I’m raging

I am so mad right now! I’m absolutely fuming.

I was going home from my parents to my own house. My mom and aunt were both coming with me. So I rang my usual taxi base, and I asked them to send me out a minivan, since I had the dog, a load of bags, and there was the 3 of us as well.

First off, I had a 20 minute wait, which I wasn’t too fussed about, since we were getting a minivan, and I know there aren’t too many of those on the road on a sunday.

Eventually the minivan came. The driver was so rude. He wanted me to put Nitro in the boot of the van, on his own. I told him I didn’t think that was appropriate, that guide dogs aren’t meant to go in the boot, they are meant to either sit in the front with their owner, or else sit in the back on the back seat.

He was like, well, there is no room, I suppose he can sit in the back. But by then Nitro was very nerous and frightened, since he’d been trying to get him into the boot and Nitro was refusing to do what he said.

So I said fuck it, and I told him I’d leave it, that I wouldn’t be taking the taxi after all. By this time, I was close to tears. So then, I went back indoors to moms house and I rang the base, and I complained. The girl was not impressed with the way the driver treated us. She offered to get me another taxi, but I said it was fine, as I’d already called a different company.

So I did eventually get home, and I’m not the better of it. Taxi’s have gone so bad lately, all moaning and complaining about having to take the dog, they either complain about his size, or the hair, or something else. Its actually against the law for them not to take him, so they don’t actually ever refuse directly, but they do make it known that they aren’t happy about him being in their cars.

It really gets to me. I am really upset now because of what happened.

Happy birthday, Nitro!

Today, my baby turns 9! Nitro is 9 wow!
I cannot believe he’s 9!
I feel so bad because I forgot his treats when I went to the store yesterday!
But I love him, and thats the most important thing!
7 years ago, this bundle of joy bounced into my life, he has made life so so much better for me!
He’s such a joy and a treasure!
I think he still thinks he’s a puppy! He loves to play, run and jump around!
Happy birthday sweet nitro!
You’ve been an incredible friend, guide dog, and emotional support dog even though officially your not that at all!
I hope we have many many more years of fun, laughter and companionship together!
Love you to the moon and back!

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Aftercare with Nitro!

Nitro’s trainer just left. We just had our aftercare visit. It went really well. She was very pleased with him. She said he looks good, she said he looks really healthy, and that I have been looking after him well. His ears are a problem, he has had a lot of ear issues. She told me to change his food, I am to change him from hills dog food to royal cannon. She said there is a special one for skin allergies, she told me to put him on that one to see if it makes any difference. She said hopefully his ear issues will subside a little if his food is changed. We didnt go on a walk today, I told her that I hadnt been working him a lot lately, due to his age, and him being easily stressed out. She said its normal for him to be stressed, he’s 8 now, so an older dog. His age is starting to show. The good news is he doesnt have to retire yet. She said I could continue to work him, minimally for now. She said they’d see me in a year and we’d talk about retiring him then. The age of retirement has gone up from 9 to 10 now. So I am happy that I dont have to retire him yet. I told her I wasnt bringing him to college, I told her my parents look after him on the days when I have to go. She said thats probably for the best. She said that if I want another dog, I’d have to learn some routes, as I dont have a lot of work for a dog to do right now, and when they interview people to see if they are eligible for a dog, you have to prove you have work for the dog to do, you have to know some routes, she said minimum work load for a dog is 3 times a week for a half hour a day, so over the next few months I will get in touch with a mobility instructor in the national council for the blind, and learn some routes using my cane, so that when the time comes which wont be for another few years yet, but when it does come I will be able to get another dog. I told her I was keeping Nitro, and when he retires I’d keep him and wouldnt get another dog until he passes. She seemed happy enough with my decision. So I am very happy with how things went with her today. I feel relieved to know Nitro doesnt have to retire yet. Thats a huge relief to me.

Learning how to do a new route with Nitro, day 1

so today was our first day learning a new route with nitro. technically we did it twice with his trainer last thursday but today was the first time of us doing it with a staff member.

the part of the route we are doing at the moment is from the centre to the local bus stop. Its about a 10 minute walk.

today went well. nitro really did great. we were very nervous. but he worked well, although he did not find the bus stop, but then I didnt expect him to do it on the first go.

he passed it on, I’m going to have to bring some food as an incentive for him to find the bus stop and bring me to a seat.

but I am pleased with how it went. for most of the 10 minutes he concentrated and was very willing to work.

go, Nitro!
carol anne