. Audioview is broadcast between 1.30 and 2 PM on Wednesday afternoons, online on
http://www.dublincityfm.ie
or you can hear the podcast at
http://www.audionut.mypodcast.com

You can hear Kerie talk about her preparations for a guide dog, how the training went and how she and Zonta are getting on since, on Joe and Stuart’s podcasts. I wanted to mention it, because future guide dog owners might find it useful. She talks realistically about what its like, particularly in the early stages of guide dog ownership. There are always things you can learn working with a guide dog that they don’t teach you in training.
You can check out Kerie’s blog
Ker’s Kosmos
http://kerskosmos.blogspot.com

I’ve been making the most of our brilliant weather when I’m not working. OJ has had some nice swims at the beach. My parents took him there on Sunday because I was in Bundoran at a surf/music festival. Myself and some friends made a spur of the moment decision to go on Saturday evening and it was great fun. We got two free tickets so just had to buy two more, so it worked out cheap for everyone. I saw Mick Flannery, who I’ve wanted to see for a while and he was great. I heard a couple of Fred songs and we watched the Super Furry Animals set. They were very entertaining, and I had great fun on the boy’s shoulders. We had an 8 man tent but didn’t fancy trying to find somewhere to put it up in the middle of the night so slept in the jeep instead. We didn’t hang around long on Sunday because the surfing events were cancelled because there were no waves.

RIP Michael Jackson. Its still hard to believe. I couldn’t stand him when I was small, but realized how brilliant his music is as I got older. The production on some of his tracks, and the showmanship he had was incredible. He’s the only performer myself and group of five close friends could all go and see in concert, without arguing about how good the music is, but that will never happen now.