The People who Made Isla

The bond between service dog and handler is almost impossible to explain. It is built upon trust, I trust Isla and she trusts me. We seek reassurance from one another, and we must be there to provide that reassurance. I’ve learnt to tell what she wants by her body language and the sounds she makes. […]

A small Christmas tree with lights and decorations

What I Bought my Guide Dog for Christmas

Isla is six. She’s an excitable, hard-working yellow labrador/golden retriever cross. And those of you who read my blog will know that she’s my guide dog. This year I’ve gone mad about Christmas. I’ve bought a little tree, far too many presents and am planning all the exciting things I want to bake if I […]

Isla running outside

Four Years a Guide Dog Owner

It’s hard to believe that just over four years ago I started working with my first guide dog, Isla. We have attended two schools, started university, lived in another country and travelled to the US together. We are reaching our prime as a team, we’re at a stage where for the most part we work […]

Isla looking very tired in the grass after a run

My Top Five Guide Dog Accessories

I’m a guide dog handler and I love shopping a bit too much. When combined these two things lead to me buying a lot of accessories for Isla. No, I’m not talking about santa outfits for Christmas, but I do like to look for products that make both her and my life easier. Rosewood Options […]

False support

Yesterday I wrote this update over on the Catch These Words Facebook page. I was saddened to see an extremely racist website pick up a story about guide dog access refusals this morning. I remember when in February I was refused access to a restaurant the comments that upset me the most weren’t targeted at […]

The Price you Pay for Writing Online

I really didn’t expect my most recent post about guide dogs to receive such attention. I always feel a vague sense of confusion when I see that people are visiting my blog, sharing my posts and discussing them. Dog ownership is a really contentious issue. I suppose a lot of things like that are, just […]

I am not my dog

Having a dog can be a good thing. For some, it is a smoother, more effective way of travel. For others the cane is by far the better option. Both are perfectly valid experiences, what works for one blind person doesn’t for another. I have come to loathe the perception that my life must have […]

My isolating experience in a guide dogs support group

I joined a guide dogs facebook group and it was a mistake. A really big one actually. I recently decided to join an informal guide dogs facebook group. I’ve always been interested in finding out more about my dogs parents and a friend suggested that perhaps some people there would have heard of them. So […]

My experiences as a young GDO

In July I wrote quite a detailed and personal facebook post about my experiences of being a guide dog owner. It was after an interview I did for guide dogs and I shared my thoughts first of how blindness is portrayed in the media and then my experiences as a young GDO. At the time […]