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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Dublin and London

I mentioned last week that I was going to Dublin to take part in
Lawler live
with Stuart. I had a lovely relaxing weekend and was looked after very well by himself and his girlfriend. O.J and her guide dog got on very well and ran around like mad things! They all tried their best to teach O.J to bark on command, but that seems to be a german shepherd thing.
The show was supposed to last two hours but we broadcast for three and a half.We had lots of great feedback and callers during it and it was great fun. There is an edited version on Stuart’s site, and you can also find a link to the whole show, if you have a lot of time to spare! Its worth it for the mixture of music and the random discussions, and the conversations make more sense.

Travelling there last weekend has made me want to travel more with O.J on my own. Its interesting when you don’t have a clue where you are going and have to depend on strangers. You have to try and not be shy, and you have some interesting conversations with people. Some members of the public are annoying but generally they were very friendly.

I’m going to London on thursday to see the ‘lion king’ musical. I’m not bringing O.J because I’m going with my mum and sister and will have plenty of help getting around. Also, he isn’t trained to go on escalators and hates shopping so it wouldn’t be fair. My dad can watch him for the two days we are away. The theatre are very helpful though, because they say on their website that they will watch guide dogs in the reception. This is a brilliant idea and I wish venues in Ireland would offer to do this. It would be very useful if your dog became uncomfortable with the noise during a performance, or if you simply wanted to go somewhere and couldn’t leave the dog on its own. Its crap that I don’t get to spend my birthday with my favourite big pup, but I’ve wanted to see the lion king for years so I’m really looking forward to it. There is no audio described performance that night unfortunately. I’m hoping we can get in early and I can get a touch tour and see what the costumes are like. That would be great.

Some other stuff:
I took my nephew and our Spanish students with me for my radio show today and they loved it. I thought they would be shy when they saw the microphone but they were great. That show will be broadcast next Sunday between 8 and 9 pm. Plug plug!
O.J had to have his anal glands done again (I know people were wondering how he got on since last time because its so exciting!!) The brans obviously helped a bit but I do forget to give it to him, a lot! He needs more exercise this week so we’re going walking tomorrow. He doesn’t know that yet!
Before I finish, check out
shave or dye campaign
for the Irish cancer society. It finishes on thursday. I was going to split a donation between a few of my favourite presenters but decided to donate it all to Alison Curtis because her show is finishing up on Thursday. My favourite radio show is no more. Not fair!

Currently listening to: the Canadian queen of broadcasting

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.