Feb 24 2015

The Day My Life Changed

This is one of those rare moments that I take the time to write something very personal about me. So hold on to your hats!

I get asked a lot about how I lost my sight and the group it has the most impact on are young school aged children. This is not a story to engender pity, but to educate, to drive home that tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere.

As a child we always think nothing bad can happen to us. We go through life thinking that anything bad will happen to everyone else and that there are no consequences to our actions.

I remember the age of when my life changed forever! I was 12 years old when my world was turned upside down. A teenage boy was dared by another teenager to push me off the top of a slide. One of the very tall twisty ones. During this time slides were on concrete and not soft sand. There was no where for me to go. I heard the dare, flying through the air and then waking up in the hospital.

I woke up strapped down in a hospital bed and everything was black. I panicked! I called out and no one answered for at least 5 minutes. When they finally did I was told what happened, that I had patches on my eyes and was strapped down so that I wouldn’t try and take the patches off. Of course this just made me more upset and I panicked even harder.

For a long time after that event I was severely depressed. I had no idea how I would cope. For me my life was over! Thanks to 2 very good friends of mine I was made to see that I could still do all the things I loved. I just had to find another way of doing them!

As you can see my story was not an accident, but done on purpose. Maybe that boy didn’t know how bad things would turn out, but he had to know what he was doing was wrong somewhere. All the times adults say “don’t rough house in the playground” is for a good reason.

Tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere!

Feb 11 2015

I created a monster!

From January 21, 2015

So, guess it’s time to write one of those entries that I fell behind on from last month in regards to miss Luna Moon my music nut!

From the moment I got luna on September 16 I had her listening to music of all kinds, country, rock, oldies and most importantly Shout Sister Choir because it would be a big part of her life.

Well, let me tell you I believe I created a MONSTER!!!

Wednesday evening of January 21, 2015 Luna and I were on our way home from class at Carleton University and we had to pass through a big open area where Starbucks is and Tim Hortons and of course music. And it was *loud* music at that. Also, not very good music, but hey apparently someone liked it, including my dog!

Luna was determined that we were going over to where the music and was no matter what. The moment we step away from the stairs she made a hard turn to the left and was going to fly right on over to that music and have herself a great time.

Sadly, I wanted know part of whatever it was they were playing and wanted out and to go home. Have a guess on how this battled turned out?

Me, Luna, no we’re going home. Forward.
Luna, *ignores me and proceeds to music*
Me, Luna no, leave it!
Luna, *groans and turns away from the music*
Me, *whew* Luna, find the elevator.

Luna takes 2 steps in the direction of the elevator and . . .

Luna, ha, fooled you mom. *abrupt* 180 turn and pulls back towards the music!

My dog seriously has no taste!

I grumble and once again try and convince Luna that we really don’t want to go dance to the music or whatever it is she wants.

Me, *leash correction* and Luna stares at me like I’ve lost my mind, but I have her attention and tell her to find the elevator.

Luna snorts and huffs her way to the elevator and we are nearly there when . . .

Yep, you guessed it! Luna goes flying around the wall that leads right back around the corner to take us to the music.

I swear I’m trading her in for a Poodle!

Me, fine fine Luna you want to play that way…*attaches leash to gentle leader* take that! Now, find the elevator.
luna, *long sigh and probably sad puppy eyes* and off we go to the elevator. Which I happily praise her and give her hugs and a treat while also blocking her way from trying to be sneaky and take us back to the music, lol.

But wait, the fun’s not over!

We got downstairs in one piece and I remove the leash from the gentle leader…mistake. I forgot that we also have to still get past the bar. Yes, the bar, which of course plays music! *sighs*

Luna, Oo, more music. Mommy you want to go in here, right? Right! *dives* to the right and into the bar we go.
Me, *groans* why me! No Luna, lets go home.

Apparently she didn’t like the music in the bar that much because it wasn’t that big of a fight to get her back out. *whew*

lol, hold on the fun isn’t quite over yet!

Luna gets mad at me
So, finally Luna decides that it’s ok to actually head towards the doors so we can go home. All the music is gone, no dancing for Luna…the poor thing!

Luna takes us to the doors we would normally go out of if I was going to take the bus home, but since it was freezing ass cold outside we were taking Uber home instead and that’s out a different set of doors.

Me, good girl Luna, but not today. Hup-up.
luna, *stares at me, then at the door, then back at me and doesn’t move*
Me, Yes, good girl Luna, but not today and I give her a treat to show her she was right. Normally ha this works well. Um, not tonight.
luna, snorts and I’m sure gives me a dirty look and takes a step towards the doors to go out. Clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about and she must take charge….*follow your dog* Isn’t that what they teach?
Me, a little firmer *no* with a tug on the leash away from those doors.

Luna, Darn human first tells me lets go home and I can’t listen to music. Then when I finally does what she wants and brings us to the right place she says no. *snorts* what’s wrong with her? *groans, grumbles, hmphs* I’m just going to lay here and maybe she’ll figure it out then! Maybe?

And she did exactly that. She plopped on the floor in front of the doors and stared up at me. *chuckles*

Not only did I create a monster when it comes to music, but clearly my dog has OCD or something. I am not allowed to change the door that we go out of. i can go in any door I please, but when going home it absolutely must be the same door. No ifs, ands or buts about it!

After laughing my head off and praising her and telling her what a good girl the nutcase was I did get her to see that I still have all my whits about me.

of course she probably doesn’t believe that one bit, but we finally got to where we need to be and live to tell more stories, lol.

Feb 09 2015

Time for midterms already?

Wait! Didn’t this term, this year just start? What do you mean it’s time for test? Where did that time go?

I started classes on January 5 and this week it’s time to test what I’ve learned. I have one midterm tomorrow night, one on Thursday morning and one this weekend!

Now if the section that has to do with 4 p’s would stop escaping me, I’m ready for my one tomorrow night.

A bit nervous for Thursday morning thanks to the fact I um missed class last week due to I was doing one of those rare things for me…sleeping! maybe I’ll tell Luna to take that one for me.

The one over the weekend, it’s open book so it’s more of how fast can I find the answer to make sure I’m right before my time runs out. Happy Valentine’s Day, take a test!

Feb 01 2015

baseball sliding Luna

SHE’S SAFE!!!

I just had to share this funny story with you that just happened.

We moved last weekend so luna is back on be attached to me for a while stage. Well, since things have been pretty calm with her relieving schedule, not great, but good enough that I decided to give her a little run around time in the apartment for a few minutes.

Well, miss Luna Moon first ran around like her tail was on fire and then she started galloping around and sliding across the floor like she was playing baseball. Ha, then I discovered that while she was sliding around on the floor she was also holding the purple shirt she wears during choir shows, lol.

So then when I took the shirt from her she looked at me like I lost my mind and took away her best friend, *chuckles*

Jan 31 2015

Welcome to Parkwood Hills

Whew, guess it’s time for at lease one update. I am so behind and so much to share!

James and I have been in our new apartment for a week now. Let me tell you it was the fastest move I’ve ever done! A few of my Shout Sisters and their friends and family members came to help and within 5 minutes of them showing up at the old house half the stuff was already loaded on the truck. The whole move was started at 10AM and done around 12:30PM.

I greatly appreciated the help and generosity that was given that day. It was more than I asked for or expected, smiles.

It will take some getting use to living in apartments again, but the building is nice and everything we need is easy to locate without running into too many walls, lol. The best part is once again we’re attached to the building with the pool. So at least for now no more having to go *outside* to get to the pool! Now come the summer the indoor pool closes and we have to switch to the *outdoor* pool. That pool isn’t close by so that will be fun to figure out. Now if they will just get a hot tub!

One thing that I was definitely concerned about is the fact that the laundry machines use *smart cards* and my previous experience with them sucked! However, the staff here are helpful in loading the card for us and most importantly we found out that the machines beep the moment you put the card in the machine. So no guessing *when the heck do I press the buttons* We also learned that if the machine doesn’t beep, then most likely that machine doesn’t work and won’t eat your money!

Now, Luna and the apartment. Whew, definitely some things to work on.
1. dogs, dogs, dogs!!! Unlike where we use to live and sometimes run into dogs, Luna will pretty much always run into a dog here. This *definitely* a work distraction. If you remember Luna and the squirrels she’s like that now with the dogs! So trying to figure how to best get her use to dogs just popping up in places.
2. Brrrrrrrr, luna *loves* to make me freeze when it’s time to go outside. Instead of doing her business, she wants to jump around in the snow and snort it up her nose. Boy how this girl enjoys playing in the snow. But, if we have to sadly work outside and wait for buses in the cold she *hates* that! I don’t blame her. I’m ready for this darn winter to leave already. Now the problem I have is she’s so interested in playing in the snow she won’t go do her business completely. She’ll give me a number 1, but not a number 2. Then once we get back upstairs about 10 minutes later she’s *loudly* stating that she needs to go out, groans!
3. Salt, salt, salt! Ugh, all this salt is even annoying to me. luna will stop moving if it’s too much salt so then I have to coax her to get moving. The sooner I can get her inside, the sooner I can clean off that annoying salt.

Once again my Luna moon shows me how quick she learns. We only had a chance to learn how to find the way from the bus stop to the apartment and vice versa once. Let me tell you even just once that girl of mine had no trouble bringing me home the first night we worked it from school. I’m so proud of her!

Once the weather warms up we’ll get lots of walking in which Luna will love since she loves to work. she can’t stand being inside for too long. So someone *please* send us that warm weather!

Until next time I’m off to freeze!

Jan 18 2015

Why I prefer Uber

The first time I heard about Uber was while I was at leader Dogs getting my awesome dog luna. I wasn’t sure about getting the app for my phone since I was in the States and at the time I wasn’t aware that they were also just starting up in Ottawa. But, much to my surprise when I got home in October I learned they were hear and I’ve been using them ever since!

Here’s why I prefer Uber over the other taxi companies:
1. They have an app that goes along with their service.
The downside to this is that if you don’t have a cell phone like an IPhone and maybe an Android. Maybe sometime they can fix this if it hasn’t been thought of already.
Advantage of the app. I’m not having to sit on hold waiting for someone to pick up the phone and listen to horrible on hold music.

2. I can see how close a car is to my location before even making my trip.
This can be helpful in letting me know…ok, should I book the trip now or get ready first and then book the trip. Yes, sometimes it can change form a driver being 4 minutes away to maybe 20 in a blink of an eye, but still better than what you get with regular cab companies.

3. I can see when a driver has picked up the trip, their name, their license plate, their rating and again most important, how far away they are.
Regular cab company always says, “oh it will be there in 15 minutes” even though no driver has picked up the trip. Then when time comes and goes you call them back and they still tell you, “oh the car will be there soon” or “we’re still waiting on a car to take the trip.”

4. I have direct contact with the Uber driver.
With Uber I can tell them either by a phone call or send them a text message to look for a female in a purple jacket with a guide dog and I’m at this location.
Regular cab company you can tell them you’re blind and have a guide dog, but that message does not always make it to the driver. If your place is hard to find you also can’t communicate this directly with a regular taxi driver. You just have to hope for the best while standing around wondering where they are.

5. With Uber if I get a driver that was totally unprofessional in any way at all I could provide feedback on the trip and depending on the rating I give the driver I will not get that driver again.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had trouble with regular taxi companies being unprofessional by driving off because they don’t want to take my guide dog, driving recklessly while talking on the phone or just plain being rude cause they are having a bad day. I have asked so many times not to be sent certain drivers due to their attitudes or reckless driving just to get that same driver some other time down the line.

6. Uber is definitely cheaper.
Uber trip to Carleton University around $$17 to 20.
Regular taxi to Carleton University around $30.
Hmm, which would you choose?

Uber definitely has some bugs they need to work out, but since I’ve been riding with them from October until today I’ve had only 4, count them 4 trips that weren’t to my liking. Each time I explained to Uber what happened and they were quick to get back to me or refund my money if that was the case and I have not, repeat have not had any of those drivers again to this day!

Regular taxi companies still get my business if Uber happens to be really busy or if I’m in an area they are not, but my choice will always be Uber first as long as they are around.

Many cities such as Ottawa are trying to shut them down, why? They are afraid of the competition!

I think instead of hounding Uber and making fake trips just so they can hit them with a fine the city could be using their resources to help make the other taxi companies more reliable. Uber is trying, are the other taxi companies?

Listen to what riders such as myself have to say. Hell, better yet maybe close your eyes one day and call for a cab and see what it feels like waiting around for a cab just to find out it came and left without you. Call for a regular cab just to get in and see that it smells like the person hasn’t had a shower in about a week. Check in with the regular taxi companies are they really making sure their drivers don’t discriminate on who they pick up? Do they really pull drivers from their routes that drive off because they see a person with a guide dog?

These are things the city and those that want to attack Uber should be looking at instead of waisting time.

Uber all the way for me!

Jan 07 2015

The day from hell

OMG, did you ever have one of those days where you really should have just stayed in bed?

Ugh, that was definitely my day yesterday. I’d like to just hit rewind and start it over, but it would just mean I’d have to freeze all over again and that’s ok.

First, Luna and I had our first really really bad work morning. Due to the stupid ice outside she just absolutely refuses to do anything but pee outside which sadly has carried over to her going inside. I mean not that I blame her for not wanting to go outside in the ice, hell I wouldn’t want to either!

However what really showed me that yeah, not luna’s day was she stopped dead and just refused to work. Yep, lets turn around and go home, morning program canceled.

Now lets fast forward to the evening. It’s waaaaay better than the morning.

So my first class at International Academy started last night and since it’s freaken cold out I took Uber and I got this person named Carl.

1. Carl took the long way to get around to the street we needed to be on
2. He past the address by a few blocks
3. He nearly caused an accident with several cars
4. He got irritated with the other drivers when they had the nerve to honk at him for reckless driving.
5. It took an hour to get me to school when it is a 8 minute drive from my house.

Not a bad trip right? You wouldn’t just say enough is enough and just want out of the car and find the place yourself now would you? He was a nice person and apologized, but really that trip was just *screams*

Now on a better note. Luna did much better than in the morning. That’s probably cause she just wanted away from that horrible cab trip and she figured working was the quickest way to do so hahahah. We got to our class and she happily went under the table and promptly fell asleep. Shhhhhh, Luna no snoring in class, sheesh!

In my business skills class there are I think 7 females and one male, 8 if you count Luna. Just a bit out numbered he is you think? Anna is the instructor and it’s cool since she’s also my instructor for my nutrition class on Thursday morning.

One of the best praises us guide dog handlers can hear….I didn’t know there was a dog there. Was she there the whole time?

Now, lets hope today goes much much better than yesterday!

Jan 06 2015

Luna’s first spa day

Well, yesterday was the first time I left Luna someplace and ran away. Since she is so much *my* dog more than my other dogs have ever been I was definitely curious on how she would act when I handed her over to someone else and I walked away without her. She absolutely can’t stand if I’m too far from her at home. She hated it while I was out at the families house for the holiday too, but this was a different test. I was leaving her with strangers, *hasp* bad bad me!

Ha, yeah right. Luna could care less. We walked into the grooming salon at Petsmart and Luna was like….oo, dogs to play with. All for me!! *wag wag wag, goes the tail*

I apparently still don’t rank higher in importance to my dog when dogs are around. *sighs*

She happily jumped around, tried to go over the counter and sniffed and really just showed that *working dog* yeah what’s that?

So, i handed her over to the nice groomers and walked away. Luna did not look back! HMPH!

Now, lets turn the page and it’s time I go back to pick her up. You know that dog that could care less about me when I left her. Hahaha, right, when she saw me she once again tried jumping over the counter to get to me! Guess that groomer was taking *waaaaaay* too long to get her too her owner. Then again I just think she was happy to see me cause it was past her dinner time, what do you think?

The groomer said Luna was an absolutely princess while she was there and enjoyed her spa day. *whew* means I won’t have to worry about her the next time it’s spa time.

Now she’s all nice and pretty it’s time to get ready to get back to class. First class this evening. Wish us luck!

Jan 01 2015

2015 busy busy busy

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2015 is here and it starts off with a busy busy busy month! Just the way I like it.

What was the first thing that popped in my inbox to ring off 2015? An audition for NBC’s Hannibal in Toronto. I so want to try for that. Figures the moment I stop paying attention to acting so much something comes up that’s close and would be great to go for. They are looking for a blind person to be in a few episodes. Definitely time to get on the move and quickly update my acting stuff. Where the heck is that acting resume and I need a new headshot, oh yes and Luna does too!

lol, so in yesterdays entry I wrote that I wanted to watch Annie 2014 and that it needed to hurry and come on cable. Well, not long after that entry was posted I actually got the movie. nope, not on cable, sorry.

Annie 2014 definitely has some amusing parts and some things could have been better, but i’d definitely watch it again. I also agree that kids now would probably like it more than the original. I however like them both. They both in their own way have amusing parts.

Annie 2014
Annie, Sandy has to go.
Will, lemonade or chicken nuggets?

It’s back to school time. This is a good thing and a bad one, lol.

Good being that I finally will get to start working on getting my massage training for here in Ontario. I’m going to be doing it on a course by course basis for a little while since the school is like super expensive. Hopefully by the time i *have* to switch into the program itself the cost will be a bit cheaper. I also have to go out and buy new clothes. This school you *must* wear the school colors. You have a choice of white, cream or green. Bleh! Why couldn’t they have like purple? Ah well, guess I’ll pick green. Shopping on Monday it will be.

The bad thing is I just don’t have the confidence in myself for this school stuff. I discovered in the last few months that y attention span for school at the college or university level definitely needs some work, like badly! All my tricks for keeping my focus and not getting so agitated and restless in school before are not working at this level.

luna will be going for her first *spa* day on Monday so that she’s all nice and pretty before our first day of class on Tuesday. And since there’s currently no snow thanks to mother nature, I won’t have to worry about her diving in it right away after her bath, lol.

Moving moving moving!!! The end of the month it’s moving time. Just in case you missed it, OTTAWA PEOPLE, come out, come out, where ever you are! Help help help, we need help!

Shhh, those of you in the peanut gallery, not help in that way, lol. Although it’s probably true.

Also, on the same day we get the keys for the apartment Luna and I are heading off to a concert. I’d tell you where, but I forgot where it is, lol. Good thing I’m not doing the driving, ha!

Now, back to my cheese cake while Luna snores in her bed. Where’s that muzzle?

Dec 31 2014

2014 the emotional year

So this year ends the way it started, cold!!!

This has been one hell of a year, so how about we wrap it up and hopefully get ready for a better new year?

1. This time last year I mentioned that I had to take my ex in-laws to court so that my daughter could come here for a visit. Well, finally in the first half of this year my wish came through. Good news, my daughter will be coming for a visit. Bad news, her grandmother will be coming with her. The really really bad news, I’m being made to pay for her hotel stay cause she claims she can’t afford it. What a crock of shit. She’s known I was asking for my daughter to come here for over a year and she could have saved up, especially since the woman has more money than I do, but nooooooo, she had to tell the judge she doesn’t have money and I should pay for it. I wouldn’t mind so much if she wouldn’t have tried to play dirty and tell lies or hell if it’s her I wanted to spend time with. And get this, she even had the nerve to ask if she could stay in our house. Yeah, I think not. I want to visit with my daughter, not babysit grandma the liar too. I hope she can figure out how to get around cause I’m not holding her hand there.

Sorry, definitely a bad topic. So we’ll just move right along, right, right!

2. On April 1, 2014 Noah died of cancer. It was the absolute worse day of this year and it is one I will never forget. the cancer came on so sudden, one month he was fine and the next it was too late to do anything. It was just there. Noah was my silly white golden boy from Canadian Guide Dogs and you can check him out if you look around this blog under his name, smiles.

After he died I wasn’t sure if I could go through getting another dog and I also couldn’t stand using that stupid cane! I beat myself up for over a month wondering if there was anything I could have done, and knowing there wasn’t.

Slam the door on the first half of this year, boy it was tough and emotional…bring on the second half!

3. While grieving for my pal Noah I started the application process for a new puppy since sometimes they can take a while. Some schools I applied to in the end turned out not too be what I wanted, but didn’t discover that until I really sat down to think over it. Then I decided what the hell and my last choice was Leader Dogs. loads of emails back and forth with loads of questions and in July I was accepted to their program! *cheers loudly*

Oh, also in July I made it to my 2nd year with James and I have now been in Canada for 11 years. Where the hell does the time go?

ok, so back to the good stuff, lol.

4. September 16, 2014 I got the most awesomeness dog I’ve ever met named Luna. If you’ve been following my blog, you know all about her. If not, then what the heck are you waiting on? Get to reading! You know that date of April 1, I told you I’d never forget? Well, the other reason for that is Luna’s birthday is on April 1, now how creepy is that?

Luna and I have been together for a little over 3 months now and she is totally my dog and keeps me on my toes. Still things to iron out, but getting her is a decision I don’t regret. Thank you Leader for my new best friend!

5. What’s the end of a year without something drama or moving wise. last year drama, the year before that moving. So can you guess what this year is?

Yep, that’s it, moving. This nice dream house has raised the rent so that it’s just out of my comfort zone and next year we will be moving…and it’s back to apartment living! I will no longer be able to just kick Luna out the door for her park time. I’ll actually have to get dressed and freeze in the cold with her. Now that is a crime!

Hey you Ottawa People, i’m still calling you out. If you can drive and are big and tough, PLEEEEEEEEEASE come help us move!!

6. A definite must see…Annie 2014. I really want to see what the *new* Annie is like. Hurry up and get on tv!

This year has been full of ups and downs, some have gone some still remain. 2015 will bring new things and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. So I raise a glass to you and Luna raises her tail!

Happy New Years Eve everyone, and now lets go have those drinks!

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