Week 9

Diary 9 – May 24th to June 24th

Whilst I have been hobbling around with my toe bandaged, Tuppence has been most concerned particularly when I shower in the morning with my plastic bag wrapped over the toe prevent the dressing getting wet.  He stays with me where possible, be it in the bathroom or just outside the door and then at my feet while I dress, instinct telling him that he has to watch that I don’t fall.  The only problem being that in the dark he is totally unseen and that is when he gets trodden on – as yet not fallen over him! (My previous black lab was visible in the dark through the whites of his eyes…. Tuppence you really cannot see anything of him).

Since the last broom and mop had been torn to shreds, Maria in her wisdom had been placing the mop, stick down, through the hole in the concrete table that I have in the courtyard.  This way the mop head could dry easily and was out of the way – at least that was what was though – however we forgot that Tuppence has now grown and his reach is further than it had been…. You guessed it… he managed to get hold of the mop head (a great new toy – woolly thing) and tried to pull it… only managing to get a mouthful of mop pieces but managed to bend the handle so the head now sits at right angles to the handle.

Today, May 30th, Tuppence and I are meeting Monica – puppy walker supervisor, for a group walk at Lifestyle Nurseries her in Johannesburg.  As Tuppence has a passion for flowers and shrubs this could be an interesting experience!  I can now report back that he was fine with the flowers, only tried to drink from the water features!
One of the things that as puppy walkers we have to instil in the pups, is to not get on the furniture or try to be a lap dog.   Not easy when they are cute and small, but even more difficult when they are bigger and bolder.   As it has been getting colder at night I have found that Tuppence “creeps” on to the bed, not making a sound or movement that could wake me… I only realise that he is there when I get either pushed with his feet, or a cold wet nose against my face or a little snore penetrating my ear!  Naturally, he off like a shot when I “bark” at him, as if saying under his breath “but it was cold, and I thought I would keep you warm, cos I love you”.  He also tries it on in the evening when watching TV…. He can see better when sitting in a chair! Also not easy when Thando sits on the floor with him to watch TV.

Over the last weekend I took both Tuppence and Sammy for a fun walk in Delta Park, and what fun they had.  Plenty of dog socialising, lots of running in the open veld, and of course swimming in the dams.  Both dogs came back smelling of”wet dog/wet fur”, and slept for the rest of the afternoon.   Sammy, the following morning, showed me that she was sore (she has been diagnosed with degeneration of the spine) by not wanting to get out of bed so the anti-inflammatory tablet came out and by the afternoon was fine….. She must just learn (she thinks she is still a puppy sometimes – particularly when running in the open) that she is getting old like the rest of us!!!!

Today 9th June, Tuppence and I went to talk to the Brownies and Girl guides about Guide Dogs and the work we did as puppy raisers and the work done by the trainers.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we came away with a car boot full of old towels, blankets, treats, and lots of plastic bottles (given to dogs to pay with) that the girls had collected … wow … what a wonderful job they did and although it all still has to be handed to the necessary people at kennels, I know that a heartfelt thank-you is being sent out to everyone.  Tomorrow, we are doing fund raising duty at the outdoor exhibition and expo at waterfall/kyalami equestrian centre.  I just hope that the wind isn’t blowing otherwise it will be freezing.

Well the weekend at Kyalami came and went, and although inside, the wind did get to the stand, but did not to stop people from supporting the cause.  On the Sunday alone, we managed to sell 18 books of tickets for the car raffle…..not bad! On the way home we did have a bit of an episode but hopefully it was just Tuppence being belligerent and awkward having spent 5 hours being patted, cuddled,  told to stop playing, lie down, don’t pull and much more together with lying in a draught!!!! I must just work on the problem as with the reluctance he showed on Thursday to go into a toilet with me at the Bryanston Market…. Mind you the cubicle was small and difficult to get me, dog and parcels all around the door at the same time, but we managed!!!! (Perhaps if any designers/architects of public buildings etc are reading this they should take note that blind people also have to use public toilets and consideration should be given to the sizing of them to allow dogs and people inside, turn around and CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!).

Today, Sunday 24th August, Tuppence had a new experience…. I went to have my hair cut, prior to my going away, and he came too…. not for a hair cut though.  He was VERY good. He lay by my feet whilst my hair was washed, and then again by the side of the chair while my hairdresser did her “snipping”.  He did wonder at one point what all this “grey stuff “was doing landing on him, but  ignored it like he should and when all was finished he just got up and shook himself so all the hair dispersed around the shop!
In two weeks time, I am off to UK for a family celebration and a holiday and Tuppence again will be going on holiday too… this time to a temporary home as I am away for over 5 weeks and that is too long for him to be in kennels without being given some stimulus.  It is fine when they are in training as the trainers do something with them daily, but he would be a boarder! Bearing this in mind the diary will be put on hold until I return mid August.  I will ask Tuppences’ temporary Mum to see if she can jot down some events/happenings that stand out in her mind (I am sure that there will be plenty) together with some photos of his holiday!

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