For those of you who don’t remember me or are new to 4Sight Vision Support, please let me introduce myself.  My name is Ivy and I am Jean’s guide dog.  We live in Burgess Hill and I look after Jean and she looks after me but she has control of the “treats” jar.   I think I could help out with that but Jean says a very firm no.   In our house “no” means “NO”!

Jean is a member of the 4Sight Ramblers and we walk with them every month.  I really enjoy it because I meet up with some of my guide dog friends and as Jean has a human guide we can run around. We are free most of the time to run and play.

On 6th August I was really excited as Jean had told me the day before that we were going on one of those outings we do occasionally.  Plans changed from Beachy Head to Burling Gap, due fear that we might be so carried away with playing dog chase  we might just go over the top. (Over the top of what was never explained but perhaps that’s a good thing.) And then from Burling Gap to Abbotts Wood, as it was so exposed it was declared unsuitable for both dogs and humans as we might all collapse with something called heat exhaustion – no idea myself!   So Plan C, which was devised at the 11th hour, was put into action and was a trip to Abbotts Woods.

When Jane picked us up, I climbed in the back and settled down for the short ride to Whiteman’s Green. The coach was waiting for us, air conditioned everyone said but again dear reader I can’t help you out with what that is.  ‘Dogs on last’ came the call, this is so that we don’t get trodden on, as far as I’m concerned this is an excellent plan.  We set off, it was cool in the coach and we dogs settled down on the floor and snoozed, probably dreaming of chasing sticks, treats and may be swimming – we do love a swim and the muddier the better!

The coach stopped and we all piled out, we were under some trees but boy it was a warm day.   We walked sometimes in the shade and sometimes not, when we were out of the shade it was very, very hot.  Mind you we did have quite a few stops for water and treats – I do like those stops.

Suddenly our tails started to wag, what joy, we’d came across a lovely lake.  We didn’t hesitate and went straight in.  What lovely cool, cool water, bliss.   We wallowed and paddled and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I still can’t understand why the humans didn’t join us for a swim or paddle it really was lovely.

When we arrived back at the coach, needless to say we had to have a good rub down before getting back on board, the indignity and in public too.  I think we all more or less behaved ourselves, we weren’t perfect, but then why change the habit of a life time?

We set off for a pub lunch and found our tables and thankfully settled down underneath them for a well earned snooze on the cool floor.  Someone kindly brought out bowls of water for us which we’re most welcome.

It had been a good day, albeit a tad on the warm side but the icing on the cake had been the lake and an unexpected swim. But, between you and I, one or two guides also had a snooze on the way home.

If you’re a guide dog and live in Mid Sussex and would like to come and join me and my fury friends, get your owner to ring 4Sight Vision Support on 01243 828555.