Hi guys!

Well, guess who I am! Well if I haven’t told you yet, I am Troy! I am Mum’s retired guide dog. I guess Mum has told you guys a lot about me. But I haven’t written od here forever and Mum has let me write because she knows we miss each other soooooooo much! I retired back in 2016. I didn’t know my harness was being taken away till that lady left and Mum showed me later. (Note: guide dog trainer from Guide Dogs.) I wondered why the lady had to keep reassuring Mum for? What?!!!! I wasn’t going to leave!!!!!!! Anyway, when this lady left us and made sure Mum would keep looking after me – why wouldn’t she? – I felt ok and Mum wasn’t stressed. She acted stressed for a few weeks before my retirement, but when the lady came to say I was retiring, Mum was ok with it. I supposed she decided that I’d worked for a reeeeeeeeeeeeally really long time so it’d be best for me to enjoy myself just like any normal dog. Wait! When was I not a normal dog? Ah hang on… Normal dogs don’t have special priveledges. Woops I forgot! Anyway, I was allowed to be just like my other friends who aren’t guide dogs. I found it quite fun actually! I wasn’t used to being just a dog. Oh, I was always a dog! Ah well, never mind… Oops, I got distracted just then… Woof! Oh, I mean… Um… Oops.

I’m going to talk about what I could do that other ordinary dogs couldn’t do. That’s right! I’m not considered to be ordinary ha ha ha ha ha ha! So yeah, I’m extraordinary, I guess. Anyway, before I digress a lot, here’s what I could do. I was born somewhere in New Zealand. Yep, I’m a Kiwi! I only became an Australian citizen when I was eight weeks old. I wasn’t born in a back yard. I was born in a special place only reserved for working dogs, the ones who help special people!!!!!!! I thought I was just a doggy… Woops wait up! Ah, a doggy? Anyway, whatever that means… I thought I was just um… Oh forget it! I thought I was just going to someone’s house until I had to do a lot of complicated things. I thought all puppies got to walk upstairs and downstairs! Wrong again! Only working dogs could do all these new and exciting excursions. I had to play with bells, tunnels, gravel, rocks, sand, slippery and rough floors, hot, warm actually, but hot to me… surfaces. Oh and there’s too many other things I had to do! Geeze I didn’t know life with people could be so demanding! Sssshhhhhh! Muuuuuuum! Oh well. She never heard that. Heh! Ok so I had to do a lot of things. I had to run around. Yeah, but all dogs run around! Wait a second! Do they? Ah well, I was running and jumping and playing. I loved little dogs and big people! Why did I love people so much? I also loooooved playing with the pups and dogs. Aaaahhhh, I’ve just said that already, um, no… I forget. The vets really liked me. And so did the other people who tested us. I was very very very very active… But I wanted to be friends with everybody so I was a good little boy! I went ALLLLLLLLLL the way over to Adelaide! I didn’t know I’d have so much fun there. I can’t understand why I was fussed over so much before I left New Zealand. But everyone juuuuuuuuuust had to make sure I would be ok to go all the way over to Australia without getting hurt or sick. Are you joking? I was fiiiiiiine! I didn’t want to leave my friends. They were just like me, but sadly some of my pals didn’t make it. Why not? Why did I only get to go overseas? Maybe some other puppies came with me too, but I can’t remember. But some of my friends had to learn how to be… Ah, what? They weren’t allowed to learn how to be good pups or something. I can’t work that out. But I was considered to be a ‘good pup’ whatever that means, so I went to a wonderful lady’s house.

At this lady’s house, she and this other man had to teach me a looooooot of things! I was really playful and loved making a lot of trouble. I almost didn’t make it to big school. But I didn’t understand big school, I was too young then. All I knew was how to litter the house with bits of garden and… Oops. I was taught how to say please and thank you, the doggy version that is. I found it very difficult at first. The lady and man found me to be a big handful! But they loved me a lot so they did their best to show me the house rules and how to behave like a… I think a person? No? Um, well I was still allowed to do some doggy things when I wasn’t with my foster Mum and Dad, and sometimes they would encourage me to play and run around under strict supervision. Oh, yes. They had to teach me how to be nice to everybody, I wasn’t a baby any more so I had to learn that biting was forbidden. So was jumping on furniture and on the bed. I had to learn not to rummage through the garden, but seriously I can’t heeeeeeeelllllllppppp thhhhhhaaaaaaattttttt! I had to learn not to chew things. I had to learn to sit, stay, lie down on command, go outside to wee and pooh on command, I had to learn how to settle myself – geeze that was a chore! I had to learn about buses, cars, shops, etc. I had to learn that only special dogs could go to these places. Dogs who couldn’t help special people weren’t allowed to go into public places. After a year I got another test.

I still loved people and dogs. I loved learning new things although I had a reeeeeeally hard time sometimes. But I did try, and I won! I was very healthy and all the people who dealt with me thought I was a star. Wow! A star! It was time to go to big school. I don’t like changes very much, but after a time I do get used to new situations. I just needed time to adjust. I eventually loved big school and I loved learning how to use a harness and take people where they wanted me to go. I found it challenging and sometimes I got frustrated, but I worked through it and eventually I got tested again. I did really good helping someone! They pretended to be blind but never told me. Dolp! Why didn’t you tell me you could see and I would have insisted on walking with a REAL blind person! But oh well…….. This pretend blind person didn’t seem pretend at first, so I thought that they needed help, so I did everything right just for them!!!!!!!! I thought they would take me home! But nope. Not this time. I had to be tested a few times just so everybody could be sure I’d help my real person one day. The day finally came. I got in the van, thinking we were going for a drive as we usually do. But I noticed something different about the air and got super excited. I just couldn’t figure out what was up.

I found myself being taken to totally new place. There were other people there. Then I saw two ladies. Why was there another dog? then one of my teachers took me to the other lady, told me to lie down, and handed her the lead. I decided this lady was just pretending to be blind. Unfortunately, this time I was wrong and I noticed later that she wasn’t looking at me, even when I got her attention a bazillion times. Now what? I wasn’t used to blind people! Only the pretend ones. Me and my new Mum had to get acquainted with each other. Mum and her new friend had pizza but I wasn’t allowed to have any. But… Mum! I love food and you know it! But Mum was firm and wouldn’t give me any. I wasn’t allowed to play with the other dog, either. The next day I realised me and my new friend were learning to be guide dogs for our mothers and we had to do all the same things that our trainers had taught us. I didn’t want to trust Mum, but she was stressing out and I had to learn that this is who she was and I had to get used to it. Later I discovered that Mum can’t handle new situations very well, and I eventually got the hang of making her relax and be happy all the time! Me and Mum had to learn a lot of difficult things. Don’t tell anybody but I’d liked to have trained somewhere better. But I learned a lot and so did Mum. After three weeks of training, me and Mum had to go home on separate flights because someone buggered up the flight thingy. What!!!!!? I didn’t think I’d ever see Mum again! But when I did, I was so glad to stay with her for good. I had to learn how to help Mum walk around without bumping her into anything. Mum had a lot of arguments with her Mum and a few other people about me, heck knows why! All I had to do was learn! Mum found life difficult for a while and I couldn’t understand her expectations properly. There was a lot of bickering, but most of the time me and Mum got on very well.

After years and years in Darwin, me and Mum moved to Cairns. Then I was eventually taken to a new Mum’s place after Mum put me in another lady’s car. Mum didn’t come with me, but she got me to make friends with this lady lots of times so I was ok with the arrangement. But Mum didn’t come. And, where did the bed go? Wait! I didn’t like that bed much! It turned up eventually out of nowhere and my new Mum showed it to me. No, I still don’t like that bed, I just like rolling around, playing with my new friends, and sleeping on the ground near Mum’s bed. I kept thinking that I’d have to help my new Mum, but I kept forgetting that my current Mum can see. I wish I could find my real Mum! At least when I was with her I could help her all the time! Mother, where are yooooooouuuuuuu!!!!!??? My new Mum is really nice to me. She does all the same things that my real Mum used to do. I even had to help my real Mum when I was retired, but she kept reminding me to let her help herself. Well, dah, but you need me, don’t you? Damnit mother, if I don’t help you, you will bump into something! Oh wait, she had that long white stick to help her. Ah yeah I forgot! This lady who took away my harness taught me how to use that stick which scared me a few times. But I discovered it was for her, not for me. I got used to the stick very quickly and when Mum bumped me by accident while walking with me, I stopped so she could move her stick away and she tried to prevent it from bumping my legs. She was taught how to use her white stick differently to how she uses it without me, and eventually I didn’t get bumped any more. But when I retired, I had to learn not to walk over Mum’s stick as I now had to walk beside her instead of in front of her. When I left home to live with my current Mum (I’m sooooooooo glad I won’t get another Mum!) I knew how to walk everywhere still, because my real Mum didn’t let me stay home. She had biiiiiig arguments with other people about that. She had a lot of conflicts with other people because she didn’t want to let anything get in her way of helping me. I helped Mum in return, and now I’m glad I can stay with my new Mum because she says she’ll let me and my real Mum see each other one day! I love my new Mum actually. But that’s because she lets me play with other dogs and she wants to see my real Mum again. I eat the same food that my real Mum gave me. I walk around the neighbourhood and through the park and everything. I’ve always loved parks. I’m happy with how my new Mum looks after me.

Oh that’s right… I was gonna talk about why I like being a normal pet. I didn’t have to ignore other people and dogs. I no longer had to get on the bus. But I love buses! I didn’t have to learn new things. But I love learning about everything! I didn’t have to keep helping Mum. That that was the best job in the world! I didn’t have to be stressed. Well, I did a lot better in Cairns. Honestly I did. The weather was better and Mum didn’t have as much trouble with her family. (Truth be told, I made sure Troy didn’t see when I was arguing with my family, that’s why Troy didn’t sense much trouble.) I liked it better there. Mum made a lot of good Friends and I liked her friends too. I even liket the police man because he was so nice to me and every time I saw him, he petted and played with me so I didn’t think he was big and scary. And he was nice and friendly to Mum too. He lived in a unit next to our unit. Geeze, these little houses are strange! But it was a good little house! Then Mum moved to another little house. And that’s where I retired. We were in Mum’s new house for nearly two years. My new teachers were really strict and had to keep teaching Mum a lot of things over and over. They said that sometimes Mum confused me without realising it. But I got used to how things were and me and Mum got on very well all the time. Mum kept going on and on about never moving back to Darwin. She’d only stay in Queensland. Ok? Whatever. But Mum knew what was best so that made me happy. The teachers (O and m instructor and guide dog mobility instructor) had to keep reminding Mum that difficulties do happen and they don’t stay difficult for ever. I know what Mum is like, so I just kept acting stupid until she forgot about it. Let bygones be bygones, as they say. I hope my real Mum gets a new friend. I want to meet them. My new Mum will be happy to meet my real Mum’s new friend too! Then I can tell my new friend all about life as a guide dog. I wonder what my new friend will think? My real Mum’s new trainers will be at her tail for sure! They want to make sure my real Mum’s new friend doesn’t make too many mistakes and lose their job. I had difficulty keeping my job for a while, so I don’t want Mum’s new friend to have a lot of trouble too. Apparently Mum will figure it out, she will just expect the new guide dog to do the same things, except that my real Mum will have to get used to a new personality and different habits and quirks. It will be his or her turn to find out how adventurous my real Mum is. They will go on escalators, in the lift or elevator, call it whatever you want, they can get in taxis, trains, and the buses. They can go into restaurants and shops. They can go to all the places reserved only for special dogs. Secretly, I’m still special, you know! I have to go now. Thanks for listening!

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2 Responses to “Hi guys!”

  1. tiostib Says:

    A delightful biography!

    Like

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