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Archive for December, 2007

New Year resolutions

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Mum keeps talking about her New Year resolutions. She’s got loads. I’ve got some resolutions too;

1. Make even more friends

2. Get more exercise

3. Lose weight (400 grams)

4. Stop barking during client consultations, it embarrasses mum

5. Stop chewing my tennis balls

6. Leave the bins at work alone!

7. Don’t steal food from people’s desks at work

But….. I’ve just found a recipe for home made dog biscuits, tee hee.

Do you have any New Year resolutions? C’mon, confess!

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Christmas bath

I had a bath today, mum said I really needed one. She doesn’t even need to tie me up, I just sit there feeling sorry for myself until she says All done!

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She used my banana and mango shampoo today, which smells REAL nice. But look how much there is left – there’s loads! That can only mean one thing – too many baths in there!

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Then it’s my favourite bit – the amazing towel rub. After that, I run around the house and have a good old shake and play with all my toys. Yippee – no more baths for another month. Roll on christmas – can’t wait to see what Santa’s got me in the morning!

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Santa Paws

I overheard mum discussing christmas presents with Auntie Maria. Now, Auntie Maria is a HUGE West Ham fan. She suggested something that would complement my claret working coat, in West Ham style.

What do you think?

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Season’s greetings

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Wishing all my friends a merry christmas and all the best for 2008.

Thank you for being my friend and for reading my blog. And thank you to Rob and my lovely sister Scotch for posing for this christmassy photo – it would take mum all day to get ME into a sack!

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TV dog

2008 is the Year of the Assistance Dog. If you have an assistance dog and a public service provider has provided stellar treatment to you and your dog, please nominate them for the Assistance Dogs UK Dog Star Award.

It is really difficult for me to get into public places sometimes, but mum never backs down and is pretty good at arguing! Lots of people know about Guide Dogs for the Blind but not the other types of assistance dogs. There are six types of assistance dogs in the UK;

Guide Dogs (for sight impairment)
Hearing Dogs (for hearing impairment)
Dogs for the Disabled (for mobility impairment)
Support Dogs (Disability Assistance dogs and Seizure Alert dogs)
Canine Partners (for mobility impairment)
dual purpose Guide/Hearing Dogs (for those with Ushers)

All assistance dogs have the same symbol on the coat –

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People don’t seem to look at the coat though. They just see DOG and start shouting or tell mum she can’t bring me in. It’s most annoying. I have a particular problem with restaurants. The staff seem to think an assistance dog isn’t allowed. But in fact, I’m really well trained, well behaved, and I’m cleaner than a lot of the restaurant customers. And sometimes better behaved, too. You’d never know I was there, I lie quietly under the table which means I can be taken anywhere. One day we went into a cafe and they asked us to leave. Mum turned round and said “Assistance dogs are allowed in. Why don’t you ask the Health Inspector?” (He was sitting in the corner). Of course, he confirmed I was allowed and they had to back down.

I really enjoyed working with the See Hear team and the programme was aired this week. I was taken around various shops, pubs and restaurants and followed by a camera. A friend of mum’s said “Couldn’t stop laughing at Smudge’s tail – wag, wag, wag, wag all the time. So very typical of the pooch, I swear he’s got a Duracell battery in that tail of his.”

Mum, does this mean I get my equity card – can I go on Eastenders now and meet Wellard?

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Happy birthday to you – my little bundle of joy
Happy birthday to you – who changed my life
Happy birthday dearest Smudge
Happy birthday to you – with lots and lots of love

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Trees

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The coat

It was 6pm. Mum was going mad today. Going mad looking for my coat.

She looked in her handbag. In her shopping bag. No joy. In her desk drawers. Nope. Under the coffee table. Not a bean. On the bookshelf. In her handbag again. Nope. Under her desk. No. Behind the door. Checked all the chairs. No sign. She checked her handbag again.

She went a bit red.

Under the desk. Nope. On top of the filing cabinet. Definitely not. Behind the chair. No. She emptied her handbag out.

Then I sashayed in.

She took one look at me and started to laugh.

I was only wearing my blinking coat, wasn’t I?!

Hehehe. Got ya there, mum!

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Mum is having another good read. She’s just received the latest issue of the Hearing Dogs newsletter by email. If you want to catch up on their news, you can send an email to info@hearingdogs.org.uk and they will put you on their mailing list.

Mum is busy buying from their new online shop. Lots of lovely doggy goodies there – if you download the catalogue there are even more goodies.

She was in WHSmith yesterday and saw charity christmas cards with the Hearing Dogs logo on them, she was really pleased. This means more cute dogs (like me!) can be trained.

I’m glad mommy’s rich. That means more biscuits for me *smirk*

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Mum is getting kinda tired of the whole access issue. Some public places refuse access when I’m with her, but then she does get out and about quite a bit doesn’t she? So the ratio of refusals to acceptance is bound to rise.

Last week we were doing some filming for See Hear – watch the episode on Wednesday 19 December, BBC2 at 1pm (usually repeated on the following Tuesday at 1.20am). This little bit of filming was all about access to public places for Hearing Dogs. Mum is happy to publicise access problems as this is a good way of educating people to her rights and mine.

Generally, a lot of places are fine with access for assistance dogs. But when they’re not, it’s downright embarrassing, especially when you’re celebrating a special occasion. Mum is wondering if people’s attitudes can really be changed that easily – by education, peer pressure, group mentality, or other factors. She thinks people should be somehow made to care about the issue of coping with deafness. Perhaps that will have to wait until the iPod generation looks for help with their hearing loss, as you can’t really judge until you have walked a mile in that person’s shoes. The best we can do is raise awareness of how much of an asset a Hearing Dog is to a deaf person (and to the general public through non-reliance). Only through such education can we hope to change people’s minds and attitudes.

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