Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tuesday 26th June

Today we were invited to Guide Dogs at Shrewsbury to see our last Guide Dog Pup, Carly, working in harness in the final stages of her basic training.
The weather forecast had been for a return of summer for Monday and Tuesday so we were looking forward to a nice day out but as usual they got it wrong.

We arrived at the office on the Shrewsbury Business Park and were met by Claire, Carly’s trainer . She introduced us to the other members of staff and Crumble and Bracken who she is also training. They all have their beds in the office and relax in there with the staff when they are not being trained.
Phoenix soon sorted them out and Bracken lost his bed and his bone to her but did not seem to mind too much.

* Phoenix and Bracken

Carly had been put in the training van so that she would not see us until she had finished her training walk otherwise she would have been too distracted to concentrate. Claire got her out of the van and put her in harness and started the walk around the housing estate next to the offices. We walked carefully at a discreet distance behind making sure that she could not see or smell us as she crossed roads and went down narrow paths feeling like spies tracking a person.

When we reached the park Claire took her out of the harness and called us over to greet her. She looked at us as if to say who is this and then suddenly realised who we were and made a dash for us jumping up and going wild. We played with her in the park and then walked back to the office.

Watching Carly working makes you realise how difficult it must be for a visually impaired person to put their faith in a dog to keep them safe and what a great bond they must develop with one another for the partnership to work.

* Carly on her training walk in lovely Rain

Once we had said our good byes to Carly and Claire we made our way home but decided to take a detour via Fradley Junction where the Richardsons were moored in Autumn Years. We arrived just in time for tea and home made cake. Phoenix was on her best behaviour and slept most of the time. She made up for it however when she got home and was a little devil until bedtime.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sunday 10th June

June has been busy in the garden over the last week catching up on all the work which needed to be done after being away for so long. I am not allowed to help weed or do anything other than mow the lawn unless under strict supervision as I might dig up one of her precious plants thinking it is a weed.

* Getting the Garden into Shape

* The Pool and Steam

Now of course she has a little helper who can’t resist putting her paws in where June has just dug or biting the heads off her favourite flowers and plants. And now she stalks the fish little realising there is a net over the pond to keep out the dreaded heron.

* June’s Little Helper

* Can I catch one of those Fish

I have been doing the important jobs like ordering a Throwing Line to replace the cumbersome Life Belt we have on the boat. We could never find the right place to keep it, it always seemed to be in the way or not easily accessible when required in an emergency. The throwing line seemed the ideal alternative as it is light and easily stored to hand in an emergency. It can be thrown accurately to the person in the water and they can quickly be pulled back to the bank or boat.

* Throwing Line hanging from the bird feeder

June wanted a Tiller Pin Tassel and has been looking all over to find one without success. Doug and James off Nb Chance kindly took up the challenge and offered to look out for one at the Crick Show (very many thanks) but despite all their efforts there did not seem to be anybody selling them. Doug pointed me to the internet where there was one for sale but which was longer than June wanted so I did some more research and found that you can buy Bell Ropes which are a very similar thing.

Further research turned up just the item, an 8 inch long tassel from Nauticalia. To order it direct from them would cost £12.99 plus £4.99 postage (£17.98).
Other dealers had the same thing at £9.99 plus £2.49 postage (£12.48).

Then I came across one at which was £7.99 plus £1.50 postage (£9.49) so ordered one on Friday afternoon. Low and behold it arrived first thing on Saturday morning and is just the job and comes complete with a nice sized brass shackle to fix to the tiller pin.

* Tiller Pin Tassel