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I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
Have you ever wondered what happens to the
guide dogs that don’t make the grade?
I used to until one day I called up and
asked. There is a waiting list for failed dogs and when you think that they come
already toilet trained to the extent of going where and when you say, it’s not
surprising. Plus the thirty thousand dollars spent on obedience training that
you don’t have to shell out for and you get a bargain at
There were rules to adhere too though if
you are picked as a new owner. The dog has to live inside, being a softy all my
dogs do anyway and they made sure I knew that he wouldn’t scrounge for food.
Imagine a dog that didn’t drool when you were eating. Bonus.
Needless to say, I put my name down. I was
quizzed over the phone as to why I wanted one of their dogs and my answer was
simple. I was planning a career as a diversional therapist and wanted a dog to
visit hospital patients.
Suddenly my name went to the top of the
list because his training would be put to good use. My dog was now available and
would I like to come and visit? Bring a lead and a cheque,
When we arrived at Guide Dogs Brisbane we
were introduced to Hugo. All the
dogs are from reputable breeders and my new friend has a pedigree a mile
Hugo or Hertigenvale Hugo to be exact. Huge
dog for short because he is one of the biggest dogs that they have ever had.
When trim and slim, Hugo weighs in at 40 odd
When I was doing the paperwork the trainer
suggested that I might like to buy him a halti type lead because he really is a
strong dog and that is the reason he was being fired, that and the fact that if
he sees another dog there is not a chance in hell of anyone stopping him.
The first time I took him for a walk was to
the beach. You know how Labradors love the water. I was the joke of the day as
the big lug dragged me from the car all the way down to the water’s edge. Even
with the halti on there was no stopping him. I had a long lead with me so I
attached that and let him swim back and forth amongst the waves until he had
Mum and Dad came out to the farm to visit
and meet Hugo. As always Mum brought a cake, chocolate mud cake if I remember
rightly. As soon as my back was turned, you guessed it. The whole cake
disappeared off the table, not a crumb left and not a cup broken. Hmmm, that
training trick wasn’t set in stone.
Career plans changed for one reason or
another and Hugo never did get to visit those people in hospital. Instead be
became my shadow and now he has made an appearance in my young adult series of
books that I have written.
We started walking every day when we moved
to Mt Isa and I never had a problem, even when he saw another dog. Most of the
time he was very controllable if somewhat excited. Until one day we decided to
go one street further than usual before turning for
Hugo saw two dogs he has never met before
who obviously wanted a moment of his time and before I knew what was happening I
was flying through the air to land in the middle of the road on my elbow. Hugo
was happily trading smells at the fence line while I lay stunned. A few seconds
later he was at my side, confused as to why I was laying down and not walking
along side him.
The report regarding the London Riots has
finally been released. I have to admit to a few profanities when I heard some of
the reasons they used to justify the behaviour of the 15,000 youths involved in
There wasn’t one main reason given, there
were too many in my opinion.
Let’s go through some of them shall we and
get ready to be appalled as I was.
Poor parenting. That good old chestnut. My
parents don’t understand me. Read into this, my parents dont care what I do
and they never know where I am.
Lack of support for disenfranchised young
people. Doesn’t that mean the right to vote? Some of these kids were fourteen,
they are too young to vote and I thought they were rioting because Mark Duggan
was shot not having their name on a ballot
Poor schooling. Really, you want to blame
the teachers as well as the parents? I know that some schools are better than
others but honestly, if you want to learn you will. Everyone is capable of
asking for more help and finding the answers. The report even went so far as to
suggest that if kids weren’t taught to read and write, the schools should be
fined. #@%&*# How can anyone in
today’s society say that with a straight face and get away with it? It would
never work in the lower socio economic areas of any
This one really got me. An inability to
prevent reoffending. I take that to mean that if you know you can get away with
it, why not do it again. We all know that police struggle every day to combat
crime and generally they do a damned good job but seriously, if you are going to
use that as an excuse you are a low life. Plain and simple. Who goes out of
their way to create havoc just because they
You all know where I stand on kids and the
appalling behaviour they get away with these days. How much longer are we going
to stand for it? Speak up people and stop making excuses for something we should
have stopped long ago.
I signed my second book contract in less
than a month this weekend and as you can imagine, I’m pretty chuffed with it
all. I have worked hard for this and believe me I am enjoying the warm fuzzy
feeling that surrounds me at the moment.
It made me think how far we have come in
the last couple of decades. When my contract offer came through by email it was
followed by another with instructions of how to access it on the internet and
fill it out. These days you don’t get to sign your name with a flourish and a
smile. You type it in the space marked ‘sign here’ and push ‘submit’ and away it
Anyone can do this you think and take over
your identity. No, not really. Each person has their own unique IP address, your
email address and that is attached to your contract. Okay, it’s the way of the
future but I have to admit that I’m not sure I like it a hundred percent. A
little bit sad in a way because I had visions of framed contracts lining the
wall in my office.
My first contract was signed even though it
was emailed to me and scanned and emailed back but in the space of four weeks
they have improved the system and that idea has bitten the dust. At least I have
one contract signed and framed. That is something that I will always
I also had visions of framing my first
cheque. That is something lots of writers do. Stephen King still has his first
cheque. I bet it’s not one of his big ones but it doesn’t really matter. It’s a
special moment captured in time to remind you of your achievement after all
those hours slogging away on your typewriter or computer while everyone else was
I won’t be framing that either. I get paid
by, you guessed it ‘Paypal.’
Oh the joys of the modern era, you might
make my life easier but you take away the romance of it
It make’s a welcome change to go and watch
a group of little kids play their first game of footy rather than watch an older
team do their thing.
On Sunday my grandson who plays for the
Black Stars under 7’s had his first game. They had been practicing after school
and we all went along to support them.
Their uniforms hadn’t arrived so they
borrowed sets from wherever they could and took the field. Being littlies they
only play half, side to side. Parents gathered around both sides and the game
Cute as, they started passing the ball to
their team mates who were suddenly at a loss as to what to do with it now the
game was for real. With a fair amount of encouragement from the sidelines they
started to play in earnest.
The tackling side of the game went really
well, they all got the idea of the face cheek to the bum cheek style that I was
informed of to avoid high tackles and eventually the first goal was scored.
There is nothing like a vocal bunch of proud parents and
The crowd went
wild and they were as pleased as punch. At one stage the game got very close to
the sideline and one of the players, encouraged by the onlookers ran like the
wind to score a goal for his team. Unfortunately he ran around the spectators to
get away from the boys trying to tackle him and he was so intent on scoring his
goal that he didn’t hear the referee blowing the whistle for offside. That boy
can run so watch out when they get the rules sorted and they know where they
should be on the field.
It was a great first game for the little
guys and they were as proud as can be of their efforts. This grandmother enjoyed
herself and so did the rest of the crowd. Looks like I know where I will be
every weekend from now on. Might have to limit myself to one game a day though,
otherwise I’ll go hoarse from all the‘encouragement’ I offer on the