Thursday, 23 March 2017

Sleepless in the Borders

My very cute Guide Dog puppy, Diesel (aged 7.5 weeks) arrived on Tuesday afternoon. He's very cute and very mischievous. He's also a chewer, so I can hardly leave him alone for a moment in case my kitchen gets eaten. I have sprayed peppermint oil all over the wooden furniture and I'm hoping that will help. Next step is spreading Vick all over it and I'd rather not do that if at all possible as Vick and eating don't go quite hand in hand!

Diesel's original name was Justin, but he was sponsored by Lothian Buses, who gave him his name. I would have thought they'd be better off calling him Go Electric. Apparently Lothian Buses sponsored 3 pups, so Diesel has Marine (after the depot at Seafield) and Buster to keep him company on his Guide Dog journey.

Our first night together was interesting. Diesel went to bed at 10.30 and I was awake waiting for him to wake up. I eventually fell asleep, but woke with a start at about 5 and there was still no noise. I was quite anxious in case something had happened to him, so went down, but no... there he was bright as anything and just fine. Me? I was exhausted!

Last night he was very sleepy all evening so I eventually gave in and put him to bed at 10. He slept until 2.30 when he squeaked. I let him out and he had a pee and then back to bed and slept through until 6.30. Me? I took about 2 hours to get back to sleep. So he's doing well and I'm still exhausted!

The bad bits: he likes to not just eat my kitchen furniture, but me too. I've already lost a handful of hair and my hands are quite sore. Those teeth are so damned sharp!

However, he now knows his name and is beginning to understand 'sit'. He's peed and poo'd (mostly) outside, so that's not too bad. And he's got into the habit of taking himself off to his bed when he's tired, which is great.

Sleeping puppy having taken himself to his bed

And he has now got his collar and Guide Dog tag on and we attempted to walk around the kitchen on the lead. I can see that he's going to make me look like an idiot in the street when we eventually get there, as distracting him from chewing the lead is a monumental task.

Diesel, complete with collar and tag, doing a good impression of a sit and wait!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Puppy free

Neymar has now gone home. It's quite nice, in some ways, to be able to tidy up and get things sorted without a very big, black presence at my heels. But then I also miss having a dog around. Those may well be famous last words as I have until Tuesday, at approximately 4 pm, until my next puppy arrives.

For a last treat, Neymar and I went to the theatre before I dropped him off at his home. We went to see Hay Fever at The Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. We were very kindly given seats in the box at the back of the stalls so he could have lots of room to lie down.

Neymar and me at the theatre.

The show was good, with lots of laughs and just the thing for a very dreary Saturday afternoon in Edinburgh.

Straight after that I took Neymar home as his folks had arrived back from their hols in the US. They were really lovely and, in spite of my protestations, gave me a rather nice candle.

This morning I've been getting things ready for the new puppy. Putting all the large toys away and getting out the teeny ones. So now the pup's bed is ready and toys are waiting. I've heard from the brood bitch's owner, who has told me my puppy is very mischievous (oh no!) and loves cuddles (oh yes!).

Now all I need to do is to enjoy my puppy free days.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Stress relief

Yesterday afternoon, as Neymar the Guide Dog puppy and I were settling down for some quiet time, my phone went.

'Are you the owner of The Mindful Consultancy website?' a very nice voiced lady asked.

'Yes,' I replied.

'Well you're in infringement of copyright.'

To say I was taken aback would be an understatement, because the person who designed the pictures for that website assured me that we could use all the pictures with no problem. I took a moment and did a couple of my instant stress management techniques and then very politely explained.

'Oh,' she said, 'well let's look.' It was then that we discovered it wasn't, but Boy, was I ever relieved!

We then had a conversation about how she could get in touch with these people. She told me she was really pleased that it wasn't me that she was going to have to deal with as I was such a nice person and she didn't want to cause me hassle.

All I could think was how lucky I was that I had stress management techniques at my finger tips, as for a moment there I was in danger of a complete freak out!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

All checked up.

Today I had to go for my six week check-up. It went really well and I've been told not to come back until next year. I also had my back checked out and I'm pleased to report that there was nothing to report.

Meanwhile Neymar and I have been having a lovely time together. He went off today for the day with another puppy walker and he had lots of fun. It's been great having him here and it's been a good thing to get me back into having a pup here. Sadly he's going a day earlier than I thought, because his puppywalker made a mistake and forgot to tell the organiser that she's coming back from the US on Saturday and not Sunday.

It'll turn out ok though, as Neymar and I are going to the theatre on Saturday afternoon to see Noel Coward's Hay Fever and I can drop him back at his home on the way back to the Borders. I shall be sad to see him go, but then I won't have long to wait until my new pup comes on Tuesday.

So now I shall just have to make the best of the next 2.5 days and enjoy his good behaviour, cos sure as eggs is eggs the new one will take a while, if ever, to become that well behaved!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

It's puppy time!

Today I headed for the Odeon Cinema at Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh for 10.15 am. I was there as part of a Guide Dog practice for 7 Guide Dog puppies (all over 6 months old), who were there to have a cinema experience.

We sat and watched a whole raft of previews of films that are coming up over the next couple of months. All I can say is, don't bother to go to the flicks... they were all crap... unless you love killing and noise!

However, the Guide Dog pups behaved perfectly and weren't bothered at all with all the sounds and flashes coming from the screen.

And then I got to take the very handsome Neymar home with me. Neymar is 10 months old and is going to be with me for 10 days. He's an absolute delight and lovely to have around. We spent the rest of our day doing a bit of shopping and then going to have a playdate with Folly and Millie (formerly Mollie). Neymar had a ball! As did the other 2. They got on a treat. Then Neymar and I went out for a walk, had a play and now we're settling down for our first evening together.

I'd almost forgotten how lovely it is to have a puppy here, which is great considering my own puppy is coming in just 12 days time. Thank goodness I'm getting a bit of practice!

The very handsome Neymar

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A day off

Today, being my last day of being without a puppy was determined as my day off.

I went to badminton and had fun. Quite a few games with the men, which I always enjoy, and much laughter.

And this was followed by going to Older People's cinema in Galashiels.

On a Wednesday they offer a current good film for just £5 for over 60's. The cinema also throw in tea and biscuits, but that was a step too far for me, so I politely declined. One of my friends from badminton was there, along with her husband and a couple of friends, so it was rather nice to have people to sit with.

We saw Manchester By The Sea. Was it good? Yes. Did I enjoy it all? No. I felt, cinematographically, that it could have been done better, especially with the flashbacks, but all in all it was an enjoyable afternoon at the flicks.

It's been ages since I've been to the cinema and, with my new puppy coming, it's probably going to be a while until I can go again. But you never know. I could possibly persuade a Guide Dog pal to take my puppy in exchange for taking theirs so I could have a few hours respite. We'll have to see.

I'm now feeling a bit daunted with it all. Neymar (aged 10 months old) is coming tomorrow for 10 days and then I have 36 hours before my new puppy comes. I'm now wondering wtf I've done in deciding to take another one!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Change is afoot

My mother's birthday went without a hitch, I'm pleased to say. She was so tired from her recent travels to Barcelona that she managed to get up for lunch yesterday, but that was it. She was in bed for the whole of the rest of the time I was there.

My brother booked for us to go to Angler, at South Place Hotel. It's a Michelin starred restaurant and the food was superb and so were the prices... for the restaurant that is! Still it was a lovely treat including the champagne to start.

In the evening I had to go and meet up with a psychologist friend, along with another friend of hers and we ate pizza and drank wine over a 4 hour dinner. To say I was completely full up by the time I hit my bed at almost midnight is an understatement!

On Monday after I arrived in London, I went out for a lovely sushi dinner and then off to the opera. It was at the London Coliseum and was the world premiere of A Winter's Tale. It was good but not spectacular, though I think Simon Callow, who was sitting nearby, thought it was great by the 'bravos' he was shouting at the end.

Tuesday I went to a great exhibition at The National Gallery. It was about 3 Australian expressionist painters and I thought it was fab. Then off for a massage, which was even more fab, followed by dinner at one of my current favourite restaurants, Kirobuta, which was a fun evening of chat and good food.

Wednesday, prior to the birthday lunch I went to the V&A to see an exhibition about John Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard Kipling's father), which was absolutely fascinating. It's also free so if you're in London I do recommend it.

So after all that activity I'm ready for a rest. Just a shame I have work tomorrow morning, but at least after that I can relax a bit. I'm going to need it as I've been told my new Guide Dog puppy is coming on 21st March. And before that I'm boarding a pup (though he's about 10 months old), for 10 days, so things will be changing... and quite drastically... next Thursday!