It is Guide Dog week, so to help spread the work that these amazing animals do, here is a sneak peek at a typical week with Minster Munch.
Monday. Wake up a sleepy Munch, give him his morning massage, cover him in kisses, beg him to get up, leave him outside, feed him. Leave the house and walk a mile to the bus station to catch a bus to the nearest town an hour away. After only stopping to pee on 4 lamp posts (him not me) after we get off the bus, we arrive at the meeting. In the space of half an hour, he gently steals a biscuit from someone, rummages in a lady’s bag and finds a squeaky toy and farts a couple of times just to activate a multitude of senses from those sat around us. Luckily, apologies fall on friendly ears. After the meeting, I am dragged into any shop with a doggy aisle and dragged out of any clothes shops. On the bus home, he keeps a fellow passenger company by resting his head on the seat next to him and receives strokes for most of the journey home. When home, he runs around the garden and house like a tornado, eats his dinner, sleeps, falls off the bed then sleeps some more. Goes for a walk and gets scared by a passing cat. Goes to bed.
Tuesday. Usual morning routine, then a walk to the bus station. Finds us a seat on the bus which just happens to be near someone who is eating something that smells meaty. Gets given a piece of said meaty thing after the kind passenger asked if he is allowed some. Snoozes. Taxi to work where Munch sits on my feet for the 10-minute ride and I lose all sensation in my feet from my 6 stone foot warmer, but he is totally fine and loving life. At work, I provide counselling as Munch provides pet therapy to our clients. He licks tears, gives paws and brings toys to clients just in case they miss that there is Shetland pony sized dog in the room. As I am in deep conversation with a colleague break time, he happily eats a vegan cheese and spinach wrap I was looking forward to eating lunch time. Catch the bus home and get mobbed by friendly passengers all wanting a piece of the Munch magic. Get asked loads of questions about him and he happily goes to lie next to a lonely looking passenger. Walk home from bus, eats, sleeps, goes out to pee, plays, sleeps.
Wednesday. Morning routine. Train to work, where I take his harness off and he sprawls himself on the floor, lies on his back with paws in the air for belly rubs from me, train staff and anyone else who has idle hands. Taxi ride to work and discuss the best doggy poo bags to buy with the taxi driver (he started it). Work in a different school where Munch has numerous fans (both staff and pupils) and does his usual healing days work with unconditional love. He tries to lick a cut on a client’s leg and walks off in a huff when I stop him. I spend the rest of the day in the dog house. Catch 2 connection buses home. He gets taken for a walk by his favourite dog walker, comes back an hour later panting, smiling and pleased. I know I am now out of the dog house. Doesn’t do much else but sleeps all night.
Thursday. Morning routine and back on a bus. Taxi to work with a passive aggressive driver who tells me technically I should be paying double for taking a dog in the taxi and he tries to force Munch to squash in on the floor of the passenger seat instead of the usual floor in the back. I smile sweetly through gritted teeth and tell him that under the Equality Act 2010, he is wrong. Spend the rest of the journey in silence. In work Munch managed to get stuck between a filling cabinet and a desk twice (don’t ask). He got up to sit on a chair next to a client he liked Six times. He got off each time he was told but got straight back up. I won the battle of wills when he finally got the message. A nice long walk after work. Played, ate, slept and slept some more.
Friday. Day off. Fed, toileted and he went back to bed until I coaxed him to finally leave the house at 11am. Walk, a brief run and squirrel chase later, we got back home ready for my daughter and granddaughters visit. Munch smothered them both with kisses and doggy hugs and finally settled down. Spent the day playing with my granddaughter outside whilst Munch dug up some of my planters. Walked, ate and slept. He tried to sneak in to sleep cuddled up to my granddaughter but I told him to leave and I spent some more time in the dog house.
Saturday. Photo shoot for some images for his book and other planned events. This is his fourth official photo shoot and he is now comfortable with finding his best side and favoured pose. He has learnt to only pose for treats though so a quick Google to see if dogs can be entered into Mensa and the photos are finished. A long walk later, food and hours of play he settles on the couch with some dog relaxation music to chill him out.
Sunday. No day of rest for the first part of the day. A 6-mile walk (4 on Harness and 2 running around like a fool) and he seems like a new dog. The stresses of the week a distant memory as he runs around with other dogs leading them astray. Stopping his amorous advances to another dog (he has a soft spot for golden male Labradors) I enter the dog house for the third time this week. We stop half way for a rest, fuss and treats at my parent’s house. After we return home, he has a quick shower, food and spends the rest of his afternoon and evening in the land of nod.
Sorry for the long post but the amount that he does in a week cannot be minimized. Without him I would not be able to live the life I do. I will be spending more than a week thanking him.