Tag Archives: trigger

the 4th of July Is …

4 July is, of course best known for being American Independence Day. But enough of such trivia, for any school child can inform you that today is the day when America broke away from the United Kingdom!

Of far more importance to me than the above, is the fact that, on 4 July 2011, I became the proud owner of my 4th guide dog, Trigger, a beautiful brindle Labrador/retriever cross. Trigger goes everywhere with me, whether that be into restaurants, the office or the pub. I hasten to add that, in the case of the latter, I strongly dislike pubs and it is my four-legged friend who drags me into such dens of iniquity on an all to frequent basis …!

Joking apart, Trigger does a wonderful job and safely conducts me through busy London streets.

Given today’s date, I wanted to share 2 poems about Trigger. The first is entitled “The Hungry Hound”, while the second is called “To My Dog Trigger, Who Lay On My Book”.

“I am Trigger.
My stomach is bigger
Than you think.
Your lunch will be gone in the blink
Of an Eye.
Then away I fly.
Should you ask “who stole my lunch?” I reply
“Nnot I
But, dear reader, I lie …!..
I have been known to eat plastic.
My reach is elastic.
You think your food Safe?
My friend brace
Yourself for a shock
For I will gobble the lot!
Be it ever so hot!”.

You lay on my book.
Perhaps you mistook
It for a bone
And discovering your mistake, left it alone!

You creased it’s pages.
Oh the ages
I took
To write that book!

You lay on my book
But look
I have many more,
And ‘twas entirely my fault for
I should not have left it on the floor!

Dogs have such short lives
While the poet’s work survives
Long after master and friend
Have come to their end.
You lay on my book,
My faithful old mutt”.


Yesterday (Saturday 10 December) I had been concentrating on my writing for a protracted period. I had gone into my living room in order to take a break from the creative process. My mind was, however still busily turning over ideas and I was not, in truth in a state of relaxation. Then, suddenly I heard a snorting noise and my guide dog, Trigger presented me with a rope toy he had received as a present from a colleague. I began tugging. Trigger, his tail waving madly pulled in the opposite direction and emited that playful growl which I know so well. My brain rested and I was conscious only of the pleasure both Trigger and I where deriving from the game. A sense of wellbeing flooded my body and I smiled as a consequence of the sheer joy of the deep connection between my dog and I.
My experience yesterday reminded me of a short poem I penned some months back, entitled “Dog and Ball”:

“My head full
Of dull
Then the ball you caught
And waving your tail
Did derail
My introspection.
How can I suffer dejection
When I recollect your playful snort
And the ball you caught?”

The Hungry Hound

The below poem is dedicated to my guide dog Trigger, and my generous colleagues who, from time to time sacrifice their lunch to a hungry canine.

I am Trigger.
My stomach is bigger
Than you think.
Your lunch will be gone in the blink
Of an Eye.
Then away I fly.
Should you ask “who stole my lunch?” I reply
“Nnot I
But, dear reader, I lie …!..
I have been known to eat plastic.
My reach is elastic.
You think your food Safe?
My friend brace
Yourself for a shock
For I will gobble the lot!
Be it ever so hot!

Please Do Not Distract

While out for a walk with my guide dog, Trigger earlier today a lady began to stroke him while he was guiding me past a car which was, rather inconveniently parked on the pavement. I smiled and said,

“I don’t mind you stroking my dog, but please don’t do so while he is working as it could put both me and my dog in danger”.

The lady apologised and I continued on my way.

Unfortunately the above incident is far from being an isolated occurance. I have experienced people attempting to pet Trigger while in the midst of crossing a busy London road, which could have had disastrous consequences for both him and I.

As I said to the lady this morning, I have no objection to people stroking my guide dog. However the bottom line is to use common sense. By distracting a working guide dog the person responsible runs the risk of causing the animal to lose concentration. This could result in the owner becoming intimately acquainted with a lamp post or the bumper of a large lorry, not something which anyone wants to have on their conscience.

There is a good short piece on GDBA’s website on tips for approaching a guide dog owner. The golden rule, as set out in that piece is to always ask and not assume that speaking to or petting the dog is OK. As a guide dog owner I will, in most instances readily agree to a request to fuss Trigger. He works hard and deserves to be stroked, cuddled and generally loved. However, when working attention given to a guide dog can be highly dangerous so, please ask before approaching any assistance dogs.

For the article on GDBA’s website please visit, (https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/microsites/sponsor-a-puppy/blogs/2015/april/ever-wondered-how-to-approach-a-guide-dog-and-their-owner#.VWHdu0YrggQ).



A Further Update On Anthology To Raise Money For Guide Dogs

This post is by way of an update on the position regarding the charity anthology to raise money for The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association.

I have now received all contributions together with an excellent book cover (for which many thanks) and I am working with the editor to pull together the final version prior to publishing it online, (the anthology will be free to download with a link on the website and within the book to a “Just Giving” page in favour of GDBA.

One suggestion was to see whether GDBA could endorse the book. I have (today) spoken with the Association who confirmed, over the telephone that endorsement is not a practical option. They have, however e-mailed me as follows:


“Nice to speak to you on the phone and thanks for supporting Guide Dogs. As I mentioned as an option, you may want to use the proceeds to name a puppy after

one of the characters, or someone who inspired the book. There are a variety of levels starting at £2500 up to £50,000 which come with a variety of resources

and perks, all of which come with a photo of the puppy that you could put on your websites and blogs. As I mentioned on the phone, if you continue to fundraise

past the target, we can simply increase the target no problem.


You would need to set up a Just giving page (which I can help you do), and I would assist with wording on this.


If the naming a puppy option isn’t appropriate, we can still set up a just giving page so that we can properly see how much you have managed to raise from

the book as it would be difficult to take this information if we used a link to the main site.




I would welcome views on the ideas set out in the above e-mail from GDBA. The anthology is a collection of stories, poems and fact based articles so it appears to me that naming a puppy after one of the characters in the book is not an option, (do you agree?). However this does not preclude readers of this blog suggesting a name. With this in mind can I please ask for suggestions in respect of guide dog puppy names? Or would people prefer for monies to go to a “Just Giving” page (specifically dedicated to the anthology but not dedicated to raising money for a named puppy).

I would welcome suggestions please.


Many thanks for everyone’s continuing support and in particular that of my fellow authors, the book cover designer, (Mr Ape), the Editor and everyone who has reblogged posts pertaining to the anthology.



Do Not Distract

As a guide dog owner I am very happy for people to make a fuss of my 4 legged friend, Trigger when he is not working. He is a wonderful dog and deserves to be fussed and played with as all work and no play makes Jack (sorry Trigger) a dull boy.

When working however it is imperative that Trigger and other assistance dogs are not disturbed. Distracting a guide dog can lead to me or another guide dog owner becoming intimately acquainted with a lamp post or the back of a number 7 bus, a fate which I am, you may be surprised to learn somewhat anxious to avoid!

The problem which I and other guide dog owners have is that many people see a cuddly dog and their immediate reaction is to call out to the animal or reach out and stroke it. I have lost count of the number of occasions on which I have politely had to request people not to distract Trigger when working due to the obvious dangers which can flow from doing so. Most people understand my explanation. However a minority either lack (for whatever reason) the ability to comprehend or, quite simply don’t care. One gentleman in my locality always greets Trigger when he is working and will often stroke him. I have explained, until I am blue in the face why he should not do this. However he still persists. What is one to do in such a situation, grin and bare it? Perhaps I should dress Trigger up to resemble the Hound of the Baskervilles. Would that act as a deterrent do you think?!

As I said above, I am very happy for Trigger to receive attention when he is not working. I do, however wish that the gentleman in my area would desist from distracting my (working) guide dog.


Can someone please explain why my guide dog Trigger, who is a lab/retriever is adept at getting his blanket out of the dog bed, running around, tail wagging furiously, but leaves the blanket in the middle of the floor for me to pick up or trip over? I was under the impression that retrievers – retrieve? Obviously I have been labouring under a misapprehension on that score! In point of fact Trigger will greet me and my guests with all kinds of fascinating objects ranging from shoes, socks and, of course his beloved blanket. It is merely that my four legged friend point blank refuses to return said objects to where he found them!

I think that there is a case for the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association (GDBA) to train our canine helpers to put things back precisely where they found them. In fact lets forget about training guide dogs to assist blind people to cross the road, putting my shoes back in the exact spot where Trigger discovered them is far more important even if that spot was not well chosen, by me in the first place! I shall close now. I’m off to pen a letter to the Guide Dogs setting out my suggestion that they concentrate training on the retrieval and return of objects rather than on piffling matters like getting blind people such as myself from a to b safely. I’m sure they will be receptive to the idea, or maybe not!

The Dog That Barked In The Night

Woof, woof, the sound of a dog barking disturbing my slumbers. Awoken from deep dream filled sleep I lie in bed wondering why this rude awakening, am I being robbed? Jumping out of bed my feet encounter wooden floor boards. Uncarpetted floors, that isn’t right for my floors are covered in thick carpet, have the thieves stolen the carpets as I slept? Then it all comes back to me. I am staying at my mum’s in Liverpool where only rugs cover the bedroom floor. I have stepped onto an uncovered segment of flooring.

I exit the bedroom and in bare feet make my way downstairs to let out Trigger, my guide dog who appears determined not only to disturb the household but mum’s neighbours. My 4 legged friend does what comes naturally in the garden and returns, tail wagging extremely pleased with his early morning business. I mount the stairs hoping that sleep will, once more overcome me.

Anyone For Bacon?



I fear for my safety should my guide dog, Trigger encounter this bike giving off delicious bacon smells. I would, I suspect end up in hot pursuit of said machine with Trigger’s teeth firmly clamped to the bike’s exhaust. The rider would, I think end up rather like the Pied Piper with a host of dogs of every conceivable variety following hard on Trigger’s paws (I would have said heels but, as dogs don’t possess them I will refrain from doing so)!